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April 28, 2016

Pitt junior wins Truman scholarship

Pitt junior Lia Petrose has been awarded a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. She is Pitt’s 12th Truman Scholar and the University’s first winner since 2008.

The merit-based federal scholarship awards $30,000 to outstanding college juniors for graduate school and professional development pursuits in preparation for a career in public service leadership.

Petrose is among 54 winners from 47 U.S. colleges and universities. Students were chosen based on their records of leadership, public service and academic achievement.

The Truman Foundation panel selected 197 finalists from 130 institutions out of an initial pool of 775 candidates from 305 institutions.

Among the finalists were three Pitt students: Petrose, Sage Lincoln and Marcus Robinson.

Petrose, of Laurel, Maryland, is pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy degree through the University Honors College and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in economics, neuroscience and international and area studies. Her studies focus on health economics and macro-level health policy.

University Honors College Dean Edward M. Stricker commented: “When I think of the core values of the University Honors College — academic attainment, intellectual curiosity and social consciousness — I think of Lia Petrose. She is a remarkable person who has a clear vision of her life’s goals as well as the drive, intellect and resolve needed to fulfill them.

“Lia’s selection as a Truman Scholar speaks to her distinguished academic record and her dedication to the greater good of humanity. It has been a great pleasure for me to witness her personal growth over the past three years.”

This fall Petrose plans to study abroad at Jesus College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.

She expects to graduate from Pitt in August 2017.

After graduation, she plans to pursue a dual career in medicine and health policy. She hopes to devote her career to creating sustainable health care systems for underserved populations in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

As an undergraduate researcher, Petrose is involved in Parkinson’s disease research in the biological sciences lab of John M. Rosenberg.

She also has conducted research in Malawi on the cost-effectiveness of health information management systems and has been a student researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she used cutting-edge technology to identify risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

She has authored publications in the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Petrose recently completed a term on the Student Government Board.

She is a member of the University Honors College’s Dean’s Advisory Board and is a University Honors College ambassador.

She serves on the Provost’s committee for the Year of the Humanities, the Board of Trustee’s academic affairs committee and the chancellor’s strategic planning working group for educational excellence.

Congress established the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation in 1975 to commemorate the legacy of the 33rd U.S. president.

Awardees will be honored in a ceremony on May 29 at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri.

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