The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs is pleased to announce that Nick Santamaria has been named a Truman Scholar Finalist. Highly competitive and prestigious, the $30,000 Truman Scholarship is awarded to approximately 60 juniors nationally for superior academic ability, a strong record of service and leadership, and plans for careers in public service.
Santamaria will interview on Friday, March 31st in New York. This year, 199 finalists have been named from 136 institutions across the US.
Santamaria is a member of the South Carolina Honors College, where he is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Russian. A McKissick Scholar and recipient of the 2016 Student Body President's Leadership Award, he is Captain of the USC Mock Trial Team and Director of the Congressional Advisory Board. He has interned with the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense working death penalty cases, and spent the last two summers as a Special Assistant to NY State Senator Terrence Murphy, working to combat the heroin epidemic in the northeast. Working with Dr. Brad Epperly, his undergraduate research is focused on judicial independence. A first generation college student and son of an immigrant, Santamaria plans to attend law school for a joint JD/MA degree in law and International Policy Studies with a concentration in Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. He will then pursue a career in public service at the State Department, working on Rule of Law initiatives and projects abroad.
University of South Carolina Truman candidates are evaluated and nominated by a USC scholarship committee, chaired by David Simmons (Anthropology and Public Health). Other members of the University Truman Committee include: Steven Burritt (USC 1995 Truman Scholar), Hamid Khan (Rule of Law), Robert Oldendick (Political Science), Kirk Randazzo (Political Science), and Shelley Smith (Sociology).
Santamaria credits his success to the advice, feedback, and support he received from Dr. Brad Epperly, Dr. Melody Lehn, and the USC Truman Committee. Santamaria was also assisted by the University's Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs which provides advisement and support to students competing for national fellowships. USC has had seven Truman Scholars, including Jory Fleming in 2016, Asma Jaber in 2007, Thomas Scott in 2006, Jeremy Wolfe in 2004, and Lara Bratcher in 2003.