FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas junior Nathan Coulter of Little Rock has been selected as a 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Coulter is majoring in political science and economics in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Honors College. Coulter is one of 62 students from 54 U.S. colleges and universities to be awarded the prestigious scholarship this year. He will receive $30,000 to be used toward his graduate study.
Truman Scholars are selected based on academic excellence and a commitment to public service. This is the second consecutive year that a U of A student has been named a Truman Scholar, and Coulter is the university’s 12th Truman Scholar in the last 20 years.
“Nathan Coulter is clearly a student who will go on to a distinguished career in law and in politics,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “He has an extensive record in advocacy and volunteer work. He represents the University of Arkansas very well as a student committed to a career in service.”
Coulter learned that he had been selected when the chancellor asked him to speak to the campus executive committee about a student matter Friday afternoon. Instead he was surprised by a group of supporters who wanted to congratulate him on being selected as a Truman Scholar.
“The Truman application was very demanding,” said Coulter. “And the interview process was tough as all of the finalists were more than qualified, so I knew the odds were long. I am excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to earning this recognition.”
Coulter was named director of National Student Advocacy for the Associated Student Government and will work with the state advocacy director to lobby lawmakers on issues that affect higher education. This spring, Coulter participated in the presentation of approximately 1,000 donated books to the library at Whitten Elementary in Marianna. He has teaching experience himself, having taught supplemental instruction for basic economics classes for underclassmen for the past three semesters. Coulter has also served as a volunteer at Little Rock’s Harmony Health Clinic, a free clinic for residents of Pulaski County who lack any insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare.
Coulter plans to pursue a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service. He plans to seek a position at a non-profit organization that provides legal aid or advocates on behalf of low-income families. Coulter’s long-term plans are to enter politics, beginning by running for office as a state legislator.
“The department of political science was thrilled to hear that Nathan Coulter has been selected as a Truman Scholar,” said Margaret F. Reid, chair of the department. “This selection reflects both his strong commitment to learning and his enduring passion for addressing social causes through a life of public service. I am grateful to all my colleagues, notably Dr. Janine Parry, who have supported him throughout his academic career on our campus. We are convinced that we will reading more about his many accomplishments in the years to come.”
Recent University of Arkansas Truman Scholars include Catherine St. Clair, international business, 2005; Dwayne Bensing, political science, 2006; Olivia Meeks, political science and economics, 2008; and Mike Norton, agricultural business and poultry science, 2012.
In 2002, the University of Arkansas received the Truman Honor Institution Award for its commitment to assisting students interested in a career in public service.