Bechtold Becomes Alma's Fifth Truman Scholar
David Bechtold, an Alma College junior from Idaho Falls, Idaho, is among 60 students from 55 colleges and universities selected as 2009 Truman Scholars.
The Truman Scholarship, the most prestigious national scholarship for college juniors, seeks to support students committed to pursuing careers devoted to government or public service. Each Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 in funding for graduate school.
Bechtold is the fifth Alma College student to receive a Truman Scholarship since 2000. A graduate of Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, Bechtold is the son of Thomas and Pamela Bechtold.
A political science major, Bechtold is a mentor on Alma College’s award-winning Model United Nations team, a leader of the Alpha Phi Omega national service organization, and a fellow in the Center for Responsible Leadership. He has volunteered as a grant writer in Ghana and worked as an intern for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo. He plans on pursuing a career in environmental preservation.
“I have been a die-hard fly fisherman and backpacker since I was four, and the Truman application process really helped me determine how I could help preserve the places that mean so much to me, and similar places around the globe,” says Bechtold.
In his application for the scholarship, Bechtold wrote a policy proposal on how to increase the overall percentage of land preserved for future generations. He also wrote essays on leadership, service and future plans.
“Winning the Truman is unbelievable,” he says. “Many thanks to Professor [Derick] Hulme and the more than a dozen professors at Alma who helped me in the application process.”
This summer, Bechtold plans to intern with the Idaho Fish and Game Department, studying the return patterns of steelhead from the Frank Church Wilderness Area to the Pacific Ocean.
Last year, he used a Posey Global Leadership grant from Alma College to work in the rural villages of Ghana, helping small community entrepreneurial groups write grants for projects.
Congress established the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation in 1975. Truman scholars are selected by independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of “making a difference.”
Alma’s Nationally Competitive Scholarship Committee helps finalists search for appropriate postgraduate scholarships and reviews their proposals and applications. Alma’s committee identifies and nurtures exceptional candidates for nationally competitive scholarships, grants and awards.
Posted: Wed, April 1st, 2009 at 9:23AM