U of A Biomedical Engineering Student Selected as Truman Finalist

Samia Ismail
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Samia Ismail

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas student Samia Ismail of Fort Smith has been named a finalist for the 2019 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Her selection places her among the top students in the nation.

Ismail, a junior, is a biomedical engineering major in the College of Engineering. She has conducted research both on campus and at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston.

She has a deep-seated desire to improve Americans’ access to health care, especially Arkansans who live in rural areas of the state. She plans to pursue a joint medical and master’s degree in public policy degree after graduating from the University of Arkansas.

“Samia Ismail is a remarkable student, and anyone who knows her on our campus, knows that she is headed for a notable career in medicine and in public policy,” said Jim Coleman, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.   “She is a dedicated Arkansan, who is eager to serve those in underserved rural communities in the state. She also has plans to one day run for public office in Arkansas. Being selected as a Truman Finalist is a significant honor, one that will link Samia to the Truman Scholarship community throughout her career. Congratulations go to her, to her research mentor, to her college, and to her many supporters. I look forward to reading about her accomplishments in the years ahead.”

Ismail is a member of the Associated Student Government and was named Cabinet Member of the Year. She has also served on the Distinguished Lectures Committee and the Honors College Special Events Committee. She is an Honors College Fellow and an American Junior Academy of Sciences Fellow.

“I am honored to have been selected as a 2019 Truman Finalist,” said Ismail. “Thanks to the efforts of my professors and advisors at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, I have been able to take full advantage of the opportunity to further explore how best to combine my interests in medicine and policy with public service. Through this process, I have gained a more thorough understanding of medical and public policy graduate programs that will help me create more accessible pathways to health care for the uninsured and underinsured.” 

Truman Scholars are selected based on their records of leadership and academic achievement, as well as a commitment to a career in public service. This year’s finalists were chosen out of 840 applicants from 143 institutions. Recipients of the Truman Scholarship receive $30,000 in scholarship funds for graduate education; winners of this year’s competition will be announced in mid-April.

University of Arkansas students who are interested in applying for the Truman Scholarship should contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at awards@uark.edu.

About U of A Truman Scholars: The University of Arkansas has produced 23 Truman Scholars, more than any other university in the Southeastern Conference. In 2002, the University of Arkansas was named a Truman Scholarship Honor Institution for student commitment to service and its record with the Truman Scholarship Program. Since 2012, eight U of A students have been named Truman Scholars. Recent Scholars include: Ryann Alonso, political science and communication, and Sam Harris, agricultural business, 2017; Victoria Maloch, agricultural business, and Danielle Neighbour, civil engineering, 2016; Grant Addison, history and political science, 2015; Cicely Shannon, economics, 2014; Nathan Coulter, political science, 2013; and Mike Norton, agricultural business and poultry science, 2012.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Suzanne McCray, Director
Office of Nationally Competitive Awards
479-575-4883, smccray@uark.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu


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