Wheeling Native Named Truman Scholar

Wheeling native Vincent O’Leary, a junior environmental science major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar, the only scholarship winner from West Virginia.

Former Secretary of State Madeline K. Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced the winners April 12. O’Leary is one of 62 students selected nationwide from a pool of 768 candidates nominated for the scholarship. The award supports the graduate education and professional development of outstanding young people committed to careers in public service, including education and nonprofit sectors.

According to a Drexel press release, O’Leary is passionate about the intersection of the environment and society, especially using data to visualize and tell stories about the world. At Drexel, he has worked with several groups at the Academy of Natural Sciences, most recently for his co-op with Steve Dilliplane. In this position, O’Leary helped to set the ground work for combining all the Academy’s digital records into a single database for researchers to use.

Through this work, O’Leary came to appreciate the data management and archival side of research, and is now working with Dr. Ted Daeschler in the Department of Vertebrate Biology to digitize its collection of nearly 25,000 fossils.

As a Truman Scholar, O’Leary will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study, as well as priority admission and supplemental funding at selected premier graduate institutions. Scholars also receive leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government, in addition to joining a prestigious network of Truman Scholar alumni.

The 2017 Truman Scholars will assemble May 23 for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and they will receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Mo., on May 28.

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