In recognition of their outstanding leadership potential and exemplary academic records, Trinity juniors Maria Sanders and Bill Schloss have both been awarded Truman Scholarships, and Trinity junior Kristen Finlon was recognized as a Truman Scholarship Finalist.

These scholarships are administered by the Truman Scholarship Foundation, which was established by the United States Congress in memory of former President Harry Truman. The scholarships are awarded to college juniors and provide up to $30,000 for graduate study to students who plan to pursue careers in public service. Truman scholars also participate in leadership development programs and have unique internship and employment opportunities with the federal government.

"The University has been chosen as a Truman Scholarship Honor Institution for its encouragement of public service. I would hope that the Truman Scholarships help students to refine and define their interest in public service," said Dean Ellen Wittig. "Sanders and Schloss were both wonderful candidates and they fully deserve the awards."

Sanders is majoring in political science and plans to enter a joint-degree graduate program in law and political science. Sanders said her career plans include working as a public defender in juvenile crime cases and then public office, with the intent of becoming a circuit-court judge.

Sanders has been involved in several University organizations, including ESTEEM, a program examining the causes and effects of eating disorders.

In addition, her academic work earned Sanders a place on the dean's list with distinction.

She has also made significant contributions to the Durham community through her volunteering efforts, including tutoring children and work on local political campaigns.

"It feels nice to be rewarded, to be recognized as doing something special," she said.

Schloss is attorney general of the Duke Student Government and publicity co-chair of Round Table Dormitory.

Schloss has been involved in several volunteering activities and served as an intern with Congressman John Spratt of South Carolina during the summer of 1994.

Schloss said he felt highly honored to receive the Truman Award. "I was really shocked [that I won the scholarship]. At one point in the interview, I felt I should walk out because I had no chance of getting it," he said.

Schloss is double majoring in biology and visual arts with a certificate in neurosciences and plans to pursue a joint doctor of medicine and master of public health degree.

He said he is grateful for the scholarship because it will be extremely helpful in paying for his graduate studies. "Financially, it will make schools that are really expensive a little more possible," he said.

Schloss said his long-term plans include working with a public health institution such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Finlon was recognized as a Truman Scholarship finalist. Finlon is an Angier B. Duke Scholar who is majoring in women's studies, history and Slavics and is presently studying in Russia.

The University has had 22 Truman Scholars since the competition began in 1977.

Leslie Deak and Justin Dillon contributed to this story.