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Two MIT juniors named Truman Scholars

McCord, Okuneye awarded $30,000 for graduate study toward careers in government, non-profits.
Cameron McCord, left, and Victoria Temitope Okuneye
Cameron McCord, left, and Victoria Temitope Okuneye
Images: Harry S. Truman Foundation

MIT juniors Cameron McCord and Victoria Temitope Okuneye are among the 54 students recently awarded Harry S. Truman Scholarships for 2012. The scholarships include $30,000 for graduate study for those committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

McCord is majoring in both nuclear engineering and physics, and is a student in the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, as well as a member of a Navy ROTC unit. He has worked at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Brookhaven National Laboratory and plans to pursue a career in nuclear energy safety and nuclear nonproliferation.

Okuneye is majoring in brain and cognitive sciences with minors in applied international studies and chemistry. She has worked on youth empowerment projects in the United States, Jamaica and Mexico. Okuneye hopes to work as a physician-scientist at the intersection of science, medicine and international development to enhance mental health service for disadvantaged youth. At MIT, Okuneye is associate director of MIT's Global Poverty Initiative, which works to engage MIT in international development through education, outreach and global service. She also works as an admissions intern, focused on outreach to minority and low-income prospective applicants; and does research in the Center for Neuroeconomics on the neural basis of health decisions as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

Along with the $30,000 scholarship, Truman Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, and be in the top quarter of their class.

Established by Congress in 1975, the Truman Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The activities of the foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury.

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