Ashley Lawson, a junior majoring in mathematics education and mathematics at North Carolina State University, has been selected as one of 59 recipients of the renowned Truman Scholarship.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established in 1975 as a living memorial to the nation’s 33rd president and invests in the education and professional development of undergraduate Americans. In addition to up to $30,000 for graduate education, Truman Scholars are offered summer internships in Washington D.C., mentoring opportunities, and placement in public service jobs. Selection criteria include leadership potential and communication skills, intellectual strength and analytical ability, and the likelihood of the Finalist “making a difference” in public service.
Lawson, 21, of Sandy Ridge, is NC State’s 10th Truman Scholar; its ninth recipient, Hanan “Alex” Hsain, was named in spring 2017 and its eighth recipient, Tomás Carbonell, was named in 2002.
Lawson is the founder and director of Meet My Future, a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the career development, educational attainment, and opportunity for rural students and communities. She plans to use the award to earn a PhD in a joint program in public administration and development sociology after first teaching high school mathematics in a rural community.
“I never imagined that a girl from the middle of nowhere could be a Truman Scholar,” said Lawson. “I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way, particularly the Fellowship Advising Office, the Park Scholarship community, the College of Education, and the College of Sciences. I am excited to join a group of people who are just as dedicated to improving the world around them.”
Lawson came to NC State as a Park Scholar and is part of the University Scholars Program. She has conducted research with the NC State SMART Collaborative and with the NC Department of Public Instruction on topics such as motivational strategies in STEM education and the implementation of high school mathematics standards. She has served as vice president and currently is president of the North Carolina Council for Teachers of Mathematics Kappa Student Chapter; in addition, she has been a Park Scholarship Ambassador since her freshman year, a College of Education Ambassador since her sophomore year, and has led as director of The Production hip hop dance crew, in which she has been involved since her freshman year.