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UMD Junior Selected for Prestigious Truman Scholarship

April 11, 2013

Beth Cavanaugh 301-405-4625

Mohammad ZiaCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland Junior Mohammad Zia has been awarded a Truman Scholarship, the nation's most selective and prestigious award for underclassmen who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a commitment to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. This year, 62 Truman Scholars were selected from a pool of 629 students nominated by 293 universities nationwide.

"Mr. Zia has earned this elite honor through his unrelenting commitment to public service and the educational opportunities that have given him an inside, firsthand look at government agencies," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "All of us at the university are deeply proud of Mohammad's accomplishments and dedication to serving the public. That is the very essence of the Terp spirit."

Zia, an individual studies major, has extensive leadership and community service accomplishments – serving as president of TerpSTAND at UMD, coordinator for the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, and has volunteered at orphanages and youth service centers in Tanzania, Morocco, and Senegal. Zia, who is currently interning at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, has held federal government internships with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Last year he participated in the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program, a six-week program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs.

As part of UMD's Individual Studies Program, Zia has self-designed his major, Global Diplomacy & Development. His long term goal is to work on improving diplomatic and economic relations between the United States and Muslim majority nations.

Zia is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a 2013 Public Policy and International Affairs Summer Fellowship at Princeton University, a University of Maryland Dean's Scholarship, and a 2012 University of Maryland Honors College Portz Outstanding Student Award. He is a member of the Honors College, University Honors program and a graduate of Smithsburg Senior High School in Smithsburg, Md.

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. 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, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to our thirty-third President. The 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.