For the second time in its history, a Delaware State University student is the recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
The Truman Scholarship Foundation has named Alisa Winchester, a DSU junior English major from Wilmington, Del., among the 2018 recipients of the Truman Scholarship – a $30,000 award that will go toward her graduate studies.
Executive Vice President and Provost Tony Allen said the honor is not only a significant milestone for Ms. Winchester, it is a high watermark for the University, “Alisa represents our University’s mission, a promising young talent who, against many odds, found access and opportunity and is taking full advantage,” Dr. Allen said. “She is the very embodiment of what happens when potential is surrounded by high expectations, a supportive environment and an unrelenting commitment to excellence and service.”
Ms. Winchester, who is also an enlisted cadet in the Delaware Army National Guard as well as in the Reserves Officer Training Corp (ROTC), aspires to be a military lawyer. She said that the scholarship will greatly help her pay for law school after she graduates from DSU in 2019.
In vying for the scholarship, Ms. Winchester had to go through an interview process that included writing a policy proposal on mental health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder issues in the military. She said Dr. Adenike Davidson, DSU professor of English, gave her some valuable assistance in her successful application for the scholarship.
Dr. Davidson said Ms. Winchester was a “teacher’s dream” to mentor through the process. “She is a student who seeks constructive criticism and is committed to her education through new experiences and opportunities that push her beyond the limits she places on herself,” Dr. Davidson said. “I look forward to seeing great things from her in the future.”
Discipline, time management, and a standard for academic excellence characterizes Ms. Winchester’s first three years at DSU. She currently has a 3.7 GPA, which she maintains while commuting from Wilmington and holding down a job.
“My first two years were really a challenge,” she said. “In addition to going to school full-time, I was commuting from Wilmington three to four times a week, while at the same time I was working two jobs.”
The Truman Scholar also has her National Guard commitment, in which she serves one weekend a month and ROTC training that included three days of physical training a week as well as lab work and field training that takes place during the semester.
Ms. Winchester said the Truman Scholarship validates all of her efforts.
“It affirms the hard work and dedication that I put in,” she said. “I have always been a fighter and work to give maximum effort in all that I do.” She added that she gets her work ethic from her parents, Royce Moore and Hope Winchester.
A 2014 graduate of Delcastle Technical High School, Ms. Winchester is only the second
DSU student to receive the Truman Scholarship. Lori Christiansen, then a junior history major, won the award in 1977 – the scholarship’s first year of existence. Ms. Christiansen, who is the sister of Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, is currently the director of Legislative Research at the Delaware General Assembly.
Delaware U.S. Sen. Chris Coons is also a past Truman Scholar, who won the award in 1983. He had a phone conversation with Ms. Winchester to encourage her prior to her interview with the Truman Foundation.
“I am so pleased to celebrate Wilmington’s and Delaware State University’s Alisa Winchester on her Truman Scholarship,” Sen. Coons said. “This scholarship recognizes individuals who are committed to public service and to their fellow Americans. Alisa’s hard work, dedication to country and her passion to serve reflects President Truman’s philosophy of service to our community that we look for in our current and future leaders.”
The Truman Foundation sorted through 756 applications for the scholarship and pared that down to 194 finalists. Ms. Winchester is among the 59 recipients selected in 2018. She is the 37th Delawarean named a Truman Scholar since the program inception in 1977.
Alisa Winchester, a junior English major, stand with DSU Acting President Wilma Mishoe (l) and Dr. Adenike Davidson, professor of English. Just before the photo, Dr. Mishoe informed Ms. Winchester, also a ROTC cadet, that she has been awarded the prestigious Harry W. Truman Scholarship.
DSU Truman Scholars….: Lori Christiansen, who received the Truman Scholarship in 1977 stands with this year’s recipient Alisa Winchester. The two are the only DSU students to be named as Truman Scholars in the prestigious scholarship’s 41 years history.