UGA Honors student Deep Shah receives 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholarship

UGA Honors student Deep Shah receives 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia Honors student Deep Shah has been named a recipient of a 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a leading national award for academically outstanding juniors who plan to pursue careers in public service.

Shah, an international affairs and genetics major from Duluth, is the only student from the state of Georgia selected as a scholar this year. He is among 65 recipients selected nationwide from among 585 candidates. His selection gives UGA a total of 14 Truman Scholars, including four in the past five years.

“This award is not only a credit to Deep Shah, but also to the quality of the education he has received at UGA and to the faculty who have worked closely with him as mentors and teachers,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by an Act of Congress in 1975 as a living memorial to the former U.S. president who was dedicated to education and public service during his life. The scholarships, first awarded during the 1977-1978 academic year, provide up to $30,000 for graduate study to students who want to be “change agents” in society through public service careers in nonprofit organizations, government agencies or educational institutions.

“Deep is an outstanding student and person, and an excellent choice for this prestigious award,” said David Williams, director of UGA’s Honors Program. “In addition to his academic accomplishments, he has a very strong and remarkable record of service and leadership activities, both on and off campus. I expect great things from him in the future.”

Shah is part of the Foundation Fellows Program, UGA’s premier undergraduate scholarship program for academically outstanding students, administered by UGA’s Honors Program. He also has been involved in campus activities that support his career aspirations in domestic health policy. A main focus has been serving as co-founder and current president of Roosevelt@UGA, a student-run think tank whose members research and write policy proposals addressing current national issues.

Shah co-authored a proposal on risk communication among non-clinical healthcare employees with fellow students Lindsay Looft and Kevin Chang that was selected for national publication in the Roosevelt Review. He also served as one of six presenters on a student panel at a conference held at UGA in January to mark the 30th anniversary of former President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration.

“Deep Shah is an unusually gifted leader,” said Del Dunn, Regents Professor Emeritus and UGA’s faculty representative for the Truman Scholarship. “It is a great honor for him to be selected for this highly competitive scholarship.”

Shah has been able to combine his interests in public policy and medicine through his internship experiences. He participated in a public policy fellowship in the Washington, D.C. office of Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., last fall, researching policy issues focused on foreign affairs, healthcare and alternative energy. As a policy intern at the Greater New York Hospital Association last summer, Shah researched issues of emergency preparedness and health economics, while preparing an avian influenza guidelines book for member hospitals.

“I am extremely grateful to the Truman Foundation for the many opportunities this scholarship will provide me,” said Shah, who was recently interviewed for an article on student activism in The Chronicle of Higher Education. “Achieving this award took the efforts of so many people including my parents, J.J. and Meena Shah. Faculty such as Del Dunn, Gary Bertsch, Loch Johnson, Steve Elliott-Gower, and David Williams were instrumental. I believe my success is simply a reflection of the time and energy spent by my mentors and family in preparing me.”

As an undergraduate researcher, Shah spent a summer studying Parkinson’s disease at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University under the guidance of Yoland Smith, a professor of neurology at Emory. Shah’s involvement in the project resulted in a published paper as second author in the Journal of Comparative Neurology.

He will present his current project at a symposium UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) sponsors on campus every April. He is investigating the preventative and preparatory measures a college town like Athens can take during a bioterrorism attack.

“Deep is a true gentleman and scholar. I view him as a colleague,” said Loch Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs and Shah’s faculty mentor. “It was a pleasure to help him prepare for the Truman Scholarship interviews. I knew he would do well and that he had a great chance for success.”

After his May 2008 graduation from UGA, Shah would like to pursue a graduate degree in public policy, as well as obtain his medical degree.

For more information on the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, visit www.truman.gov.

For more information on UGA’s Honors Program, visit www.uga.edu/honors.