U student receives a $30,000 Truman scholarship

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Ingrid Price was attracted to politics at an early age.

“When I was five years old I criticized my dad for voting for George Bush,” she recalled. “I thought he should have voted for Clinton.”

With the help of the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, she has since applied that early interest and served globally with the U.S. Mission to NATO in Belgium and locally with political campaigns and a refugee assistance group.

On Tuesday, she gained national recognition for her efforts. Price, a junior in political science and international relations major, was named a 2008 Truman Scholar. She is one of 65 recipients of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 prize for undergraduate students interested in public service. Almost 600 candidates were nominated for the award.

This is second year in a row that a U student has received the award.

After she graduates, Price she said she plans to pursue a law degree and a master’s in security studies. She hopes to one day work as a lawyer for an organization such as the International Criminal Court or the War Crimes Tribunal.

Price said she became interested in global security and international rights while working with Somali refugees as an English tutor and mentor through the International Rescue Committee.

She recounted the story of a refugee who came home one day to find gunmen attacking people in the streets outside her home. Price said the woman ran for days to escape the conflict and eventually ended up in a refugee camp before coming to Salt Lake City. The woman has not seen any of her family members since that day.

Price said establishing a legal and judicial system that secures a safe environment is crucial to restoring a secure environment in countries torn by conflict and other problems.

“There’s a long ways to go, but you have to start somewhere,” she said.

During her time working with NATO in Europe, Price focused on missile defense. She organized a two-day conference for journalists to discuss NATO’s work with missile security.

Price credits her early interest in public service to her family members, who she said discussed politics on a daily basis. She said her mother, a liberal Norwegian immigrant, and her father, a more conservative Utah native, often debated political issues at the dinner table. Her brothers, who are also involved in public service through the military, were another source of influence.

“I was raised watching CNN, not cartoons,” she said.

Price also worked as director of government relations for the student government and was a top organizer on Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s campaign.

Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute and a former Truman Scholar, commended Price for her success.

“Ingrid is brilliant, and she knows exactly what she wants to accomplish,” he said. “She did all of her internships and service for the right reason.”

Jowers said during the 14 years prior to 2007, only two U students were selected as Truman Scholars.

“One of my big goals coming here was to change that,” he said.

During the 1980s and early ’90s, Jowers said a U student won the award almost every year. He said the Hinckley Institute is now working years in advance to prepare students to apply for the award.

Bryson Morgan, a recent U graduate and Hinckley Institute staffer, won the award in 2007. Morgan said in addition to the money, Truman Scholars greatly benefit from the professional connections they make.

“It basically takes young people that are very interested in public service…and opens all the doors for them,” said Morgan, who was accepted to Harvard Law School after winning the award.

Students interested in applying for the award can attend an informational session in the Hinckley Caucus Room (OSH 255) tomorrow at noon.

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Ingrid Price is the second U student in as many years to receive the prestigious Truman Scholar award.