Third-year students Lia Cattaneo and Russell Bogue were named Harry S. Truman Scholars this Wednesday. A total of 58 students across the nation in their third year of college received the scholarship, which will be awarded for the 2015-16 academic year. Each scholar will receive $30,000 to go toward their graduate educations.
Bogue, a third-year College student majoring in a politics honors program, said he is planning to pursue a dual degree in law and public policy with the money granted to him by the scholarship. He is not locked in to these plans and says he is open to possible changes.
“There are a number of schools that offer these [dual degree programs],” Bogue said. “One [that] I’m looking at is that of Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government — that program is not only for obtaining the dual degrees, but also has an emphasis on the overlaps between the two fields. It’s not just another way to get two degrees as fast as possible.”
Cattaneo, a third-year College student double-majoring in civil and environmental engineering and environmental sciences, said the scholarship would allow her to pursue science in a policy context in an interdisciplinary subject. Before, she said, she might have solely had the option to pursue a scientific track.
“My passion is using policy to connect science to solutions for climate change and make them actionable,” Cattaneo said. “I intend to pursue a graduate program that will allow for me to further pursue those interests. I’m excited to make climate change no longer a problem, which is idealistic, and while there’s no silver bullet for that, there are so many possibilities and solutions, and we just need to come together to make that happen.”
When asked what her advice would be to students applying for leadership positions and scholarships, she said she thought it was important to have a passion for the activities one participates in.
“Love what you do,” Cattaneo said. “If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it, and you won’t do it well. People ask me how I squeeze in what I do; I enjoy it. I wake up every morning and I’m excited to go to these meetings and pack my day with all of the things that I have to do.”
Cattaneo also said it was important to take the initiative to chase after things you want.
“U.Va is an amazing institute of higher education, and one to be actively involved in,” she said. “Put yourself out there. Try the application process. It’s more informative than you think. Regardless of if you get the scholarship, you will learn something. It’s an incredible experience.”
Bogue said he thought it was important to get an early start and discussed the significance of self-reflection and personal awareness during an application process.
“I feel like I sort of snuck in to be honest, but I would say to start early,” Bogue said. “The hardest part of the application process for me was this very long self-reflective process, deciding what I wanted to say, and changing my mind, and tweaking things, and asking how I wanted to accomplish things, as well as my motivations for applying for the scholarship or for college in general.”
Bogue, who is a Jefferson Scholar and Echols Scholar, serves as the vice chair for trials on the Honor Executive Committee. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Seriatim and the public policy chair of One in Four.
Cattaneo, a Rodman Scholar, serves as the co-chair of the Student Council Sustainability Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Madison House, president of the Club Figure Skating Team and an intern at the Brody Jewish Center.
Both Cattaneo and Bogue said they were excited to be a part of a diverse community of exceptional students who are inspired to make changes through their passions.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to be a part of a cohort of brilliant and inspiring people that are making a difference in their own way,” Cattaneo said. “Being able to be a part of that community, and to be able to learn from all of these different people is more important to me than the title.”
University Politics Prof. Steven Rhoads has worked with Bogue to revise chapters of his book — “An Economist’s View of the World” — and said that Bogue is an exceptional leader and writer.
“He seems to always be incredibly interested, and he wants to hear all sides of every issue,” Rhoads said. “He is extremely bright, and one of the best writers I’ve ever had -— and I’ve been teaching since 1970…He’s quite remarkable.”
University Environmental Sciences Prof. Deborah Lawrence said Cattaneo is a quick thinker and has a great ability to present new ideas with great enthusiasm and clarity.
“When talking with Lia about ideas, or thinking about how to make something happen, she is rarely stumped,” Lawrence said in an email. “She has the ability to wade through muddy waters and pull something — unseen to us — from the bottom of a swirling torrent, or capture something flying quickly by. Then, she takes that idea, wipes it clean, polishes it up and shares it in a way that helps everyone around her see how beautiful or right it is. She is passionate, determined, and hopeful. She will be a change agent.”
2015 Truman Scholars Across the Country (Map may take a moment to load)