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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • Truman Finalists 2019

Two University students named Truman Scholar Finalists


The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs is pleased to announce that Bennett Lunn and John “Jack” Gabel have been named Truman Scholar Finalists. Highly competitive and prestigious, the $30,000 Truman Scholarship is awarded to approximately 60 juniors nationally for superior academic ability, a strong record of service and leadership, and plans for careers in public service.

Lunn and Gabel will interview on Friday, March 8th in Atlanta.  This year, 199 finalists have been named from 143 institutions across the US.  For the entire list of Truman Scholar Finalists please see

Lunn is a member of the South Carolina Honors College pursuing a BARSC degree focused on Jurisprudence and Education Policy.  While at the university, he has worked as an advocate for students through his roles as a Resident Mentor and as the Secretary of Student Academics, developing new programs to complement the student advising process. Beyond campus, Bennett has worked with the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee, the South Carolina State Grand Jury, and the Rule of Law Collaborative, where he has researched and supported various justice sector initiatives. Currently, Bennett is studying in Washington, D.C., interning in Majority Whip James E. Clyburn’s office. After graduating he intends to pursue a joint Juris Doctorate and Master’s degree in Education Policy in order to employ his passion for the law towards addressing inequity in public schools.

Gabel is a member of the South Carolina Honors College majoring in Biology. His experience includes various research projects in the US and abroad, creating a medical clinic for orphan refugees at the UN Convention on Rights of the Child Policy Center in Nicosia, Cyprus, completing a transcontinental run to help raise over $1 million for cancer patients, and studying the health effects of pollution through a Chinese National Key Lab. He has also worked with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service. As a USC student, he has served on the Executive Cabinet and Freshman Council for Student Government. Gabel plans to pursue a career in public health, helping people achieve their full health potential by ensuring their communities have accessible healthcare, quality education, and clean environments.

University of South Carolina Truman candidates are evaluated and nominated by a USC scholarship committee, chaired by David Simmons (Anthropology and Public Health). Other members of the University Truman Committee include: Steven Burritt (USC 1995 Truman Scholar), Hamid Khan (Rule of Law), Kirk Randazzo (Political Science), Shelley Smith (Sociology), Mindi Spencer (Public Health), and Lori Ziolkowski (Earth, Ocean and Environment).

Lunn and Gabel were also assisted by the University’s Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs ( ) which provides advisement and support to students competing for national fellowships. USC has had nine Truman Scholars, including Casey Brayton in 2018, Jory Fleming in 2016, Asma Jaber in 2007, Thomas Scott in 2006, Jeremy Wolfe in 2004, and Lara Bratcher in 2003.

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