Oklahoma State University Student Named 2024 Truman Scholarship Finalist

Kylie Hammack, a junior at Oklahoma State University, has been named a finalist for the 2024 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a prestigious graduate scholarship for future public service leaders in the US.

Hammack was chosen as one of 191 finalists from 709 applications, including four from Oklahoma.The tough selection procedure necessitates that good applicants have a solid record of public service as well as a policy proposal that tackles a specific social concern.

“My policy proposal on the application is about economic development and recovery in conflict zones,” Hammack said. “It’s a lot different than a lot of people expect, but I’m really interested in sub-Saharan Africa. 

“My proposal is to create certain zones, where there would be a focus on local production, as well as export production, which would allow for the development of a local economy and small businesses, but also the development of an export industrial base that these countries could build off.”  

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native was a Freshman Research Scholar examining how economic variables predict political turmoil. This research piqued her interest in studying economic growth, post-conflict reconstruction, and international relations.

Hammack is double majoring in political science and economics, with majors in French and intelligence and security analysis, with a focus on global politics.

Becoming a Truman Scholar was always on Hammack’s mind. She even took an honors course, which exposed her to national scholarship competitions and connected her with previous Truman Scholars.

Hammack knew she wanted to work in public service and for the federal government, so she applied with the assistance of mentors, knowing that whatever happened, she would gain from the opportunity.

“It has been my honor both to teach and to mentor Kylie along the path that brought her to the finalist stage in the Harry S. Truman Scholarship competition,” said Jerome Loughridge, OSU senior vice president of system operations and chief of staff. “To have reached this milestone is, itself, a notable achievement on Kylie’s part, given the Truman’s highly competitive nature and rich legacy of producing leaders who have had extraordinary impact as citizen-servants.  

“Kylie evinces all the characteristics that the scholarship has come to embody, and I know she will acquit herself — and represent OSU — wonderfully in the competition. OSU’s own history of producing Truman Scholars is a testament to authenticity and efficacy of Cowboy Culture, which Kylie exhibits in her service and leadership.” 

Hammack worked as a research assistant for Dr. Holley Hansen, a political science teaching associate professor, and was named a 2023-24 Wentz Research Scholar. However, she chose to study development economics, conflict, and politics in the Middle East and Africa at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies during the fall semester of 2023.

“I began mentoring Kylie when she was in the Freshman Research Program, and even then, she dreamed about pursuing a career in international development. I have now worked with her for several years, and she continually impresses me with both her intelligence and drive to succeed,” Hansen said. “Kylie is a talented student and on-campus leader, and she is passionate about pursuing a public service career specializing in international development. She is exactly the sort of student who embodies the ideals of Harry Truman, a president who viewed education and public service as the highest calling for an American citizen.” 

Hammack is a member of the Honors College, vice president of the Political Science and French Clubs, and a student ambassador for Joy Hofmeister’s gubernatorial campaign.

If Hammack obtains the Truman Scholarship, she intends to pursue a dual master’s degree in foreign service and public policy at Georgetown University.

“It’s kind of perfect, because there are very few programs that allow for you to study the overlap between development and conflict, because it is such kind of a niche area,” Hammack said.  

She aspires to work at the Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization at the US Agency for International Development, where she will focus on postwar economic development.

Hammack and other finalists will participate in a regional interview on March 13 in Denver. For more information about the Truman Scholarship or the Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development & Undergraduate Research, please contact Jessica Sullins at [email protected] or 405-744-7313. 

Leave a Reply