Northwestern student Irena Petryk, a senior in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has received a 2023 Truman Scholarship.
Also having been named a 2023 Rhodes Scholar in November, Petryk has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to public service since enrolling at Northwestern. She is the cofounder of Northwestern for Ukraine, a student-led organization that fundraises humanitarian efforts on the ground in Ukraine. She has also interned with the White House Council of Economic Advisers, which is responsible for advising the president on economic policy based on data, research and evidence. She spent the summer of 2022 working at the U.S. Department of State, and she has also interned at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Petryk plans to combine her Rhodes-funded master’s degree in international relations from Oxford University with a U.S. law degree supported by the Truman Scholarship. This combination of training will ideally prepare her for a proposed career with the Office of the Legal Adviser at the State Department.
Established by Congress in 1975, the Truman Scholarship is a $30,000 award that funds graduate level studies while identifying the nation’s brightest young leaders.
“I am incredibly grateful for my time at Northwestern — the University’s resources inspired and empowered me to pursue a future in government service, making progress on the issues near to my heart,” said Petryk, who will graduate in June with a degree in economics and international studies.
Even before she arrived at Northwestern, Petryk volunteered with Expanding Lives, a Chicago non-profit that hosts young women from Benin and Niger, Africa and empowers them to become leaders in their home communities.
She becomes the 20th Northwestern student to earn a Truman Scholarship and the University’s fifth consecutive honoree.
“A tiny number of future public servants secure both the Truman and the Rhodes Scholarships,” said Elizabeth Pardoe, director of Northwestern’s Office of Fellowships. “Most benefit from the fabulous opportunities provided by the Truman Scholarship before they apply to Oxford and the Rhodes Scholarship. Irena, however, blazes her own trail. Elected a Rhodes Scholar the second weekend in November, Irena filed her campus Truman application two weeks later. Irena added these strenuous applications to her already daunting list of commitments as a scholar and advocate. Possessed of incredible focus and determination, Irena keeps her sights set on building a better world for us all.”
Northwestern students interested in pursuing scholarship and fellowship opportunities can contact the Office of Fellowships.