NC State Education Student Ashley Lawson Named Truman Scholar

Ashley Lawson

Editor’s Note: This is adapted from a release originally published by the Fellowship Advising Office.

RALEIGH, North Carolina — Ashley Lawson, a senior in mathematics education and mathematics at NC State, has been named as one of 59 recipients of the renowned Truman Scholarship, which invests in the potential of individuals committed to public service leadership.

Lawson is NC State’s 10th Truman Scholar. Its ninth recipient, Hanan “Alex” Hsain, was named in spring 2017 and its eighth recipient, Tomás Carbonell, was named in 2002.

“I never imagined that a girl from the middle of nowhere could be a Truman Scholar,” said Lawson, a native of Stokes County. “I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way, particularly the Fellowship Advising Office, the Park Scholarship community, the College of Education, and the College of Sciences. I am excited to join a group of people who are just as dedicated to improving the world around them.”

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established in 1975 as a living memorial to the nation’s 33rd president and invests in the education and professional development of undergraduate Americans. In addition to up to $30,000 for graduate education, Truman Scholars are offered summer internships in Washington D.C., mentoring opportunities, and placement in public service jobs.

Lawson, 21, of Sandy Ridge, North Carolina, plans to use the award to earn a Ph.D. in a joint program in public administration and development sociology after first teaching high school mathematics in a rural community in Lenoir County through the The Innovation Project (TIP) Teaching Scholars Award Program.

Lawson came to NC State as a Park Scholar and is part of the University Scholars Program. She has conducted research with the NC State SMART Collaborative and with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction on topics such as motivational strategies in STEM education and the implementation of high school mathematics standards.

She has served as vice president and currently is president of the N.C.Council for Teachers of Mathematics Kappa Student Chapter; in addition, she has been a Park Scholarship Ambassador since her freshman year, a College of Education Ambassador since her sophomore year, and has led as director of The Production hip hop dance crew, in which she has been involved since her freshman year.

Lawson has served as a teacher assistant for fourth and fifth grade students learning math and engineering concepts in Stokes County Schools for nearly three years. Among her honors are membership in both Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa and the 2017-2018 Outstanding Mathematics Education Student Award, which is a statewide award from the N.C. Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

Lawson is the founder and director of Meet My Future, a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the career development, educational attainment, and opportunity for rural students and communities.

The 2018 Truman Scholars will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, on May 27, 2018.

This year the Truman Foundation received 756 applications from 312 colleges and universities for the 2018 Truman Scholar class; 52 institutions are home to this new cohort. Recipients were chosen from 194 Finalists who interviewed in one of 16 independent regional review panels. Selection criteria include leadership potential and communication skills, intellectual strength and analytical ability, and the likelihood of the Finalist “making a difference” in public service.