Tufts Junior Named Truman Scholar

First-generation student Anne Hall hopes to use scholarship to attend medical and divinity school and practice medicine in rural South Dakota

Anne Hall at Tufts

Anne Hall, A19, has been named a 2018 Truman Scholar, joining fifty-eight other students from around the country to be recognized for their leadership promise and commitment to public service. Each of the scholars will receive a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school.

Hall, who was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a first-generation Lao-American double majoring in biology and interdisciplinary studies, concentrating in culture, spirituality, and female adolescent health. Her goal is to go to both medical school and divinity school, and work as a physician providing health services to women in rural South Dakota.

“As an aspiring OBGYN and women’s health advocate, I want to promote health and well-being among women who face numerous life challenges, particularly domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence,” she said. “In order to provide both physical healing and pastoral care for individuals and families, I would like to pursue both an M.D. and M.Div. degree.”

Hall hopes to practice medicine in a rural community, and then organize an independent clinic in rural South Dakota or on a Native reservation, because “families in rural areas struggle to access basic health care services, especially regarding women’s reproductive health,” she said. “Through this clinic, I hope to dedicate the rest of my life to providing both health and pastoral care to rural women who face numerous challenges in life.”

Truman Scholarships are named for the U.S. President Harry Truman, who was dedicated to education and public service. Applicants submit a policy proposal that analyzes a societal issue and offers a thoughtful solution to the problem. The Truman award has become one of the most prestigious national scholarships in the United States. Colleges and universities nationwide nominated 756 juniors for the award, 194 finalists were interviewed in March and early April, and fifty-nine received the award.

Hall, who is co-president of First-Generation Student Council at Tufts and is studying abroad in Spain this semester, said she is “incredibly humbled” to receive the scholarship and is thankful to her family, professors and mentors, “and most importantly, all the women I’ve gotten to know in Pine Ridge, Sioux Falls, and Cambridge who were brave enough to share with me their stories of suffering and adversity related to a number of challenging life circumstances,” she said. “Without their vulnerability and courage, my life vision and mission wouldn’t be what it is today.”

Taylor McNeil can be reached at taylor.mcneil@tufts.edu.

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