Alixandria James ’23 is First Manhattan College Student to Earn Truman Scholarship

James is one of 58 students nationwide to be named a 2022 Truman Scholar.

Brennan O'Donnell, Alixandria James, Rani Roy, Brother Daniel Gardner, FSCAlixandria James ’23 is one of 58 college students nationwide to earn a 2022 Truman scholarship for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. 

A public health major in the School of Education and Health, James is the first Manhattan College student to receive the prestigious award.

“As a public health major, I aim to better understand the intricacies of our health care delivery system, with the intention of expanding health care access, improving quality, and lowering costs,” James said. “Both the health care and education systems are responsible for providing services that are fundamental human rights, however certain populations continuously fall through the cracks.”

James was awarded a Jasper Summer Scholars grant to analyze the results of the College’s first Diversity & Equity Campus Climate survey. As a result of her findings, which she presented to the President’s cabinet and other stakeholders on campus, the College created a Bias Education and Response team, of which she is an active member.

The team has created an online platform where students and employees can report bias incidents, and they are designing a curriculum to educate members of the College community, so that they can reduce bias incidents and respond more effectively to those that occur.

James is committed to making her career in improving health care access for low-income people and people of color, drawing on innovative health delivery systems that provide low-cost, high quality services. She is contributing to COVID-19 response efforts in New York City by working with New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s community outreach programs, helping to spread the word about vaccine availability and inviting city residents to vaccine pop-up clinics.

The 58 new Truman Scholars were selected from 705 candidates nominated by 275 colleges and universities. They were recommended by 17 independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. Regional selection panels met virtually and included distinguished civic leaders, elected officials, university presidents, federal judges, and past Truman Scholarship winners.

Established by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Harry S. Truman and presidential monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of our 33rd President by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders.

When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, President Truman embodied this commitment to the future of public service by asking Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For 45 years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds to serve.

James and the other 57 awardees from the 2022 cohort join a community of 3,442 Truman Scholars named since the first awards in 1977. 

By Pete McHugh