MHC's Moriah Silver Named a 2008 Truman Scholar

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2008


Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

SO. HADLEY, MA-Madeleine K. Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, has announced that Moriah H. Silver, a junior at Mount Holyoke College, has been selected as a 2008 Truman Scholar.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the federal memorial to the thirty-third U.S. president, awards merit-based scholarships of up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school to college students who plan to pursue careers in government, the nonprofit sector, or other areas of public service. Silver is among 65 students from 55 U.S. colleges and universities who have been honored.

Silver, who is studying in Uganda this semester, is majoring in gender studies at MHC, with a minor in psychology. She plans to pursue a master's degree in public health and strive for a career focused on women's health issues, particularly reproductive health and rights, and HIV/AIDS prevention. She founded and chairs the MHC chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign, and she organized Global AIDS Awareness Week. In addition to her studies in Uganda, she has spent time in Tanzania working at an HIV/AIDS hospice. She is a certified rape crisis counselor, and she hopes to one day open a women's health clinic in East Africa. A resident of Newton, MA, she is the daughter of William Silver of Weston, MA, and Barbara-Joan Comerford and Chris Heyden of Newton.

"Moriah has proven herself many times over as an 'agent of change.' She began at an early age to work as a volunteer to help those less fortunate, and what began as a keen interest developed into a full-blown passion," said Katerina King, fellowships advisor and associate director of the MHC Career Development Center. "Work with a young girl with aplastic anemia, for example, led to a large-scale bone marrow drive that registered hundreds of donors. Seeing a teenager die of AIDS in Tanzania led to an academic concentration in public health, campus activism, and political lobbying on HIV/AIDS prevention…. It is rare to see as perfect a fellowship match as Moriah is with the Truman."

The 2008 Truman Scholars were selected from among 595 candidates nominated by 283 colleges and universities. They were elected by 17 independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of "making a difference." The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975, and its activities are supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury. There have been 2,610 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.