In Scholars' Words

You are here


What assistance from your Faculty Representative was most helpful? 
Professor Ruscio was the most helpful in:
helping me direct my interests and passions into concise writing;
providing a solid support system of professors and past applicants;
bolstering my confidence while also making it a point to challenge everything in which I believed.
The interview for my selection as the campus nominee was especially helpful in preparation for the Finalist interview because it gave me a sense of what to expect in the next phase. I would also like to note that the college organized a panel of last year's nominees for the Truman competition. This was very helpful early in the process as they shared their experiences with prospective applicants.
The level of assistance that I received from my Truman Faculty Representative (Mark Siedband) was exceptional. Not only did he help me throughout the application process with rewrites and editing suggestions, he really arranged the whole interview trip since I could not really do anything from Ecuador. He even arranged a last minute practice interview over the phone in Denver that I believe was helpful.
Beth was the most wonderful faculty rep I can imagine! She spent hours upon hours helping myself and the other KSU candidates with our essays. We had 3 mock interviews that were invaluable. Our panels were chosen from professors who specialized in areas relevant to our policy proposals and were 40 minutes long. I think the extra 20 minutes was needed for feedback and to cover more material. She also helped us with all preparations needed to go to the interview. I couldn't have done this without her!
The most helpful advice? Be honest. I was.
The assistance I received was so consistent as to be humbling. In order not to lose my voice in the writing, I was generally forced to rewrite and rewrite until my writing became as coherent and to the point as possible. I went to Montgomery and talked with the Legal Counsel to the Governor for 2 hours about angles to take on my policy proposal. This proposal was critically trashed at first, and then subject to more revision and correction later. I was then subjected to two mock interviews conducted by four or five faculty who further humbled me. I would have gained even if I had not been selected.
My Faculty Representative pushed me hard and was completely honest with me, which I needed. If I had turned in any of my first drafts on my finished application I would not be e-mailing you now. He was key to getting the best writing out of me that was clear and concise. I also took about 4-5 weeks of preparation in writing my policy proposal. I probably over researched, but I feel it was extremely beneficial. If you can't tell, I am indebted to Bob. I sincerely appreciate the time and effort he gave to me.
The Faculty Representative at my school was just entering her first year in this position. Since I had spent months reading through the Truman webpage, I knew more details about the scholarship than she did. However, she was incredibly helpful with improving my policy proposal and offering suggestions about my application. She is a very tough grader in her classes and was an equally tough advisor for the Truman. Her toughness was an asset. We had regular meetings together and she was very encouraging. She set up a mock interview panel that challenged me intensely, and was actually more intense than the Truman interview was. Overall, she worked hard to challenge me to produce the best work that I could.
Dr. Titunik was warm, calm, sensible and very empathetic. She provided encouragement and direction without interfering or taking over the process. She gave guidance when approached and gave me reassuring pats when I was ready to give up. By the end of the week (01/28), I was mentally exhausted. But we rode to the Fed Ex office together that day and she and I both were relieved it was over. I cannot say enough about Dr. Titunik.
Dr. Hardy and members of our Honors College provided mock panels for me. Before I interviewed, they each decided to take on a role, bad cop, good cop, conservative cop, etc. Each trial (I interviewed three times) included different people--this was especially helpful.
I met my FacRep for the first time during my campus interview for the Truman nomination, and right after the finalists were announced, we started mock interviews twice a week. In the first couple of sessions, Dr. Scheid explained what I did well during the campus interview and what needed work (for example- he wanted me to work on making my answers more concise). He also covered interview basics, like proper posture and eye contact. I had the mock interviews with Dr. Scheid, the other Truman finalist, and a student who had applied for the Truman last year. We basically just sat around the table and asked each other questions. The first few sessions focused mainly on our policy proposals and applications- the later sessions were composed of very difficult political and philosophical questions. The interviews were actually a lot of fun- I learned a lot during our discussions! Finally, during our last session, Dr. Scheid gave Ellen and me mock 20-minute interviews similar to our original campus interviews. During each session, Dr. Scheid gave us really good feedback on our answers. He was extremely helpful through the whole process, but another thing that helped me a lot was having Ellen working with me. We went to the library to do research together, asked each other questions, and gave each other constructive criticism of our mock interviews with Dr. Scheid. To tell you the truth, getting to know Ellen so well (and the other finalists in Dallas) was definitely one of my favorite parts about the whole application process!