Bangor Woman Named National Truman Scholar | Community Spirit

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Bangor Woman Named National Truman Scholar

A University of Maine junior from Bangor is one of 54 U.S. college students announced recently as Truman Scholars. Nicole R. Golden, a psychology and sociology major, plans to attend law school after graduation, with a focus on family law and public policy.

"I was raised with public service in the forefront and have continued to do that kind of work both professionally and as a volunteer," says Golden. "Academically, UMaine has been fantastic. I’ve taken several courses in sociology and psychology that have focused on helping people and bettering society. All of that has prepared me for this type of scholarship."

Candidates are selected on the basis of "academic and leadership accomplishments and their likelihood of becoming public service leaders." At UMaine, Golden was president of the Non-Traditional Students Association and now heads the Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Representative Board. She volunteers for Equality Maine, The Trevor Project and the Bridge Alliance, along with a nonprofit that supports those who provide kinship care. Golden’s biological parents were also foster parents, and the experience of growing up with dozens of foster children has inspired her to one day work as a legal advocate for youth in the foster care system.

Golden is UMaine’s third Truman Scholar, following Erin McKenzie in 2008 and Scott Labby in 1998. The 54 new Truman Scholars were selected from among 587 candidates nominated by 292 colleges and universities.

The Truman Scholarship is one of the most prestigious and competitive awards for undergraduate excellence in the nation. In order to be selected as a Truman Scholar, one must possess not only a virtually unblemished record of academic success in the classroom, but also demonstrate a stellar track record of public service and a strong commitment to continue serving the greater good in the future, says Mark Brewer, a political science professor who served as the university’s Truman Scholarship faculty representative this year.

"We knew from the very beginning that Nicole was a strong candidate," Brewer says. "Not only does she have an outstanding academic record, but her experience in public service, compelling personal story, and composure and poise very much impressed us, and obviously the Truman Foundation as well. This is well-deserved."