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MU Student Named Truman Scholar

MU is the only institution in the state of Missouri to have a Truman Scholar in 2011

April 19th, 2011

Story Contact: Emily Martin, (573) 882-3346,

By Brad Fischer

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation has named a University of Missouri student as a 2011 Truman Scholar. Kam Phillips has made a difference in the community since coming to MU and plans to continue her work on behalf of others following graduation.

Kam Phillips, an MU junior majoring in social work, was named a 2011 Truman Scholar.

“I have never met an undergraduate student who is more amazing,” said Julie Middleton, director of organizational development for University of Missouri Extension.

Phillips, a junior from Fort Worth, Texas, came to MU and began volunteering at the Columbia Boys & Girls Club. She soon realized a way to make an even bigger difference. Phillips created Dream Outside the Box (DOTB), a non-profit organization that provides minority and underprivileged children with opportunities to participate in exciting new endeavors while instilling in them a sense of community. DOTB works through various groups, including some MU student organizations to help broaden these children’s horizons.

“When we started, 74 percent of boys said they wanted to either be a rapper or a football player or both,” Phillips says.  “I want them to realize these are not their only options. We’ve made tremendous progress on what they want to do and what they now list as their career goals.”

Phillips seeks to get the children to think outside the box by participating in weekly activities. Various programs help children explore subjects and activities such as engineering, horseback riding, fencing and accounting. Students have taken field trips to a local television studio, participated in mock trials with attorneys and learned about culinary arts by making cupcakes.

Phillips is a founding member of MU’s chapter of the American Association of University Women. She also is helping to create Taking the Time to Tutor, in which volunteers work with children in long-term hospital situations to keep them on track academically, offering services to young patients at the MU Women’s & Children’s Hospital.

This year 60 Truman Scholars were selected from 602 candidates nominated by 264 colleges and universities. MU is the only institution in the state of Missouri to have a Truman Scholar in 2011. Since 1987, MU has been home to 15 Truman Scholars and numerous finalists. In recognition of Missouri’s strong record, the Truman Foundation designated MU a 2009 Honor Institution, one of only two in the country.

The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for students to pursue graduate degrees in public service fields. Phillips is majoring in social work and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on public and non-profit management and policy.

For more about Phillips, visit Mizzou Wire: