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Three MSU national finalists named for prestigious awards 

East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State University has three finalists for nationally competitive awards.

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Jerome Hamilton Jr.

Jerome Hamilton Jr. is a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship recognizes students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to a career in public service. The scholarship provides financial support for graduate study and leadership training to approximately 62 students.

Hamilton is from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a third-year Political Science (Pre-Law) student in the College of Social Science with a minor in Environmental Social Science, and a member of the Honors College. 

Vishnu Kannan is a finalist for the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States. The fellowship funds graduate education for 30 New Americans who will make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture, or their academic field. 

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Vishnu Kannan

Kannan graduated from MSU in 2020, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations; an additional major in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy in James Madison College; an additional major in Economics in the College of Social Science; a minor in Indian and Asian Studies from the College of Arts and Letters; and an additional minor in Political Economy in James Madison College. Vishnu is an alumnus of the Honors College.

He is from Ann Arbor, Michigan and is currently Advisor to the President and Executive Office Research Coordinator at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

A person in a black top and blazer stands in front of Michigan State's Beaumont Tower
Sophia Strach

Sophia Strach is a finalist for the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program. This fellowship, funded by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, selects approximately 15 students for one year of funding and a placement as a research assistant to a senior scholar. Senior scholars include academics, former government officials, lawyers, and journalists from around the world. 

Strach is from Muskegon, Michigan. She is a fourth-year student majoring in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy in James Madison College with a minor in Russian from the College of Arts and Letters. 

Hamilton, Kannan, and Strach will learn if they are selected as awardees in the coming months.

The Distinguished Student Awards Office (formerly National/International Fellowships and Scholarships Office), administered by the Honors College, helps undergraduate and graduate students pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. 

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