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UNLV Student Daniel Waqar Named a 2015 Truman Scholar

Former recipient of NPRI’s Prof. Nigam Freedom Scholarship and UNLV undergraduate Daniel Waqar to receive the prestigious 2015 Truman Scholar Award, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation announced today.

Waqar, son of Malik and Shaheen Ahmad, is a junior history major and member of the UNLV Honors College. Waqar is also a part of the Brookings Public Policy minor, a partnership of UNLV and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.  Waqar was selected from a national pool of nearly 700 candidates from 297 colleges and universities.

Truman Scholars are selected for stellar academic and leadership performance and receive a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school. Awardees also get the chance to participate in professional development programming to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership.

NPRI President Andy Matthews, 2012 NPRI Scholarship recipient Daniew Waqar and Swadeep Nigam

 “Daniel has an extraordinary capacity to consider complex issues from multiple viewpoints, and I believe that to be an important attribute of public service leadership,” said Marta Meana, dean of the UNLV Honors College.

After completing his bachelor’s degree at UNLV, Waqar plans to attend Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service for a master’s in Foreign Service, with a concentration in global politics and security. He is currently studying abroad in Haifa, Israel, with dual emphases in Peace and Conflict Studies and Arabic Culture and Civilization. While in Israel, Waqar is researching land settlement and “final status” negotiation issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Selection by such an elite program with a lengthy history of supporting future public service leaders validates my aspiration to be a change agent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Waqar. “I am so proud to represent UNLV and the Honors College in such a prominent national forum, and I am exceedingly grateful to all of the faculty members, advisors, peers, and countless individuals who helped me achieve this extraordinary scholarship.”

Waqar has a strong academic record – a 3.9 GPA – and has remained active in community service, leadership programs and student government in high school at Las Vegas’ Advanced Technologies Academy and throughout his time at UNLV.

“Daniel’s academic qualifications are perhaps only matched by his level of engagement in leadership and community building,” said Meana. “He is representative of the exceptional students in high schools across the Las Vegas valley and at UNLV, and it is very gratifying to see Nevada students recognized in such a highly competitive, national forum.”

Candidates for the Truman Scholarship go through a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. The 200 finalists for the award were interviewed in March and early April at one of sixteen regional selection panels. The 58 Truman Scholars for 2015 will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on May 24. 

Waqar is the third UNLV student to win the award since 2008. 

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