Congratulations to Catherine Hadley, U-M’s newest Truman Scholar! Catherine is currently pursuing her BA in Sociology (LSA '22). She is U-M's 28th Truman Scholar.
Founded in 1975 as a living memorial to our thirty-third President, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 for the graduate education and professional development of outstanding young people committed to public service leadership.
Asked about her achievement, Catherine said, "Receiving the Truman is a great honor. I will use this great gift as another tool to elevate the voices of those I serve in my community and continue to advocate for a better, more equitable, and just America."
This year, Catherine joins a cohort of 62 Truman Scholars selected from a pool of 845 candidates nominated by 328 colleges and universities - a record number of applicants.
Scholar selection is based on a variety of criteria, including academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.
The 2021 recipients also join a larger community of 3,384 Truman Scholars named since the first awards in 1977. Catherine applied for the Truman Scholarship in part because of the opportunity to engage with this larger network. “I am looking forward to linking to this wide array of change agents who can help me navigate leadership and service,” she said. “The Truman scholarship community will help me create a more considerable impact, creating systemic changes to make the world a better place.”
For Catherine, the Truman Scholarship application, and subsequent nomination process, was challenging yet affirming. “The Truman application process helped me evaluate my future goals and pushed me to aim higher than ever before. The process helped me discover what I want to do and how I could begin down that path,” she explained. “During this process, my community support and encouragement enabled me to see my experience, life, and work in a new, powerful way. They allowed me to see myself as a change agent.”
As a mother of two, Catherine’s family also plays a large role in her dedication to public service, “My toddlers often tell people I am in school to save the world, so I have to work hard to live up to their expectations of me.”
In addition to founding BirthSafe.org, a maternal health-specific review website, Catherine has lobbied for maternal health bills in Michigan and Washington, D.C. Catherine is a steering committee member of the Hungry for Justice SNAP expansion coalition. In September 2020, her group helped get SB 1006 passed, which removed the felony ban for SNAP in Michigan. She previously interned with the Michigan Women’s Commission and with Eli Savit on his County Prosecutor Race in 2020. This spring, she is working at Patriotic Millionaires as a Junior Associate through the Michigan in Washington Program.
Looking ahead, Catherine has been accepted into the 2022 Master of Social Work cohort at the University of Michigan. She plans to pursue the Policy & Political Social Work pathway, possibly with a dual master's degree in Public Health (Health Behavior and Health Education). After finishing her educational pursuits, she intends to launch a career in the political sphere here in Michigan.
Catherine is also a 2021 recipient of the Rosalie Ginsberg Dedicated Community Service Award.