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Katrina Klett named 2013 Truman Scholar

April 10, 2013

Katrina Klett, a junior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has been selected as a 2013 Truman Scholar.

62 scholars from across the U.S. were announced today by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Established by an Act of Congress in 1975, the foundation is the official federal memorial to President Truman, who touted the importance of promoting young leaders and envisioned a program for students that would encourage educated citizenship and political responsibility.

Klett, an undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts and the University Honors Program who is majoring in Asian languages and literatures/Chinese and minoring in sustainability studies, focuses on beekeeping as a means to alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity in developing countries.

A Jamestown, N.D., resident, Klett spent her childhood traveling between the upper Midwest and Texas with her family’s beekeeping and queen bee breeding businesses. She co-founded and continues to oversee a beekeeping development project in 12 rural villages in Yunnan, China. As part of this project, she has designed and implemented community and children’s educational programs emphasizing biodiversity and environmental protection. She is also the beekeeping trainer for projects in Vietnam and Sierra Leone.

Klett’s extensive experience in advocacy and environmental education includes a year of service as spokeswoman for the American Beekeeping Federation. She has also conducted research with professor Marla Spivak of the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota.

"I'm incredibly honored to receive the Truman Scholarship," said Klett. "I plan to pursue a Masters in Public Affairs with the funding, and will continue my career as an international consultant on agricultural and environmental policy and development."

Also recently selected as a 2013 Udall Scholar, Klett is the fifth Truman Scholar since 2001 to come from the U’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA).

"We are extremely proud of Katrina," said CLA dean Jim Parente. "She exemplifies both CLA's academic excellence, and the kind of thoughtful and engaged student we prepare for leadership in tomorrow's world."

First awarded in the 1977-1978 academic year, the Truman Scholarship is presented to undergraduates with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service—change agents, as the foundation refers to them. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 to use toward graduate or professional school.

Institutions are permitted to nominate up to four students per year for the Truman Scholarship. At the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, nominations are made each fall by a committee of faculty and staff with relevant expertise. Any qualified student may submit an application according to campus procedures.


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