Political Science student, Maisie Brown first JSU student named Truman Scholarship finalist

Jackson, Miss- Maisie Brown is the first student from Jackson State University to be named a Truman Scholarship finalist. Brown joins the ranks of 199 elite scholars from 133 institutions who were selected as finalists for the highly competitive 2023 Truman Scholarship competition.

Each year the Harry S. Truman Foundation awards 55-65 students $30,000 to apply toward graduate education in various public service fields. A political science student, Brown was chosen from 705 applicants and 275 institutions who applied for the distinguished award. The Jackson, Mississippi, native is one of three finalists from a Mississippi institution.

“Maisie Brown is a wonderful person, student, and leader. We in the Department of Political Science are thrilled that she is a Truman Scholarship finalist,” stated Department of Political Science Chair Maruice Mangum, Ph.D. “She has an excellent academic background, is a fierce advocate for social justice, and has a bright future.” 

Mangum added that if Maisie were to capture this prestigious scholarship, it would mean a lot to the Department of Political Science, Jackson State University, and HBCUs in general. 

“It will be another shining example that our department and institution help develop leaders of tomorrow and outstanding individuals,” he said. 

As a full-time student, Brown has earned a notable reputation for her advocacy work in the community. She has been featured in several publications such as Glamour Magazine, Teen Vogue, and Essence for her organizational work during the Jackson, Mississippi, water crisis. Brown leads the Jackson branch of a student-founded nonprofit reproductive justice organization that provides feminine hygiene products to women in need. She also serves as the advocacy and organizing coordinator for the ACLU of Mississippi.

“I am proud of Maisie for her dedication and willingness to go the extra mile,” said Interim Exective Director of Honors Student Services and Activities Pamala Heard, Ph.D., advisor to Brown. “She is a fantastic student who is self-aware and driven to explore a deeper understanding of the human condition.”

Heard believes Brown’s first JSU Truman Scholarship finalist achievement will “undoubtedly open doors” for other students seeking viable opportunities. After graduation, Brown plans to study educational policies. She aspires to develop an administrative career in education and hopes this opportunity inspires her peers to challenge themselves to reach new heights.

“I am very excited because two students from HBCUs were among the finalist, and it’s nice to be a part of that representation. I just want to help set the standard and expose people to what’s out there, and hopefully, I can help others get to this point,” Brown shared. “I want to share my application experience with them and offer any kind of assistance they may need.”

Brown and the remaining finalist will now undergo interviews with the Harry S. Truman Foundation’s regional review panels between March 2 and April 4. Her interview will be conducted in Nashville on March 20.