UNM psychology student Abrianna Morales was just announced a 2022 Truman Scholar. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation selected 58 outstanding college students from 53 schools, nominated by their institution based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement. The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

"Being named a Truman Scholar is one of the greatest honors that I've ever received, and I am so proud to represent UNM, New Mexico, and sexual assault survivors everywhere,” Morales said. “I am excited to continue making a difference in our communities as I seek to support, empower, and connect youth sexual assault survivors and those that support them.

Morales is from Las Cruces and is a junior Honors College student, majoring in Psychology and Criminology. Morales is a founder of Sexual Assault Youth Support Network which serves young sexual assault victims by providing support and resources. Morales is dedicated to bringing a strong academic foundation to victims’ services and policy reform.

“More than anything, I am grateful for support that I've received from family, fellow advocates, and community members throughout the past five years--I couldn't do any of what I do, without you,” she said.

As a McNair Scholar, she is conducting her own research with mentors Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo and Lisa Broidy that focuses on stakeholders’ experiences of procedural justice in light of COVID-19-era changes to the courts.

"I would like to thank my family, friends, and mentors for their guidance and support throughout this process,” Morales said. “Your feedback, advice, and encouragement have always inspired me to challenge myself as I pursue new goals and interests. I'd like to give a special thanks to Kiyoko Simmons, my advisor, who has introduced me to so many great opportunities at UNM and guided me throughout the application process."

Morales plans to pursue J.D. and Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology/Criminology with an interest in conducting research at the intersection of law, psychology, and criminology. As a Truman Scholar, Morales will participate in the Truman Scholars Leadership Week from May 24-29, 2022 in Missouri.

Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. 

Last year, UNM student Emma Hotz was selected as a 2021 Truman Scholar. Prior to Hotz, UNM alum Ryan Roco was named a Truman Scholar, in 2014. Lobos Joel Robinson and Brendon Gray were chosen as finalists in 2020 and 2019, respectively.