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Rosalie Fish Earns Truman Scholarship

Apr 14, 2022

SEATTLE -- University of Washington track and field junior Rosalie Fish has been selected for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, awarded nationwide to students on the basis of leadership skills, demonstrated civic engagement, academic potential and a desire to pursue a career in public service.
A highly competitive award, only 58 students were selected nationwide this year for the Truman Scholarship from more than 705 nominations. The scholarship recognizes aspiring leaders driven to make change at the systems level. Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate school, mentoring and additional benefits to help prepare them for careers where they can make an impact.

This is the third consecutive year that students from the UW were recognized with this national award, but the first for a Husky student-athlete.
"We are very proud to see Rosalie's outstanding leadership and advocacy work recognized by the Truman Foundation," said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. "In the classroom, in her community and on the field, she is helping to raise awareness of the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous people, and we know she will continue to do great things with the support of this scholarship."
Fish, from Auburn, Wash., is a social welfare major in the School of Social Work. A member of the Cowlitz Tribe and a descendent of the Muckleshoot Tribe, Fish has raised awareness around the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and has generated national attention by painting a red handprint across her face and the letters "MMIW" on her leg during competition. Fish redshirted the fall cross country season and the indoor track season, racing once unattached in the Dempsey this year.
"By being selected for the Truman scholarship, it sends a message to Indigenous peoples everywhere that we belong in the social service profession. We have the power to act as leaders, world changers, and positions of influence — despite the adversities and systemic barriers we face," Fish said. "With this opportunity, I will continue to devote my life to Indigenous communities and to disrupt the cycles of victimization our people face. This means advocating for accessible housing, tribal sovereignty, environmental justice and universal healthcare. I will bring Indigenous voices and perspectives into policies that impact social welfare."
She transferred to the UW from Iowa Central Community College where she also competed in track and cross-country serving as a member of the NJCAA Student-Athlete Council. In addition to painting her face, she's advocated for Indigenous rights on and off the track. She plans to continue her advocacy by pursuing a Masters of Social Work and a graduate certificate in American Indian Studies.
"We could not be more proud of Rosalie for earning this distinguished honor," said Director of Athletics Jen Cohen. "Rosalie is committed to using her platform as a student-athlete to be a leader and create change. We celebrate her courage and are excited to continue to support her advocacy efforts."
Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Maurica Powell said, "Everyone in our program knew about Rosalie's cause before she came to campus, but what has been eye-opening for all of us is her personal connection and how much of herself she invests on an everyday basis. Our team aspires to our department's core values of grit, growth mindset, committed service, and humility, and Rosalie embodies all of those and so many more."
Established by Congress in 1975 as a memorial to President Harry S. Truman and national monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of the 33rd President of the U.S. by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders.
When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, Truman asked Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For more than 40 years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled its mission to inspire and support Americans from diverse backgrounds to public service. 
This year's 58 awardees join a community of 3,442 Truman Scholars named since the first awards in 1977. Fish is the 18th UW student to receive a Truman Scholarship since the award's inception, according to the Truman Foundation.