USD is the only university in both South Dakota and North Dakota to have a Truman Scholarship finalist.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to have been chosen as a 2024 Truman Scholarship finalist,” said Brust. “I would like to thank the USD faculty and staff, as well as my community, family and friends for their unwavering support and belief in my vision and potential.”

The Truman Scholarship is a federal memorial to Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States. 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.

The Truman Foundation received 709 applications from 285 institutions across the nation. Brust was one of only 193 students from 136 institutions to be selected as a finalist. As a finalist, Brust will interview with the Foundation’s Regional Review Panel.

Originally from Northfield, Minnesota, Brust is involved in the Honors program, Kappa Alpha Theta, Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning (AWOL) and Rotaract. She also does undergraduate research in the Department of Biology and serves as the current Student Government Association (SGA) student body vice president. In the community, she serves as a mentor to elementary-aged students at the United Church of Christ.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have been given in my time at USD and the doors it has opened for me,” said Brust. “Serving as student body vice president and having the opportunity to advocate for the student voice to improve our campus community has allowed me to embody the principles of empathetic and service-oriented leadership. My major in international studies, paired with the incredible opportunities I've had to study abroad, has been instrumental in shaping my worldview and developing a deeper understanding of different cultures, perspectives, and global issues.

“These unique experiences and opportunities have helped me to grow as a leader and individual, preparing me to better serve my future community,” she continued.   

After graduating, Brust plans to pursue a master’s in public health and a doctorate in dental medicine with a focus on health policy. Her long-term goal is to serve as a pediatric public health dentist with a community dental clinic. Brust also plans to work with the Department of Health as a policy advocate, focusing specifically on health care access in an effort to address oral health disparities.

“Being awarded a Truman Scholarship would not only assist in financing my post-secondary education, but would also provide access to valuable resources, experiences and opportunities to further my education and serve others,” said Brust. “The support provided by the Truman Scholarship would allow me to pursue my goal of addressing disparities in dental health care access, making a tangible, positive impact on the lives of others.”

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