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Norman – A University of Oklahoma Honors junior has been selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship. Evan DeFilippis won the prestigious award based on his leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of “making a difference” and is the sixth OU student to be honored with the national award since 2003.
“Evan DeFilippis is an outstanding leader who will make a difference in our country in the future,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He clearly merits this outstanding award.”
Truman Scholarship recipients must be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector. Each scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study.
DeFilippis, the son of Jim and Karen DeFilippis of Colleyville, Texas, holds a 4.0 grade-point average and is pursuing majors in economics, political science and psychology with minors in African-American studies and mathematics.
He has listed Harvard University and Princeton University as his top choices for graduate studies, with plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration and international development. DeFilippis’s career goals include working for experimental research institutions, such as the Abdul Jameel Latif Poverty Action Lab or Innovations for Poverty Action. Eventually, he hopes to found his own institution to bring economic and development aid to Africa through experimental economic interventions. This fall, he plans to study Swahili in Tanzania through the African Languages Initiative, sponsored by the National Security Education Program’s Boren Awards for International Study.
DeFilippis is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the David L. Boren Debater Achievement Scholar Award; the President’s Award for Outstanding Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior; the Neustadt Student Writing Award; the Arts and Sciences Leadership Scholar Award;, and the Creative Writing Award. In addition, he has been named a Big Man on Campus, a nationally ranked Ethics and Policy debater, the Outstanding Honors Perspectives Student, and a Charlie and Julie Daniels Fellow with the Institute of the Constitutional American Heritage.
Founder and president of Students End Malaria, DeFilippis has been an advocate for African development through his leadership positions and participation on debate teams, such as the Ethics and Policy Debate, where he has served as president and coach. His interest in economic development was substantiated by summer and fall internships at OU’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, where he co-led a project to found a Rare Earth Research Institute at OU. Fascinated with politics, he is the only student in the history of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center to be a triple fellow as a Capitol Scholar, a Civic Engagement Fellow and a Research Fellow.
In addition, DeFilippis founded and heads several groups within OU’s Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, including a student lecture series, a documentary group and a current events discussion group. DeFilippis has devoted much of his time to volunteer work in his hometown, and has served as project coordinator for both Tarrant County Elderly Homes and Tarrant County Homeless Shelter.