2011 Truman Scholar Winner - Erin Barta

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


Erin Barta, a native of Langdon, ND, was selected as a 2011 Truman Scholar. The Truman Scholar Foundation was established by congress in 1975 as a federal memorial for our 33rd president. The foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for their careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Truman Award winners are chosen on the basis of a record in and passion for public service, as well as demonstrated academic success.

Barta is a junior at UND majoring in Political Science and Honors with a minor in English. She is actively involved with the Honors program student organization (HPSO), as well as writing for the Dakota Student, UND Theater Department, and UND Women’s Choir. Barta was recently honored with the Starcher award for an outstanding student profile. She will be recognized this month at the undergraduate research focus college scholarship ceremony.

When asked what it means to be awarded with a Truman Scholarship, Barta Said, “I have a steady peace that I am going to go to graduate school. All of my aspirations have become more legitimate because now I will have a way to pursue them.”

When Barta was a freshman, the chair from the Truman Scholarship Foundation spoke to her class at UND. Barta said she was aware of it because her brother had applied a few years earlier, and she always knew she would apply someday. Barta said she kept the booklet she received that day in her desk for ages, and when the time finally came to apply she almost missed the deadline. Dr. Jendrysik, Chair of the Political Science Dept. at UND, as well as other faculty members helped her to get the application fast tracked and greatly assisted her with her efforts to compete the application on time.

Part of Barta’s application included the development of a five year career plan post graduation. This process allowed Barta to really think about the next steps of her future. Barta would like to work with a federal agency or international agency on violence against women on an international scale. Barta said, “I want to do something to make a tangible change.” In Barta’s sophomore year she was taking a women’s right course and international politics simultaneously and became drawn to the combination of them. “This was my, this is it, kind of moment,” says Barta.

At the end of the May, the 2011 Truman Scholars assembled together for a Truman Scholar Leadership Week in Liberty, MI. They will learn what they can do with this award and the tradition of Truman Scholars. A year from now, Barta will have the opportunity to attend a summer institute focused on leadership development and working with government agencies

Following graduation, Barta would like to attend graduate school at the University of Denver in the area of Human Rights. She hopes that her writing can play a role in her career and that someday she could complete her PHD to give back to others after she has gained experiences in the field.