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Claudio Simpkins

College: Macaulay Honors College | City College
Awards: Truman Scholarship, 2005

A Passion for Policy and Politics

Claudio Simpkins, a junior at the Macaulay Honors College at City College who is majoring in political science and philosophy, was named a 2005 Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. The award carries a $30,000 scholarship to be applied toward graduate or professional studies.

"Winning a Truman Scholarship is a tremendous accomplishment, and I feel truly honored to have been selected," Simpkins said. "The award will help me further my passion for policy and politics by pursuing a PhD in American politics."

"This is a most deserving honor for a truly remarkable young man, and we couldn't be prouder of Claudio," said Gregory H. Williams, president of The City College of New York. "His accomplishment reinforces our belief that our students can play on the same field as the brightest students in America."

Simpkins credits City College with helping him develop communications and interpersonal skills that enabled him to excel in the Truman competition, which annually draws more than 600 applicants for 70 to 80 scholarships.

"City College's greatest asset is its diversity," he said. "In my three years here, I've met people with different backgrounds and viewpoints who I might not have otherwise met. The skills I learned related to and working with these people really helped during the interviews."

Simpkins is the third City College undergraduate or enrollee to win a major national scholarship competition. David Bauer, who will enroll at City College as a freshman next fall, won first place in the Intel Science Talent Search. And senior Lev Sviridov received a Rhodes Scholarship for a year of graduate study at Oxford University.

Simpkins, who is enrolled in City College's Herman Muehlstein Honors College and has a 3.8 GPA, lives in Ridgewood, Queens. A graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, he moved to New York from Charlotte, N.C., when he was 16.

The Truman Scholarships recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service. They provide financial support for graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established in 1975 by an act of Congress as a living memorial to Harry S. Truman, the nation's 33rd president. The first scholarships were awarded for the 1977-78 academic year.