UTC Student, Robert Fisher, Earns Prestigious National Scholarship Recognition

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Pictured:  Robert Fisher
Pictured: Robert Fisher

Robert Fisher, a Brock Scholar and Student Government Association president at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been named a 2014 Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Mr. Fisher plans to earn his undergraduate degree in political science in May 2015. He is the fourth student in the school’s history to be named a Truman Scholar.

“Robert Fisher’s student career at UTC has been nothing short of illustrious. He has been entrusted with the leadership of the UTC Student Government Association and has taken that office to new heights; he has helped forge new relationships between UTC and the larger Chattanooga community with his work in the city and the mayor’s office; he has contributed a powerful student voice to the larger statewide conversation about higher education in Tennessee via his work with the governor’s office,” said Dr.

Linda Frost, dean of the UTC Honors College.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, made today’s announcement. There are 59 exceptional college students from 52 U.S. colleges and universities who were selected from among 655 candidates. They were chosen by 17 independent selection panels on the basis of the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

Fisher will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

“This is such a tremendous honor,” Mr. Fisher said. “The process of applying for the Truman Scholarship provided me with the opportunity to thoughtfully consider the avenues through which I can serve others. This distinction not only signifies my lifelong commitment to public service, it truly provides me with additional leverage to make meaningful and positive change in the lives of other people. That thought gives me chills.”

A 2011 graduate of Rossview High School in Clarksville, Tennessee, Fisher has been a UTC standout since he arrived on campus. He has held multiple leadership roles at UTC, including president and treasurer of the UTC Student Government Association; chairperson of the UTC Brock Scholars Council; and a member of the UTC Freshman Senate, the UTC Admissions Team, and the UTC Chancellor’s Roundtable. Additionally, he has served on the UTC Complete College Strategic Task Force, the UTC Honors College Planning Committee, and the UTC Student Rating of Faculty Instruction Committee.

His community service includes volunteering as a mentor in the UTC Center for Community Career Education and as the Millennial Advocate for the Benwood Foundation Urban Redesign Steering Committee.

Among his many public service appointments, Mr. Fisher served as the Student Commissioner to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, as a member of the UT Advocacy Council Oversight Committee, and as co-chair of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke’s Chattanooga Forward Initiative for the Downtown Revitalization Taskforce. He was named Student Representative of Academic Affairs and Student Success for the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. 

Mr. Fisher’s awards and honors include being named an Institute Scholar at the Institute for Responsible Citizenship and a Presidential Fellowship at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. At UTC, he was the recipient of a William E. Brock Scholarship and a UTC Provost Scholarship, and he was named UTC Student Government Association Freshman Senator of the Year.

“Robert is a powerful representative not just of UTC or of Tennessee, but of his generation,” Dr. Frost said. “He will transform higher education, wherever he goes, and winning the Truman—one of the most competitive and prestigious national scholarships in existence—simply shows that the representatives of the Truman Foundation recognized that fact."

Now that he has been selected as a Truman Scholar, Mr. Fisher will apply for the Washington Summer Institute. He has expressed interest in the Office of Post-Secondary Education, which is housed in the Department of Education. OPE formulates national higher education policies and administers programs that strive to improve access and affordability related to post-secondary education in America.

“At OPE, I would specifically like to work in the program office specializing in institutional service that provides individual institutions with monetary support to undergo comprehensive development. This area is critically important, especially for higher education institutions that seek to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students. This work will also align with my honors thesis, in which I plan to study HEIs and their impact on the communities they serve,” Mr. Fisher wrote in his application for the Truman Scholarship.

Looking ahead, Mr. Fisher said in his Truman application he intends to pursue the Masters in Public Administration at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. He added that he sees himself working as the director of a higher education policy program at a leading university or think tank in the next five to seven years. “This position will enable me to inform the discussion framing the contemporary challenges for higher education institutions on a national scale,” he wrote.

For more information, visit https://www.truman.gov/




Augustine Named Recipient Of Lee’s Excellence In Scholarship Award

Dr. Daniela C. Augustine, associate professor of theological ethics, has been named as the recipient of Lee University’s 2016 Excellence in Scholarship Award. The winner of this award is chosen each year by the Faculty Committee on Research and Scholarship. Lee President Dr. Paul Conn officially recognized Dr. Augustine for this award during spring commencement earlier this ... (click for more)

East Ridge High School Unveils New Uniforms At McDonald's Fundraiser

The East Ridge High School football team will be sporting new uniforms this season thanks to a community supported fundraiser hosted by the Ringgold Road McDonald’s restaurant.      The McDonald’s parking lot, turned fundraising headquarters, played host to the team as they waved signs and asked McDonald’s customers for donations. McDonald’s is the sponsor of ... (click for more)

Child Bitten By Dog In Bradley County

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a child who was bitten by a dog. While saturating an area in Bradley County, a deputy observed a vehicle traveling on the roadway with a child not restrained and sitting in a passenger’s lap inside the vehicle. Once the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed a child bleeding which was the result of a dog bite. ... (click for more)

Man Rescued From The Pocket Wilderness On Saturday

Rescue personnel started the Memorial Holiday weekend at the Pocket Wilderness hiking trails on Saturday morning. A man had been camping on the trails with friends Friday night when the accident occurred. They had been gathering branches for firewood when he tripped and fell on a branch which impaled his thigh. With no cell service and having no daylight, the group waited ... (click for more)

Fruit Basket Turnover

I have been teaching for 21 years now, so I’ve been through my share of school leaders. Every one of them taught me something important. Whether it was Don Bishop from Red Bank High School who, after almost 30 years at Red Bank, taught me to invest in the longevity of my career, Wade Kelly who taught me to thoroughly weigh options before making a decision, Gail Chuy who taught me ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Let Me Be Clear’

I have seen a lot of human beings who have gotten themselves in terrible messes in my time and more self-induced agony than I want to recall. Will Rogers famously said, “Give a man enough rope and he’ll hang himself.” That’s the truth and if you ever didn’t think that “Politics corrupts,” consider the genius behind the line, “It ain’t long those who get elected … begin to think ... (click for more)