Outdoor photo of a college senior

Ashni Bhojwani, 2020 Truman Scholar recipient
Image Credit: University Relations

Clemson – Ashni Bhojwani, a Clemson University senior pursuing a dual degree in criminal justice and psychology, has been awarded the highly coveted Truman Scholarship. Bhojwani is the only student in South Carolina to be named a Truman Scholar this year and the third Clemson student to ever receive it.

The Truman Scholarship, named in honor of the late U.S. President Harry S. Truman, is given to high-achieving college students who show commitment to public service and potential to continue that service beyond graduation. The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study in public service fields and leadership training.

Born in Belize and immigrating to the United States as a child, Bhojwani is determined to serve underrepresented groups. Her experience as an immigrant and biracial woman living in South Carolina is her motivation to work and volunteer with vulnerable groups in her community. In the summer of 2019, she interned with the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), a nonprofit that works to end the prosecution, sentencing and incarceration of youth in the United States and found inspiration for her career.

“Ashni’s dedication to others and willingness to serve show not only her care for others, but her commitment to helping those in need ,” said Robyn Curtis, director of Clemson’s Office of Major Fellowships. “The leadership we have seen from her among her peers at Clemson is astounding and we can’t wait to continue watching her grow as a Truman Scholar and in her journey to bring improved racial equity to the juvenile justice system.”

Bhojwani’s undergraduate studies are in the sociology, anthropology and criminal justice and psychology departments within Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. After graduation, she plans to pursue a law degree with an emphasis on public interest law. She wants to challenge institutionalized racism on a systemic level and continue her work with social justice issues and criminal justice reform.

“My goal in this world is to give more than I’ve taken or received,” said Ashni Bhojwani. “Being part of the Clemson community has been so impactful for me – I’ve been challenged in ways that have helped me grow and develop and I’ve been surrounded by the most supportive people, both faculty and students.”

In addition to being awarded the Truman Scholarship, Bhojwani also received the Matt Locke Award this spring. The Locke Award is presented to one student for outstanding leadership with regard to service and devotion to humankind and Clemson University.

“We are so proud of Ashni’s selection as a Truman Scholar,” said Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “A wonderful representative of our college and our sociology, anthropology and criminal justice and psychology departments, she embodies our collective commitment to building people and communities. We are honored to have been part of her journey to this singular achievement.”

This year, the Truman Foundation received 773 applications from 316 colleges and universities, and finalists were selected based on their records of leadership, public service and academic achievement.

For more information about the scholarship program and the foundation, read the complete Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation news release.

Students interested in the Truman Scholarship or other nationally competitive programs should contact the Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or fellowships@clemson.edu.