Alexander Wang, a junior at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), has been named a 2013 Truman Scholar — an honor received by only 62 Americans nationwide this year.
Wang, a Social Research and Public Policy major at NYUAD, was awarded the scholarship after a highly competitive process which evaluated applicants on the basis of their leadership abilities, potential intellectual achievement, and commitment to a career in public service. Wang’s policy proposal, an integral part of the application, focused on developing a framework to provide institutional support for communities of international migrant workers.
Wang’s interest in the international mobility of migrant workers has been inspired by a range of academic and community service engagements in the US, in Abu Dhabi, and in Shanghai, where he spent a semester of study abroad. Wang has also been engaged in public service throughout his life, and during his first semester at NYUAD he established a humanitarian student group that volunteers with migrant worker communities, both through donation drives and teaching English and other practical skills.
“Being in Abu Dhabi made me think more critically about the idea of citizenship and civic duty,” said Wang, 20, who grew up in the state of Pennsylvania. “In the US, it was easy for me to say that volunteering on a political campaign was a way to be a citizen. While I’m not a citizen in Abu Dhabi, I’m still wedded to this place, and part of what I’ve been trying to work out during my time here is finding out a way to enact civic duty in a global perspective.”
Al Bloom, vice chancellor of NYUAD, said: “I continue to be astounded by the extraordinary accomplishments of NYUAD students. From the day our first class arrived just three years ago, they have demonstrated an uncanny ability — through wisdom, imagination, and dedication — to shape for the better, the world around them. Alex is one of those students. I look forward to his impact on Abu Dhabi and on the global stage.”
This year’s Scholars were selected from among 629 candidates nominated by 293 colleges and universities. The Scholarship provides up to $30,000 toward graduate study, plus leadership advisement and membership in the Truman network of current and future public servants. Wang, a member of NYUAD’s inaugural class, is NYU’s third Truman Scholar since 2007, and the first from its three-year-old Abu Dhabi campus.
In the future, Wang is considering a joint law degree and a PhD in Sociology as he continues to build a career in the arena of global migration policy.
About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi consists of a highly selective liberal arts and science college (including engineering) and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi form the backbone of a unique global network university, with faculty and students from either New York or Abu Dhabi spending “semesters away” at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents.