Watch: UW junior Dawry Ruiz learns he won the Truman Scholarship

UW–Madison junior Dawry Ruiz was surprised by university leadership last week with the news that he had been awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor made a surprise appearance in Ruiz’s Teaching Artist Certificate class on on Friday, April 8, with a letter congratulating him on his award from Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

As one of 58 scholarship winners across the country, Ruiz will receive a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school and the opportunity to participate in professional development programming.

Ruiz, a member of UW–Madison’s First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community, is majoring in community and nonprofit leadership through the School of Human Ecology, with a certificate in arts and teaching. He is a member of the 12th cohort of First Wave, a full-tuition, four-year scholarship program that helps recipients develop their craft as part of a high-level artistic community alongside faculty, staff and nationally renowned spoken word and hip hop artists.

“I am very grateful for programs such as First Wave that tailor to students who fall into such niche intersections,” Ruiz wrote in his Truman Scholarship application. “As a first-generation Dominican American, telling my immigrant mother she would not have to worry financially about my education was a feat I did not think I could reach.”

Joining Dr. Reesor to make the announcement were Chief Diversity Officer LaVar J. Charleston, Professor Erica Halverson, First Wave director Sofía Snow, and staff from Student Awards, Student Affairs, and the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement.