MSU band leader selected as Truman Scholarship finalist

East Lansing, Mich. – Joel Arnold, a Michigan State University junior and squad leader for the MSU Spartan Marching Band, has been selected as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship.

He will travel to Chicago March 7 for an interview with the Truman Foundation’s Regional Review Panel. More than 650 students submitted an application from 289 colleges across the country.

Scholarship winners will be announced in mid-April. Michigan State has previously produced 16 Truman Scholars.

“Joel is a terrific student leader on campus and someone who has shown interest and commitment to serving his community,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “We are pleased he’s moving on as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship and wish him good luck at the interview in Chicago.”

Arnold is majoring in social relations and policy in the James Madison College and urban and regional planning in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He’s also a member of the Campus Band.

Originally from Davison, Michigan and a graduate of Davison High School, he’s served as an intern for the City of Flint Planning Department, and as an intern for Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, an MSU Truman Scholar in 1995. Arnold has volunteered in several Genesee County political campaigns and was a recipient of the Davison Community School’s Music Program.

Arnold currently works as a store manager for MSU Sparty’s convenience store. He is also president/co-founder of LiveWorkDetroit! at MSU.

Arnold plans to pursue a master’s degree in urban planning.

“It's incredibly humbling to move this far forward in the competition,” Arnold said. “Just being nominated by the university was an honor in and of itself and progressing on has allowed me to continue to think about my future more deeply, professionally and academically. Going through this process has allowed me to hone in on what I'm truly passionate about and how I can impact the society around me.”

The mission of the Truman Scholarship Foundationis to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to effecting change through careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) Officeat Michigan State University, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors Collegeserves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence. The Honors College strives to ensure an enriched academic and social experience for our members and create an environment that fosters active, innovative learning. 

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