The scholarship will help him pursue an education that addresses health care inequalities.
On a Friday afternoon in early April, John Lin ’23 MD’27 was going about his normal day on campus when he was asked to join President Christina H. Paxson, leaders from Brown, and a few faculty members in a University Hall office suite. His jaw dropped as they surprised him with the news that he’d be named one of just 58 Harry S. Truman Scholars nationally for 2022.
Awarded annually to selected college juniors across the United States, the prestigious scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and commitment to public service.
“I didn’t know how to respond,” says Lin, who has a double concentration in biology and health systems and policy, the latter of which he designed himself as part Brown’s Open Curriculum. “I was breathless.”
The 58 new Truman Scholars were selected from 705 candidates nominated by 275 colleges and universities. Truman Scholars receive $30,000 for graduate study intended to prepare them for careers as public service leaders. They also receive leadership training, career and graduate school advising, and internship opportunities within the federal government.
“We are thrilled that John received the Truman Scholarship,” says Linda Dunleavy, associate dean of the College for fellowships. “An independent concentrator with demonstrable success in addressing the needs of underserved populations in health care and beyond, John exemplifies the self-motivation and service orientation that the Brown curriculum cultivates and that the Truman scholarship honors and seeks to further nourish.”
After the news sank in, Lin says he felt a sense of gratitude knowing that his goal of attending graduate school to earn an MD and a master of public administration with a focus on health equity would come with less of a financial burden. “I’m very fortunate,” he says.
Lin says he hopes to treat patients and work in health policy and administration after medical and graduate school to drive efforts to improve health care access.
“I think that is incredibly critical if we want to have an effective, modern health care system that actually serves Americans,” he says, explaining how his parents experienced the challenge of paying for health care after they immigrated to the US. “It’s something my family has struggled with. It’s something I know so many people have struggled with.”