New College of Florida’s Michael Long awarded prestigious Truman Scholarship

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New College of Florida junior Michael Long has earned the 2013 Truman Scholarship, a prestigious award based on academic achievement, exceptional leadership potential, and commitment to public service careers.  The scholarship’s Foundation is in memorial of President Harry S Truman, passed as an Act of Congress in December 1974 and signed by President Gerald Ford in 1975.

Long is the only Florida student to receive the Truman Scholarship this year, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study as well as priority admission and supplemental financial aid at certain graduate institutions.  The award also includes a 10-week internship in the nation’s capitol as well as a week-long leadership training program in Truman’s home state of Missouri.

For his internship, Long said he is leaning toward working with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and for graduate school, he is considering Florida State University and Georgetown.

Long’s leadership record is already substantial.  He served two terms as co-president of New College student government; was the lone student member of Florida’s Board of Governors of the State University System; served as the chairman of the Florida Student Association; and was recently appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida State Advisory Group to the Department of Juvenile Justice.  

Though much of Long’s advocacy in Tallahassee has been in the realm of education, one bill that got his attention this Legislative Session regarded extending the foster care age to 21 and was just signed by the Governor.

“This is a huge move forward for DCF and the young men and women in the foster care system,” Long said. 

Long’s focus on youth issues have brought him far…literally.  As reported in the Bradenton Herald, “Long was named a Kremlin Fellow in 2012 and was one of 15 college student leaders nationwide selected by the Russian Federation Federal Agency on Youth Affairs to travel to Russia to meet officials, business leaders and students.”  He has also served as one of 40 American students to study at Yonsei University in South Korea, chosen by the Council on International Education Exchange.

On his home turf at New College — nationally recognized public liberal arts honors college — Long is a public policy and economics major, is the captain of the school’s sailing team and the founder of an at-risk youth sail training program.   He also recently captained New College to victory in its 5th annual intra-college flag football game against Sarasota’s Ringling School of Art and Design. The stakes in this game — the opportunity to drop the losing college president in a dunk dank, and the chance to shave the losing team captain’s head — were once again the doing of Long, in collaboration with Ringling’s team captain Hunter Thompson.

Donal O’Shea, recently inducted as New College President, describes Long as the epitome of New College student tradition.  As a New College alumni myself, I concur he gives much to be proud of.