By 2nd Lt. Meredith Kirchoff
Academy Public Affairs
A junior with Cadet Squadron 06 was named one of 60 Truman Scholarship recipients in an announcement released by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation Tuesday.
Cadet 2nd Class Jennifer Bandi, a native of Winchester, Mass., is the Academy’s 16th Truman Scholarship winner.
“Cadet Bandi is well deserving of this prestigious scholarship, as she has excelled in our academic, athletic and leadership programs,” said Brig. Gen. Dana Born, the dean of the faculty. “Her involvement in the Academy’s Scholars Program, language cultural immersion programs, and her independent study on HIV-AIDS in Africa, demonstrate her commitment to excellence and to making a difference through her service.”
A political science major, Cadet Bandi has completed several international immersion trips and research endeavors focusing on African studies, including HIV-AIDS research in Namibia and Botswana as well as a current project on the origin of conflict through U.S. Africa Command. She is also an intercollegiate athlete, playing on the Air Force women’s basketball team.
Cadet Bandi attributes the greatest influence to her success to her parents for “their constant example of faithfulness and perseverance even in the toughest situations.”
As an intercollegiate athlete, Cadet Bandi says sports have helped to shape her life and her Academy experience.
“Athletics has always been one of my biggest passions in life,” she said. “Playing sports at the Academy has taught me the value of hard work, self-sacrifice and discipline as well as blessing me with an incredible group of friends.”
She is a member of the Academy’s Scholar Program and the third recipient of the Truman Scholarship from the program, said director Maj. Derek Varble. The Academy Scholars program graduated its first class in 2007.
Cadet Bandi said she intends to use the scholarship to study ways to alleviate the HIV-AIDS crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has not yet chosen a graduate school that will provide the best fit for her endeavors.
After graduating from the Academy in May of 2011 and completing graduate studies, she hopes to serve as an intelligence officer.
“The Truman Scholarship will enable this soon-to-be Lieutenant Bandi to build upon excellence and contribute even more as an officer of character to our great Air Force and nation,” added General Born.
The Truman Scholarship is a memorial to Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, and began in 1977. Selection for the scholarship emphasizes a commitment to public service and requires candidates present a policy proposal that addresses a particular issue in society.