Former Murphy intern nominated for prestigious Truman Scholarship

BREWSTER, NY – Brewster resident Nick Santamaria, a former college intern for Senator Terrence Murphy, has been named a Truman Scholar Finalist. Highly competitive and prestigious, the $30,000 Truman Scholarship is awarded to approximately 60 juniors nationally for superior academic ability, a strong record of service and leadership, and plans for careers in public service.

“Nick’s knowledge, analytical skills and professionalism made him a highly respected and extremely valuable member of the staff,” Senator Murphy said. “He is a gifted you man with a bright future in front of him. I have no doubt we will be reading about his successful career.”

Santamaria, a student at the University of South Carolina (USC), interned at Senator Murphy’s District Office in 2015 and 2016, assisting the Senator and his staff in combatting the heroin epidemic in the northeast. Among Santamaria’s numerous other talents, he handled constituents’ phone and written inquiries with expertise and aplomb.

Santamaria is a member of the South Carolina Honors College, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Russian language. A McKissick Scholar and recipient of the 2016 Student Body President’s Leadership Award, Santamaria is Captain of USC’s Mock Trial Team and Director of the Congressional Advisory Board. In addition to his work with Senator Murphy, he has interned with the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense working death penalty cases.

A first generation college student and son of an immigrant, Santamaria plans to attend law school for a joint JD/MA degree in law and International Policy Studies with a concentration in Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. He will then pursue a career in public service at the State Department, working on Rule of Law initiatives and projects abroad.

Santamaria credits his success to the advice, feedback, and support he received from Dr. Brad Epperly, Dr. Melody Lehn, and the USC Truman Committee. Working with Dr. Brad Epperly, his undergraduate research is focused on judicial independence. Santamaria was also assisted by the University’s Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs, which provide advisement and support to students competing for national fellowships.

USC has had seven Truman Scholars, including Jory Fleming in 2016, Asma Jaber in 2007, Thomas Scott in 2006, Jeremy Wolfe in 2004, and Lara Bratcher in 2003.

This year, 199 finalists have been named from 136 institutions across the US. Santamaria will interview for his chance at the Truman Scholarship on Friday, March 31 in New York.

Senator Murphy added, “We wish Nick the best during this exciting time.  I can think of no better role model for students across the country and we are so proud of his latest accomplishment.”

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