OSU-Tulsa Student Named A Truman Scholar

Tuesday, March 27th 2007, 2:50 pm
By: News On 6

A student at OSU-Tulsa has received one of the nation's top academic honors. Matt Stiner, a political science major and Iraq war veteran, has been awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He gets $30,000 to use at any college he chooses. Stiner can go anywhere he chooses, but he got his start in Tulsa, and the News On 6’s Steve Berg reports officials say that reflects well on both him and OSU-Tulsa.

"I'm still on cloud 9,” Stiner said. “It still hasn't, it probably won't hit me probably ten years from now. I'm just very fortunate to have received this honor."

He's fortunate, but Stiner has also worked hard during his young life. He's carrying a 3.9 grade point average. He went through hours of grueling interviews with the Truman Scholars Foundation, and he's also a decorated Marine who spent seven months on the ground in Iraq.

"Yeah, I received the Combat Action ribbon,” said Stiner. “I was the assistant chief and the gunner for a 155mm. Howitzer section. So I saw a little bit of my fair share."

The Truman Scholarship is aimed at students who are inclined toward public service. Certainly, military experience qualifies. Stiner also has a strong interest in politics and plans to continue his studies in that field.

"Either the University of Georgia or Syracuse, the Maxwell School of Government up in New York," he said.

Stiner says his interest in politics grew as he saw the effect of U.S. policies in a time of war.

"And of course I saw that impact very directly," he said.

College is no cakewalk, but he's says it's a nice transition from combat.

"To sit down and read a book is a lot easier than having to operate and have that kind of responsibility," Stiner said.

Only about 75 students in the country get the Truman Scholarship, and officials here say it shows that Stillwater's younger brother knows what it's doing.

"It's a good signal to Tulsa that we've got a quality operation here and great opportunities for students if they want to stay here in Tulsa and finish their degree here," said OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl.

Stiner says he will go get his master's, and then he wants to come back to Oklahoma and run for office.