Grace Dowling ’24 and Alec Hoffman ’23 have been named Key into Public Service Scholars by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society and a leading national advocate for the value of liberal arts and sciences education. In celebration of Public Service Recognition Week (May 1–7, 2022), the award highlights specific pathways for arts and sciences graduates to launch public sector careers.
Chosen from nearly 900 applicants attending Phi Beta Kappa chapter institutions across the nation, the 20 Key into Public Service Scholars selected are high-achieving college sophomores and juniors who display notable breadth and depth in their academic interests. Each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and this summer will participate in a conference in Washington, D.C., which will provide them with training, mentoring, and reflection on pathways into active citizenship.
Hoffman, a double major in political science and history, is co-president of Clark Model United Nations and has run for the University’s cross-country team since his freshman year. Outside of the classroom, he interned for Congressman Jim McGovern and Worcester’s District Attorney, Joe D. Early Jr. Pursuant to his interests in the Middle East and refugees, Hoffman studied in Amman, Jordan to research the Jordanian civil war and the resulting trauma and divide between Jordanians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin. Following graduation, he aspires to commission as an officer within the United States Marine Corps, then earn an advanced degree and become a foreign service officer within the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
Dowling is an active member of Clark’s mutual aid collective, where she has nurtured her interest in social and economic justice. A sociology major, Dowling has worked as the program coordinator of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for two years, where she has learned about nonprofit work and wealth redistribution. In the future, Grace hopes to work to promote alternatives to incarceration and aims to become a judge in a court of restorative justice.
“The Society selected the 2022 Service Scholars for their intellectual curiosity; breadth and depth across liberal arts and sciences coursework; positive contributions on and off campus through academic research, internships, and community work; and demonstrated commitment to serve others,” Phi Beta Kappa Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence said. “As the world grapples with concurrent health, economic, democratic, and climate crises, the Society hopes that its scholarship award encourages more of our nation’s top students to apply their pursuit of arts and sciences excellence in service of the greater good.”
Lawrence visited the Clark campus last week to help President David B. Fithian launch ClarkFEST, the University’s annual celebration of undergraduate research and creative work.