UW News

April 14, 2022

Rosalie Fish, student, athlete and activist, selected as Truman Scholar

UW News

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UW junior Rosalie Fish was selected as a Truman Scholar. UW President Ana Mari Cauce shared the news with Fish on Friday.University of Washington

University of Washington junior Rosalie Fish has been selected for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, the third consecutive year that students from the UW were recognized with this national award.

A highly competitive award, only 58 students were selected nationwide this year from more than 705 nominations. The Truman Scholarship recognizes aspiring leaders driven to make change at the systems level. Students are selected on the basis of leadership skills, demonstrated civic engagement, academic potential and a desire to pursue a career in public service. Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate school, mentoring and additional benefits to help prepare them for careers where they can make an impact.


Rosalie FishUniversity of Washington

“We are very proud to see Rosalie’s outstanding leadership and advocacy work recognized by the Truman Foundation,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “In the classroom, in her community and on the track, she is helping to raise awareness of the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous people, and we know she will continue to do great things with the support of this scholarship.”


Read more about Rosalie and watch a video of President Cauce telling her that she was selected as a Truman Scholar here.

Fish, from Auburn, Washington, is a social welfare major in the School of Social Work and she participates in both the UW’s track-and-field and cross-country programs. She’s run a mile in 5 minutes, 2.51 seconds, the 1,500-meter in 4 minutes, 40 seconds and the 5K in 17 minutes, 49.91 seconds. A member of the Cowlitz Tribe and a descendant of the Muckleshoot Tribe, Fish dedicates her races to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and has generated national attention by painting a red handprint across her face and the letters “MMIW” on her leg during competition.

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Rosalie Fish participating in a track meet for Iowa Central Community College.Iowa Central Community College

“By being selected for the Truman Scholarship, it sends a message to Indigenous peoples everywhere that we belong in the social service profession. We have the power to act as leaders, world changers, and in positions of influence — despite the adversities and systemic barriers we face,” Fish said. “With this opportunity, I will continue to devote my life to Indigenous communities and to disrupt the cycles of victimization our people face. This means advocating for accessible housing, tribal sovereignty, environmental justice and universal health care. I will bring Indigenous voices and perspectives into policies that impact social welfare.”

She transferred to the UW from Iowa Central Community College where she also competed in track and cross-country, serving as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Student-Athlete Council. In addition to painting her face, she’s advocated for Indigenous rights on and off the track. She plans to continue her advocacy by pursuing a Master of Social Work and a graduate certificate in American Indian Studies.

“Rosalie is committed to using her platform as a student-athlete to be a leader and create change. We celebrate her courage and are excited to continue to support her advocacy efforts,” said UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen.

School of Social Work Dean Edwina Uehara added that she admired Fish for combining her academic studies and love for competitive running with her passion to advance knowledge about the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“We are proud of Rosalie’s leadership and commitment to raising the visibility about this devastating issue and humbled she is majoring in social welfare,” Uehara said.

Established by Congress in 1975 as a memorial to President Harry S. Truman and national monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of the 33rd President of the U.S. by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders.

When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, Truman asked Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For more than 40 years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled its mission to inspire and support Americans from diverse backgrounds to public service.

This year’s 58 awardees join a community of 3,442 Truman Scholars named since the first awards in 1977. Fish is the 18th UW student to receive a Truman Scholarship since the award’s inception, according to the Truman Foundation.