University of California, Berkeley, media studies major Thomas Manglona II has won a Truman Scholarship—the first University of California, Berkeley, student to win the prestigious award since 2013.
Following a long in-school application process and interview, the University of California, Berkeley nominated Manglona for the scholarship. His selection as a finalist in February led to another interview round earlier this month in Washington, D.C. before a selection panel of Truman Scholarship alumni and trustees.
Out of an application pool of over 840 students from 346 colleges, scholarships were awarded to 62 students, mostly college juniors. According to the Truman Foundation’s press release, “this is the largest number of applicants from a record number of schools in recent history. They were chosen by 16 independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. ”
Manglona, from Rota, is a Gates Millennium scholar, enabling him to pursue undergraduate studies on a full scholarship.
At Berkeley, he maintains a straight-A academic record and serves as president of the campus television station, CalTV, managing over 100 student media makers. He helped establish the first-ever staff position dedicated to serving Pacific Islander student needs and the first Critical Pacific Islands Library Guide on campus.
Manglona co-founded Oceania Connects, an online multimedia platform to rewrite and reclaim Pacific Islander narratives. He organizes efforts with fellow Pacific Islanders as part of Independent Guahan in the Bay Area to raise awareness of island issues and create solutions within higher education. An active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, he works to improve Islander representation on a national level. Manglona also joined the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Privacy at Berkeley, conducting research on data breaches, privacy, and cybersecurity.
Manglona, a 2016 honors graduate of Mount Carmel School, worked for the Pacific News Center, the Marianas Variety, Saipan Tribune, and Taga Sports magazine as a high school student. More recently, he interned at ABC 7 News in San Francisco.
“This scholarship not only means that graduate school is more of a possibility, but also that I am able to learn and gain skills to be a better journalist for our communities,” said Manglona, who plans to pursue graduate studies in journalism. While the scholarship provides financial support, it also offers some priority admission at some top graduate programs.
“I thank my parents, Thomas Manglona and Patricia Songsong, for all their sacrifice and encouragement,” he said. “I am deeply grateful for the help of my family, mentors and friends who made this honor possible. Si yu’us ma’ase para todos.”
The official announcement can be found at www.truman.gov. (PR)