Young Alumni of the Year

Truman graduates are eager to make an impact on the world as soon as they can. And they know how to leverage the knowledge, skills, and connections they acquired as a student to lead meaningful lives of influence. This award recognizes the achievements of some of our most outstanding young alumni leaders.


2016 Young Alumnus of the Year: 

Justis Tuia (’07)

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Justis Tuia is a 2007 graduate, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He is employed by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and serves as president of LGBT and Allied Employees at ED, the Principal Representative for ED’s Asian-American Pacific Islander Connections, a member of the ED’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, a member of Truman State University Alumni Board of Directors, a member of the Joseph Priestly District Board of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a member of the International Board of Directors of Affirmation.

While at Truman, Tuia was a Pershing Scholar. He was involved in Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society; Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society; the Phi Beta Kappa Society; the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi; Student Ambassadors; Society for Sino-American Studies; International Club; and Phi Sigma Pi national honor fraternity.

After graduating from Truman in 2007, Tuia went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in international and intercultural communications (formerly known as international communication) from American University’s School of International Service, graduating summa cum laude and was involved in Golden Key International Honour Society. He is a former diversity fellow of the Washington Center, International Scholar Laureate, past MLK Drum Major for Service Award recipient and a Presidential Management Fellow.

Tuia currently resides in Chevy Chase, Md. He is actively involved in the Mid-Atlantic Alumni Chapter, currently serving as the chapter treasurer and the representative to the National Alumni Board. Tuia previously served on the Bright Minds Bright Futures Mid-Atlantic regional campaign committee and currently serves on the Pursue the Future Mid-Atlantic regional campaign committee. He is a member of the Truman State University Kirk Society and the Joseph Baldwin Society.


Previous Recipients of the Young Alumni of the Year Award

2015: Jason Turk (’02) & Janeen (Traen) Turk (’00)
2014: Ryan Shreve (’02, ’03) & Lauren (Rase) Shreve (’03)
2013: Jason Hill (’00) & Jessica (Neighbors) Hill (’99)
2012: Travis McCubbin (’97) & Mindy (Frick) McCubbin (’97)
2011: Corey Then (’02) & Lauren DeSantis-Then (’03)
2010: Rudy Arredondo (’02) & Alice (Moore) Arredondo (’02)
2009: Scott Sifton (’96) & Stacey (George) Sifton (’00)
2008: Erin (Lesczynski) Church (’02)
2007: Jaime Geer (’00)
2006: Sarah (Hartmann) Burkemper (’92)
2005: Cindy Spiker (’93)
2004: Brian Krippner (’89) & Ame (Ahrens) Krippner (’90)
2003: DeAnn Malone (’93)
2002: Kurt Schulz (’90)
2001: Chris Geisert (’92) & Kara (Tuck) Geisert (’93)
2000: Ryan Brennan (’95)
1999: Jeff Poe (’90)
1998: Joseph Bambenek (’93)
1997: Jim Cherrington (’85)