LAWRENCE — Joseph Hartung, a University of Kansas student from St. Louis, is one of 20 students selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar by Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated interest in working in the public sector and possess a strong academic record in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences.
Hartung, who will be a senior at KU, is a double major in history and global & international studies with minors in African studies and national security studies. He is currently working as an intern at The Horn Institute, a think tank in Kenya.
Chosen from over 800 applicants attending chapter institutions across the nation, each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual convening in late June to provide them with training, mentoring and reflection on pathways into active citizenship. Inspired by many Phi Beta Kappa members who have shaped the course of the nation through local, state and federal service, the award highlights specific pathways for liberal arts and graduates seeking public sector careers.
“The society selected these exemplary students 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 the common good,” said Frederick Lawrence, Phi Beta Kappa secretary. “As the country tackles concurrent health, economic and social crises, the society applauds the 2021 Service Scholars for their pursuit of arts and sciences excellence in service of the greater good.”
Hartung has performed research for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa on military bases (with a publication forthcoming), on environmental security in Nigeria for the U.S. Military Advisor Training Academy and on international perceptions of African security issues for the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office. Hartung has interned for both the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense, where he directly supported U.S. policy efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. He is proficient in Kiswahili.
"The KU chapter is excited to have one of our newly elected members chosen for this national opportunity," said Anne Wallen, program director of KU's Office of Fellowships and chapter secretary-treasurer. "Joseph's interests reflect some of KU’s strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, particularly in languages and international area studies. Joseph is a great example of how KU educates students to become leaders in a diverse global community."
Hartung said he would like to earn an advanced degree in international relations, international security or African studies before pursuing a career at the intersection of U.S.-Africa policy and academia.
“I’m thrilled to be selected as a Public Service Scholar,” Hartung said. “The scholarship will help me to pursue opportunities as an honors seminar assistant at KU and a research assistant for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point during the 2021-2022 school year.”