PHS, UW grad Dillivan receives prestigious Truman Scholarship

Posted 6/6/24

Grant Dillivan, a Powell High School and recent University of Wyoming graduate, is the recipient of a prestigious Truman Scholarship. He is the first UW student in 15 years to receive the premier …

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PHS, UW grad Dillivan receives prestigious Truman Scholarship


Grant Dillivan, a Powell High School and recent University of Wyoming graduate, is the recipient of a prestigious Truman Scholarship. He is the first UW student in 15 years to receive the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the U.S.

Dillivan, son of Mary and Kim Dillivan, is among 60 exceptional college students from 54 U.S. colleges and universities selected as 2024 Truman Scholars. Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

“Receiving the Truman Scholarship was a mixture of emotions. I felt great joy at having received this major scholarship, unlike any award I’ve ever earned,” said Dillivan, a 2020 PHS graduate. “I felt some amount of surprise. While I did feel I was a strong applicant for the award, I also accepted the fact that this was a nationally offered scholarship with thousands of other very strong applicants and that it was possible I wouldn’t receive the scholarship.”

Personnel representing 285 colleges and universities nominated this year’s scholars. Since the program’s inception in the late 1975, 3,564 Truman Scholars have been selected.

Dillivan graduated with UW degrees in criminal justice, psychology and honors. His understanding of the American criminal justice system and the disproportionate imprisonment of the mentally ill has compelled Dillivan to focus on a career in correctional psychology.

“With the Truman Scholarship, I have the accessibility and the capability to attend any graduate school domestic or abroad, so I am keeping my options open regarding my graduate education,” he says. “Some of the factors that are most important to me in choosing a graduate education are the location of the school, the overall campus culture and whether the research interests of the faculty of a potential school align with my research interests. I have a lot of research left to do, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to keep my options open regarding graduate school shopping.”

He intends to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. Dillivan is particularly interested in expanding substance abuse treatment to incarcerated populations. He previously interned in the Wyoming Department of Corrections central office.

“My major career goal after college is to be licensed and begin a career as a correctional psychologist in a maximum-security institution. I want to work directly with inmates and help them address and manage psychological issues that detract from their quality of life and that potentially have contributed to their criminality,” he said. “My goal is to contribute to the rehabilitation of these individuals so that they can leave prison and live happy and productive lives.”

At UW, Dillivan presented his research findings last fall during the College of Arts and Sciences’ Keith and Thyra Thomson Honors Convocation and at the annual American Psychology-Law Society Conference and the annual Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Convention.

“To me, receiving the Truman award feels incredibly validating in several ways. It feels validating of all of the work I have dedicated to my academics and community involvement during my time in college,” he adds. “It is nice that all of this hard work could lead to earning something like the Truman Scholarship. Earning this award also feels validating of my career path.”

He thanks his Truman award mentor, Daniel Gray, a UW Honors College academic adviser; Peter Parolin and Breezy Taggart, Honors College dean and assistant dean, respectively, for helping him secure scholarships; several UW faculty members and administrators; and his parents, Mary and Kim Dillivan, and his sister, Natalie, for supporting him throughout his academic career.

Gray is available to help any UW student with finding and applying for these types of awards, scholarships and fellowships. For more information, email Gray at

Dillivan also was selected as a Project Horseshoe Farm Fellow, starting this July and running through summer 2025. Since 2007, Project Horseshoe Farm has helped local communities by improving the health and quality of life for their citizens and preparing community health and citizen service leaders for tomorrow’s communities.

Dillivan will spend the year in rural Alabama in an in-depth, community health-focused internship.


About the Truman Scholarship

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