News Release

Two University of Minnesota students named 2023 Truman Scholars

Side-by-side portraits of Joleece Pecore and Carter Yost
Twin Cities students and 2023 Truman Scholarship recipients Joleece Pecore (left) and Carter Yost (right).

University of Minnesota Twin Cities juniors Joleece Pecore and Carter Yost are among the 62 Truman Scholars announced today by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious award for undergraduate students who demonstrate a commitment to leadership and public service. This year, the University of Minnesota is one of only two universities in the country to have multiple students selected as Truman Scholars.

“We are proud to have two excellent students in our College of Liberal Arts representing the University of Minnesota as 2023 Truman Scholars,” said University President Joan Gabel. “Their initiative and dedication to the greater good continue the tradition of student empowerment at the University, reflecting our values and commitment to inspire every student to meet the great challenges facing our state, our nation and our society.” 

Joleece Pecore is an Art and American Indian Studies major from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She is a member of the Ho Chunk Nation and also has heritage in the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans. Former president of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Jon Greendeer, credits her with a long record of unconditional volunteerism, devoting her wide range of talents to a variety of causes across Indian Country, including rallies in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act and public service media regarding pandemic health protocols.

As an artist and organizer, Pecore has orchestrated cultural events within and across Native communities. On campus she has been a leader of the American Indian Cultural Center and Circle of Indigenous Nations, working with Dakota and Ojibwe students to organize the Spring Powwow and creating communications systems to maintain and build community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pecore plans to complete a law degree with a concentration in Indian Law and represent the interests of Indigenous communities, especially around issues of natural resources, legal jurisdiction, and historic rights and treaties.

Pecore is also a recipient of a 2023 Udall Scholarship — an elite, nationally competitive award for students committed to public service in either environmental or Native American affairs. The U of M Twin Cities campus has now had 10 Udall Scholars, the most recent four all being Native American students.

Carter Yost is a History, Political Science and Communications major from Lincoln, Nebraska. Before enrolling at the University of Minnesota, he spent a gap year as a field organizer for the Pete Buttigieg 2020 presidential campaign and has continued to be involved in political campaigns as well as in U of M student government. He served as communications director for Jason Chavez’ successful Minneapolis City Council campaign. 

As a student senator on campus he has authored or co-sponsored more than 20 resolutions, including advocacy for the Race, Power and Justice liberal education theme and raising the student minimum wage. Last fall he led one of the most effective student-voter mobilization efforts in campus history and currently serves as Government and Legislative Affairs Director for the Association of Big Ten Students. Yost plans to complete a graduate degree in Public Policy and would like to serve as a presidential speech writer.

Pecore and Yost were selected from among 705 candidates nominated by 275 colleges and universities for their outstanding leadership potential, commitment to careers of public service, and academic excellence. Since the award was initiated in 1977, 25 University of Minnesota students have been Truman Scholars, 21 from the Twin Cities campus and four from the Morris campus.

Visit the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation for a complete listing of 2023 Truman Scholars.

Media Contacts

Timothy Jones

Honors Program, Twin Cities

Andria Waclawski

University Public Relations