By Keren G. Raz
A few years ago Dan Tuttle (’02) sat down at his computer and opened up a new file on his hard drive. He titled it, “ideas_that_change_the_world.doc.”
Now this University of Arizona senior has landed a major award to help him turn those ideas into action.
Tuttle is one of 75 students nationwide to receive the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential and commitment to careers in public service. The program provides students with financial support for graduate study and leadership training.
Tuttle, a double major in international studies and economics, will use his award to promote private partnerships that further the public good.
One of Tuttle’s ideas for changing the world is a standard rating system for corporate social responsibility. Another of his ideas is to promote Chinese corporate investment in East African development projects.
As an undergraduate, Tuttle has spent much of his time studying development in East Africa and Asia. As an intern with World Care of Tucson last year, he co-authored a USAID-solicited white paper on the 2004 Asian tsunami. Currently, Tuttle is in Chengdu, China, for a year studying with the Southwest University for Nationalities. He has also lived and worked as an HIV/AIDS educator in Tanzania for nearly a year with Students for International Change (SIC), a nonprofit started by Tina Wu, a Flinn Scholar from the Class of 1999.
For Tuttle, his work in Tanzania has been one of his most formative experiences.
“I would probably be a chemistry major if it weren’t for SIC. Personally dealing with development issues turned my worldview upside-down.” he said. Tuttle did his part to meet the need in Tanzania by changing the way SIC worked in Africa. When he arrived in northern Tanzania, SIC volunteers worked in the city. But by the end of the program he helped extend their work into villages of fewer than five hundred people.
Once he finishes his year in China, Tuttle will return to Arizona to finish his studies and graduate. Then he hopes to use his Truman funding to examine how to foster public and private economic connections between Africa and China. He is considering the University of London’s School for Oriental and African Studies.
Upon finishing his graduate studies, Tuttle will look for management and consulting opportunities with international development organizations.
“I value brains, hearts, and guts,” Tuttle said. “No office job will ever match the thrill of helping people help themselves.”
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