With a hefty list of accomplishments and a resume packed with public-interest work spanning several continents, Corey Metzman was named a 2011 Truman Scholar. The scholarship, established to honor the memory of President Harry S. Truman, recognizes college juniors with leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in public service. It will help finance Metzman’s graduate studies, as well as guide him toward fellowships and careers.
“I’ve known for a long time that I eventually want to do public service,” says Metzman, a junior in the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business in Wharton and the School of Arts and Sciences. The Nashville native has already launched or participated in a wide range of public-interest projects, from work with the Grassroots Business Fund in Kenya to Social Impact Consulting with Penn in Philadelphia.
Dorm Room Diplomacy has been one of his largest efforts thus far. He co-founded the group with Jacob Blumenfeld-Gantz C’12 W’12 in order to establish “direct connections” between Middle Eastern and American students. As Metzman sees it, the popular media can be unclear in representing both sides, and his group organizes regular discussions to help each understand the other’s perspective on a range of issues.
During his work with Semillas Digitales—a collaboration between the coffee-exporting company CISA and Penn’s Graduate School of Education—Metzman helped provide laptops to school systems in small communities in Nicaragua, performing data analysis for the company and visiting the schools himself.
“Not only do I get an aggregate picture of the data, but also the individual too,” he says, noting that hands-on experience abroad has fueled his interest in public service. “Until you go, you don’t get an emotional understanding. You can’t be constantly motivated just by an intellectual interest.”
Metzman is also a member of the dean’s advisory board at Wharton, the Huntsman Program Student Advisory Board, and co-chair of the Wharton Undergraduate Social Impact Conference.
He plans to work for a couple of years before possibly pursuing a joint degree in law and public policy.
“There are a lot of things I want to explore,” he says. “I have been able to travel so much since coming to Penn, and I love that … I’m happy to go anywhere.”
—Laura Francis C’13