Truman winner wants to make public finance understandable

Cristian Nuno

Cristian Nuno plans a career in municipal finance and urban policy. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

Cristian Nuno plans a career in municipal finance and urban policy, making complex information easier to understand for government leaders and the public.

Nuno, a junior in the Honors College, was named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation scholar, a highly competitive award for students planning careers in government or public service. He will receive $30,000 for graduate school.

Nuno, a dual-major in economics and urban and public affairs, is one of 58 Truman Scholars selected nationwide. Scholars also receive leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and internship opportunities with the federal government.

Inspired by researching public-private partnerships, Nuno enjoys the challenge of analyzing complicated municipal finance information.

“My biggest passion is taking something that people don’t care about and making it relevant,” said Nuno, a resident of Glen Ellyn.

A 2012 graduate of Glenbard South High School, Nuno is a first-generation college student. He was in the inaugural class of the President’s Award Program Honors Scholarship, a four-year tuition and housing scholarship for exemplary first-year Honors College students.

UIC research and leadership programs, such as the Summer Research Opportunities Program, the Urban Public Policy Fellowship and the Graduate Pathways to Success Program, were valuable preparation for the rigorous Truman selection process, Nuno said.

“UIC lets you be great at whatever you want to be great at. We have students that feel comfortable enough to learn whatever they want to learn,” he said. “Thanks to my time at UIC, I am excited to be a social scientist.”

As the third UIC student to earn the Truman scholarship since 1993, he hopes his selection will inspire other UIC students.

“The resources we have can take students anywhere they want to go,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where you go to school. It’s what you do with where you are.”

This year’s scholars were selected from among 688 candidates nominated by 297 colleges and universities. They were chosen in a multi-stage process that concluded with regional interviews by 16 independent selection panels.

The scholars will gather May 19 for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. They will receive their awards in a special ceremony May 24 at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.