A current student body leader, future engineer and now a Truman Scholar, Cheyon Sheen joins an elite group of young leaders. Out of 705 nominees from 275 universities, Sheen was one of just 62 recipients selected this year for her leadership, academic excellence and dedication to help others. She is Boise State’s sixth-ever Truman Scholar.
“I’m in disbelief that I’ve been honored with an award that acknowledges not only the work I have dedicated to serving the community, but also who I am and what I aspire to achieve,” Sheen said. “As someone who has always prioritized serving others, being recognized for my unwavering commitment to public service is truly an indescribable feeling.”
Sheen, who’s majoring in civil engineering with an environmental studies minor, was recently elected by her peers as president of the Associated Students of Boise State University. She says she hopes to use the platform to create a community where every student can thrive.
Outside of Boise State campus life, Sheen is focused on addressing challenges that burden rural areas. As a sophomore, she sought to create cleaner air and address the impacts of climate change in her hometown of Twin Falls.
The Truman Scholarship – which funds graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling and internship opportunities at the federal level – is Sheen’s next launch pad to “create sustainable, economically feasible solutions that transform infrastructure in rural, underserved areas,” as she puts it. To get there, she plans to pursue a professional engineering license, a Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering, and a Master of Public Policy. Although she’ll likely leave the state for her graduate studies, she’s excited to apply what she learns to rural Idaho, specifically.
“I hope to use my expertise in engineering, sustainability and policy to work hand-in-hand with communities to create infrastructure that reflects their needs, cultures and values,” she said.
Sheen holds certificates in ASL, French and Korean. She is both an Andrus and Presidential Scholar, as well as a member of the Korean Club and Civil Engineering Club. Prior to her ASBSU presidential nomination, Sheen held the position of student body government relations officer.
She thanks academic advisors Kate Huebschmann in the Honors College and Briceland McLaughlin in the College of Engineering for their guidance throughout her academic journey.
“Their unwavering support and belief in my potential, even during moments of self-doubt, have been instrumental in shaping the person I am today,” she said. “Words cannot express how grateful I am to have had such kind and authentic individuals in my corner who continue to empower me as I pursue the work I am most passionate about.”
“Cheyon doesn’t fit neatly in any one box,” Huebschmann said. “She’s a civil engineer, a sustainability leader, researcher, scholarship founder, student advocate and more. Her many varied experiences allow her to understand the world in complex and nuanced ways, and the tenacity, grace and enduring kindness that she has exhibited during her time at Boise State make me confident that she will have an incredible impact on rural communities going forward.”
This year’s 62 Truman Scholars add to the community of 3,504 awarded since 1977. Learn more about the Truman Scholarship.