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David Bruen

Political Science and Policy Studies Major Grateful for ‘Life Changing’ Scholarship

February 9, 2023

SU News

Senior David Bruen is a natural-born leader. From his volunteering efforts to serving in student government, Bruen—a dual major in political science and policy studies in the Maxwell School—loves tackling important issues and making a positive impact.

President of the Student Association for two years, Bruen says political science was always an interest. He campaigned on issues large and small but says his main platform and what he’s most passionate about is sustainability. He wants to see Syracuse University reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

It’s no surprise that for his efforts he was named a Phanstiel Scholar. “Being a Phanstiel Scholar means you’re being recognized for already demonstrating leadership in community service. It’s been a great honor, and it’s changed my life for the better,” Bruen says.

Launched in 2011, the Phanstiel Scholars program provides scholarship support to students who demonstrate the potential for academic success and community leadership. It was created by alumnus and honorary Maxwell Advisory Board member Howard Phanstiel '70 B.A. (PSc) /’71 M.P.A./’22 Hon. and his wife, Louise Phanstiel.

“Lives—including mine—have been changed because of scholarship programs.”

David Bruen

Bruen’s courses at Maxwell and his experience in leadership outside of the classroom are helping him reach his goal of a career of impact through nonprofit or philanthropic organizations. One such transformational experience outside the classroom is Bruen’s role as an undergraduate representative to the Board of Trustees where he’s able to share the concerns and ideas of his fellow students. “This experience allowed me to realize my interest and passion in organizational management oversight, as well as policy advocacy, and to put them into one thing,” Bruen says. “It has given me the confidence to say that I’m good at those things and want to build on them so that I can be even better in my career.”

Bruen says his experience at Syracuse has been enhanced by the scholarship and he’s grateful for the opportunity to show why he’s a worthy scholar. “Lives—including mine—have been changed because of scholarship programs,” he says. “People have access to opportunities and the whole trajectory of their life has been changed because of donors and the programs that they create.”

He says receiving the scholarship made him believe that he can handle more than he thought possible. “I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, matured a lot. And I’ve been so supported by the Phanstiel family, by my peers in student government, by University staff and faculty who have shown me that beyond this University, so much more is possible.”

By Lisa Maresca

Communications and Media Relations Office
200 Eggers Hall