Harry Swartz
University Honors Program

KU student Aylar Atadurdyyeva named a Key into Public Service Scholar

Tue, 05/03/2022

LAWRENCE University of Kansas student Aylar Atadurdyyeva, from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, is one of 20 students selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated interest in working in the public sector and possess a strong academic record in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences.

Aylar Atadurdyyeva, KU studentChosen from almost 900 applicants attending chapter institutions across the nation, each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a conference convening in late June to provide them with training, mentoring and reflection on pathways into active citizenship. Inspired by many Phi Beta Kappa members who have shaped the course of the nation through local, state and federal service, the award highlights specific pathways for liberal arts and graduates seeking public sector careers. 

“The society selected the 2022 Service Scholars for their intellectual curiosity; breadth and depth across liberal arts and sciences coursework; positive contributions on and off campus through academic research, internships and community work; and demonstrated commitment to serve others,” said Frederick Lawrence, Phi Beta Kappa secretary. “As the world grapples with concurrent health, economic, democratic and climate crises, the society hopes that its scholarship award encourages more of our nation’s top students to apply their pursuit of arts and sciences excellence in service of the greater good.”

Atadurdyyeva is a junior in global & international studies, microbiology and political science with minors in German studies, psychology and Russian & East European studies. She is an active member of the University Honors program, where she serves as a student ambassador. Atadurdyyeva has served as a clinical research assistant at KU Medical Center and studied the recurrence of prostate cancer. She is currently interning with Education USA, a U.S. Department of State program. Atadurdyyeva is also involved with Student Union Activities, The Big Event and Slavic Club. After graduation, she intends to pursue a doctorate in either microbiology or political science with hopes of becoming a scholar-practitioner.

Officers with KU’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa said they welcomed this recognition and opportunity for a student member.

“With her three majors, three minors, research experience and involvement in the KU community, Aylar has consistently shown her deep commitment to both scholarship and service,” said Harry Swartz, secretary for the KU chapter. “She has had a stellar career at KU so far, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Atadurdyyeva said she was honored to be selected as a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa award.

“The award is a testament to the excellence in interdisciplinary education cultivated by both the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the KU Honors Program,” she said. “With the help of the award, I will be able to meet like-minded peers and learn more about becoming a public servant.”

For more information about the scholarship and links to individual biographies of the recipients, please visit

Photo: University of Kansas student Aylar Atadurdyyeva, from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, is one of 20 students selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar by the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

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