MISSOULA — University of Montana student-athlete Beatrix Frissell possesses a schedule that allows for barely any free time. But that work and dedication to sports and school recently landed her one of the most coveted scholarships in the country as she pursues her career after college.
Back in mid-April, Frissell got the news about her award in unexpected fashion.
"I had gotten an email, it was a random Tuesday morning from my adviser, and she asked me to stop in for 15 minutes and I had no idea and just assumed it was probably bad news," Frissell recalled.
However, it was anything but, as Frissell eventually made her way to UM President Seth Bodnar's office where he delivered the good news, that Frissell was one of 58 winners out of more than 700 applicants to win the prestigious Truman Scholarship.
It's a graduate level scholarship given to those who want to pursue careers in public service, something Frissell has always wanted to do.
"A lot of the things that I do, I put the work in because I love it and because I want to do it and I don't necessarily expect to get anything out of it," Frissell said. "It's because I love it and I care about the people I'm advocating for but to have that feeling knowing what I've done has paid off and all the hard work that I've put in has paid off in a significant way was really incredible."
The Truman Foundation also opens a door for Frissell to study in an environmental internship in Washington D.C. following graduation.
Frissell, a junior who is double majoring in political science and environmental sciences and sustainability, navigated her way throughout the long application process during her fall semester.
But to add to it, she's a student-at-large for ASUM at the university, and also advocates for gender equity and transgender athletes.
And she did all of that while also juggling a Division I sport for the Grizzlies in both cross country and track and field.
"I tend to stay pretty busy," Frissell said. "Basically an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. oftentimes."
That work as an athlete has provided many life lessons for Frissell which led to this honor.
"Running plays a really big role in it," Frissell said. "I think it's shaped a lot of who I am. I've learned how to take feedback. I know how to work hard. I'm a long-distance runner, 5K, 10K, and so really putting in that hard work in the long-term is something I know pays off even outside of running."
A native of Polson, Frissell also wants to be a role model for those coming from small-town Montana who are looking to achieve similar milestones.
"That is probably the biggest part of all of it," Frissell said. "I think hearing the news and just knowing I'm from small-town Montana and hopefully inspiring other people to have their own confidence in the things that they do. I never would've imagined that I would've been a Truman Scholar. Really just knowing that you're capable and putting in the work and putting yourself out there is something that I think is really important. Even us small-town Montana kids are very capable."