CLAREMONT, CA. – The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awarded 13 students from Pomona College the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship Research Grant, including two members of the Pomona-Pitzer Athletics program. Emily Rockhill of the Sagehens Softball Program and Rory Taylor from the Sagehens Football Team were granted the Fulbright Fellowships to make an impact on the lives overseas.
Rockhill came off a historic season with the Sagehens Softball team, having helped the Hens to a record-setting 27-15 overall record and going on the team's deepest run in the SCIAC Postseason in program history. A biology major from Redmond, Washington, Rockhill will head over to Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil to conduct research on a new species of crayfish of the genus Parastacus. The senior will also be volunteering at local animal shelters and participate in athletic clubs to immerse herself with the community.
"It feels really incredible to have received this grant! I'm so excited to be going to Brazil for my Fulbright year, and I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity," said Rockhill. "I think that sports have helped me get to this point by instilling a strong work ethic in me, and athletics have had a really formative influence on my life. The support I've received from my teammates and coaches has been amazing, so I'm really grateful for everything athletics have given me."
Taylor, a defensive back for the football team, capped off his senior season by helping the Hens go 4-4 in the regular season. An international relations major from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Taylor will travel to New Zealand to examine how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples acts as a tool of legal advocacy for indigenous groups.
According to Pomona College, "He will look at the usage of the declaration both within Maori community advocacy efforts as well as at the Waitangi Tribunal, a commission of inquiry that makes recommendations on claims brought by Maori relating to legislation, policies, actions or omissions of the Crown that are alleged to breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi."
"It is an honor to be named a Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand," said Taylor. "The expressed goal of the Fulbright Student Program is to facilitate 'cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks' and I am deeply honored to continue this work not only as a representative of the United States, but also as an indigenous American working with fellow indigenous peoples in the Pacific."
"My participation as a student-athlete at Pomona College has been a tremendous help in understanding my academic and career interests, as well as providing professional and emotional support throughout the last four years. As I define my new role as an 'activist-scholar', I harken back to my experience as both a competitive athlete and engaged student knowing that the skills I have learned will benefit me immensely now and far into the future."
Taylor will also take Te Reo Maori (Maori Language) classes to connect with the local community.
Pomona-Pitzer Athletics is proud of these two students for being exemplary student-athletes who not only excel on the field and classroom, but also make an impact on society. We wish them the best in their travel and research.