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Three Pomona College Students Awarded Rotary Club Ambassadorial Scholarships

Three Pomona College students have been awarded Rotary Club Ambassadorial Scholarships for international study. Deborah Brand, Evan Flagg, and Kaneisha Grayson will each receive up to $25,000 to pay for tuition, fees and other expenses.

The scholarships are intended to promote international understanding by sending students abroad as goodwill ambassadors. Candidates must specify five different institutions in at least three different countries at which they can pursue their desired course of study. While studying, students are expected to serve as ambassadors by involvement with the Rotary club and local community. Flagg, Grayson and Brand will learn next fall to which countries they will be going.

Brand, a senior international relations major from New York, NY, plans to study documentary film in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her other top choices are Cape Town, South Africa, and Cordoba, Argentina. She hopes to make documentary films in Argentina to bring back to show to Rotary clubs and others in America. This summer she’s driving from California back to New York, and she hopes to make a film during that time that she can take with her to Argentina.

“I hope, in terms of Rotary, to really be able to create something to improve understanding of the country that I’m going to,” she said.

Brand studied for a semester in Bolivia during her junior year and when she was younger participated in exchange programs with France, Norway, and Canada through Children’s International Summer Village. Prior to going abroad on the scholarship, Brand will do internships at Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and at Plum TV in Colorado. She plans to pursue a career making documentary films.

Flagg, a junior philosophy, politics, and economics major from Pomona, Ca., hopes to study in Johannesburg, South Africa. His other top choices are Accra, Ghana, and Kingston, Jamaica. He’s interested in studying developing nations’ links to their colonial history as well as exploring the complex issues dividing rich and poor in developing countries.

While studying he plans to operate a basketball program for local children. Flagg is a guard for the Pomona basketball team, and has worked with youth basketball programs in the past. Running a program for local youth would provide a way to communicate with them, become a part of the community and, hopefully, expose them to new possibilities for their lives. He studied in Cape Town during the fall of 2004 and worked with the local Hoops for Hope basketball program. This summer he’ll be a senior interviewer for Pomona’s admissions office.

“I really look forward to being able to travel,” Flagg said. “I think it gives you whole new perspective of the world and your role in the world.

Grayson, a black studies major from Austin, Texas, plans to study African literature and creative writing in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her other top choices are Accra, Ghana, and Cape Coast, Ghana.

“I’m really excited about spending an entire year of my life in Africa,” she said. “I just want to be completely immersed in the culture.”

In addition to studying, she plans to work on a literacy program with the local community. In Johannesburg the Rotary Club operates a Literacy House that hosts literacy programs for adults, police officers in particular. If she ends up in either of the other cities, she would work with the local Rotary club to create a program.

A Hart Institute for American History grant, from Pomona College, will allow Grayson to spend this summer researching the social, political, and economic history of her neighborhood in Austin. She eventually hopes to be a writer but is also interested in working in the non-profit sector, especially with an organization dealing with issues of equity and education.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.