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Haley Howard

Haley Howard '21, a political science and ethnic studies double major, was named a finalist for the distinguished Rhodes Scholarship.

Santa Clara University political science and ethnic studies double major Haley Howard ’21 was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

One of the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world, the scholarship—created in 1902—is granted annually to approximately 100 students across the globe and supports two years of postgraduate study in any field at England’s University of Oxford. Award recipients are selected for their academic achievement, character, leadership potential, and commitment to service. Past recipients include such luminaries as former President Bill Clinton and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

“To be named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship is a major achievement for both the student and the University,” said Naomi Levy, director of SCU’s Office of Student Fellowships. “We are beyond proud of Haley for this well-deserved recognition. She has shown incredible academic prowess, demonstrated strong leadership abilities, and dedicated herself to bettering those around her. We wish her well as she undertakes the final interview process.”

Howard boasts an impressive resume from her time at Santa Clara University. Named valedictorian of the Class of 2021, Howard participated in the University Honors program. During her junior year, she represented SCU as a visiting scholar at Oxford’s Mansfield College, a pivotal experience in her decision to pursue the Rhodes Scholarship. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society; Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, and Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit colleges and universities. She also earned a Bernard L. Kronick Award for Excellence in Research in American Politics.

Howard is an active advocate for social justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color at SCU and beyond. As a student, she was a first-year representative and later co-chair of Igwebuike, the University’s Black Student Union. She was also co-chair of the Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Council and was awarded a Joseph A. Grassi Social Justice Award. Today, she is working with Santa Clara University’s Anti-Racist Teaching Collective to promote inclusive instruction on campus.

Howard intends to pursue graduate work in history with an emphasis on women and gender studies. Ultimately, she aims to use her voice to influence policy and create positive change for Black women and other women of color.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be considered for this incredible award,” said Howard. “So many people have been a part of this journey and I deeply appreciate their efforts. I would advise any future applicant to follow their passion, be willing to take risks, and be brave enough to put themselves out there. You never know what you might achieve.”

On Nov. 20, the Rhodes Trust selected 32 American scholars to join the program. Santa Clara University has had four Rhodes Scholars: Sean Reilly ’16Aven Satre-Meloy ’13Noelle Lopez ’09, and Arthur Hayes ’55.

About the Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and one of the most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. It is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford. Each year 32 students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars, through a decentralized process representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. Learn more about the Rhodes Scholarship here.