Bay of Plenty Polytechnic graduate Kelly Ratana is joining an elite group of New Zealanders to be awarded the Fulbright scholarship.
Kelly was announced as the recipient of one of the 26 “highly coveted” awards.
She graduated in 2011 with a Graduate Diploma in Marine Studies and will complete a Master of Science in Marine Science degree, specialising in marine and freshwater sciences, at Hawai’i Pacific University in Honolulu.
As well as her recent postgraduate qualification, Kelly holds a BA and a BSc from the University of Auckland.
Kelly says she felt a little overwhelmed after the announcement.
“It’s a tremendous honour to receive the Fulbright scholarship.
“I wouldn’t have got here without the incredible support of family. I’d like to really encourage other young MÄori into pursuing this because it’s such a great opportunity.”
Among the list of high-ranking New Zealand universities producing Fulbright scholars this year is one polytechnic - Bay of Plenty Polytechnic – which is proud to have helped Kelly on her academic journey.
Chief executive Dr Alan Hampton says the polytechnic was delighted with the news.
“Kelly is an outstanding young woman, graduating from the polytechnic’s Marine Studies graduate programme and now able to pursue her Masters at the elite Hawai’i Pacific University.
“Hawai’i Pacific University is doubly significant for Kelly in that it has one-third of its student population from 100 countries outside of the United States and has an international reputation for sustainability and indigenous studies. Kelly undoubtedly is a future potential leader in her field and in MÄoridom.”