November 20, 2020
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Huntingdon Announces Faculty Religion Hire
Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West announced today that Huntingdon Class of 2018 alumna Bria Imani Rochelle will return to her alma mater to serve as instructor of religion and content coordinator for the Huntingdon Leadership Academy. She will begin her role in summer 2021.
“From the time I met Bria Rochelle on her first day at Huntingdon, I have been deeply impressed with her commitment to all aspects of the College’s life—academic, co-curricular, athletic, extra-curricular, and alumni engagement,” said West. “I am thrilled that she will now be bringing her love of the College and her intellectual and spiritual gifts to bear upon the lives of this generation of students. She is a highly skilled communicator and will be a creative force in the classroom. She will encourage students both to think critically about the subject matter she is teaching and to discern practically how that subject matter intersects their lives. Because she has explored her call to ministry in such depth at Huntingdon, and then at Duke Divinity School, she will be an effective mentor to high school students in the Huntingdon Leadership Academy. I look forward to welcoming Bria Rochelle back to The Home We Love So Well as a colleague!”
“Bria Rochelle has excelled in Duke University’s Master of Divinity program and, along with her time as an undergraduate at Huntingdon and her bachelor’s degree in exercise science, she brings to our program a unique set of experiences that will allow her to thrive as a member of the faculty,” said Dr. Tom Perrin, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty.
Rochelle was deeply involved in all walks of student and academic life as an undergraduate at Huntingdon. She served as captain of the volleyball team and as an inaugural member of the College’s beach volleyball team. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi women’s fraternity, for which she served as chaplain, and was selected for numerous leadership roles, including Huntingdon Ambassador, Orientation Leader, and Huntingdon Leadership Academy mentor. Rochelle was involved with the Campus Ministries program and served on the Student Philanthropy Council of the Student Alumni Association. Her academic achievement was recognized with membership in Gamma Sigma Alpha, Alpha Beta, and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies; on the Dean’s List of High Honors each semester; as the recipient of the Sara Lee Insley Dunbar Scholastic Award; and with Huntingdon’s highest academic award, the Margaret Read Scholarship Medal. Rochelle was also the recipient of the College’s highest honor for character and service, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, upon graduation. In athletics, she earned the Megan Cook Sportsmanship Award. She was elected by her peers to the role of Homecoming Queen in 2017, the first Black student to win that recognition.
During her senior year, Rochelle served as a pastoral intern with First United Methodist Church-Montgomery. She continued as a pastoral intern while at Duke Divinity School, serving at FAM Houston NGO in Houston, Texas, and at Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. At Duke, she was elected as a class representative to the Divinity Student Council in 2018 and 2020 and was elected to serve as co-president of the council in 2019. She was also elected by her peers to serve as Duke Divinity School’s Orientation preacher for the 2020–2021 academic year and was invited to preach for the United Methodist Church Exploration Conference in Orlando, Fla., in 2019. In 2019, she preached the sermon for Huntingdon’s Baccalaureate service during Commencement Weekend.
The Huntingdon Leadership Academy (HLA) is a summer experience for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are called to ministry vocations. Mentoring, discussion of current topics in the life of the church, cultural and mission-related events, and time for fun, praise, and worship are included in the program.
Huntingdon College is a coeducational residential liberal arts college of the United Methodist Church.
Photo Credit: Eliza Stewart Photography