PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland, Oregon, man who has studied gap’s in the city’s policy for protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation is among this year’s class of Rhodes scholars.

JaVaughn T. “J.T.” Flowers graduated from Yale University with a degree in political science. He helped start an organization that provides mentors, tutors and summer stipends to make sure low-income students there receive the same academic opportunities as others. He also played varsity basketball.

Flowers, who is a first-generation college graduate, has examined gaps in Portland’s sanctuary city policy, and after graduating this year he returned to Portland to work in the field office of Democratic U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Blumenauer’s office called Sunday’s announcement “very exciting news.”

The Rhodes Trust on Sunday announced the 32 men and women chosen from a group of 866 applicants who were endorsed by 299 colleges and universities for post-graduate studies at Oxford University in England. Flowers will study comparative social policy.