International Studies & Programs

The Scholars

Every year, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars program welcomes new undergraduates and graduates from sub-Saharan Africa to Michigan State University's campus. These Scholars have demonstrated academic talent and have a personal commitment to give back to their countries.

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Eva Tetteh Cohort: 2014
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Public Policy
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Eva received her Master's in Public Policy in 2016. She is passionate about issues in development and poverty reduction, and her quest is to break the manacle of poverty which has crippled many people in her home country and in other developing countries. She believes that earning her advanced degree through the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program has equipped her with the skills and knowledge she needs to engage in results-oriented research, where she will find solutions to promote development, poverty reduction and also influence policy decision making in Africa and the world at large. Her dream is to pursue research and other academic endeavors. Eva also hopes to establish a community library in her neighborhood to improve the children's reading and writing skills.

Jackline Umurerwa Cohort: 2015
Country: Rwanda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Nursing
College: College of Nursing

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Biography: Jackline is an undergraduate student studying pre-nursing. Before coming to MSU, Jackline got the chance to participate in the tutoring club where she helped primary students to prepare for their national exams. Jackline plans to operate her own clinic or hospital in Rwanda. She also plans to lead workshops to train other nurses and doctors as a way to ensure improvement in the health services in Rwanda.

Susanna Maingi Cohort: 2016
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Fisheries & Wildlife
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Susan-Rose Njambi, (Susanna) is a masters student studying Fisheries and wildlife. She is passionate leader for wildlife and the environment, has worked with several top wildlife conservation NGOs in various parts of Kenya and is a global ambassador for endangered flora and fauna, particularly those in Africa. By working with wildlife advocacy campaigns she provides social education and public awareness via community-based and online outreach formats. She also coordinates Wildlife Warriors Kenya, a youth volunteer program for wildlife conservation events, tourism, and outdoor expeditions.Susanna strives to help Africa better protect, preserve, and sustainably manage its wildlife, environment, and natural resources for future generations. Her research interests with the RECaP Laboratory at MSU revolve around human-carnivore conflict,trans-boundary wildlife management, and the empowerment of emerging African scientists to tackle challenges in conservation and sustainable development. "I am most grateful to the MasterCard Foundation for giving me the chance to grow into the change-maker I am destined to be!"

Luyando Katenda Cohort: 2016
Country: Zambia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: James Madison College
College: James Madison College

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Biography: Luyando Mutale Katenda is an undergraduate student pursuing a James Madison major. Before coming to MSU Luyando strongly explored his passions of sustainable development and governance. He has worked as a UNICEF child and climate ambassador that has taken part in training Zambian young people as climate ambassadors, raising advocacy around climate change and planting trees. He has also established several environmental clubs in his locality. He was also part of the African Leadership Academy’s Model African Union as Committee chair. Model African Union as committee chair thus advancing his critical thinking and leadership skills. Luyando hopes to be part of the agenda for the involvement of youth in politics and decision making by creating capacity building mechanisms which will consequently avert the tarnished name of politics as a dirty game. Besides this, Luyando is also co-founder of Agents of change foundation Zambia an institution that equips young people in discussing climate change and HIV prevention using radio.

Ritah Nabaggala Cohort: 2016
Country: Uganda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Neuroscience
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Ritah Nabaggala is an undergraduate student majoring in neuroscience. Prior to her arrival at MSU, Ritah volunteered at The AIDS Support organization hospital where she participated in various campaigns to raise awareness about mental health. Ritah hopes to create an ambience in Uganda where mental Health disorders are recognized and those suffering are supported in a well-deserved and holistic manner. She believes that with the professional expertise she will acquire from MSU, she will be able to combat the issue of stigmatization of mental illness in her country.

Rebecca Guei Cohort: 2016
Country: Cote d'Ivoire
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Psychology
College: College of Education

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Biography: Rebecca is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. Before she came to MSU, Rebecca founded a student-managed library in Abidjan, volunteered as an assistant high school teacher, led student clubs, interned in the African Leadership Academy’s admissions office as well as a translation bureau in Abidjan. Rebecca’s vision for Africa focuses on mental health. She hopes to contribute to the African society by providing parents with adequate knowledge and effective tools to raise emotionally, psychologically and socially healthy offspring in stable homes.

Arhin Acheampong Cohort: 2014
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Criminal Justice
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Arhin is an undergraduate from Ghana, studying Criminal Justice. After serving as a chairman for his high school's disciplinary committee, he developed immense interest in the rule of law, order and stability. He believes that societies, nations, and lives will see great transformation through the effective enforcement of law and order and the application of the rule of law. Arhin is a co-founder of Ananse Reach Concept, a non-profit organization that promotes the active participation of youth in national development. He is also the youngest board member of the Youth with Christ Foundation, which seeks to empower people, especially the less privileged in society. He aspires to be an international lawyer and a politician.

Joyline Chepkorir Cohort: 2015
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Nursing
College: Nursing

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Biography: Joyline Chepkorir is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Health Promotion at Michigan State University. Before her university studies, she volunteered in her hometown as a high school tutor and mentor. She is an alumna of the Education and Social Empowerment Program where she represented her cohort in visiting and caring for patients suffering from fistula at the Gynocare Fistula Center in Eldoret, Kenya. She hopes to apply her knowledge and skills in Nursing to tackle health issues in Kenya and other parts of Africa through research and nationwide awareness campaigns, especially for cancer. Her empathetic attitude towards terminally ill patients drives her passion to pursue Nursing and help in finding the cure for the fatal diseases.

Simpson Kamugisha Cohort: 2016
Country: Uganda
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Social Work
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Simpson Kamugisha is a graduate student majoring in Organization and Community Leadership. In his major he focuses on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention. Simpson is an active advocate against domestic violence for women and children within Uganda. He spends his time writing, recording songs and filming videos that encourage people to speak out, report and stop violence and human trafficking. Recently, he started conducting research on areas related to domestic violence and wants to come up with the right preventive measures focusing on Uganda. Simpson believes in peace, human rights and justice. He is looking forward to making an impact on his areas of study using professional skills at the macro level and his interpersonal skills.

Josué Kpodo Cohort: 2016
Country: Togo
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Computer Science
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Josué Kpodo is an undergraduate student from Togo, majoring in Computer Science. Before attending MSU, Josue got selected for the U.S. Embassy’s Opportunity Funds, a program for brilliant and economically disadvantage students. Josue’s performance keep on improving in this program through tutoring and mentoring local students to prepare for the SAT/TOEFL tests, helping them to apply and fight for admission in U.S. institutions. After graduation, Josue plans to create a program in coordination with nongovernmental agencies to provide insightful disadvantaged students, especially talented young female students, with necessary academic and employment materials. This program will also work to promote English learning, and Technology. Contributing to his country work force by training and employing local staff members, he hopes to further expand Africa’s telecommunications sector and make Togo one of the most advanced technological African states in the region. He says that the MasterCard Foundation program has definitely enlightened him to make his goals towards gender equity, education advancement in his community a reality.

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