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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Robert Tuke Cohort: 2016
Country: Uganda
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Epidemiology & Biostatistics
College: College of Human Medicine

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Biography: Robert Tuke is a graduate student majoring in MS Epidemiology at Michigan State University. Before MSU, Robert graduated from Makerere University College of Health Sciences(MakHCS) with a Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery. Served as President of MakHCS Surgery club and Secretary of Health in Nkrumah student hall while at Makerere university. Later, he worked at Global Health Uganda and Kampala Hospital as a medical officer. At Global health Uganda, he was a research assistant in a number of pediatric researches/clinical trials and in addition, he attended to very ill children at both the Mulago National Referral Hospital Pediatric ICU and emergency room. He also served at the Uganda Cancer Institute briefly. Robert has strong interests in the area of preventive medicine.

Walamatien Coulibaly Cohort: 2014
Country: Cote D'Ivoire
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: MBA/ Supply Chain Management
College: College of Business

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Biography: Walamatien received his Master's of Business Administration with an emphasis on Supply Chain Management. For eight years, he was a high school teacher in Cote D'Ivoire, and during this time he realized that one way to increase school participation is through school nutrition. A mismanagement of the national school-feeding program has motivated him to earn a degree that would enable him to help his country and he hopes to do that through the knowledge gained in his program at MSU.

Regis Nisengwe Cohort: 2014
Country: Rwanda
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Community Sustainability
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Regis received his Master's in Community Sustainbility. He has been conducting volunteer work related to the environment through youth organizations in Rwanda and in other parts of Africa. During that time, he was intrigued by how difficult it is to prioritize environmental protection in areas and communities where poverty is the main problem. Learning more about how to reconcile environmental protection and poverty reduction will enable him to take part in the promotion of community-based green development. Regis has returned to Rwanda and is currently employed with One Acre Fund to continue to pursue these areas and make contributions to his country.

Jimmy Vareta Cohort: 2014
Country: Malawi
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Biomedical Laboratory Science
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Jimmy received his Master's in Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Before attending Michigan State University, he was involved in HIV/AIDS and malaria research with reputable biomedical research organizations in Malawi. Through this experience, he realized his country needs more people with advanced skills in biomedical research. This prompted him to go back to school to acquire more knowledge and skills so that he can contribute to solving public health problems facing his country. Jimmy has returned to his home country of Malawi where he is helping in the fight against infectious diseases through biomedical research and teaching the next generation of biomedical scientists at the Malaria Alert Centre.

Isaac Hayford Cohort: 2015
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Forestry
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Isaac is a graduate scholar studying towards a master's degree in forestry. He holds a bachelor's in Forestry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Upon graduation, Isaac intends to work at a research institution in Africa and ultimately pursue a Ph.D. to build a career in teaching and research in his native country of Ghana. He hopes to produce practically-oriented graduates to contribute to the development of solutions to the numerous pressing challenges confronting the forestry industry in Ghana and the continent at large.

Daniel Muhwezi Cohort: 2015
Country: Uganda
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Department of Community Sustainability
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Daniel is a graduate scholar pursuing a master's in community sustainability. Daniel holds a bachelor's degree in Information Technology and partial MBA from Makerere University-Uganda. In 2005 he partnered with two friends to form COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa (CIYOTA), an organization that seeks to transform Africa by educating and empowering socially responsible entrepreneurial leaders to unite communities and create sustainable prosperity. He is also a co-founder of Ubuntu Trust Co Ltd, a for-profit organization that deals in micro-finance. In addition to working as an analyst in business strategy and finance, Daniel plans to pursue a PhD in Agribusiness.

Josine Mutuyimana Cohort: 2015
Country: Rwanda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Food Science
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Josine is an undergraduate student studying food science. Growing up in a poor family helped her develop a passion for giving back. Before coming to MSU, she volunteered with Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) in her home village, educating young girls in to fighting HIV/AIDS, starting small businesses, and preparing for interviews. Josine plans to return to Rwanda and work as quality assurance manager. She wants to help eradicate malnutrition-related diseases by ensuring food quality. She also believes that improving food industry in Rwanda is the key to improving Rwandans' life expectancy and general health.

Samuel Phiri Cohort: 2015
Country: Zambia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Electrical Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Samuel is an undergraduate studying electrical engineering. Before coming to MSU, Samuel participated in a science youth club project at Kamulanga High School in his hometown of Lusaka. He tutored sixth, seventh, tenth and twelfth graders, assisted in his school library and Natural Science laboratory, and helped motivate students to succeed in school. Samuel plans to return to his home country and use his electrical engineering skills to improve Zambia's technological infrastructure. He also aims to become a successful entrepreneur, working to eradicate poverty among Africans through jobs and specialized training.

Hilina Shibeshi Cohort: 2015
Country: Ethiopia
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Civil Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Hilina is a graduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in structural engineering. Hilina holds a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Ethiopia. Before coming to MSU, Hilina worked for a construction company as a technical engineer both in the office and on-site. Hilina is interested in enhancing her skills as a professional structural engineer. After graduation, Hilina plans to return to Ethiopia and become a licensed practicing engineer, working for a construction, design or consulting company. She is confident that the academic and practical experience she will gain at MSU will her allow her to contribute positively to the construction industry in Ethiopia and across the continent.

Amanuel Tesfamichael Cohort: 2015
Country: Ethiopia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Electrical Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Amanuel is an undergraduate student studying electrical engineering. Before he came to MSU, he took part in a program that introduced the production and use of small-scale clean energy from natural waste in rural and remote areas where the Ethiopia's power grid did not reach. Amanuel plans to advocate for clean energy, using his education and future job experience to gain expertise in the field. He believes increasing awareness of green energy, and serving as a leader in the field, will facilitate great change. His goal is to see Africa running on clean, green, and efficient power systems.

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