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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Kisanet Gebresilase Cohort: 2017
Country: Ethiopia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Environmental Biology
College: College of Natural Sciences

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Biography: Kisanet is an undergraduate Scholar from Ethiopia, studying environmental biology.

Borguinin Gonety Cohort: 2017
Country: Cote D'Ivoire
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Environmental Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Romuald Gonety is an undergraduate student majoring in environmental engineering. Before joining MSU, Romuald has shown his passion for the environment through the creation of clubs in his high schools. Romuald studied in different countries where he was able to analyze and understand the importance of the environment in all the decisions that human beings make. With his degree, he intends to educate African populations about the important role that the environment plays in their everyday lives. He believes this sensitization will help change the people's mindset and help improve the environment, which in turn will improve the health conditions and the eradication of diseases. He envisions to make Africa the most eco-friendly continent in the world.

Oluwatosin Habeeb Cohort: 2017
Country: Nigeria
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Nursing
College: College of Nursing

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Biography: Oluwatosin is an undergraduate Scholar from Nigeria, majoring in nursing.

Miriam Kaburu Cohort: 2017
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biosystems Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Miriam is an undergraduate student majoring in biosystems engineering. Over the years, Miriam has volunteered for organizations such as the Kenya Scouts Association and the Kenya Red Cross. During this time, she was exposed to various kinds of humanitarian missions and was touched by the gravity of the food crisis in her country. She has interned at Equity Bank Limited, where she served as a mentor to the Wings to Fly program. Upon the completion of her degree, Miriam plans on starting model farms where farmers can learn about new crop varieties that suit their respective climate conditions. She hopes to contribute to ensuring food security for all Kenyans and for Africa at large.

Natalie Kagole Cohort: 2017
Country: Uganda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biomedical Laboratory Science
College: College of Natural Sciences

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Biography: Natalie Lyric Kagole is an undergraduate student majoring in biomedical laboratory science. She developed this undying passion when her adoptive mother lost everything and was left incapacitated due to misdiagnosis and later lost her grandmother to the same misfortune. She has volunteered at Lancet laboratories as a laboratory assistant and at Mildmay Uganda as an HIV/AIDS counselor. Natalie has displayed her outstanding leadership skills by representing her School as Envoy to the community. Natalie has a love for sports and has also volunteered as a swim coach at a local pre-school.

Mike Kamwana Cohort: 2017
Country: Zambia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Mechanical Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Mike Kamwana is an undergraduate Scholar studying mechanical engineering. He is empowered by his keen sense of responsibility to mankind. From an early age, he has always concerned himself with the welfare of others. Consequently, he embarked on an enterprise to find an effective way to make significant contributions to humanity. With time, his passion for science was cemented, and he decided to use this passion to help others. In high school, he successfully led several clubs and was President of the renowned JETS (Junior Engineers, Technicians, and Scientists) Club and Chief Researcher of the Mathematics Club. His primary goal as a leader was to disseminate his infectious passion for science, especially to the female gender. His leadership helped the school earn many accolades, helped set a new provincial record in the JETS fair, and increased the participation of females in the hard sciences. Even after graduation, he occasionally returns to the school to offer help in construction of science projects and preparation of Science Olympiad competitions. Mike is encouraged to continue inspiring brilliant young minds across Africa to use science as a driving force in the development of the continent.

Caroline Khombe Cohort: 2017
Country: Malawi
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Social Work
College: College of Social Sciences

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Biography: Caroline is an undergraduate student from Malawi who is majoring in social work.

Abubakarr Koroma Cohort: 2017
Country: Sierra Leone
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Abubakarr Koroma is an undergraduate Scholar from Sierra Leon studying biochemistry and molecular biology. He was born into an impoverished family in a poverty-stricken community and country. Abubakarr's childhood was difficult and devastating, as he lost his mother and two sisters to diseases and was left to live as an orphan. His family members' deaths were partly a result of poor medical facilities and lack of money, which has since fuled his desire to work in the medical field to prevent others from facing such tragic circumstances. Prior to Michigan State University, Abubakarr has worked with a non-profitable sensitization team that travels to different communities, educating people on the importance of keeping the environment clean and the dangers of global warming. They also educate community members about diseases that are troubling Africa, like Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, and Aids. He runs a free tutoring program for both junior and senior students in secondary school, in order to better educate youth who could not afford quality education but still have strong desire to learn. Students that have been involved with the tutoring program have been doing extremely well in national and international examinations.

Raymond Lesiyon Cohort: 2017
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biosystems Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Raymond Lemayana Lesiyon is an undergraduate student majoring in biosystems engineering. Before he came to MSU, Raymond was involved in a community needs assessment in Kokwa Island (his home Village). Raymond volunteered at the Kokwa primary school to teach standard eight math and science. His volunteering at the school resulted in improved student performance in 2016 and 2017. He was also actively involved with the Network for Eco-Farming in Africa where he assisted with youth training, which was designed to enable youth to be part of problem solving in Kokwa Island. In the future, Raymond wants to develop further economic activity in Kokwa Island, which currently only stems from fishing. These developments will increase the living standards and create economic sustainability for the community.

Racheal Chris Nassimbwa Cohort: 2017
Country: Uganda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Clinical/Biomedical Laboratory Science
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Racheal is an undergraduate Scholar, majoring in biomedical laboratory science. She considers herself a quite humble and resilient person, with a passion for the medical field. Racheal likes studying and learning new concepts, and she keeps her eyes open for any opportunity that may come her way.

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