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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Joyce Goodluck Cohort: 2014
Country: Rwanda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Pre-Med
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Joyce is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Pre-med.Before she came to MSU, she worked under Rwanda's high school graduate National Service program where she visited villages to educate citizens about eating healthy food, sanitation, community service, productive farming methods, and the role of a citizen in government. She was also a girl scout for five years. Joyce did many community service projects and charity work to fulfill her promise of serving God and the nation. For example, she helped build classrooms at a local school, made roads in villages, helped with ensuring security at major community events, and offered financial assistance to sick people and the poor.Joyce hopes to become a humanitarian medical researcher and a missionary physician after completing an M.D.-P.h.D. As a way to prepare for these professions, she volunteered at Sparrow Hospital in the past academic year and she will be working as a Student Volunteer Coordinator at Sparrow Hospital next year. She also serves (volunteers) the Greater Lansing community through MSU Campus Lions Club, a student organization which is part of Lions International.

Amanuel Goshu Cohort: 2014
Country: Ethiopia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Computer Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Amanuel is an undergraduate from Ethiopia, majoring in Computer Engineering. Before he came to Michigan State University, he served as a leader for his high school's Science & Information Technology Club. The club's goal was to provide free academic tutoring services for computer literacy programs for needy high school students. Amanuel believes that Africa's developmental challenges are due to the lack of advanced technology and technological expertise. After graduating from MSU, he intends to go back to Ethiopia to help increase access to advanced technology among the disadvantaged. Amanuel is passionate about telecommunications and computer programming, which fuels his ambition to establish a multinational telecommunications service provider that will be headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Rellika Kisyula Cohort: 2014
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Media and Information
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Rellika is an undergraduate from Kenya, studying Media and Information and Minor in Computer Science. Rellika is a graduate of The African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa. At ALA, he was CFO of Sanyu Productions, a student-run enterprise which specializes in media productions. In ALA, Rellika also acted as a DJ, an audio-visual technician and as a filmmaker. In 2013, he attend the President's Annual Meeting in Addis Ababa, its theme, Technology in Africa. In the summer of 2014, Rellika interned with the Equity Bank and Equity Group Foundation as a documentary filmmaker and graphical designer. At Michigan State University, he is a filmmaker of Turn Productions, a former DJ at Impact 88.9FM, and member of IT club. In 2016 summer, Rellika interned with mSurvey as API Programmer and Data Scientist. In addition to technology and information systems, Rellika actively participates in volunteer work to teach village high school students basic programming and media production. This month (July), Rellika will be traveling to Uganda with former ALA students to present his project, "Increasing Interest in CS/IT/ICT4D.

Orwell Madovi Cohort: 2014
Country: Zimbabwe
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Electrical Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Orwell is an undergraduate from Zimbabwe studying Electrical Engineering. He hopes to use the privilege he has been awarded with by the MasterCard Foundation scholarship to help his country get back on its feet after the huge economic crisis that began in the past decade. He believes the major economic problems of Zimbabwe are due to the poor performance of the industrial sector, which experiences incessant power cuts. He hopes to go back and improve the power infrastructure of the country, which in turn will help revive the economy. Orwell is also interested in helping orphans, as he grew up as one, and has the first-hand understanding of how people can experience adversities that may defer their dreams.

Lucas Manhice Cohort: 2014
Country: Mozambique
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Civil Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Lucas is an undergraduate born in South Africa, but has roots in Mozambique. He studies Civil Engineering and hopes to contribute to Africa's future infrastructure development. He is a graduate of The African Leadership Academy (ALA), an institution that aims to create positive transformation in Africa by developing its future leaders. His experiences at ALA exposed him to social problems around the world and taught him possible approaches to address them. In addition, ALA enabled him to view Africa's challenges not as problems but as entrepreneurial opportunities. He hopes to apply this mindset during his pursuit of various infrastructural projects in the future to construct Africa's skyscrapers, highways and dams. During his studies at Michigan State University, Lucas hopes to strengthen his problem-solving skills and engage with individuals from diverse disciplines. This, he believes, will help him become more creative and effective at fostering positive change in Africa.

Amal Matovu Cohort: 2014
Country: Botswana
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Economics & Environmental Studies
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Amal is an enthusiastic undergraduate from Botswana and Uganda. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics and plans on working in government to create economic policies that are beneficial to communities, and that help increase standards nationwide. "Once established," Amal says, "I'd like to give other youth the opportunity to pursue higher education because knowledge is as powerful as a spear in a lion!" Before coming to Michigan State University, Amal was involved in a self-started community initiative where she offered free tuition for primary and secondary students. Apart from this, she volunteered at a children's home and spent seven months working in a bursar's office. These experiences have kept her in contact with higher authority figures, have humbled her, and sparked her interest in corporate social responsibility, which she hopes all business will adhere to one day.

Millicent Mlauzi Cohort: 2014
Country: Zimbabwe
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Civil Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Millicent is an undergraduate from Zimbabwe. She is studying Civil Engineering and wants to specialize in water resources. She would like to return home and contribute to making the water clean and acceptable for drinking. In Zimbabwe there have been many cases of cholera because even the tap water is dirty, but people have no option other than to drink it. One of her biggest dreams is to build an orphanage that will not only give children a home but also empower them to become independent and have successful lives. In this orphanage, children will be empowered to become leaders by receiving an education and learning practical subjects such as sewing, metal work, and building work. As Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Millicent says the MasterCard Foundation has changed her world and she wants to change someone else's world too.

Wambali Nkhwazi Cohort: 2014
Country: Malawi
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biomedical Laboratory Science
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Wambali is an undergraduate from Malawi, studying Nutritional Science (Pre-medical). Upon completing his studies, Wambali intends to return to Malawi to help children who suffer from malnutrition and other diseases. At the age of seven, Wambali suffered from severe malaria, which left him hospitalized for two months, and affected his ability to walk. Since then, Wambali has always drawn inspiration from the experience and the resilience he found in himself. It has always been his ambition to become a pediatrician and to assist the multitude of children in Malawi who face similar situations. Wambali's goal is to introduce feeding programs in schools, end malnutrition, and work with African governments as well as non-governmental organizations to implement laws that help assist, support and protect African children.

Yusuf Njoroge Cohort: 2014
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Construction Management
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Yusuf is an undergraduate from Kenya, studying Construction Management. During high school, he took part in the school's voluntary service scheme where he spent five school vacations working in the Nairobi Hospital and Department of Civil Registration. During his time at the hospital, he interacted with patients who were in tough situations, but held on to the hope that one day they would walk out the hospital doors. This confirmed to him that resilience and determination in times of tribulation is the key to success. After graduation, he intends to go back home and join the task force that is working to develop his country in the field of construction management. He also plans to further his studies; however, he recognizes that financial barriers are the biggest setback for bright young men and women who are eager to fulfill their personal and academic dreams. Because of this, he also has a keen interest in creating a foundation for enabling bright but economically disadvantaged children to continue their education.

Lerato Rametse Cohort: 2014
Country: South Africa
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Psychology
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Lerato is an undergraduate from South Africa, studying Psychology. In her lifetime she has experienced discrimination based on race, gender and other social or personal attributes. These experiences developed her passion to become an activist and serve young South Africans and the disadvantaged who experience various forms of disempowerment. In her home country, she went through entrepreneurial leadership training and African studies, and broadened her perspective on the world and on the African continent. She plans to major in Psychology and Political Science, then go back to Africa and implement change in the political and industrial systems of the continent.

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