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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Carly Gyapong-Ankamah Cohort: 2016
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Premed
College: College of Human Medicine

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Biography: Carly Gyapong-Ankamah is an undergraduate student majoring in Pre-medical studies. Before she came to MSU, Carly volunteered as a physician assistant and drama patron in a community hospital and public school respectively. Carly mentored children in her community as well as advocated healthy living for Africans. Carly aims to depreciate the rates of lifestyle diseases in Africa and provide quality healthcare for women and children in the rural and urban areas of Africa. In addition to healthcare, Carly hopes to provide a conducive environment for minority groups in Africa.

Margaret Githua Cohort: 2016
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Public Relations
College: College of Communication Arts and Sciences

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Biography: Margaret Wangari Githua is a Public Relations Master's Student. Margaret graduated from St. Paul’s University in Nairobi, Kenya with a degree in Business and Information Technology. Working as an IT Assistant at the St. Paul’s Department of Distance and E-Learning, she led the creation of the university's Moodle application- a technology platform that students and lecturers used for courses. Margaret is passionate about giving back to Kenya and Africa, at large. She volunteered in Ethiopia through the Edupower Underprivileged project which helped orphans by providing literacy and social amenities programs. In addition, Margaret also volunteered in Ghana under Microsoft Ghana as well as in Colombia with Volunteers Colombia. Margaret serves as a peer mentor for high school students in Kenya through Palmhouse Foundation- a Kenyan NGO that provides scholarship and mentorship to bright and needy students.

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.

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.

Orwell Madovi Cohort: 2015
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.

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