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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Emmanual Chima Cohort: 2017
Country: Malawi
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Social Work
College: College of Social Sciences

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Biography: Emmanual is pursuing a master's degree in social work from Michigan State University. He previously graduated from Mzuzu University in Malawi with a Bachelor of Arts in education. He went on to teach English and French at public schools before settling at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, where he taught English for the Student Refugee Program. He then then moved on to coordinating Community Service Learning for Jesuit Refugee Service. Emmanual is passionate about youth development and engaging marginalized communities with sustainable interventions. He volunteered for takenoLAB, an entrepreneurship and technology hub in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp that teaches coding, programming, entrepreneurship and life skills to young people.

Prudence Kunyangna Cohort: 2017
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Epidemiology
College: College of Human Medicine

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Biography: Prudence is a graduate Scholar majoring in biological sciences. Growing up in Northern Ghana, she had to witness the lack of access to preventive health services and education, and saw people suffer from avoidable and treatable conditions. Prudence believes that access to good health is a right and not a privilege. She is privileged to have been a part of the amazing work done by PMI/Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) project in Ghana. This project was created to control malaria in some rural communities in the Northern Region of Ghana, and has done so successfully. Her work experience with the AIRS project has inspired her to continue similar work in combating malaria in the rural areas of Ghana. She hopes to contribute greatly to the ongoing battle against issues such as Malaria and cancer. After graduation, Prudence looks forward to working with a research institution in Ghana as an epidemiologist where she will conduct research on very important diseases and conditions such as malaria, cancer and some neglected tropical diseases. She hopes to shed light on sustainable health solutions for her country and establish a foundation for more advanced public health research.

Thomas Bilintoh Cohort: 2017
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Geography
College: College of Social Sciences

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Biography: Thomas Bilintoh is a graduate Scholar pursuing a master's degree in geography. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in geomatic engineering from the University of Mines & Technology-Ghana and went on to work in the industry for close to four (4) years before joining MSU. Being indigenous to the Northern part of Ghana, specifically ‘Wa’, and having the opportunity to go through primary, junior high and senior high education in Tamale gave Thomas a sense of giving back to his community and country at large. His goal is to serve his country and impart knowledge through research and mentorship. These goals have influenced his educational decisions and beyond. Currently, he is the owner and managing director of Geo-Bilt Engineering Consult; a firm that seeks to provide top-notch services in relation to land, aerial, hydrographic and engineering Surveys across Ghana and beyond. Apart from managing his consultancy, Thomas’ ultimate goal is to become a faculty in one of Ghana’s universities where, apart from conducting research in relation to GIS & Remote Sensing, he will serve as a mentor to students.

Bevertone Anyong'a Cohort: 2016
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: James Madison College
College: James Madison College

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Biography: Bevertone is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a double major in Comparative Cultures and Politics and International Relations with a minor in Muslim studies. He values the concepts of education and setting a foundation for the accessibility of sustainable socioeconomic and environmental change for the youth. As a result, he has been involved in various community and service projects in his country. His ambitions include the hope to enrich the quality of life, promote patriotism, welfare and strengthen unity amongst our local and global community thus building on the basis of humanity and compassion. To dissolve the counterproductive walls of isolation within our society; the more cooperation within a society, the greater the advancement of that society as a whole and the individual through development in all aspects: Access to information and technology, cultural awareness and integration, an end to inequality, and overall wellbeing of all citizens. Today, to be a citizen of the world is to be open-minded and empathetic toward all cultures, nations, and beliefs, a concept that is now almost a standard and is highly beneficial to the human mind.

Ebrima Camara Cohort: 2016
Country: The Gambia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Ebrima Camara is and undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Growing up from an extended family where the odds of a member being a university student is hardly imagined, Ebrima has not only become a first-generation student at Michigan State University but also a Scholar who wants to fulfill the dream of a generation. While in his country, he strived to impact lives at different social grounds, at high school amongst other societies, he served as the social secretary of the student’s welfare association, that helps to provide financial support to some underprivileged students. Immediately after high school graduation, Ebrima was employed at the Medical Research Council Unit-The Gambia, as a trainee laboratory technician under the Bio bank department where he later became a laboratory technician. Ebrima has interest in innovative health-care, he plans to build a reliable and fortified healthcare system that can cope with the challenges of the the twenty first century, he said :"Health in The Gambia like most African countries is growing admirably; however, low healthcare innovations to cope with disease outbreaks have left many in despair about the unfolding future. The concern over a sophisticated healthcare system that is worth trusting with beastly ailments like Ebola has overwhelmed my thinking and with daily experience of the hardship faced by people in my country only to see a tactful and compassionate Doctor at the Medical Research Council Unit-The Gambia, sets me into sheer waves of commitment and motivation -I am determined to be the change to a more sophisticated healthcare system that will instill the hope of a brighter future into the lives of people not only in my country but humanity as a whole."

Naomi Kamitha Cohort: 2016
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Women and Gender Studies
College: College of Arts and Letters

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Biography: Naomi Kamitha is an undergraduate student in MSU majoring in Women and Gender Studies. Before joining MSU, Naomi chaired and engaged in clubs, was a member of her school's student council for three years, interned as a cashier with Equity Bank, volunteered with Equity African Leaders Program to mentor students applying to study abroad, was a volunteer mentor with the Wings to Fly Program in Kenya and was actively involved in Dandelion Kenya(a girls' rights activist program in Kenya). Naomi is passionate about working with young people and women in Africa to pursue gender equality in the very patriarchal society. She also advocates against Sexual Violence. Naomi is currently engaged in service learning at the Refugee Development Centre in Lansing as a tutor and hopes to continue working with the minority in communities in pursuit of their empowerment.

Joseph M'po Yeti Cohort: 2016
Country: Benin
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Computer Science
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Joseph M'po Yeti is an undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science. Prior to MSU, he attended the African Leadership Academy, where he worked as Chief Executive Officer of Footprints Ltd, a student-run enterprise that aims at providing high quality branded merchandise to students and guests. Besides, Joseph was the Captain of the soccer team and served in the Student Government as a House Captain. Passionate about education and technology, Joseph wants to create a non-profit organization in his home country to provide access to primary education and new technologies in rural areas because he believes that technology tremendously improve lives and education is the most powerful weapon against poverty.

Gigi Ngcobo Cohort: 2016
Country: South Africa
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Media and Information
College: College of Communication Arts and Sciences

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Biography: Gigi Ngcobo is an undergraduate majoring in media and information with a concentration in production and film. With her degree she aims to succeed the likes of Oprah Winfrey and establish a production house in South Africa. Its aim will be to ensure that African news is accurately investigated, put at forefront and educates citizens. Prior to attending MSU she graduated from African Leadership Academy. There she completed her A-Levels whilst working as a presenter on two different TV shows that tackled mental illness as a growing pandemic in South Africa. She embodies curiosity and exudes charisma, her biggest strength is her authenticity.

Jacqline Njeri Cohort: 2016
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Jacqline Njeri is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Before she came to MSU, Jacqline Interned at Equity Bank, one of the leading Banks in Kenya. Through the bank's mentoring program, she was able to mentor young high school students especially girls who are from financially disadvantaged families. Jacqline volunteered as a chaperone during the annual Wings to Fly Education and Leadership congress and also volunteered as a mentor during the Equity Leadership Program Induction. Through these and many other programs, Jacqline has been able to inspire young girls to take up leadership positions and has helped them develop and sharpen their leadership skills. Accessibility and affordability of quality health care services to the people in the rural communities is what Jacqline strives for. By forging partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and distributing agencies, the people in the most interior parts of Kenya and eventually in Africa will be able to access medication and even medical consultancy at very affordable rates. She also hopes to reduce the high mortality rate through formulation of more effective drugs and vaccines as a Biochemist. As she strives to work hard towards her goals she continues to mentor young students in leadership and academia.

Expery Omollo Cohort: 2016
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
College: College of Natural Science

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Biography: Expery Omollo is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular biology/biotechnology. Before he came to MSU, Expery was a committed volunteer mentor of the wings to fly scholars and the current high school students his country Kenya. He founded the "uprising initiative" in his area which focuses on the cleanliness of the area to prevent common epidemics like cholera, malaria which are prevalent in where he grew up. Expery believes that by completing his studies here at MSU will enable him to solve these epidemics first hand from the laboratory. His plans is to create awareness to his countrymen and the whole of Africa to be aware of the epidemics that slowly kills the continent and try to prevent these contagious diseases from killing any more people. Expery continues to coordinate cleaning of his areas through the social media and is prepared to go back and continue with his quest in Kenya and Africa at large after completion of his studies.

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