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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Esther Kilaja Cohort: 2015
Country: Tanzania
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: General Management
College: College of Business

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Biography: Esther is a business major undergraduate student. In high school she worked hard and was awarded an international IB scholarship in a prestigious high school in Tanzania (IST). Esther is compassionate, strong willed and focused. She has worked in her mother's textile shop her entire life, which is where her love for business was nurtured. Encouraged by her father to study supply chain management, Esther plans to start her own business that will help young African scholars who are passionate and ambitious to take risks and prosper. Esther is inspired by her mother, who works hard every day to ensure her children are successful.

Aaron Thokozani Chikakuda Cohort: 2015
Country: Malawi
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Human Nutrition
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Aaron is a graduate scholar studying human nutrition and dietetics. Aaron holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and nutrition from the University of Malawi and a diploma in clinical medicine from Malawi College of Health Sciences. Before coming to MSU, Aaron spent time working in the pediatrics department in a central hospital, doing community service and nutrition research, and assisting university professors as staff associate in clinical nutrition. His primary interests are clinical dietetics, public health, rural development and poverty reduction. Aaron's goal is to contribute to the eradication of malnutrition on the continent and around the world. After graduation, Aaron would like to become a registered dietician and work with institutions of higher learning to help train dietitians in the health sector and clinical nutrition researchers. Aaron enjoys reading, jogging, making friends, and watching comedies and documentaries.

Arnold Chiswanda Cohort: 2015
Country: Zimbabwe
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Civil Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Arnold is an undergraduate student who will be studying civil engineering. Before his Spartan experience began, he volunteered on a weekly basis at a child care center in Harare. He hopes to use his bachelor's degree to improve the state of Zimbabwean infrastructure, which suffers from neglect and mismanagement. He is also interested in developing sustainable engineering practices in Africa. Chiswanda enjoys sport and politics, and is grateful to the MasterCard Foundation for the unique challenge to become one of the architects of the future of Africa.

Roselyn Wilbard Kaihula Cohort: 2015
Country: Tanzania
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Organization & Community Leadership (MSW)
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Roselyn is a graduate scholar majoring in social work, specifically organization and community leadership. Roselyn received her bachelor's degree from the Institute of Social Work in Tanzania. Before coming to MSU she was a leader of the department of children's civil rights in a non-profit. Her primary interests are human rights advocacy, social development, and economic growth. Her goal is to use her education to protect children's lives in Tanzania and on the continent through policy changes. She also plans to pursue her doctorate in social work. Roselyn enjoys listening to music, reading, watching movies, dancing and traveling.

Ketelelo Moapare Cohort: 2015
Country: Botswana
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Civil Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Ketelelo is an undergraduate studying civil engineering. At the age of 13 he helped Peace Corps volunteers set up the first community library in New Xade. Ketelelo co-founded Ride For Life Botswana, a charitable project aimed at helping children with disabilities by riding bicycles to raise funds. He also volunteered with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative Teen Club program in Gaborone where he tutored children living with HIV and AIDS in science and mathematics. Unreliable energy supplies, lack of drinkable water, and lack of investment in research and development are some of the challenges Ketelelo hopes to address when he returns to Botswana.

Auguste Shikongo Cohort: 2015
Country: Namibia
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Organization & Community Leadership (MSW)
College: College of Social Science

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Biography: Auguste is a graduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in social work, specifically community and organization leadership. Auguste holds a bachelor's degree in social work from University of Namibia. Before coming to MSU, Auguste volunteered with Catholic Aids Action, Namibia's first faith-based NGO responding to the country's HIV/AIDS crisis. The NGO provided home-based family care and counseling, youth education and prevention, and care and support for orphans and vulnerable children. After graduation, Auguste plans to return to Namibia and improve the living conditions for marginalized, disadvantaged, and vulnerable communities across Africa. Auguste enjoys watching television, shopping, and spending time with children.

Florence Uwimbabazi Cohort: 2015
Country: Rwanda
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Public Relations
College: College of Communication Arts and Sciences

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Biography: Florence is a first year graduate scholar studying for a master's degree in public relations. Florence holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Rwanda. Before joining the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, Florence was member of the Young Workers Generation, a motivational group for Rwandan youth that offers a forum to openly discuss and address issues in their communities. Her primary interests are international communications, media relations and women's empowerment. After graduation, Florence would like to work for a non-profit organization to mentor young girls to become advocates for women's issues and achieve their career goals. She would also like to implement far-reaching policy changes to make education more accessible. Florence enjoys watching debate shows, documentaries and movies, and listening to music.

Edward Opoku Cohort: 2015
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Edward is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. His working experience with an agricultural-input dealer company exposed him to many challenges that farmers face in Ghana, especially cycle of poverty in which Ghanian farmers work. After graduation, Edward would like to work in a government or for a non-profit organization where he would focus on economic impacts of agricultural research, technology, system efficiency, and the economics of science and technology policies to help smallholder farmers in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Duale Abdullahi Cohort: 2015
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Computer Science
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Duale is an undergraduate studying Computer Science. Growing up in an environment where resources were scarce, Duale was actively involved in volunteer activities during high school, and later formed a youth outreach program with his classmates, dedicated to creating awareness around good governance and gender equality. He believes that selfless involvement in the community and striving to reach personal goals are at the core of a life well lived. Duale intends to return to Kenya to be an agent of change, armed with the relevant skills and knowledge for the common prosperity of his community.

Nzube Prisca Egboluche Cohort: 2015
Country: Nigeria
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Plant, Soil, Microbial Sciences
College: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Biography: Nzube is a graduate scholar studying crop and soil sciences. She obtained her bachelor's degree in soil sciences from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. Before she came to MSU, she participated in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Nnamdi Azikikwe University Nigeria as an administrative officer and academic adviser. She also taught theoretical and practical agricultural science and organized service learning opportunities for students to work with local farmers. After graduation she would like to contribute to management and improvement of soil fertility in Nigeria and Africa at large to ensure food security for a growing population. She would also like to lecture in crop and soil sciences and continue her research.

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