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2017 Summer Internships and Research in Africa

Published: Friday, 14 Jul 2017
Author: The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program
Department: Office of the Dean

39 Scholars (11 Master's and 28 undergraduates) from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Michigan State University (MSU) are engaged in research and internships at 41 sites throughout 15 African nations and the United States. Placements within the United States (4) are due to immigration concerns or special exceptions as all Scholars are required to complete internships within sub-Saharan Africa during their degree program, to remain engaged with the current issues facing their communities in order to develop the best solutions.

Scholars in the field represent 23 majors from nine colleges at MSU with a third of them coming from the College of Engineering followed by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Human Medicine to round out the top three host Colleges.

2017 is significant as the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at MSU hits its five-year mark. Since the inaugural series of internship placements, 119 Scholars have made an impact in 23 African nations. In 2016 and 2017 the program presented its successful internship model at the Global Internship Conference to encourage more support for engaging African students and employers in professional internships.

Scholars and MSU have found mutual benefit through internship placements within MSU programs and initiatives based in Africa. This year, two Scholars are working with the AgriFood Youth Opportunity Lab, a five-year, $13 million collaboration between MSU and the Mastercard Foundation. The partnership focuses on youth ages 18 to 24 in major food shed regions in Nigeria and Tanzania. The Ag Youth Lab will assist economically disadvantaged, hard-to-reach, and out-of-school youth transition into employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the agrifood system. Other Scholars are working with the MSU faculty-affiliated Malaria Alert Centre and the RECaP Laboratory which is a collection of ecologists devoted to conducting Research on the Ecology of carnivores and their Prey in a global extent.

Scholars are also engaged in entrepreneurship through placements like the Startup Incubator Gambia, which supports the successful development of young Gambian entrepreneurs through an array of business support services and resources. Additionally, all Scholars propose a social or business entrepreneurship idea at the culmination of their internship, meant to address a community need or a gap in the market for services and products.

There is also a heavy research focus of many of the internship placements ranging from natural resource managemet and gender-based violence to engineering microcontrollers and neonatology.


For more information about the Internship or Career Education components of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Michigan State University, please contact Ms. Laura Wise, Career Development Manager.

LauraW(at) or 517-884-2156

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