September 10, 2013

ASU welcomes 20 MasterCard Foundation Scholars from Africa

Posted: September 10, 2013
Members of the 2013 MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program cohort.
Members of the 2013 MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program cohort were recently welcomed to the university.
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The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at ASU recently welcomed the second cohort of scholars from Sub-Saharan Africa for the fall 2013 semester. These scholars, who come from economically disadvantaged communities, are committed to returning to their home after completing a bachelor’s degree to contribute to their countries by becoming leaders in social change and economic growth.

Stephen Annor-Wiafe, an engineering student from Ghana at the Polytechnic Campus, shared his first impressions about ASU. “Almost everybody I saw at ASU during my initial stay on campus seemed friendly and that trend still continues to date. I love the faculty and students at ASU because they are ever ready to help.”

Joan Kwamboka, a biology major from Kenya, said that despite experiencing “thermal shock” upon arrival, “The most surprising thing was the warmness of people and beauty of the surroundings.”

The 20 scholars represent countries from Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, including Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa.

Scholars participated in two weeks of orientation that included cultural transition and academic success training. This cohort of scholars is studying a wide variety of subject areas on all four ASU campuses.

When asked what her goal was for the next four years at ASU, Kwamboka responded, “To be the best that I can be and learn everything possible that there is to learn. My goal is to be more than just a student.”

Annor-Wiafe paraphrased Ralph Waldo Emerson, saying, “ASU distinguishes itself from other schools by going the extra mile to teach its students not to go where the path may lead but rather, go where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ernest Chakwera, a women and gender studies major from Malawi, plans to return to Malawi to effect social change to better the status of women in his community. “I plan to get involved in several life-changing activities that can help me achieve these goals, such as Changemaker Central, sports, academic resources and school events.”

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program selected Arizona State University to provide comprehensive scholarships for a bachelor’s-level education to 120 students over seven years. The program’s target is to seek out Africa’s best and brightest college-ready students who come from the lowest two socio-economic quintiles and do not have the means to pay for higher education.

An important part of the program is the “go back, give-back” concept that asks the scholars to use the skills and knowledge gained at ASU to better their community. One of the current scholars has prepared for his return with the ASU program GlobalResolve. He hopes to build a device that addresses electricity needs of his home country.

When asked about how ASU will help him better his community, Annor-Wiafe said, “Others say it cannot be done and so you are feeling disappointed, right? Well, ASU says it can be done so just join our family for support to achieve your dreams.”

The members of the second class of MasterCard Foundation Scholars:

Ato Ghartey, Ghana, College of Health Solutions, nutrition

Sandra Botwe, Ghana, College of Health Solutions, nutrition

Henok Geleta, Ethiopia, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, biochemistry

Joan Kwamboka, Kenya, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, biological sciences

Danny Musa, Rwanda, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, economics

Emmanuel Ngoga, Rwanda, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, molecular bioscience

Nokwanda Ramatheko, South Africa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, urban planning

Irene Kinyanguli, Tanzania, College of Public Programs, public service and public policy

Stephen Annor-Wiafe, Ghana, College of Technology and Innovation, engineering

Wilson Mugabo, Rwanda, College of Technology and Innovation, pre-professional flight

Ngoni Mugwisi, Zimbabwe, College of Technology and Innovation, engineering

Mariama Salifu, Ghana, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, biomedical engineering

Ernest Chakwera, Malawi, The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, women and gender studies

Eyerusalem Assefa, Ethiopia, W. P. Carey School of Business, business (global leadership)

Gershon Apeteh, Ghana, W. P. Carey School of Business, business

Emmanuel Baffoe, Ghana, W. P. Carey School of Business, business

Bernard Jere, Malawi, W. P. Carey School of Business, agribusiness

Madit Deng Ring Yel, South Sudan, W. P. Carey School of Business, public service and public policy

Gloria Vheremu, Zimbabwe, W. P. Carey School of Business, business

Yolanda Nyanhete, Zimbabwe, W. P. Carey School of Business, global leadership