Since 2009, the University of Central Arkansas has participated in the Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program University Consortium. This program, in cooperation with the Rwandan government, provides four year, undergraduate scholarships to deserving Rwandan students. These students study in the fields of math, physics, chemistry, and biology then return to Rwanda to work for a minimum of five years in order to rebuild the infrastructure of the nation.
Currently eight Rwanda Presidential Scholars attend UCA, and UCA will sponsor two more starting in the fall.
Assistant Provost/Director of International Engagement Jane Ann Williams said, “The Rwanda Presidential Scholars have increased diversity and cultural enrichment in the UCA community. They are excellent ambassadors for Rwanda and UCA as well. We look forward to continued participation in this wonderful program.”
Current Rwanda Presidential Scholars have gained acceptance to the UCA Honor’s College, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the American Chemical Society. Several work as resident assistants, lab assistants, volunteer as science tutors and mentors in the STEM Residential College and in programs such as International Engagement’s Team Global and Bears Without Borders.
Senior science major, Allie Elyahb Kwizera was selected by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission to represent Arkansas at the 2013 Martin Luther King Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.
“I learned that without democracy, there is no hope for growing as a country and without freedom, there is no hope for the future. This trip will remain in me as part of the best experience I have ever had in my life and I will expand all the knowledge I earned from it to all the people around me,” Kwizera said.