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25 facts about

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Wellesley College


The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program prepares young people to lead change. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a $500 million global initiative to educate and develop next-generation leaders who will contribute to social and economic progress. The Program enables young people from economically disadvantaged communities to complete quality secondary and tertiary education, and make successful transitions to further education or the workforce in their home regions. Over the next 10 years, the Program will select 15,000 Scholars, primarily from Africa, who will be unified by a common philosophy of change and ethical leadership. A view of Severance Green and the Tower Court residence hall complex at Wellesley College.


The MasterCard Foundation Scholars selected for the Program are: Academically talented:

They value learning, and are driven to complete their education. Economically disadvantaged:

They face significant barriers to accessing education. Committed to giving back:

They apply what they learn to improve their communities. Future leaders:

They are committed to embracing ethical leadership to improve the lives of others.


What the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides Scholars with comprehensive financial, academic, and social support and opportunities for community service. It also creates pathways to jobs or entrepreneurial activities. Throughout their studies, Scholars gain the skills, values, and competencies required to succeed and make positive social impacts in their communities.


The Program includes a global network of partner institutions. Wellesley College is among a select group of partner institutions carefully selected for their shared values, academic excellence, nurturing environments, and programs relevant to growth sectors in Africa. The network will expand as the Foundation adds more secondary and university partnerships in Africa.

Partner institutions include: African Leadership Academy

South Africa American University of Beirut – Faculty of Health Sciences

Lebanon Arizona State University

USA Ashesi University

Ghana BRAC

Uganda Camfed

Ghana Duke University

USA EARTH University

Costa Rica FAWE

Rwanda & Ethiopia Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Ghana Makerere University

Uganda McGill University

Canada Michigan State University

USA Stanford University

USA University of British Columbia

Canada University of California, Berkeley

USA University of Pretoria

South Africa University of Toronto

Canada Wellesley College




Wellesley’s participation & support. Wellesley College is one of the partners carefully selected for its shared values, academic excellence, nurturing environments, and programs relevant to growth in Africa. Over the next six years, Wellesley will provide nine young African women with comprehensive support that includes scholarships, mentoring, and internship opportunities. At Wellesley, these Scholars will build experiences, values, and competencies that not only are critical to their success in the global economy, but also enable them to give back to their communities and home countries. Carine Wete ’16 and Africana Studies Professor Pashington Obeng are among the team of faculty, staff, and students who will support and mentor Wellesley’s MasterCard Foundation Scholars.


Professor Filomina Steady will be on sabbatical in the fall of 2013, pursuing socio-cultural research in Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria on “The Diaspora Comes Home: Gender Dynamics in Repatriated African Diaspora Communities in Africa.” In the 2014 spring semester, she will serve as faculty advisor to The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.

Slater International Center is the focal point for international activities on campus and a space for anyone in the community with the desire to increase intercultural understanding and establish global connections. Students from diverse backgrounds gather here informally and create long-lasting friendships. Slater hosts meetings, events, and cultural celebrations.

Harambee House provides social, emotional, and academic support to students of African descent at Wellesley. In addition, Harambee (Swahili for “working together”) House hosts enlightening cultural activities for the Wellesley College community, as well as educational, cultural, and social activities for students, faculty, and staff of African descent. (Above: Harambee House student staff)




Holistic support enables Scholars’ success. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Wellesley College goes beyond traditional scholarships. The holistic, four-year support includes: Comprehensive scholarships:

An extensive campus team supports the Scholars Program at Wellesley College.

Karen Pabon

International Student Advisor; Director, Slater International Center Tracey Cameron

Support for tuition, fees, books and supplies, a laptop, transportation, room and meal plan, and stipends.

Director of Harambee House; Assistant Dean, Office of Intercultural Education; Advisor to Students of African Descent

21st-century skills:

Pashington Obeng

Training in skill areas relevant to employment success.

Faculty Advisor to the Program; Africana Studies Professor

Transition assistance:

Filomina Steady

Mentoring, career counseling, leadership development, and other life-skills coaching.

Faculty Advisor to the Program; Africana Studies Professor

Internships and career opportunities:

Access to job opportunities across the African continent. Give-back support:

Experiential learning and opportunities for volunteerism and community service.

John O’Keefe

Director of Advising and Academic Support Services; 2014 Class Dean Salwa Muhammad ’06

Program Director, Internships, Center for Work and Service Carine Wete ’16

Student Assistant to the Program, to Slater International Center, and to Harambee House. See #8.

Carine Wete’s multifaceted role as advocate and mentor.

Carine, a Davis Scholar (over the age of 24) majoring in economics, participated in a Wellesley-funded global engagement project in microfinance, women’s health, and public health in Cape Verde this summer. In the fall, she will serve as a bridge between The MasterCard Foundation Scholars and the faculty and administration at Wellesley. She looks forward to getting to know Wellesley’s Scholars, their stories, and their experiences. “By mentoring and advocating for our Scholars, I hope to ensure that they have everything they need to be successful academically as well as in the community. I want them to have an excellent experience! That’s what I’m here for. Wellesley is such a beautiful place; you get so much support and so many opportunities for intellectual exploration. Our students and professors are amazing. Professors get to know you as an individual, and you can even meet with the president (H. Kim Bottomly) here!”




Faculty advisors to provide ongoing support, even after Wellesley. Professors Pashington Obeng and Filomina Steady will help Scholars navigate the academic parameters of the College and assist them in selecting courses, developing effective study routines, and acquiring the skills to access Wellesley’s academic, social, and cultural resources. They will encourage them to be involved in activities that develop their leadership capabilities as well as communication and interpersonal skills. Professors Obeng and Steady will work closely with them as they prepare for graduate school, post-graduate internships, or employment—and will continue to assist them as they advance along their path to leadership positions in Africa. Lois Taylor-Kamara ’13, from Sierra Leone and Bronx, New York, relaxes with friends in Stone-Davis Hall.


Martha Awya ’17 (left) and Refilwe Kotane ’17 are the first two MasterCard Foundation Scholars to attend Wellesley College.


Professors Pashington Obeng and Filomina Steady welcome the first MasterCard Scholars!

“I’m excited that I, as faculty advisor, will help launch the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program to benefit students from Africa. As a mentor, I will help the students so that they can easily use the many wonderful services and opportunities at Wellesley College. Even after they select their major advisor, I will continue to meet regularly with them so they can access all the support networks and resources to succeed at Wellesley.” —Professor Obeng “We are delighted to welcome Martha and Refilwe to Wellesley College, where they will receive an excellent liberal arts education, enjoy the historical and cultural heritage of the Boston area, and make lasting friendships with fellow students from the United States and around the world. Wellesley alumnae from Africa have gone on to outstanding careers, including medicine, law, education, diplomacy, business, social work, NGO work, as well as politics.” —Professor Steady


Wellesley’s first two MasterCard Foundation Scholars are from Kenya and South Africa. Martha Awya ’17, from Emmabwi, Kenya, graduated from Moi Girls High School. Her future goal is to improve access to healthcare for people in need. The closest hospital near her home is 20 kilometers away. Her dream is to become a cardiovascular surgeon and head of cardiology at a local Kenyan hospital. Very few women hold these positions in her country, so she hopes to become one of them. Martha is also considering studying economics, as she hopes to be “economically empowered as a woman.” Refilwe Kotane ’17 hails from

Pretoria, South Africa. At school, she was a debater, an athlete, and the president of the Generation Earth Club. She would like to study biochemistry and eventually open her own pharmacy to provide care for the neediest of families. Refilwe was particularly attracted to Wellesley because of the College’s history of developing female leaders. She wrote, “South Africa is ready for strong-willed, innovative female leadership, and I am confident that with the right undergraduate education, I will be able to claim this responsibility.”


LEILA ELABBADY ’16 Tunisia & Overijse, Belgium Major: Undeclared HALIMATOU HIMA MOUSSA DIOULA ’10 Niger Consultant, UNICEF Niger; candidate for Master in Public Policy, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government




VICTORIA GEORGE ’05 Boston, MA & Freetown, Sierra Leone Senior Assistant Director of Admission, Wellesley College


FILOMINA STEADY Freetown, Sierra Leone Professor of Africana Studies





LOIS TAYLOR-KAMARA ’13 GAMBIA Sierra Leone and Bronx, NY GUINEAMajor: Economics BISSAU

AKOFA AHIABLE ’13 Tema, Ghana Major: Computer Science & Math Intern, S&P Ratings (IT Dept.)

MERENE BOTSIO ’12 Accra, Ghana Major: Africana Studies, Intl. Relations Project Coordinator, Financial Inclusion 2020, Accion, Washington, D.C. AKUA FORKUO-SEKYERE ’13 Nashville, TN, and Kumasi, Ghana Major: Africana Studies MARCIA FRIMPONG ’15 Kumasi, Ghana Major: Neuroscience MAUD MUOSIERYIRI ’16 Accra, Ghana Major: Undeclared PASHINGTON OBENG Anum, Ghana Professor of Africana Studies






MAVIS BOAMAH ’14 Ahensan Kumasi, Ghana Major: Chemistry & Math






RAISSA ANTWI ’13 Ivory Coast and Rosedale, NY Major: Mathematics




LORI AKIN-OLUGBADE ’14 Lagos, Nigeria Major: French and Psychology




TAIBAT SALAMI ’13 Chicago, IL, and Nigeria Major: Neuroscience CARINE WETE ’16 Davis Scholar Boston, MA, and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo Major: Economics REITUMETSE PULUMO ’13 Mapoteng, Lesotho Major: Neuroscience

Participants in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Wellesley College are indicated in yellow.






A sampling of Wellesley-Africa connections. EGYPT AGNES OKWENJE Blackstone, MA, and Kampala, Uganda Admission Operations Assistant SEBIHA ABDULLAHI ’15 Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia Major: Biological Chemistry



SABRINA ZURGA ’15 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Major: Economics DJIBOUTI













MWANGALA AKAMANDISA ’15 Monze, Zambia Major: Biological Chemistry CHIKOTI MIBENGE WHEAT ’07, M.D. Kitwe, Zambia Major: Biological Chemistry Graduate, Duke University School of Medicine; Resident, Johns Hopkins Hospital; Intern, Morristown Medical Center





MASHADI KEKANA ’16 Johannesburg, South Africa Major: Undeclared REFILWE KOTANE ’17 Johannesburg, South Africa Major: Undeclared MasterCard Foundation Scholar MICHELLE VOGELZANG ’13 Hillcrest, South Africa Major: Peace & Justice Studies and Biological Sciences

MARTHA AYWA ’17 Eldoret, Kenya Major: Undeclared MasterCard Foundation Scholar WANGUI KAMONJI ’13 Ongata Rongai, Kenya Major: Environmental Studies and Urban Studies SYLVIA ILAHUKA ’13 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania Major: Environmental Studies and African Studies JACQUELINE KILLENGA ’13 Dar Es Sallam, Tanzania Major: Computer Science RHOBHI MATINYI ’07 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania Worked at African Leadership Academy; graduated from Yale School of Public Health in 2012 FIDES NYAISONGA ’16 Mbeya, Tanzania Major: Undeclared

RUTENDO GAMBE ’13 Harare, Zimbabwe Major: Neuroscience and Women’s & Gender Studies Researcher, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston ANDREA KINE ’13 Matsapha, Swaziland Major: Africana Studies SAMANTHA MALAMBO ’12 Nhlangano, Swaziland Major: Economics, Africana Studies Associate at Avencion, Lusaka, Zambia




Dedicated faculty will get to know you. At Wellesley, you will collaborate with your professors and get to know one another. Small classes are taught by professors who are dedicated teachers and accomplished researchers. You will also benefit from research opportunities, quantitative reasoning, skill development, writing and public speaking, and multicultural courses taught by faculty from all over the world. Taibat Salami ’13, a neuroscience major from Chicago and Nigeria, examines lab results with Allene Lummis Russell Professor of Neuroscience Barbara S. Beltz.




Africana Studies American Studies Anthropology Architecture Astronomy Astrophysics Biological Chemistry Biological Sciences Chemistry Chinese Language and Culture Cinema and Media Studies Classics Classical Civilization Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Comparative Literature Computer Science East Asian Languages and Cultures East Asian Studies Economics English Environmental Studies French French Cultural Studies Geosciences German Studies History History of Art International Relations Italian Studies Japanese Language and Culture Jewish Studies Latin American Studies Mathematics Media Arts and Sciences Medieval/Renaissance Studies Middle Eastern Studies Music Neuroscience Peace and Justice Studies Philosophy Physics Political Science Pre-Law Pre-Medical Professions Psychology Religion Russian Russian Area Studies Sociology South Asian Studies Spanish Studio Art Theatre Studies Women’s and Gender Studies

At Wellesley, you will push boundaries, take intellectual risks, and expand your connection to the world. You will have access to research in all subject areas, programs such as the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs and Wellesley in Washington, and two annual conferences: Ruhlman, where students present their research, and Tanner, where students share their experiences in service learning, international study, and experiential learning. Wellesley also offers numerous study abroad programs, cross-registration with MIT, and a broad range of internships.

Choose from more than 50 majors and 1,000 courses.

Academic resources extend far beyond the classroom.


Multiculturalism is a way of life at Wellesley. Multiculturalism is an integral part of the Wellesley community. You will learn from the backgrounds and belief systems of your peers, who come from every U.S. state, more than 80 countries, and every social, cultural, and economic circumstance. Nearly half of our students are women of color. Wellesley values and celebrates ethnic diversity. The friendships that students develop are deep and enduring.


The Boston-Cambridge connection. Get ready to explore two of the most cosmopolitan cities in the U.S., just 12 miles from campus with convenient transportation. You will have numerous opportunities to meet people from around the world. More than 250,000 students attend more than 80 colleges and universities in the area. Boston and Cambridge are walking cities, steeped with history that offer diverse cultural and social resources.



How Wellesley students are making a difference in the world. An Africana Studies major, Andrea Kine ’13 was born and raised in Swaziland. For her honors thesis, she studied Swaziland’s progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations. She examined healthcare and wider trends of how Swaziland is evolving in areas related to women’s empowerment, education, and agriculture. Through the Pamela Daniels Fellowship at Wellesley, she traveled home to Swaziland to conduct field research, including meeting with the King of Swaziland, Mswati III; the Swazi Minister of Health, Benedict Xaba; and other political officials and local leaders. From this experience, she wrote her thesis and created a documentary on Swaziland’s progress in meeting these goals. Andrea Kine ’13 (left) with her friend Wangui Kamonji ’13 (See #19).


Lori Akin-Olugbade ’14

Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula ’10


Wangui Kamonji ’13: Studying urban forms of environmentalism. An environmental studies and urban studies major from Kenya, Wangui participated in Wintersession in Morocco and the multi-destination study abroad program IHP-Cities in the 21st Century, where she studied urban issues in São Paulo, Cape Town, and Hanoi. Through the Wellesley College Service Fellowship 2013-14, she is exploring urban forms of environmentalism and the motivations of those who participate in urban environmental movements and projects in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and Tanzania.


Lori Akin-Olugbade ’14: Amazed by alumnae connections. “The ability to draw on the many connections of well-placed and supportive alumnae at Wellesley gives graduates an edge in their chosen profession,” explains Lori, who is from Nigeria. As an Albright Fellow at Wellesley, she met the following women: > Chairman and non-executive director of the Guardian Group and a former board member at Morgan Stanley who passed the New York bar; > Former CIA spy who lived in North Africa and Latin America, who is now an executive at Singa Consulting; > Senior policy advisor at the Millennium Challenge Corporation; > Chief legal counsel at the International Finance Corporation,

Sebiha Abdulla ’15

Chikoti Mibenge Wheat ’07, M.D.

> Cofounder and current executive director of Partners in Health;

and medicine in order to apply them successfully. You need such breadth and depth of knowledge as a practitioner in public health.” By promoting autism awareness in Ethiopia, Sebiha hopes to reduce the current stigma associated with this disorder.

> Pathologist and first director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health.


involved with infrastructure projects in the developing world; > Executive vice president and president of Global Healthcare at the Fortune 500 company, Ecolab;


Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula ’10, consultant, UNICEF Niger: Acquired lifelong skills. “Wellesley was, for me, a perfect life laboratory,” says Halima. “I tried everything I could get my hands on: I failed on some initiatives and succeeded in others. I acquired lifelong skills that I use every day. When I sit with partners at the discussion table or converse with a women’s group on a mat, I am able to clearly communicate my ideas and propose a road map for achieving our goals. This ability to plan, communicate, mediate, and create a common vision (in a group of widely different interests) is something that I have developed at Wellesley.”


Sebiha Abdulla ’15: Bringing autism awareness to Ethiopia. A biochemistry major from Ethiopia, Sebiha chose Wellesley for its rigorous science program coupled with strong liberal arts. “It’s a great combination, as is being in the Boston area,” she says. “It’s important to understand contemporary issues in science

Chikoti Mibenge Wheat ’07, M.D.: Specializing in dermatology with a global health focus. Chikoti, now Dr. Mibenge Wheat, is a native of Zambia who lost both parents to AIDS. “At one time,” she recalls, “I wanted nothing to do with HIV. It was too painful. But with time, I realized I can’t just run away from something because of my past. I got over that and decided to do something about it instead.” Chikoti focused on AIDS research through a Wellesley internship at Partners HealthCare and worked with the HIV/AIDS vaccine research team while at Duke University School of Medicine. Having also discovered a passion for dermatology with a focus on global health, she is now an intern in internal medicine at Morristown Medical Center and a resident in dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also continues to support SOS Children’s Villages Zambia, a charity devoted to children who have lost their parents to AIDS. “When people think of Africa, they often think it is hopeless,” she explains. “By telling this story, it will have an effect of showing them that there are ways of turning your situation around and making a difference.”



Samantha Malambo ’12: “Take advantage of Wellesley’s resources!” “Take advantage of the resources Wellesley has to offer!” advises Samantha with great zeal. “At Wellesley, I traveled to South Africa to research with a professor, to Ghana for a Wintersession class, and back to Ghana for a summer internship. While receiving an education in America is definitely a worthy investment, Wellesley has further Samantha Malambo and Wangui Kamonji practice their dance moves at www. Click on the “Watch” tab, then select “#80 Mamaland.” expanded my borders and allowed me to learn invaluable lessons through travel and dialogue in different countries. ate, the clothes I had the opportunity was both inspired and awed by the to collect, Ghana firmly established intellectual wealth one can find in a “I had the amazing opportunity of itself as one of my favorite countries community seeking a solution. Not working in Ghana in the summer. I grew on the African continent. only did this cement my desire to up in southern Africa (between Zambia, work in development on the African South Africa, and Swaziland), so I “I was privileged to work with some continent, but it also gave me a fifth was really excited when I received the of the brightest minds in the world home.” opportunity to work with an organization of development through the Ghana in West Africa. Nothing can describe the Innovation Marketplace. This project Currently, Samantha is working in Lusaka, Zambia, as an associate pleasure I experienced in seeing such a sought to find and finance the most with Avencion, an international different side of my continent. From the innovative solutions to Ghana’s work I did, to the people I met, the food I solid waste management problem. I development consulting company.

Action items.

Wellesley facts. 2300 students (all women)

14 Division III athletic teams

50 states represented and 83

10,000 objects in the Davis

countries of birth

Museum and Cultural Center

8 to 1 student:faculty ratio

160 student-run organizations

98% of tenured faculty hold a

100 years of a strong financial foundation, committed to its core values, strong academic programs, generous financial aid

Ph.D. or the highest degree in their field

100% of classes are taught by


54+ majors

250,000 students in Boston and Cambridge 100% of demonstrated financial

50% of juniors study abroad

need is met

75% of students participate in an

58% of students receive aid


80% of Wellesley graduates attend graduate or professional school within 10 years 100% of student leadership positions are held by women


10 active alumnae on the “W”

network for every student on campus

500 acres 1 lake

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Visit our website.

Up-to-date information about the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Wellesley:

Contact us.

Apply. (It’s free!)

Learn more. • Wellesley College: • 100 (random & marvelous) things about Wellesley: • The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program: Printed September 2013


“Wellesley brings a special expertise to The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program— we educate women to make a difference in the world. As women are poised to take on even greater roles as leaders in Africa, we want to offer them the transformative education, mentorship, and support that have empowered Wellesley women for more than 135 years.” — H. Kim Bottomly, Wellesley College President

Cover photo: If you look closely, you’ll see Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula ’10 (in red) putting a red cap on her friend Aditi Patel ’11 when they were Albright Fellows (at the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs) at Wellesley. Aditi now works for Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation in India, whose goal is to create large-scale social change. Halima, as she likes to be called, is from Niamey and Arlit, Niger. She worked for the United Nations offices in Niger with UNICEF and is now enrolled in the Master in Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She describes Wellesley as the perfect “life laboratory.” See #21.

Wellesley College, a liberal arts college for women Office of Admission

106 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02481-8203

Phone: 781 283 2270 Email:

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Wellesley College  

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