MSFS is thrilled to introduce the Fall 2021 recipients of the inaugural MSFS Futures Scholarship, the African Student Scholarship, and the McHenry Fellowship.
These exceptional individuals were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, including the largest number of applicants we have received at MSFS in the past decade. The three were chosen because they bring outstanding academic, professional, international, and community accomplishments, experience, and commitment to the program. Along with these achievements, these scholarship recipients embody the core values of the program, enabling them not only to be outstanding scholars but to be ethical leaders committed to creating a more just world. MSFS also recognizes that tomorrow’s leaders must be drawn from diverse communities, backgrounds, and perspectives, and we are proud that inclusion is one of the MSFS Program’s core values.
The MSFS Advisory Board, MSFS DEI committee, the MSFS Leadership Team, SFS Advancement, and the Office of the SFS Vice Dean for DEI worked over the past year to create and launch the Futures Scholarship, which offers a full-tuition grant and a stipend to an incoming MSFS student who brings academic and professional excellence to the program and whose background or experience will also uniquely enable them to contribute to the diversity of the MSFS community. Generous contributions by MSFS Board members and broad support throughout the Georgetown community made this vision of the inaugural scholarship a reality. To build on this year’s success, the MSFS Program has launched a fundraising campaign to endow the Futures Scholarship. Ongoing efforts to make this scholarship permanent reflect the passion of our community to help MSFS further our core values.
We are honored to welcome Katie-Meelel Nodjimbadem as our 2021 MSFS Futures Scholar. She is truly an exceptional scholar and professional. Katie is a Chadian-American journalist from El Paso, Texas, and is currently a co-deputy head of fact checking at The New Yorker. Between 2017 and 2018, she was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where she taught at a secondary school, volunteered in the U.S. Embassy’s information section, and created a media literacy course for adult learners. After completing her studies in journalism and French at Northwestern University in 2015, she covered art, science, and history as a staff reporter at Smithsonian magazine. Her writing has recently appeared in Texas Monthly, Air Mail, and on newyorker.com. We are thrilled that Katie will be joining our community in the fall. Welcome!
In addition to our Futures Fellowship, we are pleased to announce that an incoming MSFS student has been awarded a McHenry Fellowship through Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Now in its second year, the McHenry Fellowship is awarded to five SFS graduate students who demonstrate exceptional commitment to public service.
Our 2021 MSFS McHenry Fellow is Carlos E. Chacón. A Venezuelan-American, Carlos co-founded an organization, Kratos, in Venezuela to shape new generations with 21st-century skills. Kratos has grown to serve over 650 students in four countries. Previously in Venezuela, Carlos was a high school teacher and worked in the Venezuelan parliament. In the United States, he was a consultant, helped establish the Student-Run Business Program at Marquette University, and currently serves in MORTAR, an organization working to promote equity and entrepreneurship in underserved communities. He received a Law Degree from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and is preparing to graduate from the M.S.Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania this Spring. We are delighted to welcome Carlos this fall!
Additionally, each year since 2014, MSFS has offered a full-tuition African Student Scholarship to an exceptional graduate student from sub-Saharan Africa. This year we awarded the scholarship to Ruth Ochonma. At the age of 19, Ruth co-founded a startup that promotes financial inclusion and spurs economic activity by providing loans to low-income earners through non-traditional lending. Her passion for social impact and desire to be a driver for change in the Nigerian educational sector led her to embark on girl-child education advocacy projects in Northern Nigeria. In 2018, she launched ‘M-Power’, a non-profit organization that designs and implements community development projects focused on IT skills acquisition, environmental sanitation and solar power generation in low income communities across Nigeria. Ruth is committed to finding people-centric solutions to socioeconomic issues and hopes to explore how the public sector utilizes technological innovation to offer solutions. Ruth previously worked with Teach for Nigeria and she holds an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Babcock University in Nigeria.
All three of our incoming students are exceptional scholars and practitioners who will greatly enrich the Georgetown community. We look forward to welcoming them and the rest of the Class of 2023 in the Fall!
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