Four students from Africa have arrived on the campus of Pennsylvania State University as the first cohort of the Botstiber Scholars Program at the university. The university received a grant this spring from the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation of Media, Pennsylvania, to launch the program.
The four students from African nations have been awarded full scholarships at Penn State. The scholars will also receive mentoring and internship opportunities. Preference is given to students who have expressed an interest in returning to Africa once they have completed their education. The first cohort includes two students from Ghana and one each from Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Penn State teamed up with Education USA Advisors and Peace Corps volunteers to identify a large group of high-performing secondary students in sub-Saharan Africa. Then, a group of Penn State faculty, officials from the Botstiber Foundation, and Penn State admissions officers chose the first scholarship recipients from applicants residing in more than 15 countries.
The program hopes to expand in future years. Michael Adewumi, vice provost for global programs at Penn State, said that “the Botstiber Foundation is providing a life-changing opportunity to young scholars in Africa to study at Penn State. It will not only transform their lives, but the ripple effect on their communities cannot be underestimated. We are pleased to partner with the foundation in this transformational opportunity.”
Dr. Adewumi is a graduate of the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in gas engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.