Usap Alumni

Since its inception in 1999, Usap has been graduating students from some of the best institutions of education, mainly in the United States. The alumni network is very diverse, highly qualified in various professions and spread around the globe. All our current alumni are from Zimbabwe. Beginning 2008, students from other countries will begin joining the alumni list as they graduate from their respective institutions. Below are the profiles of our alumn

CLASS 0F 2007

Admire Kuchena
Carleton College 07'

Admire Kuchena Admire was driven into medicine by his love for science, and most importantly by the state of rural health care in Zimbabwe. It was, and still is incomprehensible to him that a lot of Zimbabweans do not have access to the fundamental basic right of health care. He writes, "Medical injustice in rural Zimbabwe has been largely ignored by responsible authorities and I strongly believe that it’s high time we start prioritizing and reforming Zimbabwe's rural health care."

Having been studying and living in the US for 4 years, and also spending a semester studying abroad in Denmark, Admire has been exposed to some of the world's most efficient ("although not perfect", he says) systems in practice and he longs to see the day "rural Zimbabwe will enjoy the same harmony." He graduated from Carleton College in June 2007 with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biochemistry. Outside of class he was involved in volunteering at Northfield Hospital, tutoring chemistry, chemistry and molecular biology research, students' government, African students' organization, playing mbira, volunteering at an AIDS hospice, IM sand volleyball and IM Frisbee.

After graduation, Admire researched at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, multi-drug resistance and persistence of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. He is currently studying medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minnesota.

Ranganai Gwati
Reed College 07'

Ranganai Gwati Ranganai was born and raised in Mutoko, Zimbabwe. Through Usap, successfully applied to Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

He graduated from Reed in 2007 with a BA in Mathematics-Economics and was a recipient of the "Gerald M. Meier Award For Distinction in Economics”, awarded to one or two graduating economics seniors at Reed "in recognition of outstanding achievement in the Reed undergraduate (Economics) program. He is now a PhD candidate at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he also works as a teaching assistant for classes in introductory economics.

Ranganai plans to specialize in International Economics and Macro-economic Theory , and his long term goal is to teach economics at the college level, preferably at an institution in Southern Africa.

When not optimizing lifetime utility subject to the usual constraints, or explaining the diamond-water paradox to his principles of microeconomics section, Ranganai enjoys following the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, reading Shona novels, and (like everyone else) complaining about the amount of homework he has been assigned.

Doreen Mashu
Ithaca College 07'

Doreen Mashu Doreen is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Accounting and also working as an Auditor for Ernst & Young in New York City. Born in Bulawayo and raised in Gweru, Doreen aspires to see women from small towns and villages in Zimbabwe getting empowered both economically and socially. She believes that the unavailability of both social and economic opportunities to women in Zimbabwe is partly to blame for gender disparities that leave most women marginalized.

Her academic success (Phi Kappa Phi) and involvement in a number of activities at Ithaca College earned her the Ithaca College Campus Life Award which is given each year to no more than ten graduating seniors in order to recognize their outstanding contributions to the Ithaca College community through participation and involvement in campus life. She served as President of the Ithaca Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, Co-founder and Co- Chair of Mauya African Student Association and a Resident Assistant. Under the leadership of Doreen, Mauya adopted Chiedza Child Care Orphanage in Harare and provided financial assistance for school uniforms, tuition and food items. While in college, she interned for Bausch & Lomb Finance Department and Ernst & Young Assurance Services.

Doreen hopes to use her business mind and knowledge to open doors for women in Zimbabwe and contribute towards eliminating barriers that make it hard for women to access economic and social opportunities.

Tambudzai Shamu
Viterbo University 07'

Tambudzai Shamu Tambudzai Shamu was drawn to the health field after witnessing the death of several family members due to lack of medical attention and incurable conditions. She promised herself that one day she would be involved in the prevention and cure of disease. On matriculating at Viterbo University in Wisconsin she majored in Biology with a pre-medical focus. Whilst in college, she also realized her passion for biomedical research and found it a way to deepen her knowledge of science and medicine.

Tambu was involved in several opportunities that strengthened that passion: she interned at Yale University researching virus mechanisms (the results which she presented at a national conference) and also at the Mayo Clinic on a transplantation immunology project. She also explored the public health field as an intern with the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) in Zimbabwe where she volunteered with physicians at rural hospitals and also worked on several ongoing projects aimed at combating HIV/AIDS. During her undergraduate years she was actively involved on campus as a peer educator, science tutor, Orientation leader, Resident Assistant, Boys and Girls Club mentor, amongst other activities.

She is currently working in New York City in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she is evaluating the role of two key proteins in prostate and breast cancer development through the use of animal models.

Tambu hopes the skills she is developing now in translational research and those she will learn in medical school will prepare her for involvement in the establishment of clinical and biomedical research facilities and also improving access to healthcare in Zimbabwe.

Brighton Samatanga
Jacobs University Bremen, Germany 07'

Brighton Samatanga Brighton is a research-oriented person with a completely interdiscplinary approach. He graduated with a BSc in Biochemical Engineering in 2007 at Jacobs University Bremen having specialized in protein engineering and downstream processing. He interned at Research Center Graz – Europe’s leading biocatalysis institute. In 2008, he graduated with a MSc in Biological Recognition after a fast track study (finished a year faster). His specialization areas during the masters degree were molecular biophysics and computational biology. Currently, he is on a Swiss National Science Foundation funded doctoral study at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. His area is in understanding the thermodynamic signatures governing biomolecule interactions with the aim of rationally controlling such interactions.

Brighton's philosophy lies in finding behavior in virtually totally chaotic systems. Having studied at a purely international university, he has great revere for other cultures. And on the Zimbabwean issue, he is saddened by the unaffordable squabbling, and is engaged in some human rights work including a recent fundraising of more than US$450 000 equivalence donated to Chinhoyi.

Simbarashe Marereka
Yale College 07'

Simbarashe Marereka Simba graduated from Yale College with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He
is now working in NYC for Financial Security Assurance, Inc as an Analyst.

Simba was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is interested in the
Financial Services industry, especially Debt Capital Markets. In his spare
time he likes singing and doing community service. At Yale College, he
co-founded a African singing group, Asempa and was a active member of the
Yale Gospel Choir. He and Martin Ganda, a Zimbabwean graduate of Villanova University, are in the process of setting up a non-profit organization, Seeds of Africa Foundation, which aims to provide scholarships for intelligent, economically disadvantaged students in primary and secondary
schools in Zimbabwe.

Albert Chiwara
University of Pennsylvania 07'

Albert Chiwara Albert was born and raised in sunny Zimbabwe. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and holds concentrations in Actuarial Science and Statistics and a minor in Mathematics. During his time in Philadelphia, he served as a math tutor for high school students and as treasurer of the Penn African Students Association. Albert is an Associate in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Actuarial department in London.



[Back to Top]

More Usap Alumni Profiles