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 alumni.

CLASS 0F 2008

Tamutenda Chidawanyika
The College of Wooster 08'

Tamutenda Chidawanyika Hailing from Mutare, Zimbabwe, Tamutenda Chidawanyika is currently a senior Chemistry major and Chinese minor at the College of Wooster, Ohio. While at the College of Wooster, she has served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Scholar, as an Ambassador of Zimbabwe, a President of the International Students Association, as well as a Secretary for Diversity and Cultural Affairs in the Student Government Association. As a recipient of a grant from the College of Wooster Lilly Endowment, she was able to study post-apartheid South Africa, with a focus on HIV/AIDS at Rhodes University, South Africa. Her study abroad experience was critical for her realization that the people to bring positive change to Africa should be Africans. Tamu plans on pursuing a career in public health and ultimately returning home where her skills will be most useful.

Rumbidzai Sithole
College of Saint Scholastica 08'

Rumbidzai Sithole Rumbidzai from Harare, Zimbabwe graduates in May 2008 with a self-designed major (emphasis on Business and Politics) and a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. She has been actively involved in the activist community at the College of Saint Scholastica and Duluth, MN. In her sophomore year she founded a student group; United for Africa that aims to raise awareness on issues affecting Africa. She received the Who's Who Among Students Award, a national recognition for graduating outstanding campus leaders of the year. Upon graduation, Rumbidzai plans to return to Zimbabwe to work as an analyst with The Clinton Foundation’s Pediatric HIV/AIDS initiative.

Diana Chiyangwa
Smith College 08'

Diana Chiyangwa Diana Chiyangwa, from Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, is studying Engineering with an electrical concentration and a minor in Economics. At Smith College, she has worked with a local electronics-consulting firm to design an electrical energy monitoring system. Additionally, Diana has conducted research at the Massachusetts General Hospital testing software designed for a non-invasive intracranial pressure monitor. She attended the University of Bristol in England during her junior year. While in Bristol she volunteered at the local Oxfam Bookstore, where she realized her passion for global development. After completing her undergrad, she is hoping to do graduate studies in technology and (international) policy. Ultimately, she intends to work for the United Nations, assessing the different technologies implemented in developing countries.

Diana is the president of the Smith African and Caribbean Students Association and has been an active member of the Society for Women Engineering, Engineers Without Borders (Bristol), and Student Global AIDS Campaign.

Getrude Chimhungwe
Mount Holyoke College 08'

Getrude Chimhungwe Getrude Chimhungwe was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She went to St Dominics Secondary School in Chishawasha and St. Ignatius College before Usap helped her dreams come true by assisting her in coming to the U.S. She is currently pursuing a dual degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Mount Holyoke College and University of Massachusetts, Amherst. However, she is hoping to pursue a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy because of her love for chemistry and passion to directly reach out to people.

In her efforts to help poor families in Zimbabwe, Getrude solely fund-raised some money at her school and provided 70 families with "holiday food baskets" during the 2006 Christmas season. She also participated in the "100 Projects for Peace" competition in a bid to increase access to healthcare for HIV/AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. It is her desire to help others just as she has been helped. Usap definitely made a huge impact in her life.

Kathryn Takabvirwa
Yale College 08'

Kathryn Takabvirwa Born in the oh-so-little town of Kadoma, Kathryn is the second of four children. Her parents and siblings: Tafadzwa, Sheron and Oscar, are her five favorite people in the world. Kathryn went to Eiffel Flats Primary School in Kadoma, then Nashville High School, in Gweru, and did her Advanced Levels at St. Ignatius, in Chishawasha. In the months before college, she worked for Deloitte in Bulawayo, where she got a sneak peak into the world of auditing.

She arrived at Yale at 3 o'clock in the morning, to find two Usap students – Grace and Simba – waiting for her at Phelps Gate, where they’d been waiting for over two hours, and then it didn’t matter anymore that she only had $60 to her name, all of which had been gleaned from well-wishers.

During the summer after sophomore year, she received funding from Yale to spend five weeks in Paris learning French while staying with a host family. The following year, she was awarded two fellowships: the Wendy E. Blanning Memorial Fellowship, and the Richter Memorial Fellowship, to pursue a two-pronged project over the summer: to conduct research on language patterns among Zimbabwean immigrants in South Africa, and to pursue an unpaid internship with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at the Zimbabwe/South Africa border.

When she graduates this May, Kathryn will take a year off to work in social justice, while applying to law school. Her life goal is to build a boarding school for street kids and orphans in Zimbabwe, where they can live, learn and be loved.

Eve Gatawa
St. Lawrence University 08'

Eve Gatawa Eve is an Economics major and a Math minor at St. Lawrence University. At SLU, Eve has been involved in various activities. She has worked with toddlers at the Canton Day Care as a weekly volunteer and a mentor for the university's Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership. Eve has been an active member of the student run Crown Royalties Investment Club from her first year and she is currently chapter Treasurer for the leadership honorary, Omicron Delta Kappa. She was a recipient of the St. Lawrence Summer Fellowship which enabled her to do research on the SADC Free Trade Agreement under the mentorship of her advisor.

In her junior year, Eve studied abroad in China and while in the East, she also visited the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia where she interviewed officials as part of her research on the ASEAN Free Trade Area. Eve plans to work in the finance industry after she graduates.

Peter Makombe
Jacobs University Bremen, BSc. 08', MSc. 10'

Peter Makombe Peter Makombe is an Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate at Jacobs University Bremen. Peter grew up in Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, Nyanga and attended Nyanga High School. As Peter grew up, he was motivated to be a hard-headed engineer with practical solutions that apply to our everyday lives. Therefore, after bubbling out of the locally common Zimbabwean "My son should be a Medical doctor" bubble, Peter did his BSc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Jacobs University. In his BSc. Internship, he designed, programmed and installed an automatic sliding doors' controller for the biggest ship company in Bremen. As a parallel-hobby to that project, Peter further programmed a web server that allowed online-remote controlling of the sliding doors. Peter specialized in Microelectronics in his Bsc. Thesis, "Random Telegraph Signals in CCD chips".

Peter is currently doing an MSc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with specialization in Digital Image Processing. Peter works with Rheinmetall Electronics in Bremen, where he does target tracking, image scale- and rotation-invariant features and descriptors and object classification. Peter's Masters Thesis will be on Image Object Classification.

Susan Masaga
Mount Holyoke College 08'

Susan Masaga Susan Masaga is a Consulting Associate at Compass Lexecon, a subsidiary of FTI Consulting. She is based in Washington DC. Prior to this, she interned at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe in the Wealth Management Division as a Private Banking Analyst. In 2007, Susan worked at Edward Jones Investments in Massachusetts.

Susan was born and raised in Chiredzi together with her seven siblings. Like everyone in her family, she attended Hippo Valley High school for six years. After graduation, she spent a year at the University of Zimbabwe before moving to Mount Holyoke College. She graduated cum laude in economics and with departmental honors in mathematics. She was also a recipient of the Mildred Sanderson Award for mathematics and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship.

While at Mount Holyoke, Susan was involved in various extracurricular activities. She was the co-founder of the Zimbabwe Club, an organization established to raise awareness of the Zimbabwean culture in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. In addition she served as a mathematics tutor, a peer career advisor, a student Orientation board committee member, and a disc jockey on WMHC 91.5FM, Mount Holyoke's radio station.

Susan loves dancing. During her fours at Mount Holyoke, she was actively involved in choreographing Southern African dances for the African and Caribbean shows. Since she moved to Washington DC, Susan has been taking part time professional dancing classes and is enjoying them immensely.

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