University of Nebraska Celebrates UPEX Program
This month, UPEX celebrated the accomplishments of Fellows in a virtual reception. Throughout the program, Fellows met regularly with mentors, participated in professional development workshops, attended conferences and studied best practices in managing international partnerships.

The UPEX-Rwanda Program was an initiative through the U.S. State Department’s University Partnerships Initiative that aimed to create long-lasting, impactful relationships between U.S. and Rwandan universities through virtual exchange, professional development for Rwandan mid-career professionals and U.S. mentorship in international partnership management. The program also built Rwandan administrator capacity and reciprocal engagement with the U.S. to enhance regional prosperity, security and sustainability. 
Building Capacity through Expert Mentorship

Through the UPEX-Rwanda Program, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln drew content expertise from Nebraska faculty and staff, the Big Ten Academic Alliance and other top institutions across the United States. These collaborations with leading institutions—including the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Michigan State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—provided UPEX-Rwanda Fellows with the opportunity to develop administrative skills and expand their capacity through expert mentorship from U.S. university leaders.

"It has been very exciting to see the engagement of Fellows and to learn about the leadership each of them is taking to spearhead international relations efforts within their own institutions," said Dr. Jamison, co-director of the Alliance for African Partnership at Michigan State University. "The Alliance for African Partnership looks forward to seeking ways to continue this collaboration with Rwanda, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and other institutions in the future."

Russell Ganim, Ph.D. Associate Provost & Dean of International Programs, University of Iowa

Abbie Raikes, Ph.D. — Director of Global Early Childhood Development, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Amy Jamison, Ph.D. — Co-Director of Alliance for African Partnership, Michigan State University

Gretchen Neisler, Ph.D. — Vice Provost for International Affairs & Director, Center for Global Engagement, University of Tennessee Knoxville


UPEX Fellows Receive Grant Funding from U.S. Embassy in Kigali

UPEX Fellows, Dr.  Didacienne Mukanyiligira and Dr. Noella Josiane Umuhoza, recently received grant funding from the U.S. Embassy in Kigali to help build the capacity of female undergraduate students completing degrees in information and communications technology (ICT) or electrical engineering at the University of Rwanda. The project will provide opportunities for 20 women to participate in internships and workshops to enhance their business, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. 

While Rwanda has made significant efforts to support women in STEM, many still lack the technical skills and opportunities needed to compete with their male peers. The funding from the U.S. Embassy will help the University of Rwanda equip women with the skills needed to compete at the market level and launch their own businesses within the ICT sector. In addition, graduates will also have opportunities to network with successful women working within ICT-related fields. 

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