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Jun 18, 2020

Female scientist and social activist. The next African female Einstein?

Albert Einstein is one of the most famous scientists in the world. 65 year after his death, he still inspires. One thing that few people know about Einstein is his roots in social justice. In 1946, he visited Lincoln University, a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) located in Chester County, Pennsylvania founded in 1854. The school has alumni like Langston Hughes,Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway, and was the first university that allowed African Americans to earn their degrees.

After accepting an honorary degree from Lincoln University, he said the following:

"There is … a somber point in the social outlook of Americans … Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am dearly conscious; but they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of ‘Whites’ toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes. … The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.”


Einstein discovered the theory of relativity and created one of the most famous equations. He won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. The Next Einstein Forum is a forum of African scientists and innovators and it had its inaugural gathering in 2018. They believe the next Einstein will be African. They state that: we are working to make Africa a global hub for science and technology.


How will this happen? By providing female scientists the best education possible, the professional opportunities to excel and the mentoring and support system to stay motivated and excellent. IUGB is the beginning of that journey. Students at IUGB can earn bachelor degrees in STEM and go on to seek further education. 


More than ever, we need your support. Education is the bedrock of an equitable society. Please give what you can. Ask others to follow your example. Thank you for your support. 

Feb 25, 2020

Mondelez Cocoa Life Partnership: More Internships, More Help for Cote d'Ivoire Rising

Dearest Friends,

We’re so grateful that you, our supporters have enabled us to reach $6,295.00 in funding towards a full scholarship for a rural female student at the International University of Grand-Bassam in Côte d’Ivoire.  We still need to raise another $10,105 to reach our goal of $16,400.  We can’t reach our financial goal without you.

We are proud that you understand the critical importance of this type of education is for under-resourced female students and their families in rural areas.  If they are lucky, they graduate high school and only through a full scholarship will they be able to attend IUGB and receive the education they need to break the cycle of poverty.

You also understand STEM professions are not the norm for these women, and the critical need for role models in universities and corporations, so that these choices become the norm.  This presence of this social conditioning matters as much as the education itself.  Women struggle, even as STEM graduates, to transition from the educational world to the world of work. 

At IUGB Foundation, we believe that universities and corporations should work hand in hand; respectively to produce a skilled workforce and to efficiently provide opportunities that maximize 21st century skills to build the economy.  As an example, the IUGB Foundation recently initiated and facilitated a partnership with Mondelez International Cocoa Life.  Mondelez has partnered with IUGB for our students and alumni to work on urban and rural projects with this global brand in Abidjan. Cocoa is one of Côte d’Ivoire’s main exports and an important source of economic development.

Students and graduates alike can apply for internship positions to increase their skills in research, public policy, data science, IT, M&E and community development.  Part of Cocoa Life’s mission is to empower the men, women, and youth within cocoa communities to lead their own development and improve their livelihoods through entrepreneurship.

Through this partnership benefits all students, it is of particular value to our female STEM scholars to act as peers for the youngest of their community members.  That is why IUGB Foundation constantly seeks such corporate-university partnerships.  Thank you for your support, and we look forward to reporting out on more promising partnerships in the coming months!

Nov 25, 2019

She CAN with an IUGB STEM Scholarship

Dr. Akossi presents her thesis
Dr. Akossi presents her thesis

She CAN [she DID, and she WILL] with an IUGB STEM Scholarship

Dearest Friends,

In this season of gratitude-we are grateful for your loyal support!  We are reaching out to you, our strongest allies and supporters, because we know you understand the value of STEM education for females, especially those in remote communities.  You have helped us raise $6,220 to date.   We need your help to go the financial distance to secure IUGB STEM education for more than one female student in Côte d’Ivoire. $16,400 covers all costs for the academic year (excluding room and board) for two female scholars.

The strongest formula for success and achievement for a nation to give its female population equal access to a superior STEM education.  Female engineers, technicians, mathematicians make unique contributions to their respective fields.  Just ask these IUGB alumnae:

Dr. Aurelie Akossi, who defended her Ph.D  (GSU, 2019; IUGB alumna 2011) on applied mathematics in epidemiology, plans to keep working on problems in the field of inverse problems and mathematical epidemiology and hopes to contribute something meaningful to Côte d’Ivoire.

Mariam Fofana, MS, Quantitative Risk Analysis; Data Analysis; Data Scientist and recently named a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar offers a rare and necessary skill.  [Her] “passion is in transforming raw data into meaningful information that can be easily understood by a non-technical audience.”

Fatima Doumbia,  MS African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Nigeria, and IUGB Alumna (2017) says, “At IUGB I was taught to ask the tough questions-and to develop my own solutionsAs  .Côte d’Ivoire  is ranked first in the world regarding cocoa production, my answer is to use programming to model farmer decision making processes.  I will propose solutions to help them make decisions in the context of climate change.”

The IUGB STEM Scholars can help change the lack of STEM education in underserved areas by serving as role models.  With your help, more young women can attend-and have HOPE from these IUGB scholarships.

You can help us achieve our goal for underrepresented female students in following ways: (1) Ask five of your friends to donate to our campaign.  (2)  Be an IUGB Foundation Campaign Superstar and share with at least 20 other people across social media channels. (3) Mobilize your professional and women’s associations to invest in a scholarship!  Finally, watch for our Giving Tuesday announcements December 5th.  

In Côte d’Ivoire, there are so many women with unrealized intellectual capacity.  All they want is the opportunity for STEM training at IUGB so that they can contribute their innovations to the world.  We know you share hope in the future of Africa every bit as much as we do-and that you will help us support this next generation of future changers.

Note:  Dr. Akossi, Ms. Fofana and Ms. Doumbia grant their permission to use the photographs here.

Fatima Doumbia
Fatima Doumbia
Mariam Fofana
Mariam Fofana
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