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Rwanda Scholars

TCU with flags in grass

They may be separated by more than 8,000 miles, but TCU and Rwanda are growing closer every day.
— “The TCU-Rwanda Connection,” TCU Magazine

The TCU Carl & Teresa Wilkens Award:

The Carl & Teresa Wilkens Award was started in 2012 after educators from Rwanda approached Texas Christian University about their nation’s intention, just three years prior, to adopt English officially as the language of instruction, of healthcare, and of government. That same year TCU was invited by Lewis & Clark College to join in its work through the Roméo Dallaire Scholarship fund, “combating genocide in Rwanda and worldwide.” The TCU Wilkens Award, modelled after the L&C Dallaire Scholarship, is offered annually to a qualified individual from Rwanda to study in the Intensive English Program at TCU as an active resident of the campus community for one academic year. The Award is named in honor of Carl Wilkens and Teresa Wilkens, a couple whose bravery during the genocide in Rwanda saved hundreds of lives of individuals who are now remaking Rwanda into a rather remarkable place on our planet.

The Wilkens Award Recipients:

Nadine Muhimpundu, Recipient of the 2019-2020 TCU Wilkens Award

Sakina Usengimana, Recipient of the 2018-2019 TCU Wilkens Award

I am Sakina Usengimana, and I am participating in the Intensive English Program. It has been a great pleasure to be part of this program. The reason why I came here is that I want to tell the story of my country through handcraft. I am a jewelry designer and I believe that not everyone wears jewelry simply to be beautiful. There is a story behind that and I want to work with women who have stories that they want to share with the world. Through the Intensive English Program, we learn how to communicate thoughtfully and actively. The significant experience I have had so far provided the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone and get to connect with others. For example, I recently applied for Housing and Residence Inclusiveness Leadership Committee and I was called for interview. They asked me “What is the difference between diversity and inclusiveness?” My answer was very simple: Diversity is when one is invited to the party and inclusiveness is when one is asked to dance. Thank you very much for involving us and I believe I will be able to tell the story of my country and Africa apart from what we see in the news. I also believe that other students at the Intensive English Program will get the opportunity to share their stories. 

Larissa Uwase, Recipient of the 2017-2018 TCU Wilkens Award
Patrick Rutikanga, Recipient of the 2016-2017 TCU Wilkens Award

My name is Patrick Rutikanga, and I am from Rwanda. When I was asked to speak about my experience about the Intensive English Program in one or two minutes I just thought that I couldn’t do it because I had so many great moments. My first experience that I would like to mention is that I thought I was here only for learning English. I thought English was going to be my first purpose but when I got in the Intensive English Program things became different. I was introduced to a language, and language is part of a culture. I was learning a new culture here in the United States. Adding on to that, I have also been spending my time with people from different countries like Ecuador, Colombia, and China. I was actually traveling the whole world in a same place which really had a tremendous impact on me. The second thing that I would like to mention about is how the IEP shaped my passion. I was actually a social work major and ended up learning that TCU has an Institute of Child Development. I was reshaped in this program and I am now a graduate student at the institute of child development just right up there. I am really thankful for everything and I am so proud to be here. Thank you so much! 

Claudine Mukanyamwasa, Recipient of the 2015-2016 TCU Wilkens Award
Johnson Mutibagirana, Recipient of the 2014-2015 TCU Wilkens Award
Yvonne Umugwaneza, Recipient of the 2013-2014 TCU Wilkens Award
Yannick Tona, Recipient of the 2012-2013 TCU Wilkens Award
The Award:

An overview of the TCU Wilkens Award Terms and Conditions for the current year can be found here.
TCU Rwanda Advisory Committee (ad hoc)
TCU 360 campus news articles on Rwanda
TCU and Bridge2Rwanda
TCU and the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur, Western Province