US: Nyamutumbu named Rhodes Scholarship finalist

By: 
Staff Reporter

Jackie Nyamutambu

ZIMBABWEAN, Jackie Nyamutumbu, a biology major at Arkansas Hendrix College in the US has been selected as finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

She will interview for the celebrated international fellowship in Harare early next month.

Jackie, 16, is active in academic and campus life at Hendrix, a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas which was founded in 1876 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

She is a Miller Centre for Vocation, Ethics and Calling Service Fellow and winner of the TEDx Hendrix College student competition.

Jackie has served as an Academic Peer Mentor, Biology Teaching Assistant, and Resident Assistant. She is currently carrying out independent research with funding from the Julia Mobley Odyssey Professorship.

“I am exploring the effectiveness of gendered sexual and reproductive health interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.

“This research follows from my interest in Public Health, particularly reproductive health, and my desire to find effective ways to implement reproductive health education.”

Nyamutumbu worked in Northern Uganda with students from the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service to determine the causes of rapid spread of typhoid within a school called Hope North.

“I concurrently designed my own educational project whereby I held workshops with the girls on campus to talk about sexual and menstrual health, leading to my writing a grant proposal that earned the students sanitary wear usable for a year,” she said.

This past summer, she worked in Zimbabwe with an after-school program for orphans at Tariro House of Hope in Harare’s Epworth high density neighbourhood.

“I was the food and nutrition coordinator, and my role was to ensure the healthy preparation of food and to find innovative ways to encourage the children to adopt healthy practices,” said Nyamutumbu.

“I also tutored the students in writing, math, and oral presentation.”

With the Rhodes Scholarship, Nyamutumbu will study for a master’s degree in Global Health and a master’s degree in International Health and Tropical Medicine at Oxford to learn about the impact of health on development and to design an effective method to involve Zimbabwe youth in engineering innovative health interventions.

“As a Global and International Health professional, I hope to establish a global health research lab in Zimbabwe that works to identify the reproductive health disparities in Zimbabwe and spearheads the efforts to alleviate them,” she said.

She will interview for the scholarship in Harare on December 4.

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