Participants | Leadership in Higher Education

In addition to five outstanding program participants who serve as instructors and administrators from a variety of departments at the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture, the Leadership in Higher Education Program draws content expertise from institutions across Rwanda and the United States, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Participants Planning Team Advisors Topic Collaborators

Program Participants

Five outstanding instructors and administrators at the Rwanda Institute for Conversation Agriculture have been selected for the pilot Leadership in Higher Education Program from a variety of units and departments.

  • Marie Fausta Dutuze

    Marie Fausta Dutuze

    One Health Instructor and Curriculum Thread Coordinator

    Dr. Dutuze holds a Master of Science in Public Health and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Inter-State School of Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Dakar in Senegal. She received her doctoral degree from the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at Louisiana State University. She is focused on prevention of infectious disease through increased awareness and collaborative, quality education as it relates to the One Health Program.  Her prior experience includes education and training work at the University of Rwanda.

  • Florence Kaneza

    Florence Kaneza

    Director of Student Success

    Ms. Kaneza holds a Master of Science in Educational Policy and Management Studies obtained from the University of Twente in the Netherlands and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration obtained from the National University of Rwanda. As the Director of Student Success at RICA, her focus is mainly on fostering a welcoming campus environment and developing programs and services that support students growth and personal development. With over a decade of experience in higher education leadership, Kaneza has served in different capacities at the University of Rwanda, including the University Registrar where she helped implement various student-centered policies and programs. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rwanda Basic Education Board and the Chairperson of the Pan-African Movement Education Commission-Rwanda Chapter.

  • Samuel Nshutiyayesu

    Samuel Nshutiyayesu

    Conservation Ecology Instructor

    Mr. Nshutiyayesu holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the National University of Rwanda and a Master of Science in Management and Conservation of Terrestrial Ecosystems from the University of Burundi. He previously was a researcher and lecturer focusing on biology, botany and conservation at the University of Rwanda. He’s mentored hundreds of students and has contributed to the design and development of relevant teaching programs in the biology conservation field.

  • Sajji Ryakunze

    Sajji Ryakunze

    Director of Stakeholder Relations

    Ms. Ryakunze holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from Kabale University, a bachelor’s degree in Rural Development from Kigali Independent University and an Advanced Diploma in Animal Health from the University of Rwanda. She previously worked as the Country Coordinator of AgriProFocus Rwanda, and international network organization that brings together stakeholders on common agendas through linking, learning and leadership. Ms. Ryakunze worked for three years with World Vision International Rwanda as an Economic Development Program Coordinator where she was instrumental in coordinating value chain development and business facilitation in southern Rwanda. She has also served as an Inspector for Asbestos Project with Rwanda Housing Authority and a Coffee Quality Advisor at Technoserve Coffee Initiative Inc.

  • Eva Liliane Ujeneza

    Eva Liliane Ujeneza

    Math Instructor

    Dr. Ujeneza holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the National University of Rwanda, and post-graduate diploma in Mathematical Sciences and a Master of Science degree in Environment and Geographical Sciences (climate modeling) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She also holds a doctoral degree in Mathematics with a focus on modeling infectious disease from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Dr. Ujeneza’s previous work includes serving as a teaching assistant and a faculty member for biennial workshops organized by the International Clinics on Infectious Disease, Dynamics and Data Program (ICI3D). Dr. Ujeneza is an active volunteer and member of academic associations. She is the co-founder and former vice president of the Rwandan Association for Women in Science and Engineering (RAWISE). She is also the founder and co-chair of the Rwanda Young Academy of Science (RYAS).

Program Planning Team

The Program Planning Team works alongside RICA leadership to shape and customize program goals, content and learning methodology to drive the mission, vision and values of the institution. They bring a network of thought leaders within higher education and organizational development from both the U.S. and Rwanda to advise on program development and delivery, to create an innovative, experiential-focused and human-centered approach to program design.

  •  Juliet Gakwerere

    Juliet Gakwerere

    RICA Advisor

    Juliet Gakwerere is the Director of Human Resources for the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA). Ms. Gakwerere holds a bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from Makerere University, Kampala- Uganda. She previously served as People Manager for Andela Rwanda and as the Executive Administration and Human Resources Specialist for Chemonics International during its implementation of the USAID-funded Rwanda Family Health Project (RFHP). Ms. Gakwerere is a human resources management professional with more than 10 years of progressive experience working with academic, corporate and international non-governmental organizations in Rwanda in the areas of strategic human resources management and administration, program coordination and external relations management. Her range of skills include proven leadership, excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Lark Hovey

    Lark Hovey

    Communications Thread and Curriculum Coordinator

    Ms. Hovey holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Spanish from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in TESOL and Linguistics from Ball State University. Her prior experience includes serving as a lecturer and curriculum consultant in higher education. At RICA, she is responsible for teaching communication courses, as well as monitoring and advising the implementation of RICA’s global outcomes for the Communications Thread across the curriculum. As Curriculum Coordinator, she monitors course development, teaching, and continuity in the curriculum.

  • Jean Claude Kayisinga

    Jean Claude Kayisinga

    RICA Advisor

    Jean Claude Kayisinga is the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Institutional Development of the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA). Mr. Kayisinga holds a Bachelor of Science in Soil Sciences and Rural Engineering from the University of Rwanda and a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) from Texas A&M University in the United States. His previous work includes serving as the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of the Government of Rwanda, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), and a Country Director of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Development Initiative in Rwanda. He has also served with USAID-funded projects and as a lecture at the University of Rwanda.

  • Vanessa Nkesha

    Vanessa Nkesha

    Program Coordinator

    Vanessa Nkesha serves as the Program Coordinator while completing the CUSP Post-Graduate Fellowship with University of Nebraska-CUSP. Prior to that, Vanessa worked at EarthEnable a social enterprise building affordable floors for rural communities across Rwanda where her main responsibilities were grant writing and reporting to major grant-giving foundations in the US. Vanessa also worked at Women for Women International as an economic empowerment intern and served as a teaching assistant for entrepreneurship and leadership classes during her undergrad. Vanessa graduated in May 2020 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Integrated Sciences and a minor in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about transforming the lives of women and youth in rural communities in Africa through Entrepreneurship and Agriculture-focused education.

  •  Michelle Ntukanyagwe

    Michelle Ntukanyagwe

    RICA Advisor

    As Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA), Michelle is responsible for the development, enhancement and delivery of an excellent student experience that goes beyond the academic aspects of student life. Her key focus is the development and execution of responsive and progressive student-centered programs and services that support students’ academic growth and personal development. With over 15 years of experience in public policy and education in Rwanda, Michelle previously worked with the Higher Education Council as Director of Policy, Research and Planning, and as Senior Policy Advisor in the Strategy and Policy Council of the Presidency. Michelle holds an MBA from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban and an M.Phil in Public and Development Policy from the University of Cape Town.

  • Elizabeth Scutchfield

    Elizabeth Scutchfield

    Program Design Strategist

    Elizabeth Scutchfield comes to this project with over ten years of experience as an education innovator and ecosystem builder. She brings an array of experiences and perspectives, based upon her work in a variety of settings including higher education, vocational training, corporations and start-ups. She received her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt. Scutchfield continued her educational journey at Stanford University, completing a certificate in Corporate Innovation, building an international network and growing her capacity to lead organizations and teams with a focus on creativity and customer-experience. She has created work-based learning programs in the private sector, launching an IT internship program for a Fortune 500 hospital management company and creating a professional development framework for a high-growth marketing agency. Most recently, she served as the Director of Partner Relations at Code Fellows, an immersive software development training program, where she created an industry advisory board to support curriculum development and program upgrades.

  • Blayne Sharpe

    Blayne Sharpe

    Program Administrator

    Blayne Sharpe has supported the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s initiatives in Africa since 2016. Most recently, Sharpe coordinated a UNL taskforce that developed curriculum frameworks and an academic program specification to establish the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA). In addition to overseeing the accreditation of RICA, Sharpe led the taskforce’s efforts to establish a faculty training program that enhanced RICA’s instructional capacity and effectiveness. Before coming to Nebraska, Sharpe lived in Rwanda for six years supporting the Ministry of Education in strengthening a number of international partnerships and programs with institutes of higher education in the United States.

Program Advisors

Program Advisors are selected based upon their expertise in leadership development, higher education administration, student success, innovation, and organizational development. They provide cross-cultural perspectives and insights which are drawn from direct experiences from within their respective fields, but also understanding of theoretical frameworks associated with these important topics.

  • Dan Gilbert

    Dan Gilbert

    Innovation in Higher Education Advisor

    Dan Gilbert is the co-founder and principal of Gilbert + Chittenden, a design thinking consultancy that helps organizations use innovation and strategy to build creative, caring cultures. For more than 25 years, Dan has worked with leaders and learners of all ages around the world at the intersection of learning, human-centered design and technology with a particular passion for education. Dan has taught multiple courses on human-centered design at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and has also led workshops and given lectures on human-centered design at universities around the world. In 2019 he facilitated workshops in Mozambique that brought together people with disabilities, technologists and academics to improve accessibility policies. Gilbert holds a Master’s degree in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford and a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University.

  • Fay Hodza

    Fay Hodza

    Academic Leadership Advisor

    Dr. Fay Hodza currently works in Rwanda as the Academic Director at the African Leadership University. He has almost twenty years of higher education experience in teaching and administration as innovative and impact-oriented leader. His work has specifically focused on overseeing the creation, implementation and scaling up of academic programs, research, and community engagement programs at universities in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Rwanda. Dr. Hodza is passionate about creating, delivering, and scaling up educational opportunities for students of all ages in both formal and informal settings. He is a firm believer in education as a powerful tool for changing the world for the better. He holds a Ph.D. in Human and Community Development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MSc and BSc degrees in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of Zimbabwe.

  • Peter Malinga

    Peter Malinga

    Organizational Development Program Advisor

    Peter Malinga has extensive knowledge and experience in both the academia and public service sectors. For a decade, Malinga served as a university administrator until he transitioned to senior management positions in government institutions responsible for coordinating national capacity development and employment promotion. Since 2005, he has successfully developed project proposals and implemented medium-to-large development projects funded by various international organizations ranging from $1.5 to $200 million USD. In 2015, Malinga was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Rwanda Management Institute. Recently, he became an independent consultant on two major development projects and joined the African Development Bank as a Principal Social Economist.

  • Demilade Oluwasina

    Demilade Oluwasina

    Educator and Entrepreneurship Development Consultant

    Oluwasina is an educator, entrepreneur and coach. He presently works with the African Leadership University as a faculty for International Business and Trade and Entrepreneurship. He is also the Programme Lead for the Alibaba Global E-Commerce Talent Programme. Oluwasina has previously taught entrepreneurial leadership courses, served as a program managed for a The Bridge Program, and is the Founder of Amplyfy Works, a business strategy and digital marketing agency based in Kigali. Oluwasina is a learning designer and a corporate trainer who has worked with pan-African clients such as ITM Africa, UNCTAD, eTrade for Women and more. He completed his MBA at the African Leadership University and holds a Digital Business Transformation Management Certificate from CXO Transform. Oluwasina is a certified Global E-Commerce Talent Trainer and a certified BUILD Entrepreneurial Leadership Educator.

  • Scott Rausch

    Scott Rausch

    Student Affairs and Student Success Advisor

    Dr. Scott Rausch serves as the Senior Director of Student Life on the Atlanta campus of Emory University where he oversees all programmatic and educative efforts for 4,400 residential students and 32 Greek Letter Organizations. In addition to serving a multi-cultural body of residential students, Dr. Rausch has oversight of the training and development program for 26 professional and over 200 student staff at Emory. He is passionate about retention/persistence work, organizational development and change theory. Prior to Emory, Dr. Rausch worked in similar roles at Vanderbilt University, Acadia University and the University of the Pacific. Dr. Rausch received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University, his masters from Sacred Heart University and his doctorate from Vanderbilt University.

  • Kirsten Turner

    Kirsten Turner

    Higher Education Administration Advisor

    J. Kirsten Turner serves as the University of Kentucky’s Vice President for Student Success. In her role, she is responsible for offices such as Dean of Students, Student Well-being, Academic Advising, Residence Life, Admissions and Financial Aid. Her role includes leading the institution’s retention and graduation efforts. Turner earned her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree from Hanover College. Her research interests deal with the public benefits of higher education as well as the current state of the American professoriate.

Topic Collaborators

Topic Collaborators are selected based upon their experience driving key initiatives which have facilitated innovation and transformation within higher education. These individuals offer case studies from their portfolio as a leader in higher education, where program participants can learn from successes as well as failures, and better understand the connection between theory and practice.

  • Linda Bachman

    Linda Bachman

    Motivating and Influencing People

    Dr. Linda Bachman is the Associate Director of Residential Education at Emory University, where she collaborates across divisions to provide programs that support student learning beyond the classroom on Emory’s residential campus. She was previously the founding director of the Experiential Learning Initiative at the University of Georgia. Her 30 years in higher education administration also include stints at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Bryn Mawr College. Her consulting engagements have included workshops on institutional capacity-building for Ugandan, Chinese, and Balkan region higher education leaders. Bachman holds a doctorate in higher education from the University of Georgia, a and a masters in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.

  • Abebe Bekele

    Abebe Bekele

    Leading Diverse Teams

    Abebe Bekele (MD, FCS, FACS) is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Research Affaires and Dean at the University of Global Health Equity. He is a Professor of Surgery (General and Thoracic) and has served as CEO of the Black Lion Teaching Hospital and Dean of the School of Medicine of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He has published more than 85 articles and book chapters, and is a recipient of many regional and international awards and recognitions. Professor Abebe has led numerous panels is global surgery and is passionate about equitable access to care, gender equity in global surgery and surgical education. He is a member of the advisory council to the Ethiopian ministry of sciences and higher education.

  • Yanine Chan

    Yanine Chan

    Building a Student Development-Focused Culture

    Dr. Yanine Chan is the Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at EARTH University in Costa Rica. After 22 years as a professor, she is the first woman on EARTH’s campus to hold this leadership role, responsible for shepherding the University’s education model and academic development. Her caring and students-first nature, along with her unrelenting commitment to EARTH’s mission in everything she does, made her a natural fit for the role. She previously served as a professor of Food Processing and Food Industrialization to fourth year students. She also coordinated the Food-Processing Laboratory responsible for processing foodstuffs produced at EARTH and the Dairy Plant, which aims to develop the necessary skills for the processing of fresh products and add value in order to open new markets for non-traditional agricultural products. Chan holds a M.Sc. Degree in Food Science and a Ph.D. degree in Food Technology from the Université de Montpellier I, France.

  •  Gaidi Faraj

    Gaidi Faraj

    Project Management

    Dr. Gaidi Faraj is a multidimensional manager, educator, trainer and team leader. As the former Head of College of African Leadership University, Dr.Faraj pioneered the development of the Global Challenges program, ALU’s flagship product. He holds a Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Teaching from Troy State University (USA). Dr. Faraj focuses on teaching innovation, entrepreneurship and futures thinking. Specifically, he is concerned with how curriculum design in areas of entrepreneurship and innovation at the undergraduate and graduate levels confront issues of leapfrogging inequality. Dr. Faraj has nearly two decades of experience doing business in Africa. Before joining ALU, Dr. Faraj was based in Tanzania as the Vice President of Operations for a transatlantic investment firm.

  • Tiffany Heng-Moss

    Tiffany Heng-Moss

    Student Success & Student Advising

    Tiffany Heng-Moss was named dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in December 2018 after serving as interim dean for 18 months. As an administrator in the college, Heng-Moss led the development of IANR’s graduate education strategic framework, college-level attributes and three college-wide academic degree programs, including an individualized program of study. Prior to her appointment as interim dean, Heng-Moss taught and developed courses in the Department of Entomology for both undergraduate and graduate students. Heng-Moss received her Bachelor of Science in horticulture in 1995, her Master of Science in entomology in 1997, and her Ph.D. in entomology in 2000. All degrees were awarded from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

  • Deepak Keshwani

    Deepak Keshwani

    Student Success & Student Advising

    Deepak Keshwani is an Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also serves as a Faculty Fellow for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. In addition to teaching and advising both undergraduate and graduate students, Deepak coordinates the Justin Smith Morrill Scholars, a campus-wide, co-curricular program focused on civic engagement and critical societal issues in food, agriculture and natural resource systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University; his M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and his B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  • Eric Monday

    Eric Monday

    Financial & Resource Management

    Dr. Eric N. Monday became Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration at the University of Kentucky (UK) in December 2012. In this role, he serves as the chief nonacademic administrative officer of the university, which has over 31,000 students, approximately 20,000 full and part-time employees and a budget of more than $4.4 billion. Dr. Monday has executive responsibilities for a wide range of business services and auxiliary enterprises that provide the financial, administrative and operational responsibilities for the university. He directs the development of the budget, provides administrative services, allocates fiscal resources and manages the elements of fiscal accountability necessary to accomplish the university's mission. A Louisiana native, Monday received his Ph.D., Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees from LSU.

  • Amy Porter

    Amy Porter

    Building a Student Development-Focused Culture

    Amy Porter is a faculty member and Internship Professor at EARTH University in Costa Rica. She has over 10 years of experience in Higher Education. She oversees the global internship and career development program there. Together with her team she supports students in career planning, internship search strategies, networking, and related pre-career development skills. She also serves as the academic coordinator for third year students and is the program coordinator for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at EARTH. She holds a master’s degree in International Education with a concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language from Framingham State University in Massachusetts, United States.

  • Rica Rwigamba

    Rica Rwigamba

    Stakeholder & Partnership Management

    Rica Rwigamba is the Country Head for the Mastercard Foundation in Rwanda. Rica came to the Foundation with deep expertise across multiple facets of the Rwandan tourism and hospitality industry. For more than ten years, she has been active across the tourism and hospitality sector as an independent consultant, a leader within nonprofits, and an entrepreneur. Previously, Rica was the Head of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board where her responsibilities included tourism investment promotion, tourism marketing, and stakeholder coordination. She has served on multiple national and regional boards within the sector and has a deep network across Rwanda and the region.

  • Daniel Shipp

    Daniel Shipp

    Human-Centered Design

    Daniel J. Shipp has been the vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Dean of Students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) since 2012. Shipp is a nationally recognized higher education leader and innovator that has been responsible for designing student educational and support programs, services, and facilities at three different universities. He has been responsible for providing planning and project leadership to $200 million worth of capital projects over the past 20 years. Shipp received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a Master of Arts degree in recreation administration from UNO. He earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration from the University of the Pacific.

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