Nancy Ingabire Abayo
Nancy Ingabire Abayo PhD Student at North Carolina State University in Geotechnical Engineering
Bucknell University, 2018, B.S. Civil Engineering and Geology

“Being a grand challenge scholar has pushed me to take advantage of every opportunity presented to me to better the lives of my communities. It has been a constant reminder that although success is great and maybe satisfying, that it is never just about me but about my community. I have been able to branch out in different communities on different continents, I was fortunate to participate in two different research projects for five years that pertained to my grand challenges of focus both directly and indirectly. I would say one of the most rewarding experiences I had as grand challenge scholar was to participate in the Bucknell 2018 BizPitch competition where my friend and I pitched an initiative that we called Sci-Touche to help emphasize the importance of practical education.  From there, we applied for additional funds from the Davis Foundation for the same initiative which I am currently leading on the ground, in Rwanda, our home country. We purchased Physics lab equipment, and are training secondary students (and some secondary teachers) about how to use them while raising awareness regarding the impact of practical education on the nation's development and her ability to compete on an international level.”