2021 Wade Scholars

We are pleased to announce the 2021 Wade Scholars!

The 2021 Wade Scholars are drawn from a pool of national and global universities. 

Recipients are from the USA: Cornell, Dartmouth, and Howard (2), and MIT.  International awardees are from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), the University of the West Indies (Caribbean), and University College London (UK).

These scholars will pursue degrees in bioengineering, civil and environmental engineering (3), computer science (2), and mechanical engineering (2).

In addition to the eight Stanford-bound Wade Scholars, we also awarded scholarships to cover a master’s program to three students from the Colorado School of Mines and the French Institute of Petroleum in France, Charles R. Drew School of Medicine, and Columbia University.  These students will study a master’s program in mineral and energy economics, biomedical science, and biomedical engineering.

Click on the pictures for the introductions.

2021 WSP Luncheon Party​

Christina Adjiman

Christina graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Christina plans to earn a master’s degree in mineral and energy economics while studying at the Colorado School of Mines and the French Institute of Petroleum in France.

Christina has her eye firmly on the future. Not just her own future as an engineer, but how she can help create a better future for everyone.

Starting with her field of study, Christina received an undergraduate research fellowship to study the reports of various companies and identify the indicators they used based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The long-term goal of the research is to develop a platform to help companies better assess their contribution to sustainable development.

She also worked as an intern at the Ivorian Refining Company in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Her work project involved finding, analyzing, and proposing solutions for repeated process failures in order to make operations more efficient and secure. 

On campus, Christina became involved in a different kind of security initiative. As a community volunteer she collected oral histories of abuse and social injustice from students and staff. The project highlighted the strength of survivors of discrimination, racism, sexual abuse, mental health issues, and human rights violations as well as to raise community awareness.

Community is important to Christina. She has been a member of her school chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, served as the Cultural Awareness Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers, and was the former President Advisor and Event Coordinator of the Mines African Students Union on her campus. 

Her activities contributed to a mission: promote Black excellence, diversity and cultural exchange and ensure that people of African descent are proud of their roots and understand and appreciate their culture and contributions.

“What gives me hope is the fact that we have started more and more to understand the necessity of being united in order to thrive. What happened last year demonstrated this thirst for hope and change in our community.”


Howard graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. Howard plans to earn a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Columbia University in New York.

Like many people, Howard discovered his life’s passion through a personal interest. In his case it was his brother, who has Down syndrome. Howard’s quest to understand the syndrome’s impact and potential solutions for its related health complications began as early as middle school.

Now motivated to find answers at the intersection of biology and engineering, Howard pursued pre-collegiate research opportunities at the National Institutes of Health and Howard University. He also went on to become a UMBC Meyerhoff Scholar—a program designed to increase diversity in STEM. 

Howard’s undergraduate experience was marked by opportunities to further his bioengineering career. In his first summer he participated in the University of Michigan SMART program, focusing on comparing different protein marker expression for retinal pigment epithelial cells grown on various substrates. His research won him awards at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and the regional conference for the National Society of Black Engineers.

His subsequent experiences included a sustained research project in a UMBC tissue engineering lab focused on advanced biosensors for therapeutic drug monitoring and sickle cell disease research in the SURE program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His experience at Georgia Tech not only brought him another award, during the first annual AfroBiotech conference hosted by the American Institute for Chemical Engineers but highlighted for him the importance of Black mentorship and confirmation that he had a future as a Black STEM professional.

Most recently, Howard conducted research on the effect of cell communication on aging at the Vittorio Sebastiano lab at Stanford University. 

“I will develop a diverse laboratory where we devise novel biomedical engineering solutions and center conversations about racial equity in STEM and beyond. This line of scholarship will positively impact the scientific community by confronting racist structures and practices in biotechnology toward racial health equity.”

Jocasta Manasseh-Lewis

Jocasta graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a minor in Biology. At Stanford, Jocasta plans to earn a master’s degree in Bioengineering.

As an undergraduate, she pursued research in neuroscience, working in the DiCarlo lab, where she gained experience in systems neuroscience and vision research and the underlying neuronal algorithms in object recognition, with applications in computer vision and therapeutics. 

She also worked in the Akizu Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, studying spinocerebellar ataxia, a hereditary degenerative disease of the nervous system and using genetically engineered mouse models to (1) understand why cerebellar tissue is sensitive to lysosomal dysfunction and (2) understand how neuronal diversity is generated in healthy brains and lost in patients with neurological disorders. 

During high school, she decided to volunteer as a tutor for underrepresented students in her local community. She volunteered as an online tutor working with underprivileged children during the pandemic through CovEd. 

“The apparent absence of black women in STEM seems to imply that we do not or should not exist in that sphere. It is inspiring for me to simply see black women in that space and learn about them rising above stereotypes and prejudice to succeed in their careers. I have always held their journeys dear as I make my own path in STEM and academia and, in the future, medicine. I want to do the same for someone else; being a positive example is incredibly important to me.”

Jodi Porter

Jodi graduated from The University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Process Engineering. At Stanford, Jodi plans to earn her master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering.

Growing up on a Caribbean island, Jodi developed a distinct perspective on the role of science in potentially mitigating environmental impacts. Her homeland, St. Vincent, is an extremely small developing country facing both resource and environmental issues.

As their reservoirs deplete, it seems inevitable that the residents of St. Vincent would suffer the consequences of soaring fossil fuel prices. More frequent and severe natural disasters threaten to set the country’s progress back by decades. The issues of globalization would be a chokehold on the economy. There would also be adverse economic and health impacts if current climate change trends continue. 

The full breadth and weight of these issues might not have hit Jodi at the time she was named the Prime Minister’s Student of the Year Award for St. Vincent Girls High School. But propelled by a deep interest in science beyond the natural beauty of her home, Jodi has been seeking ways to effectively apply engineering principles before the island that has given her so much reaches a perilous state. 

To narrow her broad interest in engineering Jodi was selected to attend the prestigious Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE), which is modeled after MIT’s MITES program. She took advanced science courses and received awards in Calculus and Physics as well as the best group design for a windmill project. 

Through this program, Jodi realized that a chemical engineering focus would best benefit her interests and her country, providing solutions for renewable energy and environmental issues. Jodie’s goal is to help alleviate the impact of incidents like hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, and increase St. Vincent’s resiliency in the face of an increasing number of situations that it cannot control.

“I aspire to help my country achieve sustainability and to improve the lives of our citizens.”

Mahilet Adem

Mahilet graduated from the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. At Stanford, Mahilet plans to earn her master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering.

Mahilet grew up in a world of great abundance and adversity. Despite having plentiful water resources, water was either not easily accessible to all, resulting in girls in rural areas who walked many miles each day to fetch water for their families instead of going to school, or the water contained water-borne illnesses like cholera, which claimed the lives of innocent, vulnerable children.

Issues like these became a driving factor in Mahilet’s pursuit of a solution. She earned the highest female score on the Ethiopian University Entrance Examination from the state of Oromia and went on to become the top-ranking female student from Addis Ababa Institute of Technology in December 2020.

Although it was a focus and motivation, becoming an environmental engineer was not the only thing that defined her. Mahilet was an active member of her university debate club and served as a tutor. Following her uncle’s cancer diagnosis, she also volunteered in a pediatric oncology ward.

Buoyed by the courage, optimism and hope she saw while volunteering in the hospital, Mahilet wanted to bring that same sense of support and hope to others—like the children at home who couldn’t attend school or were sickened by environmental factors. She is thankful in turn for the support provided by the WSP, which will allow her to broaden her knowledge, enhance her skills and cultivate ideas that could solve problems in her country.

“The world is progressing to true democracy—eliminating the constraints that hindered us and giving us an equal chance to show our true potential. I believe I am part of the generation who creates a tomorrow that is better than today. I want to do my part by being an exemplary leader in my field of study and contribute to Black people’s stellar history.”

Micael Tchapmi

Micael graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. At Stanford, Micael plans to earn his master’s degree in computer science.

With a longstanding interest in computers and their ability to solve everyday problems, Micael’s course of study is well suited to his personal passion and goal to address  larger societal issues. His academic prowess is also well established. He was class valedictorian in high school and college and served as academic chairman of his college French Student Association, organizing tutorials to provide academic assistance to students from different African countries. 

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Micael enhanced his in-class C and C++ programming studies with additional time writing code and learning new programming languages. Those skills proved useful for both a third-year team project and his senior thesis. 

The team’s award-winning “Sira KNUST” mobile application platform helped students access course materials and converse with professors as part of their exam study preparations. The experience strengthened Micael’s project organization, planning, and collaboration skills.

For his thesis, Micael designed a home security system that detected and photographed intruders and then alerted users with an SMS message and photo via a mobile application. Exploring the potential of what he had created led him to the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Vision. For the past two years he’s been a member of the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab, focusing on projects in 3D Semantic Segmentation and Point Cloud and contributing to academic research papers.

“The financial requirements of the Stanford master’s program are significant,” he says. “With the freedom provided by the WSP, I hope to connect with other like-minded scholars and contribute my acquired skill and knowledge to improve societal challenges. I will also be excited to share my experiences with the Stanford community to help promote cultural diversity.”

Nicholas Feffer

Nicolas graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. At Stanford, Nicolas plans to earn a master’s degree in the same field.

Nicolas envisions a world where humankind and machines collaborate to create an incredible future. Interestingly, his inspiration came from the past.

The victory of supercomputer Deep Blue over chess legend Garry Kasparov in 1997 spawned advanced chess, where humans and computers play together, leading to powerhouse pairings that outmatch any single human or computer player. The possibilities sparked something in Nicolas, leading to his interest in human-computer interaction (HCI). 

While at Dartmouth, Nicolas developed rigorous coding and mathematical proficiency and an eye for aesthetic design and detail with a particular application of HCI in mind: virtual and augmented reality. While serving as a teaching assistant for three different faculty members he reinforced his own learning while helping others discover the joys of HCI.

One of the things he himself discovered was the potential for HCI to aid other areas of research. Nicolas participated in research projects that developed open-source protein substructure visualization and interaction software for microbiology research, created a mixed-reality hand-tracking assistant for teaching sign language and created a multi-user VR environment for studying social interactions in virtual spaces. 

He has also used his skills for industry applications. Nicolas was a technical intern at Ball Aerospace, creating spatial mark-up tools for use in a multi-user VR environment and an augmented reality exploded view simulator for Ball’s mechanical engineers to use in the workplace. He also worked as a developer and project manager at Tiltfactor Games, which publishes titles with a subliminal focus on a given social or environmental issue. 

“It’s only a matter of time before the human-computer collaboration seen in advanced chess is applied to wearable tech such as AR lenses, causing an incredible technological shift. My dream is to be part of that shift, as one of the developers whose contributions to the field help popularize augmented reality glasses.”

Oluwakanyinsola Adebayo

Oluwakanyinsola graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. At Stanford, Oluwakanyinsola plans to earn a master’s degree in the same field.

For more than five years Oluwakanyinsola has been assembling the pieces of the puzzle of her life. Knowing that her working-class family would not be able to afford her college fees as an international student, she took an extra year to study for entrance exams and prepare applications, resulting in a full scholarship to Howard University.

At Howard Oluwakanyinsola honed skills to make her a more holistic professional. Exploring her design affinity. Expanding interpersonal skills through team projects and student organizations. Honing a habit for delivering high-caliber work. Embracing a love of innovation.

The process of getting to Howard and thriving in a community of Black achievers taught her that dreams can come true. And that was important, because much of her life’s dream revolved around the largest, unresolved piece of her personal puzzle: her sister’s health.

Oluwakanyinsola’s sister was born with congenital rubella. The unreliable nature of medical devices in Nigeria and a lack of commitment to addressing and improving that situation is what inspired Oluwakanyinsola’s interest in medicine, specifically a career involving cardiac devices. 

Her dreams are big, which means there are still many puzzle pieces to add. She would like to obtain her own patents. She would like to found her own medical device company. And she would like to serve on the board of directors for the Federal Ministry of Health or NAFDAC, both of which regulate medical device policies in Nigeria. 

But her next steps are about laying foundations. Starting with forging connections with her equally accomplished peers at Stanford and continuing on in roles that build toward her ultimate ambitions.

“I hope to be a competitive R&D engineer for a medical device company or medical center cardiology department, making new discoveries or optimizing existing ones. I want to contribute to the cutting-edge research of cardiac functions.”

Oluwamayomiwa Makinde

Oluwamayomiwa graduated from University College London with a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering. At Stanford, Oluwamayomiwa plans to earn a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering.

Oluwamayomiwa is a firm believer in a simple principle: most challenges facing the world don’t happen in isolation and collaboration is needed to solve them. That’s why she’s turning her interest in hydrology, water resources and geophysical fluid mechanics into a tangible goal that will take tremendous teamwork: developing sustainable infrastructure for wastewater treatment, water supply and energy.

By learning about chemical sampling techniques and computational methods for conducting geophysical and hydrological modelling, Oluwamayomiwa is well on her way. But she’s also developed an interest in using machine learning and statistical modelling to solve other everyday problems.

During her undergraduate studies Oluwamayomiwa helped with construction plans for bridges in rural communities in Bolivia and Eswatini. In a summer placement at an education tech company she worked with colleagues on an initiative that examined the factors preventing children in Africa and the Middle East from using digital education platforms. And in a recent consulting role, Oluwamayomiwa worked on patient flow in a children’s hospital to minimize the spread of pathogens.

Those wide-ranging interests have something in common: finding ways to engineer a better way of living. One path is through education and mentoring. Programs targeting youth, like at Stanford’s Center for Sustainable Development, are appealing. Oluwamayomiwa believes education is key to equipping future generations with the skills required to maintain lasting infrastructure.

Another path relates to her long-term goal: focusing on resilience and helping communities recuperate after devastating, large-scale natural events. By one day founding a start-up organization that uses machine learning and modelling, Oluwamayomiwa hopes to not only draw on personal skill and experience but to draw like-minded experts together for life-changing collaborations.

“I yearn for a time when the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals are within reach. I aim to make this a reality and leave a legacy beyond my own lifetime.”

Temesgen Worku

Temesgen graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. At Stanford, Temesgen plans to earn a master’s degree in the same field.

In his freshman year Temesgen took a writing class that awoke a raw, creative spirit he tried to balance against the more systematic and analytic side of his nature. During a mechanical synthesis class in his sophomore year, he found the solution: human centered design (HCD). 

The emphasis on solving people’s problems through design that focuses on the human perspective was appealing. And the prospect of studying at Stanford, the birthplace and proving grounds for HCD, was a dream come true.

Temesgen wants to use design thinking and systems thinking to introduce robots into the workforce in a way that enhances workers’ job satisfaction. By balancing his love of robotics with his care for people, he’ll design automation approaches that are both profitable for companies and uplifting for workers.

In the past Temesgen has applied HCD to small and practical projects like auto-belay devices and portable workout handles. But he has also applied those principles to larger initiatives, creating solutions for problems plaguing high school education in Ethiopia. 

Two years ago he co-founded Ethio-Bridge, a program that connects high school students in Ethiopia to a network of U.S.-based college students. The U.S. students act as peer guidance counselors, offering direction to those Ethiopian students who are applying to college in the U.S.

Over the winter Temesgen co-founded Tibeb Hub, a night of virtual discussion for people seeking a community to nurture their passions. Tibeb Hub has since evolved into a bimonthly zoom meeting with topics ranging from the existence of God to the current state of Ethiopian art. 

“I want to continue the projects I have started and address more unmet demands in education. Whether I continue in academia, move to industry or pursue entrepreneurship, my values of growth, community, optimism and empathy will continue to guide my journey.”