2022 Wade Scholars

We are pleased to announce the 2022 Wade Scholars!

The 2022 Wade Scholars are drawn from a pool of national and global universities. 

Recipients from the USA are from UC Berkeley, Claflin University, Howard, and MIT. 

International awardees are from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), the University of the West Indies (Caribbean); China University of Petroleum (China).

These scholars will pursue degrees in chemical engineering, computer science (2), management science and engineering, mechanical engineering (3).  

Click on the pictures for the introductions.

Albert Kisole

Albert earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. He will continue his master’s degree studies at Berkeley in the same field

Albert Kisole knows what it’s like to be alone in the pursuit of STEM and is reassured by signs that times are changing. His experiences encouraging and helping his peers to apply to graduate school fed his passion to be an educator, especially in institutions of higher learning, where students and faculty of African descent are underrepresented.

Growing up poor in a single-parent home in rural Tanzania, Albert understands all too well the importance of representation and using its power to benefit and inspire others in the community. For example, one of his many projects involved researching 3D printed microscopy for malaria diagnosis to help make healthcare more affordable and accessible.

Albert aspires to be an academic, researcher, and educator in emerging engineering fields. He wants to create an environment where Black students can be creative, challenged to innovate, and design solutions catering to the specific needs of their communities.

“It’s the young people that give me hope…their determination to change and challenge the negative narratives and stereotypes…Now more than ever people of African descent have risen to seek representation in fields and spaces that we were previously excluded from. It is, therefore, upon us and the next generation to fulfill this vision and I want to be part of it.”

Hermann Kumbong

Hermann earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. At Stanford University, Hermann plans to earn a master’s degree in the same field.

The golden era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is upon us. Or so Hermann Kumbong concluded when Deepmind’s AlphaFold made a gigantic leap in predicting protein structures. As someone with a strong mathematical background and problem-solving skills, Hermann envisions his own future at the intersection of AI and ML, helping other researchers increase the number of ways to leverage both fields.

Hermann has already begun demonstrating these possibilities himself, with a number of collaborative projects including creating a university lecture scheduling algorithm, designing a smart navigation aid for the visually impaired, building neural networks for classifying facial expressions, and applying volunteer computing to training machine learning models.

He plans a dual specialization in Systems and Artificial Intelligence, yet he doesn’t intend to work solely behind the scenes. Hermann’s long-term goal is to become a professor and researcher. He values the creative and productive benefit that comes with establishing partnerships, and the exchange of ideas between fellow scholars and professionals.

“My long-term aspiration is to return to Africa as a professor. I want to establish a world-class research lab…training a new generation of computer scientists and engineers from Africa who will use AI and Machine Learning to solve many of Africa’s problems.”

Keeghan Patrick

Keeghan earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at The University of the West Indies. He will pursue his master’s degree in the same field at MIT.

Keeghan Patrick has a vision for a Caribbean transformed. Not through its traditional reliance on tourism, but through technology. By investing in STEM opportunities and encouraging creative minds to innovate and apply their intellect using the tools of tomorrow, Keeghan would like to see the advancement of both the region’s talented professionals and the population as a whole.

In particular, as a Wade Scholar, he wants to help bridge the gap between his philanthropic and entrepreneurial vision and a glaring reality: the small island states of the Caribbean are still many years behind much of the world in terms of technology and how they leverage its advantages.

Yet Keeghan has another vision—one of equity. His hope is that exposure and increase access to STEM disciplines for Black youth, regardless of origin, will be a scientific, financial, societal, and cultural boon.

“When I dream of the future, I see the restoration of my African people, restoration to equal rights and the complete removal of racism and prejudices in society. I see a future where every person is regarded as equal…I believe if we as a people remain on a united front, we can slowly resolve the many challenges that have been debilitating our people for centuries.”

Jonathan Rhone

Jonathan will graduate in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Howard University. He’ll go on to pursue a master’s degree in the same field at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Jonathan gains inspiration from the idea of legacy. Not just in terms of his own achievements as he studies alternative energy and sustainability, but in the idea that as more Black scholars are given voice and opportunity to serve as role models for changing the world, they set in motion a similar cycle for the future.

He has seen it firsthand through his own mentoring efforts, and hopes to extend it through partnerships with NSBE, NSBE Junior and AIChE to help aspiring Black engineers achieve their own goals. Jonathan knows the issue has never been one of a shortage of innovation, just a shortage of opportunity. His hope is for a future where people do not have to sacrifice culture for education and can be themselves in corporate America and instill that same sense of self in their children.

Being a Wade Scholar will allow Jonathan to devote more mental space toward that other aspect of his legacy: energy- and environmental-based work that changes the world. He sees endless opportunities ahead, including the possibility of earning an MBA and starting his own alternative energy or biodegradable materials company.

“In the future where people of African descent are able to be uplifted and supported, I see a world where anything is possible for us.”

Jordan Alford

Jordan earned bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Spanish from MIT. She will pursue a master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

Climate change and energy demands are issues that are not confined by geopolitical borders or ways of thinking. Jordan Alford wants to be one of the decision makers creating a better world for everyone, everywhere—ensuring in the process that these decision spaces are representative of the diverse thoughts and widespread impacts those decisions have now and well into the future.

Often sustainability programs ignore a region’s historical racial context, and those communities don’t receive the benefit from renewable energy efforts. By serving as a change agent, Jordan wants to manage engineering teams seeking ways to produce cleaner energy that is more abundant and more equitably accessed.

Collaboration is key to her success. Jordan hopes to leverage the network of Wade Scholars and the larger WIT community to inspire inclusive conversations as a matter of course in decision making processes, and to serve as role models to those who follow.

“The emergence of more Black influences in spaces where they historically have not been included gives me great hope for our present and future. I want to use my graduate studies to further propel me into the decision making space in the energy transition. While exploring options for cleaner and more efficient ways to produce energy for the world population, it is important that racial inequity in the energy transition is addressed.”

MacVincent Agha-Oko

MacVincent earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Claflin University. At Stanford, he will pursue a master’s degree in Computer Science.

Big dreams can result in big impact. That’s what MacVincent Agha-Oko has seen, at least. The #EndSARS protests in Nigeria. The pro-democracy protests in Uganda. The hundreds of millions raised by Nigerian fintech startups and the spirit of innovation spreading across the African continent. Change is being driven by a youthful energy and vision, and MacVincent is working to be part of it.

Through internships with Lyft and Google, MacVincent secured hands-on software infrastructure experience that will serve him well as he aligns the theory and research of his studies with reality. He wants to pursue a PhD and realize his goal of becoming a robotics researcher, a college-level instructor, and a credible advocate for AI research’s potential to spur innovation in Nigeria.

Goals of that magnitude succeed best through partnerships. MacVincent looks forward to the relationships he’ll build both within and beyond the WSP network, including lessons from leadership experts on navigating government bureaucracy and keeping project team members motivated.

“What we are yet to see is innovation with the potential for applicability beyond the continent. While founders can build around adverse government policies, the kind of environment that favors significant innovation takes long-term focus, strong research institutions, and adequate funding. Starting with Nigeria, I want to help put together an initiative that advocates for the kind of policy framework that makes this possible.”