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Graduate Scholar Awarded Scholarships for Eastern African Research

Published: Friday, 12 Jan 2018
Author: The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program
Department: Office of the Dean

Graduate Scholar Susanna Maingi studies fisheries and wildlife in the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in an effort to make sense of Eastern Africa's human-carnivore conflict. To assist with her research, Maingi was recently awarded the Miriam J. Kelley African Scholarship and an IDEA WILD scholarship.

The Miriam J. Kelley African Scholarship was established by MSU's Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) to encourage African students—especially women—to study at MSU in disciplines that will develop their home countries.

"I believe I was awarded the scholarship because of the potential my research has to contribute to bettering the lives of many African communities living alongside wildlife," Maingi said. "My research is focused on understanding the human-carnivore conflict that is rampant across the African Continent—particularly at its worst in Northern Tanzania. I am analyzing Maasai households and their surroundings to understand the reasons behind attacks by large carnivores like lions, hyenas, and leopards."

Maingi will use the funds from the Miram J. Kelley African Scholarship for research expenses incurred in the field or while at MSU. In addition to this scholarship, Maingi applied for several other funding opportunities, including an award from IDEA WILD.

IDEA WILD is an international funding body that provides equipment grants to advance research and education associated with wildlife conservation. Maingi received an award for equipment necessary for her research, including a camera, navigator, drone, and binoculars.

"I received a total of $900 worth of equipment, which is much needed for my work in East Africa," Maingi said. "The equipment received will help me advance my research, even after I graduate this summer."

Maingi is looking forward to continuing her work and research, following her 2018 summer graduation from MSU.

"After graduation, I hope to return to the continent and continue working on my own research, as well as partnering with organizations with similar interests," Maingi said. "I am interested in continuing my academic career and obtaining a PhD. I'm currently eyeing a short course offered by Oxford University, and hope that it will propel me toward a PhD program that is well-suited for me."

While her awards have provided a unique opportunity to conduct international research, it is Maingi's experience at MSU and support from her department that laid the foundation and inspiration to pursue her research goals.

"As an international student, sometimes it is hard to find one's place in a large institution like MSU. Because of my association with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, OISS, and more, I have been exposed to several resources that have contributed to my growth and success as a graduate student," Maingi said. "As a member of the RECaP Lab (Research for the Ecology of Carnivores and their Prey), I have been inspired to continue my work with wildlife conservation. I'm thankful for the fiscal support provided by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association, and the personal support provided by the RECaP Lab and the Tanzanian Partnership Program."

To learn more about the Miriam J. Kelley Scholarship, visit:
To learn more about IDEA WILD, visit: