A gift expressing gratitude is growing in impact thanks to Edward Chikwana, Ph.D., former Franklin College chemistry professor, and Aubrey Magodlyo ’15, manager of product experience analytics at Facebook and a Franklin College Alumni Council member.
The two are co-creators of the Tapiwa International Student Award. Tapiwa means “we have been given” in Shona, one of the major languages spoken in Zimbabwe, their native country. The award’s name reflects an appreciation for the blessings in their lives and gratitude for the opportunity to help support others during their educational journey.
Recently endowed at the award level, $25,000, with the potential to grow to scholarship level, $50,000, the Tapiwa Award assists international students at Franklin College with expenses such as tuition, housing, books, technology and academic supplies.
Chikwana said, “A lot of international students who are attracted to a small school like Franklin have access to very limited financial resources from home, to the extent that when they end up with a shortfall there is really nowhere else for them to turn.
“Our hope is that the Tapiwa Award will help provide a financial buffer so that international students can experience FC to its fullest and be the best versions of themselves because they are free from financial worries that could disrupt the completion of their degree.”
In his 10 years of teaching at Franklin, Chikwana mentored many international students, including Magodlyo, and he was inspired by numerous college colleagues who also helped students emotionally and financially.
That kindness, coupled with the success graduates have achieved professionally beyond Franklin College, galvanized the Tapiwa Award. Funding for the Tapiwa Award also is made possible through generous donations from several Franklin College alumni, Chikwana’s and Magodlyo’s friends who came to the U.S. to study and who fully understand the financial challenges faced by international students at small colleges and other well-wishers who have worked with international students and alumni and value their contributions to enriching the lives of those around them.
Rutendo Nyamadzawo ’23 of Zimbabwe was the first Tapiwa Award recipient. She majors in chemistry, minors in biomedical physics, serves as a Student Ambassador for admissions, and plays women’s lacrosse for the Grizzlies. In 2020, she was one of two outstanding sophomore students recognized for academic achievements and college community involvement with the Franklin College Laurels and Lancers Award.
Republished from the Franklin College Magazine, Summer 2022
POSTED Oct 24, 2022