Murphy Scholar Renova Uwingabire graduated with distinction in psychology in spring 2023. While in the program, she completed a total of five Murphy Scholar projects, which explored a range of reading and writing-focused work. As a non-native speaker, Uwingabire’s projects provided her with opportunities to deepen her confidence in creative and professional writing. She also used her writing skills to assist other students on campus and to bring awareness of global causes.
In the summer of 2020, Uwingabire was in search of remote internship and through Hendrix Career Services stumbled upon the Borgen Project, a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington. The Borgen Project is a national organization that is working to make global poverty and hunger a focus of U.S. foreign policy.
Uwingabire researched topics, wrote articles, and assisted with advocacy efforts as part of her writing and journalism internship with the Borgen Project. “I chose this internship because I wanted to experience professional writing training,” Uwingabire said. “Additionally, the Borgen Project gave me an opportunity to write about Africa, my home continent, and Rwanda as well.”
“As a psychology major, I chose to focus my writing on global health and how poverty affects well-being, especially in some African countries,” Uwingabire said. “Through my research and writing, I learned more about how countries are prioritizing well-being and the positive efforts coming out of Africa.”
Uwingabire also worked as an associate at the Writing Center, which is housed in Bailey Library and supported by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation. The Writing Center at Hendrix College is a collaborative place where trained Hendrix students assist their peers in developing writing skills and strategies. Uwingabire’s responsibilities included assisting her peers in analyzing assignments, finding personal inspiration for a topic, and reviewing style and formatting guidelines.
Initially, Uwingabire only saw a small number of students throughout the week. She then set out on a mission to increase awareness of all the Writing Center has to offer. “One of the goals I had joining the Writing Center was to increase the number of minority students who used our services,” Uwingabire said. “Primarily, I sought international students and other multilingual students.”
“This work experience exposed me to the range of writing happening at Hendrix,” she said. “It was interesting to read the assignments coming out of creative writing classes while also exploring other subjects like economics, biology, and psychology. Working at the Writing Center allowed me to experience a part of every department on campus, which I would not have been able to otherwise.”
Visit the Murphy Scholars Program page on our website to learn more about the program and study travel opportunities.