Rutendo Chigora, a University of Pennsylvania senior from Harare, Zimbabwe, has been named one of Zimbabwe’s two recipients of a Rhodes Scholarship which will fund two or three years of study at Oxford University in England. At Oxford, Chigora will pursue a master's degree in public policy.
“Rutendo is a great representative of the outstanding and dynamic students at Penn,” said Andrew Binns, vice provost for education in Penn’s Office of the Provost. “We are very proud of her success, and we are grateful to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and to all the faculty and staff who supported her work.”
Established in 2000, Penn's Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships assists students in applying for scholarships such as the Rhodes.
“CURF is delighted to see Rutendo’s outstanding academic performance and her initiative in starting her own social engagement project recognized by the Rhodes Committee,” said Harriet Joseph, CURF director.
Chigora, a senior, is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and Penn World Scholar pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in international relations and political science, with concentrations in international development and political economy.
She has conducted research on microfinance in Ghana, post-apartheid economic identities in South Africa and the impact of social and economic remittances on African development. Chigora founded ZW Connect, a business incubator that creates economic opportunities for vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe. ZW Connect was a social venture challenge winner at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiatives University Conference.
Chigora has served as vice president of Penn Mock Trial, associate editor for the Sigma Iota Rho Journal for International Relations, been a member of the Penn International Mentorship Program, the College Cognoscenti and a resident advisor in Riepe College House. She will graduate in May 2015.