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One Small Step for Averett, One Great Leap for Esther


March 3, 2011




Esther Njuguna, '12, is used to forging new paths. She came to Averett from Nairobi, Kenya. She landed in a foreign country, far from home and knew no one. Since her arrival in 2008, she has acclimated well to her new home and is a "high quality student" at Averett. Because of her academic achievements, one of her professors, Dr. Chin Chyuan Tai, nominated her to participate in the 2011 Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES) sponsored by The Fund for American Studies at Georgetown University.

"I nominated her because I believe she is the best candidate to represent Averett," said Tai, who is chair of the business administration department and a professor of economics.
"Esther is a very high quality student at Averett. She's talented and always did the best in my classes, as well as others. Her communication (writing and oral), analytical, critical and reasoning skills are exceptional coupled with her strong and positive learning attitude."

Njuguna is the fist Averett student to be accepted into the policy program, which will be held from June 5-July 30. Along with her acceptance into the program she received a $1,500 scholarship to help cover her tuition.

"I feel like a pioneer for Averett," Njuguna said. "It's a good opportunity for me to advertise Averett and the education that it provides. I hope this will become a gateway for other students."

During her two months in Washington, D.C., she will be enrolled in the transformation of American politics course in addition to an economics course. In addition to the courses she will take, she will also be placed in an internship within a government agency, congressional office, public policy group or other similar organization.

"I hope to learn as much as I can about American politics and public policy making," Njuguna said. "Then I will be able to compare it to public policy in my country, which will help me help my country in the long run."

Njuguna, who is double majoring in mathematics and aviation business, hopes that her time in D.C. will help her decide what she wants to study in graduate school because she is "torn between public policy, economics and financial engineering."

The Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES) accepts anywhere from 100-140 college students from across the country who are interested in careers in government, international affairs, public policy and academia. It is one of 11 collegiate academic programs sponsored by The Fund for American Studies.