Honors student Ngoni Mugwisi wins prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

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December 9, 2016

Ngoni MugwisiNgoni Mugwisi, a Barrett Honors College student majoring in electrical engineering has won the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which will allow him to pursue graduate studies at University of Oxford next year. Mugwisi, a native of Zimbabwe, will graduate with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in May and move on to Oxford in Fall 2017 to work on an MSc in Engineering Science. We caught up with Mugwisi to get his thoughts on the Rhodes Scholarship and his future goals.

How do you feel about winning the Rhodes Scholarship?

I feel incredibly honored the Rhodes Trust decided to invest in my education and my future. Becoming a Rhodes Scholar is definitely the culmination of my academic aspirations, and the right path towards fulfilling my professional goals.

What are your future professional/personal goals and how does the Rhodes Scholarship fit into these goals?

In the long term, I plan to work on energy systems, with a particular focus on sustainable electricity generation and distribution in the developing world. I am interested in understanding the policy, economic and technical nexus of energy provision in Zimbabwe and parts of Africa. That means, in the short term, I will seek training in power engineering pursuing a MSc in Engineering Science at Oxford, the best place in the world for me to do so. Beyond Oxford, I intend to hone my professional skills working for a power company such as Solar City or General Electric, after which I will pursue higher education (MBA or MPP) before finding my way to Zimbabwe.

How has your association with Barrett Honors College prepared you for pursuing the Rhodes Scholarship and fulfilling your goals?

Being a Barrett student opened doors for me I did not even know existed, for example to Dr Mox's office and his team of advisers. (Kyle Mox is director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarship Advisement, housed at Barrett, The Honors College. Mugwisi received assistance with the Rhodes Scholarship application process from LWFONSA.) I was given access to the best minds at ASU to help me think about my goals, and powerful ways to tell my story. Also, being among talented and spirited students in the honors college pushed me to dream bigger and push the boundaries of what is possible. 

I am particularly grateful for the opportunity I received to take the Human Event classes which challenged me to think critically about the human condition while engaging in conversations with diverse students whose diverse ideas about difficult topics were phenomenal. This probably shaped my perspective in the most significant way and I am grateful to my professor, Dr. Joe Foy.

Read more about Mugwisi and his accomplishments here.


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