Meet the Global Staff: Spotlight on Divine Mbabazi
Do you know that the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) has a number of globally-focused staff members and student staff that advance our triparite mission? In this series, we'll be introducing you to these individuals and exploring how they engage with and support the students, faculty, staff and partners in IANR. The first in this series is Divine Mbabazi, a junior integrated science major who is serving in her first semster as a CASNR Global Ambassador.
My name is Divine, and I am a first-generation international junior student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from Kigali, Rwanda. From a very young age, I was very adventurous, seeking to visit places other than my hometown to learn about them and hopefully meet less annoying people than the three older brothers fate had decided to burden me with. Growing up, my family moved to many different places both in and outside Kigali but never outside of Rwanda.
Being the adventurer I was, I always wondered what being outside my birth country would be like. I already knew it would be challenging since I had spent all of my high school years at a boarding school away from home, and that had been quite tough in itself. However, my boarding school experience was one of the best I'd had, which made me confident that an international experience would definitely be as amazing, if not better. By the time I graduated from high school, I was set on studying abroad. Thankfully, while I was still looking into potential universities, a friend told me about an opportunity to pursue an ag-related major at UNL through the CUSP program. I had never considered pursuing agriculture before then. Still, since I was torn between many different options of majors I could potentially follow in college, I figured I could give ag a go, and as it turns out, my decision wasn't too bad.
At UNL, I have been involved in many student organizations and departments, all of which have given me a chance to meet different people, learn about their cultures, and tell them about mine, all of which have made my college experience even richer. Currently, I am honored to be working in the IANR Global Learning Hub as an intern. Having had an enriching global experience myself, I am passionate about the Global Hub's fantastic work by exposing students to global learning opportunities both here and beyond. My work at the Hub is more than just one more thing to cross off of my to-do list: it is something I enjoy doing. I love that the Hub aims to foster an increased sense of belonging among domestic and international students. After all, whether from Nebraska, Rwanda, or elsewhere, at the end of the day, we all want to feel like we are welcome in whichever space we end up in; in short, we all want to belong, a need which the Global Hub strives to meet.
Stay tuned for our next feature on Madison Husmann, also a CASNR Global Ambassador.