TESTIMONIES

I express profound gratitude for HERS-EA Academy, a transformative force in my professional journey. Credit goes to the program and its Founders for empowering me. A successful 2023 Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) grant, facilitated by HERS-EA, sponsored the 6th Academy, broadening my network with Michigan State University. I also became Makerere University’s Retirement Scheme's first female trustee, now serving as chairperson. HERS-EA skills aided me in navigating stereotypes and gave me interest in wanting to be a mentor. Career mapping fueled my aspirations to become a professor and dreams of working for the UN in New York

DR. ELIZABETH NANSUBUGA, MAKERERE UNIVERSITY, CLASS OF 2022

Mentored by Prof. Mary Okwakol and empowered by HERS-EA, I achieved significant personal and professional growth. HERS-EA training prepared me in securing the Deanship at Kyambogo University, surpassing my male competition. Swiftly implementing a 10-point plan, I prioritized gender diversity in STEM, especially in engineering. Inspired by HERS-EA Academic Writing session during the training, I initiated the creation of an academic writing handbook.

DR. CATHERINE WANDERA, KYAMBOGO UNIVERSITY, CLASS OF 2017

She is currently volunteering for HERS-EA as the diaspora alumnae liaison person and helps with ongoing administrative tasks. ‘Naomi and Margaret have been mentoring me and they have helped me to change my perception and the way I do things. What stuck with me was when I was asked to draw up my career map. By the time I left Uganda after my training in 2018, I had done community engagement which I could add to my promotion dossier. Through HERS-EA sisterhood, I met a HERS Denver Alum who helped me to get a fellowship. I completed my tenure process and got promoted to an Associate Professor.’

DR. CAROLINE KOBIA (MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY), CLASS OF 2018

As an Assistant Lecturer, I completed my Post-graduate Degree with three publications. HERS-EA inspired me to pursue a Ph.D. The training encouraged collaborations and grant writing that has resulted in publications and funding. The Academy introduced me to elevator pitches and strategic positioning. Post-Academy, I achieved 5 peer-reviewed publications, managed two grants, and enhanced my supervisory and managerial skills. Coping with personal loss, inspired by Dr. Maggie Kigozi's story, I navigated challenges, designed a lucrative short course, secured a promotion, and negotiated a leadership position.

MS. ALIMAH KOMUHANGI (CLARKE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY), CLASS OF 2019.

After HERS-EA Academy in 2022, Prof. Khaitsa advised me, along with two colleagues, to merge our leadership projects. Following this advice, we initiated a collaborative proposal, currently a work in progress. In our discussions with female students, we identified significant challenges hindering academic progression, particularly sexual harassment involving both male students and lecturers. Our proactive approach includes organizing a meeting with the Dean and seeking to engage with the university's gender unit to establish mentorship programs for female students. This collaborative effort addresses critical challenges through research while fostering a supportive environment for the academic advancement of female students at the university.

DR. ANNE NDEKE, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI, CLASS OF 2022