North Central College - Naperville, IL
Major: 
Political Science major

“The type of political science faculty at North Central is very important to me … they have diverse backgrounds and styles, rigorous intellectual environment, and a willingness to include students in their research. They want us to excel and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.”

An international student from Rwanda, Etienne has seized many opportunities. He presented research at North Central’s undergraduate symposium, participated in Model United Nations and raised funds for a school he cofounded in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he lived after escaping the violence of Rwanda. “I had the idea we could help build peace by providing educational opportunities.”  

Etienne was selected to participate in two summer research programs at Michigan State University for students with disadvantaged backgrounds. He was also awarded a prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, which he will apply to graduate school in African Studies at Yale University. Only 30 Soros Fellows are selected annually to pursue a graduate degree in a professional field or in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences.

He plans to pursue a Ph.D. and study political violence and credits North Central’s faculty for helping him at every step. "I doubt I would have attained the Soros without the close mentoring I received," he says.