College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Rodrigue in class

About CUSP

Since 2015, nearly 200 students from Rwanda have been selected to participate in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resource’s Undergraduate Scholars Program (CUSP). The funding support for this program has generously been provided by the Howard G. Buffett (HGB) Foundation. The College is honored to be a partner with the Foundation and to help support their mission to catalyze transformational change around the world.

Students selected to participate in the CASNR Undergraduate Scholarship Program (CUSP) pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Science that is focused on conservation agriculture, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The academic program is aligned with the areas of need as identified by the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. Throughout their studies, students have the opportunity to explore other areas of agriculture including: food production – animal, plant and food systems; soils, water quantity and availability, energy and environmental stewardship; nutrition, food safety, food engineering and processing; business, communication, public service and extension education; ecology, conservation biology and climate; and engineering, irrigation, mechanization and technology.

Summer 2020 Experiential Learning: Exploring Agricultural Opportunities in Rwanda

Summer 2020 required CUSP Scholars to adapt to covid-19 restrictions. The Scholars collaborated with mentors and their colleagues to identify opportunities to support Rwanda’s agricultural sector. Innovative course modules on Futures Thinking frameworks challenged Scholars to create business plans and service program concepts. The 2020 Experiential Learning Expo video highlights the Scholars' work, opportunities to connect with their peers in Rwanda, and an encouraging message from Rwanda’s Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning activities provide the opportunity for CUSP scholars to explore areas of interest and to gain practical skills. Experiential learning is delivered through a variety of methods, including agricultural industry insight tours in Rwanda and with CASNR partners in the United States; technical seminars and training; research with CASNR faculty and industry mentors in Rwanda; and summer internships in Rwanda. Insights gained in experiential learning activities will better position the scholars to:

  • develop the capacity for critical thinking and problem-solving in “real world” situations;
  • improve their career ready/interpersonal skills (leadership, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, etc.); and
  • discuss, analyze and reflect upon the experiential learning activity with professional mentors

Interested in connecting with the CUSP program as an experiential learning mentor or internship host? Please email

CUSP Support Team

Sylvana Arian

Sylvana Airan

202 Agricultural Hall

Katie Forrest

Katie Forrest

CASNR Academic Advisor
110 Agricultural Hall

Kaitlyn Waller

Kaitlyn Waller

CUSP Student Success Navigator
202 Agricultural Hall