College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ECpE senior awarded MPOWER global citizen scholarship

Tabitha Wacuka Kiiru, senior in electrical engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) at Iowa State University, has been awarded MPOWER Financing’s prestigious Global Citizen Scholarship.

The MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship Program awards $5,000 to international students at supported schools. MPOWER Financing is a start-up dedicated to removing financial barriers for the world’s highest-potential individuals, regardless of income, family background, gender or immigration status.

For the cycle ending April 15, 2019, MPOWER staff conducted a blind review of a record-breaking 1,121 eligible applications from every corner of the globe, and Kiiru was one of four applicants selected to receive the award.

Growing up in Kenya, Kiiru was frustrated by the “poor methods of energy production; for instance, using firewood for cooking,” as well as the “lack of electricity both in rural and urban areas,” which she attributes to less understanding of technical knowledge.

Kiiru was thrilled when she received her acceptance letter from Iowa State University.

“I knew I would acquire skills that would enable me learn more about renewable energy production,” she wrote in her scholarship application.

“My long-term goal is to set up a wind-generated power plant at my rural village in Kenya. Five years from now, I see myself running my own wind energy firm and playing a key role in providing the community with a clean and sustainable source of energy that is not only beneficial to the economy but also to the environment.”