First Daryl and Glenda Minor Fellow Graduates from MSU

The first recipient of the Daryl and Glenda Minor Tanzania Fellowship, Abdul Mutashobya, has graduated from Michigan State with a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

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Published: Tuesday, 22 Aug 2023 Author: Noon Bannaga & Alan Conceicao

Abdul Mutashobya (Muta), the first recipient of the Daryl and Glenda Minor Tanzania Fellowship has graduated from Michigan State University (MSU) with a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Administered through the Partnerships for Sustainable Community Development (PSCD), the fellowship provides a two-year support towards the completion of a Masters’ degree program for an entering Tanzania student to MSU with interest in International Development. 

As a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Fellow Assistant (FLTA) prior to receiving the fellowship, Muta had taught Swahili for a year while continuing his own educational goals. During that year, he had made for himself many close connections with MSU faculty and staff, especially within the African Studies Center at MSU. The fruitful relationships with the African Studies Center faculty and staff kept him in the forefront of their minds and they recommended that he apply for the Daryl and Glenda Minor Tanzania Fellowship. They knew that he would be a great candidate for the fellowship as his research interests and desire for graduate studies in in the U.S. closely aligned with the goals of the fellowship. 

Muta describes his overall MSU experience as challenging yet fulfilling. He was able to dive into some of his research interests — building speaking skills for Tanzanian secondary school students. He explained how in Tanzanian public schools, students are not fully immersed in the study of English until they start secondary school. He used his own experiences and observations about how English was taught in Tanzania to challenge the present system. His research focuses on students and teachers taking command of the English language so that students can use English to advance their own education and further their career goals. 

He is very appreciative for the opportunities that the fellowship provided. As Muta explains, “The fellowship introduced me to remarkable individuals within MSU International Studies and Programs. The connections I forged with these professionals not only broadened my network but also played a pivotal role in reshaping my career trajectory. I am deeply grateful for that.” 

The connections and knowledge that he acquired allowed Muta to obtain a position at the Refugee Development Center (RDC) in Lansing following his graduation. He works as the Digital Literacy & Learning Program Coordinator and an ESOL Instructor. He aspires to work in the education field with an International Organization that is focused on refugees. Additionally, he hopes to return to Tanzania to build programs that allow students to enhance both literacy and writing skills in Swahili and English. 

The fellowship is inviting applications for the Fall 2024 admissions. For more information on this program and the qualifications, please visit: