Gabriel Muhire Gihana considers graduate education at IU a “unique privilege.”

Born and raised in Africa, where advanced academic research opportunities can be limited, Gihana is now a Ph.D. student studying cell biology in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology. Recently, he was awarded both IU’s Alfred Parson Mower Fellowship and a dissertation fellowship from the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

But the Rwanda native said he wouldn’t have found his passion for research without help from others along the way. This guidance has inspired him to help others from similar backgrounds access educational opportunities in the U.S.

“I had fully funded scholarships from high school to college,” Gihana said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here at all. I was blessed in the sense that I could do well in my classes, so people wanted to see me move forward.

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