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Awards / Honors

Student from Ghana obtains prestigious award to serve world's poor

April 23, 2009

A Colorado State University student from Ghana who earned two master's degrees in a record two-and-a-half years has been named an Acumen Fund Fellow, a prestigious award dedicated to serving the poor in developing countries.

Sule Amadu snapshots

(5 images)

Sule visits a small Peruvian village.

In the mountains of Peru.

Enjoying some new friends.

Preparing a meal of corn for villagers.

Visiting Cape Coast Cattle in Ghana.

CSU student Sule Amadu was chosen from a pool of 300 candidates. He completed two master's degrees at CSU in mechanical engineering through the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory in the College of Engineering and in business through the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program in the College of Business.

Established in 2006, the Acumen Fund Fellows Program is a 12-month fellowship for individuals dedicated to helping citizens of developing nations with business, operational and professional skills needed to effect change. Fellows spend one year working with local entrepreneurs, gaining intensive experience in price performance, logistics, distribution systems, scaling and innovative technology.

Commitment, dedication, passion

"I have admired Sule's dedication, commitment and passion for his studies, for his research, and have watched him excel in each of his pursuits at CSU," says Bryan Willson, director of the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory. "We are very proud of the work that Sule has done - and proud of the great things that we know Sule will do as an Acumen Fellow and beyond."

Amadu has participated in several projects within Willson's laboratory and is an original team member of PowerMundo, an international venture that manages a global distribution network for healthy and affordable technologies to empower people in developing countries. The company, which started as a project for the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise master's degree program in the College of Business, is now operating in Peru.

Journey to Colorado State

“I ended up at CSU through a friend who was in Ghana with the Peace Corps. In 2006, he invited me to Albuquerque, N.M.," said Amadu. "He knew Dr. Bryan Willson from the Engines Lab and we started talking. I then visited the Engines Lab and while I was there, Dr. Willson took me on a tour and then afterwards we sat down and talked. I was interested because the research they do there is tied back to people from Third World countries. I was inspired, so Dr. Willson looked at my documents and we discussed my admission. I applied to CSU and got accepted the week before classes started,” said Amandu.

Motivation for career path

“Many things motivate me to help Third World countries. I’m from there. In Ghana, things that should have been done are not being done by the government. I realized that the link is disconnected between the poor people and as to what they can do to improve their lives. They don’t get the information and they don’t have the resources. I saw this as an opportunity to network them with where the resources are and inform them and empower them to work hard and make your life fulfilling,” said Amadu.

Year-long fellowship starts in September

Acumen Fund Fellows are talented individuals of diverse geographies, backgrounds, religions and ages who have decided on a career of venture philanthropy.

Amadu will begin training for the year-long fellowship in September in New York City.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336