Celine Mukamurenzi, Academic Director
Celine Mukamurenzi, a Rwandan citizen, joined SIT Study Abroad in July 2013. She holds a BA in social work from the National University of Rwanda and an MA in peace education from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica). Upon completion of her BA in 2008, Celine joined the Association for Development and Social Transformation (ADTS), a local civil society organization engaged in training for social transformation in Rwanda. In that organization, she served as the project manager with the main responsibilities of supervising the implementation of ADTS projects, coordinating the preparation of training materials including the development of training manuals, leading the training of trainers as well as elaborating narrative project reports. In 2010, Celine was awarded a 14-month fellowship in the University for Peace Great Lakes Program with emphasis on curriculum design, where she developed two unique curricula: Education for Social Transformation and Gender and Peacebuilding.
In 2011, she worked with the National University of Rwanda, Center for Conflict Management, as a consultant for curriculum design. Among her publications is her 2012 book entitled Towards the Understanding of Social Transformation Process – Special Focus on Rwandan Context. Before joining SIT Study Abroad as academic director for the Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding program, Celine worked with the Rwanda Peace Academy, a regional center of excellence in the fields of training and research related to post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. She has participated in various research projects—most related to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and its effects—and counts among her greatest passions working in a multicultural learning environment.
Apollon Kabahizi, Program Coordinator
Apollon Kabahizi is a Rwandan and Belgian national and a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. He has studied and worked throughout Africa and Europe and has a background in arts, graphic design, and advertising. His main focus has been genocide awareness and memorial-related activities, which has given him extensive experience working with local and international agencies and coordinating significant projects in Rwanda.
As Rwanda country coordinator for Aegis Trust (2002–2003), Apollon spearheaded the concept, design, and construction of both the Kigali Memorial Centre and the Murambi Genocide Prevention Centre. He later served as Aegis Trust’s Rwanda country manager (2004–2006) where his duties included managing the Kigali Memorial Centre and fundraising for various Aegis Trust projects in Rwanda. Prior to this, Apollon worked for University College of London’s Development Planning Unit and taught genocide prevention at the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in the UK. Apollon is the founder of SURF (Survivors Funds UK) where he served as trustee and member of the organization’s management committee (1998–2000). Apollon also has worked as a consultant with the Campaign Against Genocide for the Rwandan Parliament; as a fundraiser with the Austria Development Agency Gacaca documentation project; and as a coordinator with Human Remains Preservation, a joint project between Cranfield University and the Rwandan government.
Apollon was instrumental in setting up SIT Study Abroad’s Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding semester program in Rwanda. In addition to this role, Apollon is the program director for the spring semester SIT Hendrix program.
Inspired by his personal and professional experiences, Apollon remains committed to a historically accurate and sensitive memorialization of Rwanda’s recent history.
Annette Kimenyi, Program Assistant
Annette Kimenyi is a Rwandan national, a mother of two teenage girls, and a resident of Gasabo district Kigali, Rwanda. She was born and raised in Uganda where she completed high school in 1993 at Masaka Secondary School, not very far from the Uganda/Rwanda border. She later continued her education in Rwanda where she obtained a diploma in secretarial studies at the Kigali Institute of Education in 2005. Prior to joining SIT, Annette worked as a client services manager in advertizing and media, an accounts manager, an event manager, a social worker, and an administrator in Kigali city local government. Annette is versatile and dynamic. She is fluent in English, Kinyarwanda, and French.
Annette’s responsibilities include student support in cross-cultural adjustment and academic learning experiences under supervision of the academic
Issa Higiro, Homestay Coordinator and Program Assistant
A Rwandan citizen, Higiro has held the position of homestay coordinator and program assistant with SIT since the fall of 2009. He is the founder of Memos:Learning from History, a nonprofit organization that deals with memory and reconciliation after the genocide. Higiro currently serves as the organization’s volunteer coordinator of training and networking. Furthermore, Higiro has been a committed peacemaker since 2001; he has ample experience working as a community coordinator and holds a peacemaker tag from the Peacemaker Institute. Higiro served as the assistant coordinator of a rescuers research project financed by the Hamburg Institute of Social Research in Germany in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Higiro grew up in exile in Uganda and returned to his home country of Rwanda immediately after the 1994 genocide. Higiro is married and has three daughters and one son.
Jean Pierre Bisangwa, Language Teacher
Jean Pierre Bisangwa holds a BA in management from Free University of Kigali (ULK), which he obtained in 2007. His teaching career began in 1996 when an American demining group came to Rwanda and he was trained by their trainers to translate between Kinyarwanda and English to facilitate communication between the American and Rwandan demining soldiers. He has been a teacher of Kinyarwanda at the International Language School in Kigali since 2004. He also teaches English at the Independent Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali (INILAK) to Rwandan university students. Mr. Bisangwa was a translator for English and Kinyarwanda for Swedish missionaries from 2004 to 2007. He has been teaching SIT students since fall 2009 and also works with a variety of expatriate clients in Kigali.
Denis Bikesha, Lecturer on the Gacaca Courts in Rwanda
Mr. Bikesha received a law degree (LLB) in 2004 from the Rwanda National University in Butare and since then has worked as a lawyer for the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Rwanda, which deals with cases related to the Rwandan genocide. In 2007, he became the National Service's director of training, mobilization, and sensitization. He is currently finalizing his master's degree in law (LLM) at the National University of Rwanda.
Mr. Bikesha has been very active in organizing training sessions and seminars regarding unity and reconciliation in Rwanda as well as abroad. He has attended various trainings in the field of transitional justice and peace-building. He has spent time in the US studying the American judicial system and has also traveled to five US states as an international visitor of the US Department of State. He has worked with SIT since 2005, both as a homestay coordinator and lecturer.
Bosco Habyarimana, Lecturer on Peace Education
Mr. Habyarimana is an assistant researcher and lecturer at the Center for Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda. He lectures on conflict transformation as well as civic and peace education. He received his MA in peace education from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. After obtaining his BEd in language teaching, Mr. Habyarimana worked for two years as a teacher of English and head of teaching staff. In 2006, he joined the National University of Rwanda as a tutorial assistant in the School of Foundation Language Schools where he was in charge of teaching English to students ready to commence their university courses.
Dr. Frank Nabwiso, Lecturer on Post-Conflict Transformation and Government Initiatives towards Peace in Uganda (a Critique)
Dr. Nabwiso is an expert on adult education and rural development. He received his PhD in adult education and rural development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1976); an MA in African Studies from the University of Sussex, England (1968); and a BA (Hons) in history and political science from the University of East Africa, then Makerere University College (1967). His teaching experience includes the following: part-time lecturer at Kyambogo University (2004–2005); teaching associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1975–1976); head of the Correspondence and Mass Media Department at Makerere University (1971–1972); and resident tutor at Makerere University (1969–1970).
Professor Paul Rutayisire, Lecturer on the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) War, the Arusha Peace Agreement, and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
A Rwandan national, Professor Rutayisire holds a PhD in history from Fribourg University in Switzerland. He lectures at the National University of Rwanda and is director of the university's Center for Conflict Management. His fields of specialization are religion and society as well as conflict transformation and genocide studies. He has published extensively on Rwandan history and has participated in many crucial research projects on topics related to the post-genocide reconstruction of Rwanda.
Bernard Noel Rutikanga, Lecturer for Identity Politics and Political Developments Pre-Genocide
Bernard Noel Rutikanga obtained a bachelor of arts degree and a master's degree from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, between 1976 and 1980. At the undergraduate level he was trained to teach African history and African literature. His master's degree focused on contemporary African history. He taught for ten years at Dar es salaam Teachers College before directing a Namibian and South African refugee scholarship program in Tanzania for five years—this was in collaboration with the defunct World University Service, Geneva. Mr. Rutikanga has been teaching contemporary Rwandan history at the National University of Rwanda since 1995. He has published on reconciliation and ethnicity in Rwanda. He has also served as a gacaca judge (the traditional jurisdiction system that has been trying genocide related crimes committed in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994). In 2000 he was a Fulbright scholar at Boston College in Massachusetts.