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, and creating narrative project reports. In 2010, Celine was awarded a 14-month fellowship in the University for Peace Great Lakes Program, with an 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’s 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. Celine is a member of several civil society organizations working in Rwanda. Since January 2013, she has served as the deputy chairperson of the United Nations’ Association–Rwanda and since August 2014 as the chairperson of Bamporenze Association. She has participated in various research projects — most related to the 1994 genocide against Tutsis 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 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 was born and raised in Uganda through her high school years. After the genocide she returned to Rwanda and continued her university studies, and she holds a diploma in secretarial studies. She considers herself a dynamic, honest, hardworking, and happy person. She started working at a very early age and has worked in public relations, advertising, business, and administration. She joined SIT as a program assistant focused on student support in 2013. Annette is a single mother of two teenage girls and speaks Luganda, Kinyarwanda, Kiswahili, English, and French.
Denis Bikesha, Homestay Coordinator
Denis Bikesha is currently completing his PhD at the University of Dar es Salaam’s School of Law. He also holds both a bachelor of law (LLB) and master of law (LLM), which he received in 2004 and 2010 respectively from the Rwanda National University. He is an alumnus of the CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) program at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont, where he obtained a nine-month diploma in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Bikesha is active in research, publication, and training in areas of justice, reconciliation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. He is the co-founder and partner at Premier Law Chamber (PLC), a law firm operating in Rwanda, and is a lecturer at University of Rwanda’s School of Law. Denis works as a senior consultant for two US-based organizations: Lead 4 Tomorrow (L4T) and the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/RULI) in East Africa and Rwanda, respectively. From 2004 to 2012, Bikesha worked as a legal officer and later as director at the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Rwanda, an organization that coordinated and supervised all Gacaca courts activities for genocide cases. Bikesha has worked with SIT Study Abroad since 2005, both as a lecturer and a homestay coordinator for the summer Rwanda/Uganda program. He speaks Kinyarwanda, Kiswahili, English, and French.
Jean Pierre Bisangwa, Language Teacher
Jean Pierre Bisangwa holds a BA in management from Kigali Independent University, 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.
Selina Olumbe, Program Assistant, Uganda
Selina Olumbe is a Ugandan citizen. She was raised in Kenya, where she attended primary and high school before returning to Uganda for her advanced level and university. Selina has a BA in social sciences with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. She worked as an officer at the children’s and probation department in Busia, Kenya, in 2008 and, from 2009 to 2011, as a community development officer in Uganda with Child Fund International, an Australian-based nonprofit organization that sponsors education for vulnerable and disadvantaged Ugandan children and caters for their well-being.
Selina began working with SIT Rwanda in 2011 and organizes the excursion to Uganda. Her main work is to help students interpret and process cultural differences and adjust accordingly, scheduling and inviting guest speakers, implementing the program’s academic calendar, and making sure everything runs smoothly. Having studied and worked in different cultural settings, Selina has the capacity to easily get along with people of various cultural and academic backgrounds.
Lecturers for this program include:
Professor Anastase Shyaka, Program Faculty
Professor Shyaka is currently CEO of the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) and a leading expert on governance and political development in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region. RGB is an autonomous national institution responsible for promoting and monitoring good governance through applied research and assessments, advisory services, policy dialogues, and civil society promotion and seeks to help achieve vertical and horizontal accountability, sustainable development, and prosperity in Rwanda.
With vast research experience and wide academic recognition inside Rwanda and beyond, Professor Shyaka was director of the Center for Conflict Management (CCM) at the former National University of Rwanda (NUR) (now the University of Rwanda) where he led many studies and publications pertaining to peace and conflict analysis, democracy, governance, and international relations in Rwanda and Africa’s great lakes region. He initiated several master’s programs, including the MA in Genocide Studies and Prevention and the MA in Peace and Conflict Transformation.
Professor Shyaka was a 2007 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia (USA), where he taught contemporary politics in sub-Saharan Africa.
He was a member of a team of experts mandated by the East African Community (EAC) heads of state to reflect on the feasibility of the East African Political Federation. In addition, Professor Shyaka was involved in a number of peace and political processes at national and regional levels, including national reconciliation and political debates, spearheading the Joint Governance Assessment (JGA) between the government of Rwanda and her development partners, the joint UN–AU process that led to the signing of the Pact of Stability, Security, and Development in the context of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
Antoine Rutayisire, Program Faculty
Antoine Rutayisire is Rwandan team leader of African Enterprise, an organization that is committed to bringing healing, reconciliation, strength, and renewal back to the disillusioned and devastated Rwandan church and nation. Prior to his current position, he was a lecturer at the Rwanda National University, a teacher and deputy headmaster at a Kigali secondary school (1983–1990), and Rwanda National Secretary for International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) from 1990 to 1994. Since 1999, he has served as a commissioner on the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, in charge of drafting and supervising the implementation of the national policy for reconciliation in Rwanda, and was twice chosen as its vice chairman. From 1992 to 1994, Antoine served as secretary of the African Enterprise–Rwanda Board before becoming team leader after the Tutsi genocide of 1994. Antoine holds an MA in applied linguistics (UK, North Wales, 1985–86) and an MA in modern literature and curriculum development from the Rwanda University and has spoken on the topic of reconciliation for World Vision as well as twice at the Annual International Reconciliation Conferences hosted by Reconciliation New Works of Our World. He is currently working on his PhD thesis. On the top of that, Antoine is an Anglican pastor.
Frank Kobukeye, Program Faculty
Frank is currently the manager of the New Bugesera Expropriation and Resettlement Project. Formerly, he served as a consultant with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as the facilitator of “Public-Private Dialogue.” He does consultancy work with different NGOs as well as public institutions. Mr. Kobukeye has worked with the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and as director of conflict management unity. He has international and regional exposure to training skills.
Bosco Habyarimana, Program Faculty
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.
Paul Rutayisire, Program Faculty
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, Program Faculty
Bernard Noel Rutikanga obtained a BA and MA 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, in collaboration with the now-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.