Gelfand Global Fellows

The Gelfand Global Fellowship is a one- or two-year experience through which Case Western Reserve graduate engineering students leverage their technical expertise and creativity to help make the world a better place through STEM education. The Fellows benefit from an enriching cultural perspective, which includes travel to Ethiopia to interact with project partners. The Fellowship includes full tuition and a stipend.

Current and Previous Gelfand Global Fellows

Ruvarashe Mutasa

Ruvarashe began her Gelfand Global Fellowship in Fall 2023, and is pursuing an masters degree in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve. She is looking forward to having an impact on STEM education in her home country of Zimbabwe. Ruvarashe says, "Drawing from the profound impact of being raised by inspiring teachers who shaped my own journey, my goal is to pay forward the invaluable lessons I learnt creating a positive impact on the future generation while exploring the dynamic world of Chemical Engineering."


Tabitha Manibe

Tabitha is a Gelfand Global Fellow who is currently pursuing an masters degree in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve. This fellowship has given her a unique opportunity to combine her expertise in program implementation with her passion for STEM education. Recently, she spent a summer teaching local high school students in South Sudan the science behind making soap at the STEMpower STEM center in Juba. Her goal is to inspire and empower more young people to explore the potential of value addition of their resources and create a sustainable livelihood.


Zemene Tegegn

Zemene is a Gelfand Global Fellow pursuing his PhD in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve.  Zemene shares that "As a Gelfand Global Fellow, I am having a direct impact on my old high school in Delo Mena, Ethiopia. Students previously had no chance to do hands-on experiments. We have now implemented engineering labs that integrate with the school STEM curriculum, while connecting science with entrepreneurship and economic development."


Ivy Petsinger (2020-2021)

Ivy with school kids
Ivy, a chemical engineer, became a Gelfand Global Fellow after spending two years in the Peace Corps, where she taught high school math in a rural village in Tanzania. Ivy loves sharing her passions for math, science and engineering in hands-on, applicable ways with students around the world! 


Blaire Volbers (2019-2020)

Blair with school children
Blaire participated as a Gelfand Global Fellow during her MS studies in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve.  Blaire previously taught English in Uruguay as a Fulbright Scholar, and taught high school chemistry in the US for five years before entering graduate school.  Blaire shares that, "I was drawn to this project due to the unique intersection of engineering and education that it offers on a global scale. It has been a truly unique graduate experience." 


Andrew Wang (2019-2020)

Andrew with school children
Andrew was a Gelfand Global Fellow during his PhD studies in chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve. Prior to his fellowship, Andrew carried out research in sustainable energy at the University of Botswana, and in environmental science at Lanzhou University (China). Andrew shared, “the Fellowship was a great complement to my traditional research-based PhD in chemical engineering. A highlight was a workshop in Ethiopia where I networked with science museum leaders from all over the world.” 


Learn More

Contact Daniel Lacks, Director, Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative and C. Benson Branch Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, at to learn more about the Gelfand Global Fellows Program at Case Western Reserve University.