Opening Doors: The Mowbray Scholars Program

March 15, 2021 - Asia Siev

Mimi and other MSU students

For years, the Mowbray Scholars Program has opened the door for countless students to explore the vast corners of the world. Through the program, the students are able to pursue their educational goals, from orchid research in Germany and Costa Rica to energy technology in Australia.


Mowbray honors the legacy of Michigan State University’s first African-American female graduate, Myrtle Craig Mowbray. Myrtle graduated from the then-Michigan Agricultural College in 1907 and went on to have an important education and public service career. 


The program is open to all students in the Honors College who have demonstrated potential for leadership in promoting cross-cultural understanding and who will contribute to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the Honors College. 


Mary Graves at Gamcheon Cultural Village in Busan
Mary Graves at Gamcheon Cultural Village in Busan

Beyond the funds provided by the program, Mowbray offers students with diverse interests and backgrounds to connect and learn from each other.  “It’s been a way for me to do things that I wouldn't normally do,” said Mary Graves, a senior in the Honors College. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the students would often go to local cultural events such as jazz band concerts, the opera, cultural fairs, and more. 


For Graves, the Mowbray Scholars Program allowed her to study abroad for a semester in Seoul, South Korea. “Languages are my passion,” she said. During her time in Seoul, Graves took classes at one of the best universities in the country while also being able to travel to other countries like Japan. 


Other students use the Mowbray Scholars Program to find internships abroad. Mimi Anagli spent two weeks interning for a talent agency during the Cannes Film Festival in France during the summer of 2019. “It was a really amazing experience. I was able to network with a lot of professionals from the program,” she said. “It [Mowbray] has brought me a community of really amazing people. We get to bond over our interests in travel and cultural enrichment.” 

Mimi with other interns at the Cannes Film Festival

Mimi Anagli at the Cannes Film Festival 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a temporary halt on the student’s ability to travel, many of them are planning for future trips once it is safe to do so. Alihelmael Avilés Sánchez is a sophomore who was able to take one trip to Israel in early March 2020. While he was there, he was able to meet with engineers from a company, Arkal Automotives. He hopes to be able to do an internship at the company’s facilities in London, Canada in the future. 

Alihelmael Avilés Sánchez 

Alihelmael Avilés Sánchez in Israel 

The Mowbray Program has a lasting and tangible impact on all of those who take part in it. For Jennifer Nichols, the Mowbray program sparked a love for travel. “It opened my eyes to the fact there is so much beyond the boundaries of this country. It gave me a passion for travel and a passion for understanding.

For putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, and trying to get to know people where they live and where they work,” she said. Nichols is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for CRG, a real estate development firm. “Even to this day, when my husband and I travel...we try to go where the locals go.”


For Give Green Day, we encourage you to consider giving back to make a difference to impact current and future Spartans so that programs like the Mowbray Scholars Program can continue to flourish for years to come. Make a gift to support Mowbray Scholars here.