Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global center for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the best universities in the world. UBC’s vision is to create an exceptional learning environment that fosters global citizenship, advances a civil and sustainable society, and supports outstanding research to serve the people of British Columbia, Canada, and the world.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC will take place over a ten-year period with a total of 171 Mastercard Foundation Scholars, including undergraduate and masters students.

Beginning with five undergraduate students in 2013, UBC currently has 53 Mastercard Foundation Scholars on its Vancouver campus. In addition to their curricula engagement, the scholars will be mentored, engaged in leadership capacity building, participate in local and international community service learning, and take up summer internships in Africa to foster their interest and capacity to return to Africa to give back to their communities.

Reflecting UBC’s strategic commitment to supporting international students, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars will benefit from academic and social support programs such as Jump Start, programs focused on student wellbeing and personal development, while benefiting from the direct support of a newly created program director and a full range of academic success programs.

About UBC
UBC Facts and Figures

Professor Stephen J Toope
Former UBC President and Vice-Chancellor


Program Team

Tom Ross
Academic Director

Tom Ross is the Academic Director for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of British Columbia. He also serves as the Senior Associate Dean (Special Projects), the UPS Foundation Professor of Regulation and Competition Policy and the Director of the Phelps Centre for the Study of Government and Business in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. An economist, he did his undergraduate work at the University of Western Ontario and earned his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. Professor Ross worked at the University of Chicago and Carleton University before moving to U.B.C. (in 1992) and spent a year as the first holder of the T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics at the Competition Bureau in 1990-91 and a year as a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University from 1987-88. From 1993 to 1996 he served as the Chair of the Policy Analysis and Strategy Division and from 2008-2012 as the Senior Associate Dean (Faculty and Research) of the Sauder School. He has received awards for his research from the Sauder School (Faculty Research Prize, 2001) and the University of British Columbia (Killam Research Prize, 2005) as well as teaching awards from the Sauder School (CGA Graduate Teaching Award, 2004) and from the MBA Class of 2004 (Outstanding Professor Award). His research in the areas of competition policy, regulation, industrial organization and experimental economics has been published in a number of scholarly journals. Professor Ross is the founding and continuing director of the successful UBC Summer Conference on Industrial Organization which has been running for over twenty-five years. He has also served as a consultant to a number of public and private sector organizations.


Shanda Williams
Program Director 

Shanda is the Program Director of Global Campus Initiatives at the University of British Columbia. She is originally from Belize in Central America and immigrated to Canada in 2003 where she completed a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Business Administration. Shanda has been working in international education since 2011 and enjoys meetings and supporting students from around the world. Additionally, she is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and prior to working with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC, she worked as a part of the International Student Advising team at UBC where her team supported more than 17,000 international students from over 150 countries. In her work with the Scholars Program, Shanda seeks to support students to continue to aspire to their highest potential as well as to find and develop fulfilling and meaningful experiences throughout their academic journey and beyond UBC.


Diane (Dee) Mutabaruka
Experiential Learning Advisor

Diane (Dee) Mutabaruka is the Experiential Learning Advisor for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of British Columbia. Dee is a highly motivated and experienced advisor and project manager with a strong background (6 years in Higher Education) in student development and experiential advising. With her leadership and relationship-building skills, Dee aims to design, deliver, and evaluate innovative programs that foster career, professional, leadership, transition, and community-based learning experiences for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars. She is dedicated to advising students on career development practices, facilitating internships and mentorship programs, establishing cross-campus partnerships, and enhancing the academic and professional journeys of students and alumni. Her intercultural competence, critical thinking abilities, and passion for fostering inclusive learning environments enable her to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders, ensuring the achievement of our program goals and objectives in empowering Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Africa.


Munatsi (Muna) Mavhima
Program Assistant

Muna Mavhima is the Program Assistant for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of British Columbia. Muna a is Shona immigrant settler who comes from Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, and has a BA in Political Science from SFU. Before joining the team, Muna worked in Financial Operations at UBC. Having been an international student, he is passionate about the care and guidance of Mastercard Foundation Scholars and is pleased to play an important role in that. Apart from working with international students, Muna enjoys volunteering with a Black-owned non-profit in Vancouver as well as creative writing in his spare time. Muna helps to oversee admission, coordinates events, and acts as the first point of contact for scholars.