headshot of Rod LembvemWhat does your role entail? 

My role is multi-faceted. I help to ensure that we recruit and admit a diverse and compelling group of candidates, and then provide them with the support that they need to pursue their studies at HKS. This means that I not only help provide useful information to prospective students about our programs and provide guidance throughout the admissions process, but I also assist students in navigating the complex world of financial aid. This includes helping them understand their options, applying for scholarships, and exploring various funding sources to make their education financially manageable. I mainly advise prospective and current students interested in or enrolled in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Program (MC/MPA).

Tell us a little bit more about your background. 

I am originally from Cameroon and emigrated to the United States when I was a teenager. I started out working in admissions at the undergraduate level at Case Western University, where I also received my bachelor’s degree and MBA. At Case Western Reserve University, I recruited international students especially from Southeast Asia and Africa. Naturally, because of this experience, and my international background, I am especially excited to work with international students. 

Outside of work, you can always find me at a local soccer pitch. Football, as it’s known, is one of my greatest passions. Not only do I play daily, but I am also a loyal fan of Messi FC and run a very competitive Fantasy Premier League mini-league. If you have a local team that needs some subs, I’m all ears. 

Why are you passionate about your career in higher education? 

I honestly think I’m just addicted to the smell of new school supplies, and this job provides a never-ending fix. On a more serious note, I am cognizant of the fact that education is a powerful tool for social mobility, and I’m driven by the opportunity to help increase access to higher education and provide students with the resources that they need in order to be successful. I am also very passionate about playing a small role in the transformative power of education in creating future leaders who can tackle complex global challenges.  

What’s your favorite thing about the Kennedy School? 

There are so many to choose from, but my top pick would be the Forums that are organized by the Institute of Politics. These are amazing because they facilitate meaningful, informed discussions on vital policy issues with renowned experts. Forum events are an incredible opportunity to learn, be inspired, and stay informed about crucial policy matters.

What’s one piece of advice you have for prospective students? 

When you arrive at HKS, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement with all of the incredible things going on. However, you must remember to balance your workload and extracurricular activities for a sustainable experience. 

What’s one thing in the Boston/Cambridge area a student should do during their time at HKS? 

You simply must visit the Mapparium. The three-story-tall, stained-glass globe is designed unlike any other map or globe. It is a one-of-a-kind attraction. 

What’s the best lunch spot in Harvard Square? 

I’m going to have to go with Waku Waku Ramen & Sake. Is it lunch time yet? 

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