Staff Spotlight: Blayne Sharpe

Blayne Sharp
Blayne Sharpe

About Blayne Sharpe:
After living in Rwanda six years, I joined IANR in January. With the organization Bridge2Rwanda, I helped build a livestock feed mill in Rwanda for the CEO of Tyson Foods, Donnie Smith, and co-founded a career development program that prepared Rwandan students to study abroad before repatriating into careers in Africa.

What is your position at UNL?
Coordinator of the Rwandan scholars program.

What drew you to UNL?
IANR has a strong and growing international focus. I appreciate a “can do” environment and that is what I was looking for when I made the transition to UNL.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
Creating opportunities to broaden the perspectives of future leaders and leveraging resources to make a sustainable impact.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Before coming to IANR, I had the opportunity to build and lead a team that helped over 150 high-capacity Rwandan students to compete and earn over $60 million in scholarships to over 60 universities in North America. I know these young leaders will be the change agents that take Rwanda’s development to the next level. It was an honor to be a part of their journey.

What is something that most people don’t know about you? 
I am an open book.

What is your life like outside of work?
My happy places are on a boat at Lake Ouachita with family in Arkansas or on a jog with Fitz, my Rhodesian Ridgeback pup.