Cecilia Nyamwandha is a highly sought-after researcher and speaker, passionate about scientific discovery and inciting the spark of knowledge in young people. She is a geophysicist and graduate research assistant at the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at the University of Memphis, where she is also pursuing a PhD in geophysics.
Previously, Cecilia helped pioneer Nairobi University's Physics Student Association, a platform for engaging students in education, research, and careers. She also co-founded the Kenya Women in Physics Association, which addresses the challenges facing female physicists in Kenya and encourages the younger generation of women to pursue science interests.
Born and raised in an impoverished community in Kenya, Cecilia is no stranger to difficulty and challenge—and to the transformative impact education can make.
When she was 9 years old, she was invited to participate in Compassion’s child development program, and her dream of quality, consistent learning finally came true. Through her sponsorship, she was provided food, clothing, medical attention, schooling, and hope of a different future.
After completing high school, Cecilia joined Compassion’s Leadership Development Program, which made it possible for her to receive her bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Nairobi.
Before beginning her current doctoral pursuit in Memphis, she earned diplomas in Basic Physics and Earth System Physics from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.
Joyful and vivacious, Cecilia is a natural and engaging communicator who both inspires and challenges her audiences. She enjoys speaking to women’s groups, teens, and college students about what she considers to be the primary pillars of her life: faith, hope, and love.
Cecilia lives for experiences that enable her to gain knowledge, contribute to cutting edge science, and provide opportunities for others who might not otherwise have them. She and her husband Philip live in Memphis, Tennessee.