Founder and Board Member
Dr. Ingrid Schulze immigrated to the United States as a baby with her German parents, who arrived with virtually nothing except her father’s PhD in chemistry and his job offer. The power of education made a lifelong impression on her and influenced her decision to start Congo Education Partners. She grew up in a house full of books and has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Texas. Ingrid first met Albert Lokasola, founder of Djolu Technical College (DTC), in 2005 and started the Kokolopori-Falls Church Sister City Partnership soon thereafter, which she led until 2011. The Kokolopori Partnership played a crucial role in the DR Congo government’s accreditation of DTC and its official recognition of the Kokolopori Bonobo Nature Reserve. In 2013, Ingrid founded Congo Education Partners expressly to fund the College. CEP and Albert Lokasola’s NGO, Vie Sauvage, have worked together on developing DTC ever since. Ingrid loves her family and the great outdoors, especially biking and lake swimming, and is writing a science fiction novel.
Dr. Lys Alcayna-Stevens is a cultural anthropologist who has spent the last 10 years conducting research on environmental and health issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including research for UNICEF in the immediate aftermath of the 2018 Ebola outbreak. In 2013 and 2014, she spent over a year living with communities in the villages around Djolu Technical College (ISDR) and has witnessed first-hand how the college contributes to the realization of rural Congolese people’s dreams and aspirations. Lys is fluent in the regional lingua franca of Lingala and speaks Longando (the native language of the Bongando people living around Djolu) to a conversational level. She received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2016 and is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University. She loves degrowth activism, riding her bike, and baking sourdough bread.