Charlesworth Mabheka: International Relations / Global Public Health Policy

Charlesworth Mabheka
International Relations / Global Public Health Policy
B.A. June 2012, cum Laude
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
Colin Powell Fellowship
CUNY BA-Memorial Scholarship
“On January 23, 2009, the ferocious cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe killed my 62 year old mother, my 18 year old sister, and my 11 year old nephew.  My natural reaction to the dreadful news was denial, ‘That can’t be true, I don’t believe this!’  The deep pain of this tragic loss stays with me to this day.”  So wrote Charlesworth Mabheka in his application to CUNY Baccalaureate, further explaining that his initial anger is with economic sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe which have led to the collapse of the healthcare system in his country; this anger has been transformed into a career direction with a goal of effecting positive social change.  It is these goals that inspired him to apply to CUNY Baccalaureate to design his own degree in International Relations and Global Public Health Policy.  His ultimate goal is to continue to support his countrymen, something he does now from the U.S. via his involvement in volunteer work with One to World (formerly Metro International).

Mabheka is dedicated to public service, and he has advocated for poverty eradication at the United Nations Secretariat briefings and raised public awareness about world problems including Poverty and HIV-AIDS, and Human Trafficking through public forums at the Student World Assembly. In 2005 and 2006, he participated in the prestigious Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference and the Student Conference on United States Affairs, where his roundtable discussed Zimbabwe as a case study.

In the area of poverty, Mabheka plans to work with the Acumen Fund with a goal to introduce the “Blue Sweater” method in Zimbabwe, “a new approach to solving poverty – using patient capital to identify, support and grow businesses that can effectively and sustainably serve the poor” (see  Currently, he is volunteering at the International Rescue Committee, an organization whose mission is to provide emergency relief, post-conflict development and resettlement services; to work for the protection of human rights; and to advocate for those uprooted or affected by violent conflict and oppression.

His research interests include poverty, HIV/AIDS and international sanctions. Mabheka is currently conducting research on The Impact of Economic Sanctions: the Case of Zimbabwe with the CUNY Macaulay Honors College which will culminate in a presentation at the Ithaca Undergraduate Conference in March 2011, under the instruction of Distinguished Professor Lee Quinby and Professor Vincent Boudreau, Political Science, City College.  In addition, Mabheka was awarded the Colin Powell Fellowship award and has the honor of being a fellow at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at City College.

Mabheka started his CUNY education at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2004, earning an Associate’s degree in Business Administration there in 2008.  For his CUNY Baccalaureate areas of concentration, he is mentored by Professors Bruce Cronin, Political Science, City College, and Nicholas Freudenberg, Urban Public Health, Hunter.  He has taken his courses at City, Hunter, and Lehman Colleges.