Alumnae Profiles: Alisha Myers, C'98
Alisha Myers, C’98, has never been a stranger to hard work, but this spring she achieved a Herculean feat, tested her physical limits, and broke down barriers when she successfully completed her first Absa Cape Epic, one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world.
For eight days, Cape Epic participants ride in teams of two cycling over 440 miles through the mountain passes of Western Cape, South Africa. This year, Myers and her race partner, Rozilla Kumwana, made history as the first Black women to complete the grueling mountain bike event.
An advocate of good health and fitness, Myers was fully sponsored for the race by Exxaro, a South African company that started a mountain biking academy several years ago to train and promote mountain biking among historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa. With this accomplishment, Myers and Kumwana are showing Black women around the world that wellness matters, and that they do not have to shy away from sports not traditionally open to women.
Making Strides Professionally
With over ten years of experience in development programming, research, capacity building and developing and managing quality monitoring and evaluation systems for non-government organization projects focused on health, HIV/AIDS, food security and nutrition, Myers continues to excel professionally as well. She currently serves as senior monitoring and evaluation technical adviser of Mothers2Mothers, a NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa where she is responsible for managing all aspects of the routine monitoring system, including the data collection, management, reporting and use for almost 600 project sites. She also provides technical support to the monitoring and evaluation coordinators in m2m’s seven program countries.
The m2m organization helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, improves the well-being of mothers by facilitating access to life-sustaining medical care, and empowers mothers living with HIV to overcome stigma and live positive and productive lives. Since its beginning in 2001, it has grown from one site in Cape Town to over 400 sites in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
A Legacy of Excellence at Spelman
After graduating magna cum laude from Spelman, Myers served as a Fulbright Fellow in South Africa and as a Fellow for the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help in Ethiopia. She also studied in Germany, Italy, and England and speaks fluent German.
As a Leland Fellow, Myers worked with the new Sudan Strategic Program Plan to develop educational materials related to food security strategies. She traveled to Southern Sudan to evaluate local farming systems management and coordinate seed fairs for Sudanese farmers. She also provided research and advocacy assistance to the Policy and Strategic Issues Division, with a specific focus on the advocacy of food policy and foreign aid in Africa.
She holds a master’s degree in social policy and planning in developing countries from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was also a Fulbright Fellow and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship recipient.