Mr. Eric Ongwen (IR Freshman) and Ms. Akual Awer (Criminal Justice Studies Sophomore) are the new Mr. & Miss USIU-Africa 2018.
The duo were crowned during the final of this year’s edition of Mr. & Miss USIU-Africa held on Thursday, November 23 at the CK Square, Two Rivers Mall.
The annual pageant is organized by the Student Affairs Council to select the two students who can best represent their fellow students, as well as raise funds for a recognized charity - for this edition it was the Al Tawoon Education Center located in one of the Nairobi’s informal settlements, Korogocho.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza and the Associate DVC-Student Affairs Prof. Wangari Mwai both congraluted the students for qualifying for the final, while the Student Affairs Council Chair, Mr. Chad Naggi congratulated the organizing team for a job well done.
A panel of judges considered the sixteen contestants’ confidence, stage presence, creativity, and personality not only during the final, but also over the last twelve weeks of preparation for the pageant.
Joseph Gordon (APT Sophomore) and Mehreen Ahamed (Pharmacy Sophomore) came second, while Feizal Ahmed (HRM Freshman) and Bakashaba Blessing (IR Junior) followed.
Other title winners included APT Senior Aakash Barot (Mr. Community Service), Finance Sophomore Nelly Maina (Miss Community Service); Accounting Sophomore Adan Mohamed (Mr. Talent) and Journalism Junior Mercy Onyango (Miss Talent); IBA Sophomore Ambrose Mugume (Mr. Congeniality) and finally IBA Junior Mercy Mwendwa (Miss Congeniality).
The entrance fees will fund construction of additional classrooms at AlTawoon Education Center, making the institution eligible for government support.
The library held a training on scholarly research communication on Tuesday, November 21 in the Library’s instruction room. The training was designed to introduce library users to the academic research aspects such as citation and referencing; online database searching and retrieval, scholarly communication and understanding of online catalogues.
Reference & Instruction Librarian Mr. Rodney Malesi who led the training, focused on how to identify appropriate academic journals.
Training sessions are available on request, which can be communicated on email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
The first annual USIU - Africa Cyber Security Conference, took place on Friday, November 10 on campus, based on the theme; “The Status of Cyber Security in Kenya and the Region: Training And Enterprise”. The conference, which was organized by the USIU-Africa cyber security group in the IT Club, was an attempt to tackle the disconnect between academia and industry.
According to the Kenya Cyber Security Report of 2016 prepared by Serianu Ltd and USIU-Africa, Kenya’s loses upto $175 million annually to cybercrime, illustrating a need for all organizations to invest heavily in recruitment and training of cybersecurity professionals, and assessment of threats.
The conference was able to engage students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders through plenary talks, an open question and answer session and live demonstrations. Dr. Bright Gameli (Head of Cyber Security Services, Internet Solutions Kenya), Mrs. Paula Musuva-Kigen (Lecturer, Forensic Information Technology), Dr. Wamuyu Kanyi (Assistant Professor, Information Systems and Technology), Mr. Gabriel Mathenge (Cybersecurity Consultant), Mr. Christian Kisutsa (Information Security Analyst, Euclid Consultancy) and Onyibe Shalom (IST ‘17) formed a panel of seasoned experts, who produced a rich cyber security discourse, that addressed the role of the student in the cyber security industry, as well as provided insight into what it takes to meet industrial standards set by cyber security professionals.
The USIU-Africa hostels hosted their annual award ceremony on Saturday, November 25 in the auditorium. The event was held to recognize outstanding residents, and their contribution to the hostel environment.
Over 25 awards were offered in categories ranging from Best Resident Assistant, Best GPA for the different years of study, Most Valuable Player (male and female) in sport, and best members of the Dean’s Residents’ Advisory Board (DRAB) and Entertainment Committee.
Speaking during the ceremony Housing Manager Mr. Michael Kisilu commended the residents for making the hostel “a home away from home”, and for their collective contributions of KES 20 000 raised to support Compassionate Neighbors Children’s Home. He also introduced the Department of Housing’s newest member – Housing Officee Mr. Bonface Inganga.
The event concluded with a celebration of those residents celebrating their birthdays in November, and those departing the hostels at the end this semester.
The Placement and Career Services department organized a successful mock interview session on Friday November 24, to train students on how to successfully navigate an interview.
Students who participated as interviewees also receive direct valuable feedback and coaching on their performance from a panel of interviewers comprising, Mr. Christopher Mwirigi (Manager, Organizational Development, Chase Bank), Mr. Patrick Huang (Chief of Staff and Principal Business Development Officer, Umati Capital) and Ms. Rose Gichure (Talent Acquisition, Recruiter, Talent Scout and Curriculum Vitae expert, Rose Avenue Consulting Group and Kenya Institute of Management).
The following are some of the interview tips gathered from the session that will help you prepare for and execute interviews:
Read through the job posting
Telling the interviewer more than he/she needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When one is not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. One should prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position's requirements and relating only that information.
Conduct a research on the employer/company
This entails the knowledge of the company’s culture, mission and values, products, services and their news and recent events. Furthermore, research on the skills and experience the company values, the key players and any necessary information.You’ll also be better prepared to answer questions and be able to position yourself as the best candidate.
Arrive on Time, Relaxed and Prepared for the Interview
There is no excuse for arriving late to an interview. One should always strive to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to allow yourself time to get settled.
Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace. The day before the interview, the candidate should pack up extra copies of their resume or CV and a reference list. If one has a portfolio or samples of one’s work, bring those along too.
Dress for the job
It is important to know what to wear for an interview as well as to be well-groomed. One’s choice of dressing should reflect the culture of the company and the position one is seeking. If possible, the candidate should call before the interview to find out about the company’s dress code.
The School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has a new Dean – Prof. Njeri Wamae took up her new appointment from Friday, December 1, prior to which she was Professor of Parasitology, at the Mount Kenya University School of Medicine.
Professor Wamae received her Bachelor of Science in Parasitology and Medical Entomology at Bowling Green State University, in the USA, while her Master of Science in Public Health and PhD in Parasitology were both received from at Tulane University, also in the USA.
She is a distinguished scholar - to date, Professor Wamae has published over seventy publications of which about sixty are in peer-reviewed journals, supervised nineteen post graduate students, engages in reviewing manuscripts for various local and international journals, and has served on consultancies such as for the World Health Organization.
As an eminent researcher, Prof. Wamae has been the Chairperson - National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (2014-2017), founding Dean - Directorate of Research and Development at Kenya Methodist University, Founding Director - Eastern and Southern Africa Centre of International Parasite Control, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), as well as various other positions in KEMRI, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA, and Nagasaki University Institute of Tropical Medicine.
She also holds numerous professional certificates in such areas as strategic leadership and program development, scientific communication and publishing, impact evaluation, project management, corporate governance, and finance.
Professor Wamae is also the recipient of the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) - one of Kenya’s top national honors - bestowed by His Excellency the President, for distinguished service to the nation, in 2015.
Among the projects the new Dean will oversee is the introduction of the School’s second academic program - Bachelor of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics - who’s first intake will be in the Summer Semester, and which cements the university’s growing portfolio of health sciences.
She takes over from Dr. Apollo Maima, who has provided leadership to the School since its inception in 2015.
Last Saturday, November 25, the University hosted “TEDx Ridgeways” – a local self-organized event where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at a TED Conference are shared with the community. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection.
TEDxRidgeways was themed “A cry from a silent room…ideas from untold stories”, and hosted by Ms Victoria Rubadiri (Senior Anchor, NTV). It offered a stage for nine speakers speaking on the following main topics; “Ideas that have been overlooked/forgotten; Addressing challenges facing the audience that have not been shared or spoken of; and Addressing problems that exist but ignored.”
One after the other, speakers took the red carpeted stage in three interconnected sessions.
In the first session, 12 years old Alex Kariuki - a young boy passionate about science and history, spoke on the sub-theme “Lost in the Maze” where he advocated for a particular attention toward the issues faced by the boy child. He suggested a mentorship program and rehabilitation process that sets a new path for drowning in drug abuse.
From her talk - Beyond a Fairy Tale - Rozmina Rana, a DBA candidate and current Managing Director of Dormans Coffee Limited, shared her personal story through which she underlined her change of perspective as starting point for personal and professional success. 11 year-old Raniah Oyatta shared her progress toward leadership based on the willingness to help others, under the sub-theme My type of Leadership.
During the second session, alumna Wangari Muikia Director and Principal Consultant at Expertise Global), argued that young professionals are misunderstood, “All that millennials need is to feel valued and appreciated, pay is a secondary factor”. She emphasized that, instead, they should be well-mentored and valued.
Professional writer and blogger Njeru Mucheru during her session differentiated between “Worthless mentality versus Priceless mentality”. According to Ms. Mucheru, a priceless mentality is what it takes to pull one out of a difficult situation- “With a Worthless Mentality I lived a life I thought I was supposed to live, with a Priceless Mentality I live a life I know I want to live.”
Mr. John-Allan Namu (Journalism, ’09 and Winner, CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award - 2009) is the CEO/ Editorial Director at Africa Uncensored. His talk focused on “Why good journalism must be at the heart of our future”. In his view, the lack of objective truth raises a question “If the stories we are telling are not changing lives what are we telling them for?” Mr. Namu placed the onus for telling the African story on his audience, urging them to adhere to the three tenets of good journalism: to inform, educate, entertain. This, he concluded is the only way to “…build our identity as no one else will do it for us”.
Award-winning documentary photographer, Amunga Eshuchi, discussed the value of “Context is Freedom”, where he described how ccontext frames content to emphasize the importance of a narrative’s base. Mr. Charles Murito (Country Manager for Google and Acting MD & Chief Commercial Officer, Programming at Wananchi Group’s Zuku), discussed “Be more selfish… and care for others”. He invited the audience to look at poverty from a solution-based perspective that benefits the community.
Next on stage was Oltesh Thobias, Chief Regional Procurement Officer of the African Development Bank. Mr. Oltesh shared lessons he learned from his five years struggle with high levels of cholesterol that he was able to beat in only three months. He based his success on consistency, sacrifice and support calling his audience to remember that their health should be their wealth.
Closing the series of talks on the same health subject, Dr. Nyachira Muthiga, medical doctor and host of the storytelling platform “Own Your Story” shared on the state of emotional preparedness in the medical field. Feelings for Who made the tittle of the tale of her professional experience with emotions in the medical field. “With the right preparation there is a place for young female doctors, who can work and relate well with patients and society” she said.
At the end of the talk, Principal Alumni Relations Officer, Mr. Uvyu Mbole, thanked the participants before inviting the organizer and Curator, alumna Grace Mdemu to introduce her team. She added that more TEDx talks will be held at USIU-Africa, given the success of this first event.
Based on the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all” activities from Tuesday, November 21 to Thursday, November 23, were aimed at increasing the university community’s awareness on disability matters.
Kenya Community Centre for Learning, Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY), Compassionate Hands for the Disabled Foundation, and Deaf Haven International partnered with students living with disability to conduct a wheel chair race, crutches walk, sign language training, and blind folding games. Tents set up behind the cafeteria, provided students with an opportunity to have their questions answered regarding the experiences of people with disability.
The final day featured a panel discussion at the auditorium where Ms. Freidah Mona (MA Counseling Psychology), Miss Regina Mugure (IR, sophomore), and Ms. Whitney Ngigi (Psychology, sophomore), shared their experience as students living with disability. The discussion touched on the soon-to-be-launched Policy on Quality Access of People with Disabilities and Special Needs, as the university strives to maintain a disability-friendly environment.
USIU-Africa had the pleasure of hosting 35 students and 3 professors from the NLA campus in Kristiansand, Norway from October 20-31, 2017. The students interacted with USIU-Africa students during class sessions facilitated by Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Josephine Arasa and Principal Counselor Mrs. Lucy Kungu who spoke on “Adolescent sexuality in a cross-cultural context”, while Lecturer of International Relations Mr Moses Onyango gave a talk on “The complexity of multiculturalism and violent extremism in the global age”. Mr William Mwangi spoke on “Cross-cultural communication in an African context” while Ms. Robi Koki gave a talk on “Media issues in Africa”. Thereafter, Mr. David Jourdan the Political Counselor at the Norwegian Embassy gave a talk on “Kenya-Norway Relations”.
USIU-Africa has a longstanding relationship with the NLA University in Norway which was initiated by a retired faculty member, Joe Kadhi. For the past 6 years, NLA campuses in Burgen and Kristiansand have sent students to Kenya on exchange programs. This is the second visit this year by NLA after sending 16 students and 2 professors from the Burgen campus in March 2017.
In the Spring 2018 semester, the university will host four NLA students in the BA Journalism program for a whole semester, while a further two students will join the MA Communication Studies program for a semester in Summer 2018.
On Friday, November 24, the Journalism program in the School of Science and Technology, partnered with the Office of Alumni Relations to host faculty and alumni of the Journalism program for a reunion dinner at Freida Brown Student Center.
The reunion presented an opportunity for alumni reignite old friendships, reminisce about shared experiences and learn more about new initiatives from the School.
Present at the event was the Journalism and Communication Studies Programs Director Dr. Stephen Kimotho, who echoed the importance of such sessions in linking industry with class experience, adding that the input of Journalism alumni has been critical in developing the curriculum of existing and proposed programs in Journalism and Communication Studies. Journalism lecturer Ms. Robi Koki emphasized the role such reconnections continue to play in strengthening and expanding the existing alumni network.
Speaking at the event, Principal Alumni Relations Officer Mr. Uvyu Mbole pledged the support of his office and that of the Alumni Association, in setting up the Journalism Chapter of the Association in due course.
Dr. Kimotho was accompanied by Assistant Professor of Journalism Dr. Dorothy Njoroge, Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Dr. Kioko Ireri and long-serving Journalism Lecturer Mr. Isaiah Cherutich.
In his concluding remarks University Advancement Director Mr. James Ogolla, congratulated the guests for joining hands with the University to strengthen the bonds of alumni and their alma mater.