Dean, School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Prof. Njeri Wamae (center) receives the 2018 Nelson Mandela Distinguished Africanist Award from DVC - Academic & Student Affairs Prof. Amb. Ruthie Rono (left) in the presence of Prof. Toyin Falola (right). The award was conferred by the Toyin Falola Annual International Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora (TOFAC) Board at a ceremony presided over by Associate Dean, School of Humanities & Social Sciences Dr. Michael Kihara, on Thursday, July 5. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI
By Dan Muchai
Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Prof. Njeri Wamae is the recipient of the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Africanist Award conferred by the Toyin Falola Annual International Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora Board during a ceremony held on campus on Thursday, July 5.
To receive the award, a nominee must be a leader who has distinguished him/herself in public leadership positions, be known for the promotion of freedom for Africans both at the national and international levels, and must have shown resilience, courage and determination in the pursuit of African liberation.
In endorsing the nomination of Professor Wamae, the TOFAC Board noted her “commitment to research, integrity, productivity, and sincere passion for everything that is good about Africa.”
Prof. Wamae obtained her Bachelor of Science in Parasitology and Medical Entomology at Bowling Green State University, in the USA, her Master of Science in Public Health and PhD in Parasitology both at Tulane University, the latter in 1995.
She is Professor of Parasitology and Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, a position she has held since December 1, 2017. Prior to that she held the Professorship of Parasitology at the Mount Kenya University School of Medicine. Before then, she was the founding Dean - Directorate of Research and Development at Kenya Methodist University.
Over the course of her illustrious career, Prof. Wamae has become a widely-respected researcher, administrator and teacher.
She has published over sixty peer-reviewed journal essays, supervised numerous postgraduate students and continues with research activities in neglected tropical and zoonotic diseases as well as examining theses/dissertations and supervising graduate students at local and international universities.
Outside the academy, Prof. Wamae has set several professional benchmarks; she is the Founding Director, Eastern and Southern Africa Centre of International Parasite Control (ESACIPAC); Chief Research Ofﬁcer, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and ﬁrst and only female Director, Centre for Microbiology Research (CMR), KEMRI.
Prof. Wamae also serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) as an advisor on tropical diseases, in the course of which she has attended numerous international meetings in she served as a keynote speaker.
She has also held several senior management positions in various academic institutions, including a visiting Professorship at Nagasaki University, Japan as well as Guest Researcher, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA.
Expressing her surprise on receiving news of her nomination,Prof. Wamae thanked the Board noting she was “absolutely humbled.”
The award, she said, reminded her of why she chose her career and why her task is far from complete.
“I strongly commit myself to leading us all to the next level of transformation in freeing our fellow Africans from diseases of poverty and giving them an equal chance in realizing their full purpose and potential.”