Dean paints bright future for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

By Taigu Muchiri

Acting Dean Prof. Angelina Kioko outlined the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ vision for the 2018-2019 academic year during the School’s convocation held on Wednesday, October 31 at the Lecture Theater I.

She highlighted the achievements that the School was able to deliver in the previous academic year, before going on to describe the School’s expansion plans.

In the 2017/2018 academic year, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences graduated 385 undergraduate, 86 graduate and 6 doctoral students. During the same period, the School hired nine full time faculty: two in the Languages and Literature Department; four in the International Relations Department and three in the Psychology Department.

The Dean highlighted the key achievements of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences that are aligned to the University’s strategic goals. The first achievement was to enrich and expand academic programs. The Dean noted that program review and assessment showed that six of the nine programs successfully completed their assessment - an improvement from the last academic year which was estimated to be at 62.5%.

The school has been undertaking review of the Master of Arts in International Relations and the review will be sent to the Commission of University Education by the end of 2018.

The second achievement was to develop new programs. The school has made great strides in this process and have proposed to develop new graduate degree programs in Criminal Justice and Industrial Psychology. To add on to the two new programs, the School has also started laying the foundation to introduce Bachelor of Law degree.

The department is working hard to ensure that the MA in Criminal Justice and that of BA in Sociology proposals are ready for submission to the accrediting bodies by Fall 2018 semester. The Dean mentioned that 13 students have already enrolled for the newly introduced MA in Marriage and Family Therapy.

The third achievement was to contribute towards the overall goal of becoming a reputable research University. During the 2017/2018 academic year, the School published 46 publications. This was a great improvement from last year’s 40 publications.

The Faculty in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences have also been recipients of both internal and external research grants.

In March 2018, Associate Professor of International Relations Dr. Kennedy Mkutu received a four-year research project (2018-2021) from Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), Germany. The research project is part of a Collaborative Research Center (CRC) initiated by the Universities of Bonn and Cologne funded by the German research association - DIG - that will run for four years.

On the other hand, two faculty members, Dr. Naom Nyarigoti (Assistant Professor of English and Linguistics) and Dr. Michelle Karume (Assistant Professor of Psychology) were among the awardees of internal grants.

The fourth achievement was ensuring that the School promotes student success by enriching their learning experience. Faculty teaching foreign languages promoted “learning beyond the classroom” interaction, by organizing and facilitating programs that provided students with cultural learning experiences as part of foreign language teaching offered at the School. Such programs entailed cultural activities on campus and the “Windows to the World” field studies program.

Faculty in the International Relations, Psychology and Criminal justice programs were singled out for excelling in providing students with unique out-of-class learning experiences, such as the educational field trips offered that have been integrated in coursework.

Prof. Kioko also announced plans for the School to roll out training in university-wide effective strategies for student mentoring.

The Dean highlighted the key priorities for the 2018/2019 academic year that will center on pursuit of academic, operational and service excellence.

She noted with great pride that the School will continue to offer quality education through its diverse programs. This will be achieved by planning high-level conferences and workshops for doctoral students and new members of faculty.

The School will pursue service excellence by ensuring that effective implementation of the mentoring program to assist students achieve their goals. In conclusion, Prof. Kioko invited her audience to join the School at a ground breaking ceremony for the new building, this Thursday, November 8 at 12pm.