International Relations majors Ms Eunice Njeri (Freshman) and Ms. Lucy Irungu (Sophomore) trounced two Strathmore University teams, to be declared winners of a debate held at Strathmore University on Friday, May 25. The debate brought together four universities in a discussion centered on analyzing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's development plan, and which the opportunities it presents for young people.

The plan, popularly referred to as the “Big Four Agenda', is built on four key pillars: raising the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 9 to 15 percent by 2022; expanding food production and supply; providing universal health coverage for all Kenyan homes; and building 500,000 affordable houses.

Each of the four USIU-Africa teams comprising two students each, sailed through the first round elimination competitions to qualify for the semifinals, with only one of the four qualifying for the final. The winners were commended for exhibiting wide knowledge of the subject matter, as well as effectively utilizing verifiable facts and statistical data, with admirable confidence.

Ms. Njeri, who was recognized as the best female speaker was thankful for having received an opportunity to express herself, while her colleague Ms. Irungu, testified to their rigorous preparation despite their unfamiliarity with the British Parliamentary Debate format.The four teams are already preparing to participate in Amnesty International’s Annual Inter-Varsity Human Rights Debate, whose structure conforms to the Mjadala Kenya Debate format.
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Construction of USIU-Africa’s first Library in 1991. PHOTO: MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

This Summer, the USIU-Africa Library and Information Center will celebrate for the first time, the International Archives Day through a series of activities from Tuesday June 12 through to Thursday, June 14.

Through the Archives Week, the Library desires to celebrate documentary history, to launch the USIU-Africa Archives, raise awareness of the value of archival materials and archival repositories, and encourage the USIU-Africa community to identify and avail records and artifacts of enduring historical value, for preservation.

Archives are said to ‘unlock doors from the past’, provide ‘documentary evidence of past events’ kept because they have continuing value. By housing permanently valuable records, archives have preserved the documentary heritage of a particular group, thus becoming working tools of organizations that produced large amounts of documents in the course of their activities. The Archives are expected to tell the University’s history right from very humble beginnings, and to preserve this history for posterity.

This kind of preservation is expected to allow the University to not only strengthen its collective memory but also to protect the rights of the community, its property and identity. Additionally, the primary materials collected by the Archives are expected to provide current and future researchers with an irreplaceable research treasure trove.

The Archives Week will feature an exhibition at the Library atrium, a short program to officially launch the Archives accompanied by a talk, refreshments and a tour of the Archives.

Prof. Njeri Wamae

Professor Njeri Wamae (Dean, School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) receives a Certificate of Recognition from the Cabinet Secretary for Health Ms. Sicily Kariuki for her role as Chairperson of the Guinea Worm Eradication Certification Committee, during a ceremony on Thursday, May 17 at the Sarova Panafric in Nairobi. PHOTO: COURTESY

By Ernest Mwanzi

The Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Prof. Njeri Wamae (Professor of Parasitology), has been recognized by the Cabinet Secretary of Health Ms. Sicily Kariuki for her contribution towards the eradication of Guinea worm disease, during a ceremony held on Thursday, May 17 at Sarova Panafric Nairobi.

As Chairperson of the Guinea Worm Eradication Certification Committee, Prof. Wamae led a team of eminent researchers and representatives of various non-governmental organizations in conducting a four year campaign to stamp out guinea disease from Kenya. Each committee member adopted five counties, where they coordinated with national and county government health and administration officials in extensive research, involving several awareness campaigns.

Kenya was certified free of the Guinea worm disease by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2018, after a recommendation by the International Commission for the Certification of the Dracunculiasis Eradication (ICCDE). It becomes the 41st country in the WHO African Region to be certified free of the disease.

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Billy Irakoze (IBA Junior) poses for a photo at the conclusion of the KSF Nairobi Age Group Championships held from May 25 - 27 at Makini School. PHOTO: STEFFI OWINO

By Myra Wendo & Antonio Longangi

IBA Junior Billy Irakoze broke the 50 meters freestyle record during the Kenya Swimming Federation Nairobi Age Group Championships held from May 25 to 27 at Makini School. In 25.3 seconds, Mr. Irakoze outswam teammate David Ngare (International Relations Junior), as well as fellow challengers from Barracuda Swim Club, Kenyatta University and Makini School, thus successfully defending his title as the KSF Age Group Ironman Swim Champion.

The swim team, who are also known as Dolphins, emerged ninth overall in the 16 and above age bracket, with the men winning the 1st runner-up trophy.
The team’s next outing is at the Coast Amateur Swimming Association (CASA) championships from June 29 to July 1 in Mombasa, to be followed by their participation in the SEAL Championships to be held from July 5 8, in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

Meanwhile, mixed results marked a busy weekend for members of the basketball, hockey and soccer teams.In the Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League, the ladies basketball team narrowly lost 48 – 49 against Storms on Saturday, May 26, but then defeated Kenyatta University’s Oryx by 43 – 40 on Sunday, May 27. However, it was not all rosy for their male colleagues who lost 49 - 53 against the Blades, but won resoundingly against the Trailblazers 68 – 39, before losing once more against Strathmore University 35 – 47.

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UNICEF Regional Director of East and South Africa, Leila Pakkala addresses participants during the Second Migration Conversation hosted by the University in partnershipwith the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday, May 24. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Diana Meso

On Thursday, May 24, USIU-Africa in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) hosted the Second Migration Conversation at the auditorium. Through the theme “Children on the move in East and Horn of Africa” the event was aimed at discussing the safety and dignity of children migrating in East and the Horn of Africa.

IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, Jeffery Labovitz, pointed out that since 1 in every 70 children do not reside in countries where they were born, massive vulnerabilities now exist on migration journeys which must be addressed. He further added that his organization was working tirelessly to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promote international cooperation on migration issues and assist in research on practical solutions to migration problems.

Present at the event was UNICEF Regional Director of East and South Africa, Leila Pakkala, who emphasized on the causes of human migration such as natural disasters, high poverty levels, political unrest and a search of a better life. She added that while migrating children are faced with challenges such as missing identity documents, detention, sexual harassment, lack of access to basic services, among other issues.She also pointed out that UNICEF had come up with programs that support young migrants, urging participants to contribute to creation of awareness on the rights of children on the move, and thus ensure they are protected. She further encouraged participants and organizations present to partner and create an enabling environment for the migrants where ever they may be found.

By Serah Ngetha

The strong interest Inventory is a tool that was developed by industrial psychologist John Holland, after realizing that even after getting monetary rewards, praise for a job well done, promotions and annual paid vacations, workers still lacked motivation in their workplaces. He developed this tool now used by organizations to match employees’ interests to the organizations and available positions.

Today, although the Strong Interest Inventory or the Holland Code is not a diagnostic tool, it is used as an indicator in various high schools and universities, to help students choose the right major and create a sound career plan.

The Holland Code aids individuals identify their interests by exploring six broad areas; realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional (RIASEC). Each of these areas offers a broad range of industry options that an individual can explore based on their passion. It also describes a person’s personal preferences in five areas which are; work style, learning environment, team orientation, leadership style and risk taking.

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Placement and Career Services held their first career peer advisors training session on Friday, May 25, at the Freida Brown Student Center. The program drew students from various majors, all who shared a common interest in guiding their peers in career planning, curriculum vitae or cover letter writing.

Through the guidance of professionals from the Placement and Career Services department as well as the Counseling department, the intensive program tutored participants on the purpose of being a career peer advisor, personal branding, career exploration, job searching skills, CV and cover letter writing, and the qualities and values career peer advisors should embody. Participants were also educated on how to draw up their own career plans.

“The students will be an extension of the career services officers, whilst having peer engagements with other students,” said Career Services Officer Ms. Mina Kaburu.

The program concluded by training participants on how to enhance their own self-awareness as career peer advisors.
Winnie Waithira PACS CPA 22052018   

Interview By Sarah Ngetha

Career Peers Advisors are outstanding students, drawn from various majors, who are interested in helping their peers in career planning, Curriculum Vitae or cover letter writing.

Advisors who meet the necessary requirements are trained on how to handle various issues concerning careers, how to conduct themselves on and off campus and how to draw up their own career plans.

I interviewed one of our outstanding Career Peer Advisors Winnie Waithira (above), regarding her experience as an advisor.

Sarah: Briefly introduce yourself

Winnie: My name is Winnie Waithira, a Psychology Junior working as a Career Peer Advisor in the Office of Placement and Career Services.

Sarah: How and why did you become an advisor?

Winnie: I had not intended to become a career advisor - I stumbled upon the opportunity when I was looking for Work Study Opportunity on campus.
I had been called for a work study interview in another department and failed to get the position. In my search for alternative Work Study slots, I sent my CV to then Head of Placement and Career Services Ms. Lilian Bogonko and after an interview, I got the position.
I had no idea what the work was about, but I was pretty excited to work at the just completed Freida Brown Student Center ((FBSC) and the fact that I had a work study option, meant it would ease my school fee load.

Sarah: What does a typical day for a Career Peer Advisor look like?

Winnie: (laughing) I have never had a typical day at Career Services. Every day is different, because you have different students with different needs walking in. Sometimes you have many clients, other times the traffic is low, especially around exam time.

Sarah: What are some of the responsibilities of an advisor?

Winnie: Guiding a student through major or minor course selection, CV and/or cover letter critique, career advising, as well as creating awareness for the services the department offers.

Sarah:What impact has your position had on you?

Winnie: It has had such a positive impact! Where skills are concerned, I have learnt how to communicate effectively. It has also helped me build on my interpersonal skills, learn how to efficiently run an office, and how to plan and market an event.
Personally, I have learnt how to better manage my time as well as how to balance my academic work and responsibilities as an advisor; something I never thought I was capable of.

Sarah: Please share some of your highlights at the PACS office?

Winnie: Just the other day, I helped one of my friends write a motivational letter to an international university as part of her admission application for graduate studies. She not only got the slot, but also two semesters free! I also have another friend who came in and together we worked on her application to a job that she finally landed following our discussions. Such stories keep me going, knowing that I am positively influencing my peers.

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From Tuesday May 8 to Wednesday May 9, the Division of Legal Services, successfully organized the second edition of the Legal Awareness Workshop. This followed last year’s auspicious event also held in May. The theme for this year’s workshop was “Empowerment through the Law” and the Division lined up yet another high profile list of guest speakers composed of Prof. Tom Ojienda - a Commissioner at the Judicial Service Commission, Senior Counsel and Advocate of the High Court of Kenya; Ms. Maria Goretti Nyariki - Head of Legal Services and Corporation Secretary at Kenya Bureau of Standards; Ms. Patricia Kiwanuka, a Chartered Financial Analyst, President of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of East Africa and also a Member of the University Council at USIU-Africa; Mr. Elisha Ongoya, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Senior Lecturer at the Kabarak University Law School; Mr. Alex Gakuru, Executive Director, Content Development and Intellectual Property (CODE-IP) Trust; Mr. Victor Nzomo, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a Patent agent and celebrated blogger on Intellectual Property matters; Ms. MarySheila Onyango - Oduor, Partner and Head of the Family Law Department at TripleOKLaw Advocates and Mr. Samson Atandi, the Senior Insurance Officer at USIU-Africa.

In his brief remarks the Chancellor Dr. Manu Chandaria, underscored the importance of saving and accumulating money as part of financial intelligence.
Participants at the workshop were taken through various issues of topical interest, such as Alternative Dispute Resolution in Kenya, Financial Intelligence Quotient, Constitutional rights and their enforcement in courts, E-Conveyancing, Internet Governance, Intellectual Property Rights, Succession law, Marriage law, Children & the Law, Sexual Harassment in the aftermath of #MeToo campaign, and Insurance.

Key highlights included the ten lessons one needs to learn and practice in order to achieve financial intelligence, inter alia: accumulating money; giving money to the less fortunate; creation of wealth; and making a distinction between good and bad debt. The current changes effected by the Ministry of Lands on the digitization of conveyancing transactions were broken down in detail with key emphasis being placed on the due diligence that parties to any conveyancing transaction ought to undertake. Participants were also informed that The Movable Property Security Rights Act, which was assented into law on May 10 2017, will facilitate the use of movable property such as intellectual property rights, as security for loan facilities.

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USIU-Africa hosted the Blackboard Education Forum on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at the Freida Brown Student Center, in collaboration with Blackboard Inc., the U.S Embassy in Kenya and Kabarak University. The forum held under the theme “Growing online while retaining your residential students” aimed to facilitate an exchange of experience with e-learning between invited institutions and organizations.

Facilitated by Blackboard Inc., the forum welcomed professionals in education from a dozen of local universities, government agencies, and supporting organizations. The Blackboard LMS, is a learning management system launched in 1997 and currently serving over 100 million users in over 19,000 institutions in 100 countries, and owned by Blackboard Inc. - an educational technology company with corporate headquarters in Washington D.C.

“It is important for the university to gather various perspectives on electronic learning as we are mapping the next steps required to launch our first online program,” said Dr. Paul Okanda (Director of ICT) while addressing the forum. The statement resonated with the welcome address from Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono (DVC - Academic & Student Affairs), in which she pointed out the significant initiatives and programs undertaken by the University to harvest the power of technology in creating the best academic experience for the entire community.

From the introduction of Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) in 1997, the university has been at the forefront of technological development. In line with this, Dr. Caren Ouma (Assistant Professor of Management) announced at the workshop, that the Chandaria School of Business is planning to launch the online Master of Business Administration (eMBA) program in Fall 2019, to take advantage of the technology available and provide options to students.
The program is expected to rely on the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) to provide content consisting of Lesson Plan, Slides, Handouts, Videos, Audios, Web Links, eResources, online video and case studies.

Addressing the disruptive effect of technology on residential or campus-based learning, Dr. Okanda clarified that nothing can beat a face to face experience, “That’s why we are starting on a graduate level as we explore the ability of technology to provide face to face like experiences.”

The Blackboard system will also facilitate collaboration through Discussion Boards and Groups; Email, Announcements, Grade center integration; file exchange; and finally assessing students through assignments, tests, surveys and other exam administration tools.