By DR. JOSEPH WANDERA
The greatest benefits derived from lecturers and students attending academic conferences are the opportunities to build one’s scholarly network and increase knowledge of new trends in your area of interest. Staff at the Faculty of Theology had the pleasure of attending some really great academic fora in the 2015-2016 academic year. Some of the conferences took place in Kenya, while others were held abroad.
At the events, staff shared their research findings and volunteered to help on some aspects at the events. What we learnt – in addition to the topics presented at the fora – is that attending conferences and other academic events is a vital component of one’s professional development.
Conferences nurture your professional network
The following scholarly events are just but a sample of our involvement in academic fora in the previous academic calendar:
On December 14, 2015, staff at the faculty of theology attended a one-day consultation at Cambridge-Oxford Club in London, the United Kingdom, under the theme “Future of Religious Freedom Advocacy Consultation,”
Between February 11 and 12, 2016, we attended a conference organized by the Centre on Religion and Global Affairs, under the theme “Religion, Violence and Fragile States,” in Beirut, Lebanon. Continue Reading
After an accident that rendered him disabled, Michael Mwangi has found new hope in his talent and now showcases his art through his 3 million Photography platform.
The SPU community led by the Students’ association is now fundraising towards Mike’s surgery in India so as to enable him walk again.
By John Kasaine
One Saturday afternoon in March this year, St. Paul’s University students’ center amphitheater was a hive of activity as ladies and gentlemen strutted the catwalk for a good cause. The students had taken to the stage to raise funds for Bethany Kids, a charity ran by Kijabe Hospital to correct cleft lips in children.
The room was packed to the door with students who cheered animatedly as their favorite contestants for Mr &Miss Bethany Kids titles walked the stage in pomp and glamour. Nearer to the runway, on both sides, were a battery of photographers clicking away, careful not to miss that all important shot. Standing out of the group was a young man in his early twenties, seated on a wheelchair and capturing the moments in his Canon 5D Mark III. In his electric wheelchair, he zoomed back and forth as he sought to find the perfect shot. That Saturday, like many other days Michael Mwangi was in his element, doing what he does best.
Michael is a man with a face full of laughter, joy and life but with the story of a warrior. A jovial and humorous man who leaves anyone he meets and greets with laughter. Despite a spinal cord injury that has left him in a wheelchair, the twenty-three year old, second year student of Communication at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, still exudes infectious happiness.
A symposium on the 2017 elections was held at SPU on 2nd March 2017 to reflect on the coming elections. The panel discussion focused on historical junctures and evolving contemporary events that may have an impact on the outcomes of the elections. The discussions centered on Kenya’s tumultuous political history and the place of the 2017 elections within it, the interactions between ethnicity and elections in Kenya and the impact of elections on socio-political and economic developments in Kenya and the wider region.
Prof. Esther Mombo, one of the panelists emphasized on the place of Christians and how they can use the text of their faith to kick out exclusion and marginalization while protest against violence during elections. “Speak against social injustice as you widen the scope of how you think leadership should be,” She added while condemning the mechanism that is in place in Kenya that seems to support unworthy political candidates.
A talk on counseling psychology and drug and substance abuse were on the agenda on the second day of the St. Paul’s university week of events which took place at the students’ center amphitheater.
Alex a student of Psychology took to the stage as the first speaker addressing the students on managing emotions. According to him, how one perceives themselves to be, determines how they react to situations they encounter in real life. He stressed on this point by giving an example of how two people calling someone would react if the phone call is not answered. A person with a positive view of him or herself will take no offence. One with a negative view of him/ herself would conclude that the other party does not consider them worthy of their time.
Venue: Main Auditorium, St. Paul’s University
Date: 2nd March 2017, 9 am to 12.30 pm
The panel discussion will focus on historical junctures and evolving contemporary events that may have an impact on the outcomes of the 2017 elections. The panel will discuss Kenya’s tumultuous political history and the place of the 2017 elections within it, the interactions between ethnicity and elections in Kenya and the impact of elections on socio-political and economic developments in Kenya and the wider region. The panellists will also guide us in reflecting how faith communities in Kenya may play a positive role towards a free, fair and peaceful election.
The University will hold a special week of events starting Monday 27th to Friday 3rd March 2017 at the University’s main campus in Limuru under the theme ‘Awakening the Youth for Innovation and Service’.
There will be a variety of activities throughout the week which will include discussions on different topics including sexuality, relationships, life skills, IT and Innovation and drug and substance abuse.
Practical seminars on manuscript and Publishing, CV writing and interpersonal skills will be conducted by the placement office and Silver Grain Career Service.
Unemployment is a major challenge that affects the youth in Kenya. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labour market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 40%.This challenge can only be addressed if more of the young Kenyans can engage in entrepreneurship such that they create rather than search for jobs. Entrepreneurs identify an innovation to seize an opportunity, mobilize resources, and take risks to open markets for new products and processes.
Kenyans especially the young people are gifted and talented with many brilliant ideas which they can pursue to create wealth and reduce unemployment. However the greatest challenge is the lack of initiative to seize the entrepreneurial opportunities.
To perceive and exploit available opportunities requires an entrepreneurial mindset. A mindset is the way your believe systems and experience lets you look at things. Building a business takes real work and effort, but it is best done with an attitude that embraces the initiative and risk involved in becoming your own boss. Stanford Professor, Carol S. Dweck, presented her research showing that hard work and mindset impact success more than natural talent, Dweck also argued that people have the ability to choose which mindset they wish to operate from.
By Muthoni King’ori
As a young boy, he grew up feeling rejected and hopeless and entered into adulthood waiting for the day he would have the power to fight for the land that his stepbrothers had taken away from his family. But that was until 1985, when a decision to give his life to Christ, would utterly change his purpose in life. Continue Reading
By Rev. Samuel Githinji
Unlike other days when I wake up earlier than everyone else, this day I decided rather than attend to my own agenda I would make breakfast for all. I went shopping for bread and sour milk to make it a special treat. Continue Reading
It was an important meeting of class 8 and their parents at Tigoni Primary. My James is a candidate. I was seated close to the door. She walked in later than I. It took me a moment to recognise her because I am used to seeing her in the universal blue overcoat of her work. Continue Reading