- The three celebrants, Prof. Shiundu, Prof. Oteng’i, and Prof. Wamocho, have also taken part in writing the history of Masinde Muliro University.
- The ceremony was breathtaking and vibrant.
- The renowned Siriri dancers entertain the three veteran Professors during the ceremony.
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology held a ceremony on Friday, October 27, 2023, to celebrate its three long-serving professors: Prof. John Shiundu, Prof. Silvery Oteng’i and Prof. Leonard Wamocho.
The event, held at the MMUST grounds, was organized by the MMUST Professors’ Forum and graced by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo.
According to the MMUST Profile, the university was founded through the harambee spirit on January 5, 1972, as a Western College of Arts and Applied Sciences (WECO) under the stewardship of the former fiery MP, Masinde Muliro.
As Chairman of the Projects Executive Committee, Muliro worked with Prof. Reuben Olembo (then Head, Department of Botany, University of Nairobi) as Secretary.
The establishment of the college was in response to the needs of the people of Western Province to have a college that would provide a training ground for technical workforce requirements for the province and the nation.
The College was also expected to inculcate a sense of self-help and self-reliance among its students and facilitate the active participation of youth in national development.
The first batch of 24 students, who were drawn from all parts of the country, joined on March 24, 1977, and enrolled for certificate and diploma courses, which included mechanical and motor vehicle, electrical, electronic, agriculture, water, building, architecture, accounting, finance and others.
In December 2002, WECO became WUCST (Western University College of Science and Technology) after being elevated to a constituent college of Moi University.
In early 2007, President Mwai Kibaki elevated WUCST to a fully-fledged university by assenting to a bill that also changed the name to MMUST.
The three celebrants, Prof. Shiundu, Prof. Oteng’i, and Prof. Wamocho, have also taken part in writing the history of Masinde Muliro University.
Prof. John Shiundu
Prof. Shiundu is a veteran professor of education and a renowned academician who has mentored and produced many successful graduates.
Prof Shiundu has taught Curriculum Studies, Introduction to Teaching and School Operations, Reflective Thinking in Teacher Education, Research Methodology and Educational Planning and Management.
He has advised many students on Industrial Attachment and has supervised many Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral Research students and also helped numerous develop academic portfolios.
He holds a Doctorate in Evaluation of Social Research from Summer School Addis Ababa (1996), a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Kenyatta University (1987), a Master of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Nairobi (1981), a Graduate Certificate in Curriculum Evaluation Research from Njalla University Sierra Leone (1978), and Bachelor of Education from the University of Nairobi (1976).
He has supervised 58 PhD and 347 Masters students.
Besides being an ardent researcher and education champion, Prof. Shiundu is the Founder, Directorate of Graduate Studies and was the first Deputy Vice Chancellor—Planning, Research and Extension, now known as Planning, Research and Innovation (PRI), MMUST. (Anyonje and Wambugu 2023).
Prof. Silvery Oteng’i
Prof. Oteng’i, a Professor of agronometeorology and an applied scientist, has made a mark in his discipline through his expertise in teaching, mentoring and carrying out research.
His name is well recognized in the School of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (SDMHA).
In the words of his former student and the current Chairperson of the Department—Disaster Preparedness and Engineering Management, Dr. Veronica Kiluva, “Prof. Oteng’i is a mentor, colleague and a member of faculty in a department where he has taught most staff and students. I convey my best wishes”. (Anyonje and Wambugu, 2023).
Prof. Leonard Wamocho
Prof. Wamocho holds a Doctorate in Agriculture with specialization in Horticulture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
He has a master’s in agriculture/horticulture from Clemson University in South Carolina, USA, and a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Florida at Gaines Ville, USA.
He also holds a postgraduate diploma in environmental studies and a diploma in horticulture from Egerton College in 1972.
He served as a director of academic programs in the establishment of Meru University of Science and Technology.
He has also pioneered the crafting of horticultural programs in a number of universities countrywide, including MMUST, where he is the founding Dean of the School of Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences and Technology at Masinde Muliro University (SAVET).
“We are here to celebrate another milestone by our senior professors, who have not only had a significant impact on this university, but also the community.
We wouldn’t just let you go without celebrating you for the contribution, dedication and academic prowess that you’ve graced MMUST. I also urge all the other professors to continue contributing to the community and mentoring students.
The MMUST fraternity values your expertise and will always need it,” said the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Shibairo.
In his remarks, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Hussein Golicha, hailed the professors for enhancing the academic division through their teaching, research, and outreach.
He also acknowledged the impactful contribution and influence that the three professors have had.
“True to the adage that a University is known by its professors, you have exhibited excellence performance in your areas of expertise, both locally and globally.
You taught and mentored Kenya’s best brains in education, meteorology and horticulture, who are following in your footsteps and a now globetrotting as they impart the knowledge they acquired from you three to the entire world,” said the Chairperson of the MMUST Professors’ Forum, Prof. Josephine Ngaira.
The ceremony was breathtaking and vibrant as it was well-attended.
The entire ceremony was punctuated by traditional ensembles that performed dances from the celebrants’ communities (Isukuti and Siriri dancers).
The three professors, Prof. Shiundu, Prof. Oteng’i and Prof. Wamocho were individually escorted by the MMUST band with exhorting songs to their waiting vehicles outside the Administration Block A (ABA), addressed the media and then afterward escorted to the Multipurpose Hall (MPH), venue of the ceremony.
Prof. Shiundu’s citation was read by MMUST’s Director of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation- Commissioner, Prof. Joseph Nasongo, while that of Prof. Oteng’i was read by the Director of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (Office of the Chief of Staffs and the Head of the Public Service- Executive Office of the President), Dr. Moses Akal.
The citation of Prof. Wamocho was read by the Kakamega County Director of Agriculture, Dr. George Mbakaya.
By celebrating the exemplary service of its three long-serving professors, MMUST has undoubtedly placed a high premium on the value of its professors and other top-cream academicians across the globe.
It’s a good time for the institutions of higher learning and nations to begin to appreciate the value of professors in universities and showcase their expertise. This will foster sustainability and future survival. (Anyonje and Wambugu, 2023).