Miami student collects textbooks to help launch gerontology degree program in KenyaApr 15, 2010
Samuel M. Mwangi, an African doctoral student in social gerontology at Miami University, is helping to launch a Bachelor of Arts degree in gerontology at his alma mater, Kenyatta University, near Nairobi, Kenya. It will be the first of its kind in Kenya.
Mwangi, who has been at Miami since 2007 working on his doctoral degree in social gerontology, has collected 500 textbooks and related teaching materials on gerontology, research and statistics to help Kenyatta University launch its gerontology program and build a curriculum.
Students, faculty and staff have been the major contributors to the book drive. Some publishers also have contributed materials. Sociology and gerontology graduate students Taka Yamashita and Philip Sauer helped box and ship the books.
“Helping expand the gerontology program at my alma mater has been part of my vision since I came to the United States,” said Mwangi. “After communicating with the faculty at Kenyatta last year, I realized that the biggest challenge facing the program is a lack of academic resources for use by students and lecturers. From that point, I developed a mission statement for this project, which is ‘Everybody is aging, let us educate people in Africa about it.’”
Mwangi’s book collection, in partnership with American Friends of Kenya, is ongoing. Anyone who has books on aging and related research matters are encouraged to bring them to 396 Upham Hall on campus.
Mwangi received his Bachelor of Education degree from Kenyatta in 2002 and taught chemistry and mathematics in Kenya before coming to the United States. He earned his master’s degree in gerontology from Wichita State University.
Kenyatta University, founded in 1985, is the second largest public university in Kenya, with a student population of 24,000.
“My goal is to build a foundation of educational materials on gerontology for the university and eventually promote the emergence and expansion of gerontology programs in other parts of Kenya,” said Mwangi.