By James Chege, head librarian, MIASMU
Editor: Prof. Michael C. Kirwen, director

MIASMU Second Semester: January–April 2016


Students and field assistants follow proceedings.

The second semester of the 2015/16 academic year at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies began Jan. 25. The students attending are a mix of old returning students and new. For the new students, a separate day of orientation was held the week before to get them acquainted with the unique MIASMU method that incorporates classroom lectures with professional-quality fieldwork. For every hour of class an hour of field research is required which is supervised by the lecturer and facilitated by a tutorial assistant on site.


Denis Odinga (right) gestures as he explains a point to some of the students during a tea break.

During the orientation there was a preliminary address by the program director Prof. Michael Kirwen. He welcomed the students and gave a brief introduction on the MIASMU program, highlighting how the systematic study of a foreign culture fosters understanding of one’s own culture. Then the assistant director, Denis Odinga, outlined what is expected of the students and field assistants during the semester program. The program editor, Joseph Oindo, then outlined the linguistic methodology used at MIASMU.

Four courses are being taught this semester: Spirituality, Personhood and Psychotherapy in an African Context taught by Dr. Hubert Pinto; Gospel and Culture: the African Experience taught by Professor Mary Getui; African Cultures: An Overview taught by Dr. Michael Katola; and Sociology of Development/Underdevelopment and African Religion taught by Professor Edward Oyugi.

M.A. Thesis Defense


Catherine Muthonde explains a point during questioning by the panel.

Two students, Catherine Muthonde and Margaret Wahungu, successfully defended their Master of Arts in African Studies theses on Feb. 15 and Feb. 17. Both students went before a panel consisting of their thesis supervisor and their thesis external reader, alongside program director Professor Michael Kirwen.


Margaret Wahungu faces the defense panel.

Muthonde’s work was titled “Single Motherhood and its Impact on Adolescent Behavior in Secondary Schools: Focus on Makadara Constituency, Nairobi County” and was supervised by Professor Mary Getui.

Sister Margaret’s work was titled “African Spiritual Values enhancing Environmental Conservation and Sustainability: a Case study of Engineer Ward in Nyandarua South District” and was supervised by Professor Douglas Waruta.

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