A group discussion held on the final day

By James Chege
Head librarian
Maryknoll Institute for African Studies

Second Semester Comes to a Close

MIASMU’s second semester drew to a close on April 15 with a gathering of all students, faculty and field assistants involved in the three month program. The day’s proceedings began with a brief lecture on the role and significance of diviners by program editor, Joseph Oindo. The class then split into two groups to discuss pertinent questions about diviners arising from their personal experiences of divination as well as their field work. Running concurrently with this was the end-of-semester faculty meeting where various agendas related to the program as well as a review of the concluding semester were discussed.


Professor Michael Kirwen helps cut the cake as Charles Omurwa leads a chorus.

The day’s main activity was a final assembly where the lecturers were given an opportunity to address the students and give them a very brief overview of the courses they had taught. This is meant to cultivate interest by shedding light on course content to students who might be interested in enrolling. This allows students to make more informed decisions when choosing their next classes. The lecturers were also awarded, after a brief vote of thanks by a student representative from the respective classes, a small gift—a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication throughout the semester.

To conclude the day’s activities the participants were treated to a banquet which included the now famous MIAS mbuzi choma (roast goat meat), a treat everybody looks forward to and enjoys!

Oral Comprehensive Exam


Carolyne Masicha explains a point to her examiners during her lecture.

Carolyne Masicha successfully completed her oral comprehensive exam on April 13 at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies. She gave a 50-minute lecture on the “Challenges Facing African Men and Women Religious in Their Larger Families.” The lecture is from the course African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change. The examiners on the day were Professor Mary Getui and Dr. Michael Katola. The oral exam is taken at the end of the formal course work and is part of the requirements for the M.A. in African Studies.

In preparation the student submits six lecture topics for approval, one for each courses taken. Once approved, the student prepares 50- minute written lectures on each of the six topics. On the morning of the exam the examinee is told which of the six lectures has been selected for presentation by the examining committee. After the presentation, the examiners poses questions to the student on the topic of the lecture as well as on the other five lectures. The examining committee judges the quality of the presentation, the Africanist content of the lecture and the responses to their questions. The student’s performance is graded and recommendations are given.

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