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Educators from Kenya Explore Partnership Opportunities with OSU-Okmulgee

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Top: Preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding between OSU-Okmulgee and Moi University are: Front row, left to right -- Dr. James Sang, Dr. Bob Klabenes and Professor Richard K. Mibey. Back row, left to right – Rick Jackson, Dr. Thomas Kipkurgat, Professor B.E. L Wishitemi, Professor Reuben M. Muasya and Anita Gordy-Watkins. Bottom: Moi University visitors from Kenya tour the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Manufacturing Lab where Engineering Technologies Division Chair, Dolph Hayden explains the function of a Haas CNC Mini Mill used in small-parts manufacturing. Left to right are -- Professor Reuben Muasya, Dolph Hayden, Professor Richard K. Mibey, Dr. James Sang and Professor B. E. L. Wishitemi.
(Okmulgee, OK, Dec. 20, 2007) – It’s been 22 years since Dr. Richard K. Mibey graduated from OSU-Stillwater. As the recently appointed Vice Chancellor (or head) of Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, Dr. Mibey was anxious to facilitate international relationships, particularly with his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. During the last week of November 2007, Vice Chancellor Mibey and other higher education officials from Kenya spent several days touring various programs at Oklahoma State University - Okmulgee.  The delegation found OSU-Okmulgee’s programs and applied learning approaches well-suited for future partnering with Kenya and Moi University.

As a young and dynamic university that has been in existence since 1986, Moi University is building and expanding programs quickly in areas such as economics, agriculture and medicine. The focus is on developing expertise and knowledge capital that builds Kenya’s infrastructure and economy. Vice Chancellor Mibey said, “I found that OSU-Okmulgee has practical, hands-on learning that would be very useful for Kenyans.  We have a great need for studies that give students experience and education applicable to our national economy. These programs would be very useful for us in Kenya, and we look forward to the opportunity for our staff and students to participate in an exchange program between Moi University in Kenya and Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee.”

Joint talks with Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee also included developing Study Abroad opportunities for students.  Vice Chancellor Mibey says this exchange marks another step in a truly global education for all our people.  “Kenya is an ideal place for exchange students to gain a whole new perspective on the world.  Our climate varies from the coastal region to the highlands to the savanna, and our culture includes 42 tribes in addition to Arabic, Oriental, African and European influences.”  He adds that the cuisine is as diverse as the culture.  Vice Chancellor Mibey added that he hopes to launch a student exchange program in early 2008.  

With the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee and Moi University, Anita Gordy-Watkins, OSU-Okmulgee’s Vice President of University and External Relations, stated, “This should be a mutually beneficial exchange. We sought them out because both of our universities have developed an impressive array of technology-related programs that interface well.  Students and faculty will have much to learn from each other.  This exchange marks another step in truly globalizing education for our people.”

Dr. Thomas Kipkurgat, International & Multicultural Coordinator for OSU-Okmulgee, says that the Kenyan delegation’s visit exceeded expectations.  Dr. Kipkurgat noted that the delegation visiting were key decision makers of the second largest university in Kenya.  Accompanying Vice Chancellor Mibey on this visit to Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee were Moi University’s DVC Research and Extension, Professor B. E. L. Wishitemi; Dean of  Agriculture,  Professor Reuben Muasya; and Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. James Sang.
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