Dr. Churchill Saoke a wind energy scholar in the Physics Department, at JKUAT, the director for Peace and Unity International and a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF) was recently installed as the new Alumni and International Students Office (ALISO) Director.
Dr. Saoke cut his leadership teeth as a student leader of Jomo Kenyatta University Students Organization (JKUSO) in 2007/2008, where he served as the Academic Secretary before rising to other leadership positions.
Below is his remarks at the handing over ceremony at ALISO office in JKUAT Main Campus on Friday, 31st March, 2017:
From the onset, allow me to express my acceptance of my new appointment by the Vice Chancellor, with a deep sense of humility and profound gratitude.
I am especially pleased that some of the most distinguished alumni are with us here today. Your presence is an affirmation of the central role ALISO is currently playing in addressing key system-wide policy and development issues that ensure you remain relevant, vibrant and in touch with the University.
Allow me to thank, once again, the outgoing Director, Prof. Wariara Kariuki. You provided important leadership in ALISO that has been critical in accelerating efforts to achieve the laid down plans of alumni and international students. Under your leadership, the university approved the registration of the Alumni Association and you also facilitated deepened discussions on alumni relations with the University.
We have witnessed progress by the joint conference for selection of international students in Berlin Germany and other countries abroad as well as many other milestones that relate to policy change, institutional restructuring, mentor-ship and broadening of funding streams.
I will count on your continued positive and constructive engagement in the future as we work towards advancing the Directorate’s strategic plans and thereby enabling the university to achieve her vision of being “A University of Global Excellence in Training, Research and Innovation for Development. “
To the staff in this Directorate, I look forward to working with you.
In the coming days, we will need greater ambition, increased action and reconstruction of the alumni narrative. We will seek to build on the foundation that has already been laid by our successors and inject new life into the various proposed structural reforms in the office to ensure broader alumni engagement, vibrancy of the association, strengthened policy guidance from the board of Alumni Affairs, increase the university’s international visibility and exponential increase of admission of international students in JKUAT.
The efforts of the office in tackling unemployment challenges of our graduates will be handled through employable training; expansion of job placements and experiential entrepreneurship training, student as well as alumni incubation.
As a Directorate we also hope to open new opportunities for alumni engagement with the university on areas of career development for alumni and their families, business networking and reunions for both alumni and their families. Moreover, we shall endeavor to explore the issue of diversification of financing.
In conclusion to the Alumni, staff and students remember that we live in a time of almost limitless possibilities. As never before, we have the tools to eradicate poverty, improve social and economic well-being and lay the foundations for a sustainable future. Let us work together to ensure an inclusive, deep and durable sustainable future for all humankind.
Dr. Churchill Saoke, Ph.D.
DIRECTOR ALUMNI AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ OFFICE