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Distant degree - UND awards first Ph.D. in Educational Foundations and Research to native of Tanzania

Posted on 5/14/2013

(Left to right) Interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies Wayne Swisher, Godfrey Mnubi, and Kathleen Gershman.
(Left to right) Interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies Wayne Swisher, Godfrey Mnubi, and Kathleen Gershman.
Godfrey Mnubi has come a long way to make a big difference in his own backyard.

Mnubi, from the east African nation of Tanzania, has been pursuing graduate studies at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and on Saturday, May, 11, he became the school's first ever Ph.D. recipient in Educational Foundations and Research.

Mnubi enrolled at UND - more than 9,000 miles from his home in Tanzania - to further his knowledge and skills in educational research professionalism and cultural plurality. Now, PH.D. in hand, he wants to develop teaching skills in these areas and hone his social justice research skills in education back home in Tanzania.

He also plans to observe educational research and services in the Tanzania education system while analyzing ways to increase its effectiveness through qualitative and quantitative methods.

"I believe this education program and the knowledge and skills I have acquired from this program will fulfill my dream of making a difference in my community and in the world at large," he said.

Currently, Mnubi serves as a National Program Officer for Education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization where he is involved in designing and implementing various educational programs in Tanzania.

Mnubi also wants to teach at the university level.

"I plan to conduct social research that will provide Tanzanians with information and awareness of education issues," he said. "I also plan to work with local and international government and nongovernment organizations as they develop equitable educational policies."

Being the first graduate to earn this degree is an exciting achievement for Mnubi.

"I believe that working hard, planning well and having committed and supportive team members from the department of Education Foundations and Research helped me to be the first graduate in (the program)." Mnubi said. "There are numerous wonderful people who I appreciate and express my deepest gratitude for their tireless support, guidance, sacrifices and commitment toward the accomplishment of my doctoral studies."

Kathleen Gershman, Mnubi's UND advisor and chairperson of his dissertation committee, and many others were a huge influence along his path to obtaining his Ph.D.

"Kathy has been incredible source of inspiration, wisdom and encouragement ever since I started my doctoral studies," he said. "Her patience, enthusiasm, immense knowledge, passion for student success and constructive criticism at different stages of my doctoral studies helped focus my studies and dissertation into reality and finish my program on time."

While Mnubi was pursuing his Ph.D., he felt at home not only at UND, but also within the Grand Forks community.

"Being thousand miles away from home in North Dakota, I needed family and friends to help me cope and adjust to various cultural and social settings," Mnubi said. "I kindly appreciate Bishop and Mother Michael R. Cole and all the Gospel Outreach Ministries-Church of Christ's family for their love and prayers.

"Great thanks to Hal Gershman and his family for their friendship, coaching and constant inspiration. Hal has been great mentor, role-model, fellow hockey enthusiast and wonderful friend to cherish and learn with humor and entertainment in what could have otherwise been lonely cold environment."

-30-

By Kate Menzies, University & Public Affairs student writer

Contact:
David L. Dodds
Media Relations/Writer & Editor
Office of University Relations
264 Centennial Drive Stop 7144
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7144
701.777.5529 | 701.777.4616 fax
david.dodds@UND.edu
www.UND.edu


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