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Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Anne Kisaka Nangulu

The History Department is pleased to honor Dr. Anne Kisaka Nangulu with the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award for History.  Dr. Nangulu is a Professor of History in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. The History Department has had a long and successful relationship with Kenya, and especially with Moi University. The Department’s strong ties with Kenya have largely been through the efforts of Dr. Nangulu’s PhD supervisor, Professor Robert Maxon, who over the past thirty years has worked with many Kenyan students who have come to WVU to study under him.  In all, Professor Maxon has produced twenty-five PhDs in African history, and half of them have been from Kenya. Dr. Nangulu was one of first group of Kenyan students to complete their PhD with Professor Maxon. It is fair to say that she is one of the most accomplished and successful of the Department’s PhD alumni, not only for Kenya, but for the program as a whole. Many of her students have subsequently gone on to study and complete their PhD graduate work at WVU. In fact, today, nearly half of the History faculty at Moi University, have earned their PhD from WVU. It is like a small extension of WVU, thousands of miles away, in East Africa! Thus, in honoring Dr. Nangulu, we are also honoring what is a very special relationship between WVU and Kenya.


Dr. Nangulu received her BA and MA degrees in History from the University of Nairobi in Kenya. She joined the History Department at Moi University in 1989 and was promoted to Lecturer in 1990. In 1996, she undertook a study leave to pursue a PhD in History at West Virginia University.  She received her doctorate in 2001 and returned to Moi University where she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002. In 2011 she was promoted to Professor of History in the Department of History, Political Science and Public Administration. She is an accomplished scholar, having published two books: Food Security and Coping Mechanisms in Marginal Areas: The Case of West Pokot, Kenya, 1920-1993 (2009), and Indigenous Knowledge: A Study of Traditional Industries Among the Babukhusu of Bungoma, Western Kenya, 1850-1960 (2011). She has also edited or co-edited books and published more than 25 articles and chapters in scholarly books and journals. Dr. Nangulu also has had an impressive career in administrative leadership. She served as Head/Chair of the Department of History at Moi University from 2003-2005, and two terms as Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences from 2007 to 2011. She was then appointed Director of Quality Assurance at Moi University from 2011 to 2014, and served as Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Research & Extension and Secretary to the University Senate in 2013. In 2014, she accepted the position of Deputy Secretary of Quality Audit & Standards with the Kenya Commission for University Education. She is a founding member and President of the Kenya Universities Quality Assurance Network. Finally, she recently was a finalist for the position of Vice Chancellor at Moi University.

When asked for the best piece of professional advice given to her, Dr. Nangulu responded: “To work diligently while utilizing all opportunities that come your way…Hard work pays…Do not give up. Turn obstacles into experiences to learn from and…take responsibility for all your undertakings without blaming others.” Asked what advice she would give her younger self, Anne remarks: “To believe in oneself, and to compete with one self!”

Congratulations Dr. Anne Nangulu for being recognized as this year’s Outstanding Alumni for History!