Sr. Kevin Karimi, LSOSF successfully defended her defended her doctoral dissertation on Tuesday January 21, 2020 at Marywood University, Scranton, PA.
Her quantitative research examined Catholic Sisters’ in Africa south of the Sahara and was titled, Exploring Nontraditional leadership training on Catholic Sisters’ self-efficacy and latent potential for sustainable leadership skills development in Africa south of the Sahara.1 Sr. Kevin’s research was guided by the question, ‘What is the impact of non-traditional leadership skill training on participants’ self-efficacy and latent potential for sustainable leadership skills development?’.2
The non-traditional leadership skills training under scrutiny in this study is ASEC’s tailor-made program, Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI). SLDI provides Sisters with technology, administration and finance training through one month workshops over three years. Through SLDI, Sisters gain the practical skills and confidence to build strong networks and take up leadership roles in their congregations and communities. Sisters from all ten countries ASEC serves participated in her study.
“Thank You ALL for being here today I Treasure you now and hereafter… As Mbiti has it in the African saying, I feel ‘I am because we are and because we are therefore I am.’ To God be the Glory Now and Forever!”
Sr. Kevin is a research assistant at African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC), a nonprofit organization with US headquarters on Marywood University’s campus. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Marywood in 2017. Prior to her studies in the US, she earned degrees in Sociology (BA) and Philosophy (MA) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Sr. Kevin will receive her Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership and Administrative Studies at Marywood University’s 102nd Commencement ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2020.
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Acknowledgements and Closing Remarks
Sr. Kevin also shared these acknowledgements and remarks following her successful defense:
Am forever grateful to my academic advisor and Director of the program Dr. Alex Dawoody, my Dissertation Committee, Dr. Lloyd Lyter, Dr. Mary Gautier and Dr. Lori Swanchak who might not know how their mentorship and guidance has meant so much and will remain ingrained in my mind and heart, now and hereafter. Thanks to my professors and all my classmates who have been such a blessing to me at Marywood University.
My profound gratitude to the four founding Women Religious Congregations in Pennsylvania, IHM Sisters-Scranton, Franciscan Sisters, Sisters of St. Joseph and Society of Holy Childhood,and the Hilton Foundation without whose generosity and concerted efforts the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) would not the reality it is today. Their continued support has seen to Organization grow from strength to strength expanding exponentially from professional skills to higher education opportunities for Catholic Sisters in Africa.
I acknowledge the support of Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia LSMIG Ph.D., the Executive Director of ASEC, who permitted me to carry out this study enabling me to reach the Alum and New Cohort in the SLDI program. Thanks to Jennifer Mudge Assistant Director Program Evaluation for maintaining a very up to-date database making this project feasible and all staff at ASEC USA & Africa. God bless each one, God bless All.
Academic Sponsors, Professors, Staff of ASEC [USA & Africa] for a life experience I will carry beyond this academic accomplishment. Am forever grateful to a group of classmates who enabled me to stay in the program during the transition from onsite to online.
Navigating a new culture/environment is not easy without the kindness of those who go out of their way to help, such as Brooke Hansen’s own initiative to give me rides home when we began and she included me in a study group and stated it to the team in that e-mail, as I was not aware a study group had been formed. Your hospitality means more than you know and am forever grateful.
I don’t know how so uniquely different this came about, but Ryan Leckey is one classmate who recognizes and says to me, welcome home or are you back home? Any of those times we had assignments to catch up on, or if I was out of town for an assignment/conferences.
Different from the popular question, “are you going back home?” Which always surprises me because in religious life we do not have such a thing as ‘home’, even when am in Kenya, I always know that those in religious life are called and sent. So where we are as Sisters at any given time is home and the immediate place to respond to our call to serve as the mission of the Universal Catholic Church not just in the USA.
Thank you all for the insights and life lessons you have enriched me with, I now believe that truly friendship will hold the world together! You have all played a statistically significant difference in my life with the largest effect size. God bless ALL!
1Karimi, K. (2020, January). Exploring Nontraditional leadership training on Catholic Sisters’ self-efficacy and latent potential for sustainable leadership skills development in Africa south of the Sahara (Doctoral dissertation, Marywood University)
2Karimi, K. (2020, January). Exploring Nontraditional leadership training on Catholic Sisters’ self-efficacy and latent potential for sustainable leadership skills development in Africa south of the Sahara (Doctoral defense, Marywood University)