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OCMS alumnus Dr Clayton Peel receives award at Daystar University in Nairobi

A PRACTICAL approach to facilitating student learning, and a transformational work ethic, continues to distinguish Oxford Centre for Mission Studies graduates globally.


Dr Clayton Peel, a doctoral alumnus and also a graduate of OCMS's International Masters Programme  that was previously validated by the universities of Leeds and Wales, has been named the Most Outstanding Lecturer for the 2016-2017 academic year in the School of Communication, Language and Performing Arts, at the Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. He serves alongside two other OCMS alumni at this institution: Dr Beatrice Mbogoh and Dr Catherine Nyamieno, who are also lecturers in the same school. The university's Vice-Chancellor, Dr Timothy Wachira, also has a previous association with OCMS: he graduated from a certificate course in Mission and Development Practice in 2003.


Dr Peel, who moved to Kenya to join Daystar as a Senior Lecturer at the end of 2012, says the type of learning that engaged with the learner's practice and the realities of the social context, was very effective in helping students in African universities to not only make sense of academic concepts, but to use those concepts in problem-solving and effecting social change. A focus on academic achievements without seeking concomitant benefits for skills and practice would render the graduate irrelevant, he said.


"I experienced that transformational learning at OCMS as a student myself. I saw what OCMS and its emphasis on transformational scholarship could do to achieve mission  objectives worldwide, and I certainly saw and appreciated how it shaped my own scholarship and professional life. I was grateful to have been helped to see and make that paradigm shift in my own learning and teaching practice,  and since leaving OCMS, I have found no better way to live and function as an educator.


"Whatever others have appreciated in me, I owe to my experience as a student, and also as a tutor at OCMS", Dr Peel said.


He said the award had come as a surprise to him, particularly as he was not in favour of the Key Performance Indicators regime used to identify outstanding faculty. He had accepted the award as a token of appreciation and encouragement, but "I just don't think you can quantify faculty achievements in the same way you would a batsman  racking up cricket runs".


During his seven years  at OCMS, Dr Peel was variously a student, a lecturer, and an administrator. He taught Media Ethics, Thinking and Acting Reflectively, and Communication Theory in the Masters in Communication programme which used to be offered under the IMP docket at OCMS. He graduated from the Masters programme with Distinction in 2003, and enrolled  on the doctoral research programme with the University of Wales the following year. Dr Peel graduated from the doctoral programme in August 2009.



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