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Mackin-Mailander Lecture Series Promotes Human Connection

By Clarke News  |  February 9, 2022

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, Clarke University’s Mackin-Mailander Lecture Series will explore the depths of human connection with Associate Professor of Social Work Dr. Mary Gitau 

The lecture, entitled, “Global Citizenship: Making Human Connections Through International Service Projects and Peace Building Efforts,” will begin at 7 p.m. in Jansen Music Hall at Clarke University. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Through her presentation, Gitau will share strategies to help the audience become “citizens of the world,” and includes a focus on service-learning.   

“The possibility for real learning increases exponentially when one engages in service-learning,” Gitau said. “The desired result of global citizenship is to contribute to social justice, human rights, equity, diversity, and cultural engagements. Service-learning, especially at the global level, presents opportunities to work side-by-side with the local communities and to become a vehicle for enhancing human connections. It also led to increased cultural understanding and widened perspectives on societal and global issues.” 

As a two-time recipient of the prestigious Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, Gitau will reflect on lessons learned from her extensive career in international service. Since 2018, she has worked closely with Dr. Herman Kiriama to establish the Center for Conflict Transformation and Peace Building Initiatives at Kisii University in Kenya. The center works to empower elected and grassroots leaders to take a comprehensive approach to common conflicts like border disputes and water access.  

Born and raised in Kenya, she earned a master’s degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Education both from the University of Wyoming. Gitau also leads various study abroad trips for Clarke students and alumni, including an upcoming trip to Kenya in January 2023. These experiences have influenced her teaching and research expertise at Clarke, and include topics like diversity and cultural competencies, social work practice and policy, community engagement, and global social issues. 

The Clarke University Mackin-Mailander Lecture Series was established in 1997 after Clarke received gifts from two alumnae, Mary Mackin ’34 and Verna Slattery-Mailander ’20, to establish an endowed lecture series. The annual series consists of three lectures, including a prominent outside speaker, a faculty lecture, and an alumni lecture.