Dr Esther Ngumbi, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)


MONMOUTH, ILLINOIS (September 9, 2019) — A scholar who has combined her research with service to others will help dedicate Monmouth College's Center for Civic and Social Change on September 14.

Dr Esther Ngumbi, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), who has founded organizations that empower farmers and youth in Kenya, will give the keynote address at the dedication of the center.

The dedication will be at 4PM in Mellinger Commons, which is located on the lower level of the College's Center for Science and Business.

Dr Ngumbi was the recipient of the 2018 Society of Experimental Biology Presidents Medal. She is the founder of Oyeska Greens, an agriculture start-up in Kenya, and "Spring Break Kenya," an organization that mobilizes young university students into public service.

"Dr Ngumbi blends together her academic work and her passion for service, something we hope will become the hallmark of our own center," said Monmouth political science professor Mike Nelson, who is director of the Center for Civic and Social Change.

Ngumbi and her parents co-founded the Dr Ndumi Faulu Academy, an elementary school in Kenya. She has served as a mentor for the Clinton Global University Initiative and President Obama's Young Leadership Program. Her research at the University of Illinois includes work that addresses drought stress faced by food crops.

Monmouth's Center for Civic and Social Change brings together five of the College's dynamic and interdisciplinary minors and programs: Global Public Health Initiative; Global Food Security Initiative; Peace, Ethics, and Social Justice; the Rural Schools Collaborative; and the Peace Corps Preparation Program.

It was created to help students prepare for careers focused on making a difference in the world, said Nelson, who helped lead the faculty-driven initiative to create the center.

"This center will empower our students so that they can lead lives that are directed toward the betterment of societies and individuals' lives throughout the world," he said. "We have seen an increase in students who want to make a difference in the world, but they need direction about how to do it."

The September 14 dedication will also include the launch of the web presence for the Center for Civic and Social Change. Preceding the dedication ceremony, an activity will be held 1-3PM at the Monmouth College Educational Garden, 1042 E Broadway.

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