Professor Kamau Njoroge is Lewis and Clark Community College’s 2018 Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.
“In my estimation, there is no one on this campus who is more learned about education and pedagogy than Kamau,” L&C Philosophy Professor Gerald Mozur said. “He is a genuine student of the field and applies in his classroom all that he has learned. His students recognize and respect his command of his subject matter and know they are in good hands in his classes. A dedicated and humble teacher of liberal arts. The Emerson award is well-deserved.”
Each year, the Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize more than 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – who are examples of excellence in their field. This is the 25th year Lewis and Clark has participated in the recognition program.
Njoroge began his career at L&C in 1992 while finishing his graduate studies at Washington University and became a full-time instructor in 1994. He had taught as a graduate student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for two years prior to joining L&C.
Njoroge earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics from Principia College, his Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and his Doctorate in English Education from Washington University. While enrolled at Principia College, he was inspired by one of his instructors, Norman Anderson to become a teacher.
“Dr. Anderson had a deep understanding of how the human condition is expressed in literature and really made it come alive for me,” Njoroge said. “Learning from him made me want to teach others as he taught me.”
In his classroom, students participate in a collaborative approach to learning, during which everyone contributes to the learning experience. Njoroge strives to build academic self-confidence within his students while challenging them to become better writers. Njoroge relishes the opportunity to be both a mentor and educator for Lewis and Clark students.
“I am grateful that each semester, one or more of my students approach me to discuss a problem in school or in their lives in general,” Njoroge said. “I encourage my students to not react negatively to their mistakes, but to celebrate them. Once we make mistakes we can accept them and do better the next time. If my students ask a question I don’t have an answer for, I simply tell them the truth — that I don’t know but that I will research it. To admit a mistake is a sign of strength rather than of weakness. We cannot do that without humility.”
For more information on the English Department at Lewis and Clark, visit http://www.lc.edu/program/AA/ or contact Jill Lane, Dean of Transfer Programs at (618) 468-4900.