Get to Know Raymond Mosha

by

SNL Faculty Member Raymond Mosha

What is your current job title, and what are your primary responsibilities at SNL?

My current job title at the School for New Learning is Instructor on a J1 non-immigrant visa that is renewed from year to year by the SNL Dean and DePaul University. In my home country of Tanzania, East Africa, I am a full professor. My responsibilities at the SNL are in four categories: teaching; advising; research and writing and active participation in six committees. I teach online courses and on-site courses at the Loop and interact daily with faculty, staff and students.

How does your work affect students?

I am hopeful that my work and presence at the SNL is a significant contribution to the academic and personal lives of our students in many ways, including these areas of expertise: the African experience; globalization; affirming and appreciating diversity; spirituality, etc. My book, (The Heartbeat of Indigenous Africa) which I use as a textbook in my classes, gives students a chance to learn about African culture and philosophy, African Indigenous Spirituality, African Indigenous systems of education, and so on. My extensive experience in teaching “Research” both at the undergraduate and graduate levels in three countries, Tanzania, Kenya and the USA is appreciated by students who take my Research Seminar course, online or on-site, a course which I have taught for ten quarters since I came to the SNL in July 2006. In my daily interactions with faculty, staff and students at the SNL I have learned immensely and improved my academic standing in uncountable ways. Learning and teaching at the SNL have become an inseparable whole and experience that I shall always treasure.

How long have you been at DePaul? At SNL?

I first came to the SNL at DePaul University in 2006 and started working officially for this School on July 1st of that year. As mentioned above, my non-immigrant status is renewed year by year by DePaul University and the US government.

Where did you work previously? How did your past experience help in what you do now?

I was born and raised in Tanzania, East Africa and went to school up to College in Tanzania. After teaching in High School in Tanzania for two years, I came to the USA in 1974 and received two Masters Degrees before I returned to Tanzania and got a teaching position in a College there.  I taught undergraduate courses in Psychology, Spirituality and Counseling for six years before returning to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. for Ph.D. studies in Philosophy. In 1987 I returned to Tanzania and got a teaching position at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya. There I was the Dean of Students and also taught graduate courses in Research, Counseling, Spirituality and African Studies for six years. These academic and administrative experiences in three countries have widened my horizons about the world, about the gift of diversity and about the interconnectedness of all that is, and deeply influences my teaching, research and writing and all my encounters in academia and in the community at Oak Park, IL where I live with my wife (a Kenyan) and three children.

What do you like most about working at DePaul, and SNL?

Working at the SNL has been an invaluable gift and opportunity. Our adult students teach me as much as I teach them, if not more. Their hard earned life experience, their motivation for study and learning, and their appreciation of my work have inspired me in untold ways and have made me more aware of my calling to be a teacher/learner/inspirational elder. What I also like most at the SNL and at DePaul is the level of diversity in the faculty, staff and students which is unparalleled in the five or six universities where I have worked in the three countries mentioned above. Diversity is encouraged here, it is valued and it is talked about so that we can have a better experience of it. I also deeply appreciate that the SNL and DePaul University encourages me as faculty to aggressively pursue my research and writing agenda, to the extent of giving me financial help for research travel and expenses every year. This is a wonderful gift and I am infinitely grateful for it.

What courses do you teach with SNL and SNL Online?

The courses I teach at the SNL are: African Spirituality and Education; African Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom (Advanced Elective); and Research Seminar.  I have taught the African Spirituality course both on-site and online using Blackboard, and I have taught the Research Seminar course both on-site and online using both Desire2Learn and Blackboard. Teaching on-site is my favorite, but teaching online is the next best alternative as I can reach and communicate fairly deeply with students, near and far. I have had online students in Europe, in Djibouti (North East Africa), and in many states in the USA. I have so far used Blackboard more than six times and Desire2Learn twice. As I get used to the latter, I am finding it to be a great tool of distance learning.

In conclusion, I shall not ever underestimate the awesome blessings that the SNL and DePaul University have showed upon me and my family. Thank you.

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