Teresa Wasonga

Associate Professor, Educational Administration

 Teresa Wasonga

An associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations, Teresa Wasonga is known as a creator of new school leaders.

Aspiring principals and superintendents who are fortunate enough to come under her tutelage praise the powerful impact she made on their lives.

Yet Wasonga also seamlessly moves from curricular and leadership issues to the practical considerations involved in sustaining a facility where more than 100 young girls live and study. Among the issues she tackles is a dairy operation at the school, where milk provides both nutrition and a way to earn money.

“Our partnership at Jane Adeny Memorial School (JAMS) in Muhoroni, Kenya is focused on using an eight cow dairy to generate income and teach lessons in entrepreneurship,” writes Amanda Adare, executive director of Venture Dairy Development. “Teresa’s commitment to our partnership has allowed us to turn over management of the dairy operation to the school a year ahead of schedule. And she has used this project to further educate across the country, creating regional, national and international change.”

NIU students praise Wasonga for the way she extends the reach of her school in Kenya to augment the experiences of her students in the United States; meanwhile, the number of people and organizations that “pitch in” to keep JAMS running is nothing short of impressive.

From Rotary groups in the Chicago suburbs and an international book-sharing organization to an NIU student chapter and NIU alumni who have volunteered to teach sex education and memoir writing to the JAMS students, Wasonga is a master partnership creator.

Yet in spite of the many accolades from across the globe, students at the JAMS school call Wasonga a remarkably humble person who makes others feel important.

“No one could tell she is a professor just to look at her,” writes JAMS student Lynnet Magina. “She can wake up and clean the whole compound by herself and never tell anyone. Most of us here have no parents, no one to support us, but thanks to Professor Teresa and her generous, selfless heart, some of us are actually headed to college.”

2016 Presidential Engagement Professor

Back to top