This spring was her spring
UB Global Development and Peace student Njeri Muturi recently received a Woman Leader in Higher Education Scholarship Award from the American Council of Education (ACE) Women's Network. The Council is a national system of networks within each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia which promotes and supports women in higher education. Muturi was one of two recipients of the award, selected from over 300 students across Connecticut. However, this is far from the only outstanding achievement Muturi has under her belt.
Muturi jovially refers to this past March as “this spring was my spring,” as it marks a period of great growth and accomplishment for her. The scholarship award recognized her contributions to the University as a student writing tutor focused on supporting students from undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. “I don’t see it as work, but as my passion,” Muturi said. “It means a lot that I could be recognized for the little things that I do. Where I come from, people don’t necessarily notice women. It’s amazing to just be seen.”
Muturi would continue to be seen, when she represented UB at the University of Notre Dame with a presentation on Public Administration and Peace. There, she experienced being part of an event that gathered students from all over the world. “I spoke about how economic and social policies have a significant role to play in the prevention of violent conflicts, but these policies are ignored especially in the global south,” Muturi said.
Muturi would have yet another chance to present on an international level—this time at the United Nations CTAUN Student Poster Competition. The theme for this year’s competition was “Our Planet - Our Crisis - What’s Next?” Muturi’s project stood out as one of the few largely pictorial posters, displaying the shifts the Earth has gone through as human activity has increasingly affected biodiversity. She believes her poster won because of its message, uniqueness, and color.
Muturi is passionate about completing her PhD in the next few years to come. She plans to pursue international human rights and humanitarian work, particularly in the areas of social justice and gender equality within organizations that support women and children and encourage their success, such as UNICEF, UN Women, Amnesty International, and Save the Children.
Muturi possesses a keen awareness of the changes that need to happen to make the world a fairer one for women along with the determination to be a hopeful voice. “In higher education, there are very few women--especially leaders,” Muturi said. “Women need to be out there in the spotlight. In many countries, women are paid differently for the same level of education. Those are the vulnerabilities that encourage me to maybe one day be one of those leaders who initiates positive change.”