Steven Kiruswa graduated in 2004 with his Ph.D. in Communication. He is the son of a traditional Maasai family in Tanzania's Maasai Steppe Heartland. When he was only 9 years old, his simple life as a Maasai cattle herder came to a sudden end. The President of Tanzania had encouraged a new law that required one boy under the age of 10 from every tribe and village to attend school, and the elders selected Kiruswa as the best fit from his family.
Kiruswa excelled in his education and soon discovered a love for learning. The tribal elders negotiated a plan to send him on to college, realizing that his education could be an asset to all. Everyone contributed as they could, enabling Kiruswa to attend a reputable Christian university in Eastern Africa. Kiruswa then travelled to the United States to pursue a graduate degree. He says he chose Regent because he appreciated the combination of academic enrichment and spiritual nurture he considers essential in a postmodern world.
"Regent equipped me with the skills I needed in my field of study, and my degrees are necessary symbols for leadership in my society," he says. "My dream is to mentor as many young men and women as possible so they might acquire advanced learning. I want them to emulate exemplary Christian leadership that cares for both spiritual and physical liberation from poverty, ignorance and disease."
With strong ties to his homeland and a fierce loyalty for his people and all they have done for him, Kiruswa returned to Tanzania one week after earning his doctorate. Today, he is the Maasai Steppe Heartland director for the African Wildlife Foundation, which focuses on conserving Africa's majestic wildlife and empowers the people to improve their livelihoods. Kiruswa is passionate about liberating his people from the tyranny of poverty. He says, "One of the first steps is to set up an education scholarship fund to support needy students with the potential to become leaders. I want to be assured that my dream will live on long after I am gone!"