Graduand Spotlight; Masters Student Danny Nyatuka- I Can Do All things through Christ
Quoting from the bible, Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Danny knows no boundaries to achieving whatever he sets his mind to accomplish.
Having worked in Strathmore University for about 10 years as a Course Administrator at the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT), Danny appreciates the many strides he has achieved by being with the University. With his pricked interests and strengthened ambitions, the father of one is not stopping at anything other than the best for his life. His completed research for the MSc. in Computer-Based Information Systems is set to improve and enhance the effectiveness of the Strathmore Universitys Academic Management System (AMS).
Danny obtained his undergraduate degree- Bachelor of Information Science, online at University of South Africa. Due to the nature of his work and lack of a flexible schedule to attend classes, this mode of study sounded most appropriate for him; not forgetting the fact that the university is ranked among the top 10 best universities in Africa.
After successfully completing his undergraduate studies, Danny realized he could still go an extra mile to exploit his academic potential by enrolling for a masters program. Considering the fact that he did his undergraduate online and performed well, his desire to further studies grew tremendously. With this effect, Danny enrolled for a Masters program in Computer Based Information Systems at Strathmore University in September 2013.
Albeit the fact that he joined the program one semester late, Danny purposed to excel and to complete his masters within the recommended time. Due to his busy schedule at work, he requested to be shifted from administering evening to the full-time program so that his evenings would be free to enable him attend classes. His request was granted and his Masters journey embarked.
Entitled: Enhancing DeLone and McLean Model to Improve Effectiveness of Academic Management Systems: Case of Strathmore University
The aim of the research was to improve the effectiveness of ICT investments in higher education institutions of learning, particularly academic management systems (AMS) towards achieving organizational success. This was to be achieved through investigative study involving core-stakeholders using continuous participative evaluation approach in order to establish the value of such investments based on investment objectives.
For instance, the academic management system for Strathmore University is about 10 years old now, having been introduced in the year 2005, hence among the pioneer Universities to have successfully implemented such a system. My research sort to enhance DeLone & McLean model to develop a comprehensive framework to help evaluate the success of the system in the SU context, in order to be able to quantify the value of investment and to enhance decision making.
To be effective, Dannys research involved key stakeholders within the SU community who were frequent and experienced users of AMS including staff and students.
Once I came up with a solution based on the study findings, I took it back to the research participants to find out if my contribution was commendable and useful. Apparently, the validation results were positive after which I submitted the documentation for examination purposes which was successful too. Ive just submitted my final documentation, a copy of which shall be made available in the University Library soon.
Dannys enthusiasm to embark on such a research was stimulated by the fact that Strathmore University produced a strategic plan 2015-2025, which needed the input of AMS to succeed towards achieving the Universitys strategic goals. Danny felt it was important to provide a mechanism to evaluate the system currently in place, encourage what works and provide solutions for what does not work.
What Motivates Danny
The desire to achieve excellence and to be relevant to the community and society as a whole. That is why I worked on getting a solution that would make my community a better place to work and enjoy its environment.
Danny also wants to always remain relevant in the society, never to become a liability but rather an asset.
Danny strongly believes in the fact that he is alive because he has a purpose to accomplish in life; his Christian background and beliefs, he says, cause him to always strive to offer service to humanity.
Who inspires Danny?
God is Dannys number one source of inspiration. The fact that he works to glorify God motivates him to always strive for excellence.
Prof. Ismael Ateya from Strathmores FIT also inspires Danny.
I have interacted with him a lot both as a student and as a colleague. His way of conducting the weekly research seminars for masters students is quite inspiring. He would collectively guide us through every step of the research process to successfully complete our research. Prof. Ateya is a role model to many particularly in academic research.
Completing his masters in a period of 20 months on a part-time basis is Dannys greatest achievement.
Despite the effort and determination, I did not know I would manage to complete my masters that soon, but I am grateful to God I have managed.
This achievement has encouraged him to go further and he is now looking forward to attaining a PhD in 4 years time.
Dannys higher learning education period did not come easy due to lack of finances. During his undergraduate studies, he was not able to raise fees to allow him to undertake the maximum units needed to complete the degree on time. As a result, many times he would only be able to take about two or three units in a year, and this caused him to finish his studies after a long period.
I sincerely thank the University management for the financial support to undertake my graduate studies.
It was also a challenge for Danny to balance work, family life and study as they were all very involving.
Sometimes I would skip class because I had to meet certain deadlines. So, I developed a habit of reading early in the morning before going to the office, and when I got home to about 3 or 4 am in the morning, especially when I was working on my dissertation. I would also use my weekends for studying and I would be in the library all weekends whenever I was free. I had learnt to embrace self-discipline during my undergraduate studies as I used to read on my own. Above all prayer and my trust in God kept me going.
5-10 years plans
I am giving myself about four years to attain my PhD, then I will advance my career to become an accomplished academician. More so, I intend to engage in research and to publish as many papers as I can.
Outside of Studying and Working
Danny is a committed Christian who enjoys spending his free time in church whilst serving in ministries. He serves in the New Believers Ministry, where the team guides new believers in the walk of salvation. He also helps with the planning of outreach programs including visits to prisons, and ministering to street children. A typical Sunday for Danny involves a busy schedule that starts at 8 am in church finishing at around 5pm.
We wish Danny the very best in his future endeavors.