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Oka and ECU Welcome Visiting Professor Stephen Agong’

Stephen Agong’ arrived at ECU today as a Visiting Professor as part of a collaboration between ECU, the Oka Water Institute, and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Bondo, Kenya. He will research, teach courses, and work on grants. He will hold the Robert S. Kerr Chair in Environmental Science for the 2023-2024 school year. “I am very happy to join my university away from home,” said Agong’. “The ECU campus is so beautiful,” he said.

Oka Institute Director Duane Smith, who earlier this year received an Honorary Doctorate from JOOUST is excited to welcome Agong’. “I think it is just incredible,” Smith said, “ECU and Oka have an unparalleled opportunity to get grants and build relationships for water sustainability.” Many ECU personnel including President Wendell Godwin spent months planning to make the Visiting Professorship a reality.

Agong’ will be teaching a seminar in Integrated Water Resource Management in November as part of the the 4th International Short Course presented by ECU and JOOUST. Ten faculty members and students from Kenya are expected to attend along with ECU masters students studying Water Resource Policy and Management. The dates of the course are November 6-10. For more information contact Christine Pappas at

Agong’ holds a Ph.D. in Agronomy and recently retired as Vice Chancellor of JOOUST. He is also the founder of the Pi Institute in on the banks of Lake Victoria in Kenya. He was inspired to found the institute after learning about the Oka Institute at ECU.

Agong’ presented Smith with a token to represent the collaboration between JOOUST and ECU. The abstract figurine shows two people with arms intertwined. “You can see that we are connected,” Agong’ said.


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