Department of Mathematics and Statistics

USM Statistics graduate student, Solomon Nkhalamba, Shares Professional Development Activity in Malawi

With support from the University of Southern Maine’s Office of Graduate Studies (OGS), our College President, Glenn Cummings, the Mathematics and Statistics Department, Go! Malawi, my family and friends, it was with great pleasure to embark on one of the great adventures I have dreamed of, sparking conversations on Data Driven Management with my native people of Malawi.  Since good leadership steers a great management team in the right direction, I couldn’t resist starting off our conversations with discussions of leadership prior to getting into management. 

The interest in developing a Data Driven Management training is rooted from my current position as an Instructor for Introduction to Statistics course in the Mathematics Department.  The book used in this class is titled; Statistics, with a touching subtitle, “Informed Decisions Using Data.”  It is this subtitle that caught my attention, thinking that here I am educating these smart college students at University of Southern Maine (USM) but how can I share this great knowledge with the many community leaders and students of my native community, most of whom I work with on various developmental initiatives.

This led me to developing a training manual that would lead a conversation in leadership and management, the idea that was supported by my OGS, which generously assisted me with part of my travel expenses.  The training was a great platform that helped me to share my organizational leadership knowledge gained from Muskie School of Public Service, in addition to that of data analytics from my current graduate program of statistics while quenching my passion of promoting education and social economic empowerment of my countrymen. Go! Malawi High School and College Preparation Student Beneficiaries

Go! Malawi High School and College Preparation Student Beneficiaries

Mentoring and distributing school supplies to School of H.O.P.E. (SOH) children of Kang'oma, Tsabango, Nguli and Nankhali schools during which I was joined by our Committee's Treasurer, Mrs. Chinyama, Secretary, Mike Shillin and respective schools' coordinators.

Farming the land

Family photo

From left to right: Dad, Mom, myself, and Uncle

In between my trainings and community service, I had the privilege of getting together with family and being there during cultivating season, it was great spending two mornings working with my family in our farm I have worked all my life.  It was also a great moment to reflect on the many lessons learned from that piece of land growing up such as that of hope, that no matter how dry the ground can be in October we still tilled in the hot sun with hope that rain will come to plant our seeds.