The SIT experience my academic director built for my group and the research I conducted during the program were the starting points for my Fulbright project and generally a huge influence on who I am.
Jacob Eichengreen, Wesleyan University
Daniel Lumonya, Academic Director
Daniel Lumonya, a Ugandan national, received his BA in social work and social administration and his MA in social sector planning and management from Makerere University in Uganda. In addition, he received certificates in research methodology and project formulation as well as project planning and management. Daniel is currently a PhD candidate in development sociology at Cornell University.
Daniel worked with the Uganda Constitutional Commission as part of a team that prepared Uganda’s 1995 constitution. He has lectured at Makerere University and served as a World Studies Fellow at Marlboro College in Vermont. At Marlboro, he taught courses on social dimensions of development, coordinating global perspectives, and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa, while serving as an international student advisor and a World Studies Committee member.
Daniel served as the academic director for both the SIT Uganda: Development Studies program from 2001 to 2007 and the SIT Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding semester program from 2011 to 2013. In addition to working with students in Rwanda and Uganda to study the impact of conflict on development for many years, Daniel has also been involved in a number of research projects and presentations on the health and safety of children and families in the region.
Mercy Atuhurira, Program and Student Services Coordinator
Mercy attended Makerere University and received a bachelor of arts in social sciences with a concentration in sociology. Her passion in student affairs developed during this time; while at Makerere University, she was very involved on campus, including with the residence hall association and with the local radio station, where she hosted a youth program. Mercy’s professional experience includes working with orphans and disadvantaged youth. Prior to SIT, she worked with Aegis Rwanda on a summer course for Rwandan youth on violence prevention.
Sunday Nzitatira, Office Manager
Sunday is a trained business administration and project management specialist who brings strong interpersonal skills and innovative business acumen to his work with SIT. During his college years, he focused on business administration and marketing; his professional experiences have centered on working with community-based organizations and NGOs in Rwanda. In his role as office manager with SIT, Sunday oversees all office administration, financial systems, policies and procedures, and general operations. Sunday’s keen ability to understand where others are coming from extends beyond class and culture. Sunday is fluent in Kinyarwanda, French, and English.
Denis Bikesha, Homestay Coordinator and Lecturer, Kigali
Mr. Bikesha received a law degree (LLB) in 2004 from the Rwanda National University in Butare. Since then, he has worked as a lawyer for the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Rwanda, which deals with cases related to the Rwandan genocide. In 2007, he became the National Service's director of training, mobilization, and sensitization. Denis is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Mr. Bikesha has been very active in organizing training sessions and seminars regarding unity and reconciliation in Rwanda as well as abroad. He has attended various trainings in the field of transitional justice and peacebuilding. He has spent time in the US studying the American judicial system and has traveled to five US states as an international visitor of the US Department of State. He has worked with SIT since 2005, as both a homestay coordinator and lecturer.
Jibrine Kokutana, Student Affairs Coordinator
Jibrine Kokutana holds a bachelor of arts in business administration from Makerere University as well as a certificate in tourism and travel from the International Air Transport Association. Prior to joining SIT, Jibrine worked as an accounts assistant at the Embassy of South Sudan in Uganda, and as a finance and administration assistant with Doctors Without Borders.
Simon Oola, Program Assistant, Gulu
Simon is a graduate of Makerere University with a major in political science and a concentration in gender and development. He has worked at the Parliament of Uganda under the International Republican Institute (IRI), which aims to develop political parties and democratization of Uganda. In addition, Simon has worked as the program assistant at RICH Consult Uganda (Right to Improved Child Health) in Amuru and Nwoya districts, where he handled issues of sexual and reproductive health among young people affected by war. He also worked as the district field coordinator of CropLife Uganda in Nwoya District. He has wide-ranging experiences in research and evaluations in cross-cutting issues in northern Uganda. His main areas of interest include economic livelihoods of people in northern Uganda, the elderly and most vulnerable, gender roles, equity, and transformation.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
Mr. Habyarimana is an assistant researcher and lecturer at the Center for Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda. He lectures on conflict transformation as well as civic and peace education. He received his MA in peace education from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. After obtaining his BEd in language teaching, Mr. Habyarimana worked for two years as a teacher of English and head of teaching staff. In 2006, he joined the National University of Rwanda as a tutorial assistant in the School for Foundation Language Skills, where he is in charge of teaching English to students ready to commence their university courses.
Dr. Paul Rutayisire
A Rwandan national, Professor Rutayisire holds a PhD in history from Fribourg University in Switzerland. He lectures at the National University of Rwanda and is director of the university's Center for Conflict Management. His fields of specialization are religion and society as well as conflict transformation and genocide studies. He has published extensively on Rwandan history and has participated in many crucial research projects on topics related to the post-genocide reconstruction of Rwanda.
Bernard Noel Rutikanga
Bernard Noel Rutikanga obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master's degree from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, between 1976 and 1980. At the undergraduate level he was trained to teach African history and African literature. His master's degree focused on contemporary African history. He taught for ten years at Dar es Salaam Teachers College before directing a Namibian and South African refugee scholarship program in Tanzania for five years in collaboration with the now-defunct World University Service, Geneva. Mr. Rutikanga has been teaching contemporary Rwandan history at the National University of Rwanda since 1995. He has published on reconciliation and ethnicity in Rwanda. He has also served as a judge in the Gacaca courts (the traditional jurisdiction system that has been trying people for genocide-related crimes committed in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994). In 2000 he was a Fulbright Scholar at Boston College in Massachusetts.
Fr. John Felix Opio
Father Opio received a master of arts and bachelor of arts in philosophy from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi. He also holds a bachelor of arts in theology from Urban University in Rome and a postgraduate diploma in teacher education (PGDE-TE) from Makerere University. He is a registered graduate teacher in Uganda's Ministry of Education and Sports. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Opio participated in peace and reconciliation activities in northern Uganda. He was an active participant in the Juba peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of the Republic of Uganda through the mediation of the government of South Sudan and the United Nations. He served as executive director of Caritas Gulu Archdiocese and worked with a team of trained social workers with experience in service delivery during emergency and conflict situations. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Gulu University.
Dr. Kitara David Lagoro
Dr. Lagoro is a lecturer at Gulu University in the Faculty of Medicine. He has a master of medicine (MMed) from Makerere University and holds a certificate in planning and management of health services from the Uganda Management Institute. Dr. Lagoro is a fellow of the Association of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa. Additionally, he holds a certificate in administrative law from the Law Development Centre and a postgraduate diploma in project planning and management from Gulu University. For his MMed thesis, he conducted research on "Possum Scoring Systems in Patients Undergoing Laparotomy in Mulago Hospital."
Henry Kilama Komakech
Mr. Komakech has been a managing partner of Komakech-Kilama & Co. Advocates in Gulu, Uganda, from January 2001 until the present. He is currently pursuing a master's in peace and conflict transformation studies at Gulu University. He has previously received a postgraduate diploma in conflict management and peace studies from Gulu University, Uganda, and a postgraduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala. He also holds a bachelor's of law degree (Hons.) from Makerere University and an accreditation as a mediator from Regent's College London and Cardiff Law School. He has received training from Cardiff Law School in negotiations, mediation, and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).