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Dear CUEA Alumnus/Alumna,

We welcome you to the CUEA Alumni Association (CUEA - AA).We believe by the end of your study period you savoured sweet memories.  Many a times the rememberings are so nostalgic that you wish to repeat.  The CUEA Alumni office enables you to continue exploring and interacting with your college mates, the current students and indeed your prestigious alma mater. We hereby welcome you to tell us how you are faring, catch up with CUEA news, reunite with your college pals and seize opportunities available for you!

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The Catholic Univesity of Eastern Africa - ALUMNI
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JACOB DUT CHOL, PhD: From a Child Soldier to a Transformed Global Scholar and Citizen

JACOB DUT PHOTOIn 2010, CUEA Annual graduation magazine profiled Jacob Dut, then one of the graduands of the graduating class 2010. Eight years later, Dr. Jacob Dut shares his transformative education at CUEA and how it has influenced his life and career. After graduating in 2010 with First Class Honors in BA Social Sciences – Political Science (major) and Sociology (minor), he worked hard to further his studies and has a Masters in Comparative Politics (democracy) from the London School of Economics (London) and a doctorate in Comparative Politics from the University of Juba (South Sudan).

Interview by Miriam Ayieko

What was your favorite moment at CUEA?

My favorite moment was when I pushed for the amendment of Catholic University Students Organization’s (CUSO) Constitution to Catholic University of Eastern Africa Students Organization (CUEASO) that included International Students’ Representative (ISR) docket. I was so elated that the Students Governing Council (SGC) where I was a member endorsed such an amendment.

Thereafter, elections for CUEASO Executives commenced and I contested for the ISR post with other three competent candidates. I won the hottest elections in CUEA history. I begun serving at the first International Students’ Representative and this was my favorite moment as I diligently did my work and helped CUEA Community.

What life lesson did you learn at CUEA that you still value today?

Well, CUEA provides all-round education. I learned community service, inter-religious co-existence and values such as truth, hard work, resilience and sympathy. CUEA’s motto: “Consecrate them in the Truth” is in my DNA and it is a great lesson for me from CUEA.

What did your CUEA experience teach you?

My CUEA experience taught me to be truthful at all times when rendering service to humanity. It has taught me to help others, particularly, communities that have been neglected and those that need help. I also learned that leadership with integrity and character is the way out in serving humanity.

What choice did you make while at CUEA that shaped who you are?

I made a commitment to my academic studies and also that of serving the students community. Moreover, I made a point of attending Mass on Thursdays and Sundays at both Missio Hall and the Chapel.

All these engagements helped me to do well in my academic studies as well as my spiritual nourishment. I believe that academic commitment alone without giving a hand to community services or social activities couldn’t have made me to appreciate humanity as I do today.

What is the biggest turning point during your time at CUEA?

My biggest turning point was when my name appeared in the Dean’s List in the first year of my studies. I got an award and I was so happy, which motivated me to work extra hard to achieve the highest performance.

Then throughout the years, my academic performance remained excellent and I graduated with First Class Honours (Summa cum-Laude) in Social Sciences: Major in Political Science and Minor in Sociology.

Then, the 2010 CUEA Annual graduation magazine told my story to the AMECEA region and to the world; about a child soldier who abandoned a gun for a university. I was very elated that people would read and learn something on how one can lay down a gun, struggle and attend to school and excel. I still have the copy of 2010 CUEA Annual graduation magazine in my briefcase today.

After CUEA, where did you go?

After CUEA, I returned to South Sudan and commenced working as a consultant with the government and the United Nations. I served as a Consultant of Policies and Strategic Plans. When I returned from England in 2012 after MSc, I applied for a teaching post at the University of Juba, South Sudan. I then got recruited as lecturer in January 2013 at the Department of Political Science.

One year later, in February 2014, the University Council appointed me as Head of Department of Political Science. I served until March 2017 when my term elapsed and I decided not to renew it.

What further studies did you do after CUEA?

After graduating from CUEA, I got a scholarship from African Educational Trust (AET) that took me to London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for MSc in Comparative Politics (Democracy) (2011-2012). In 2014, I enrolled for a PhD in Comparative Politics at the University of Juba, South Sudan and graduated in June 2018.

What is one thing that you know now that may not have been so clear while you were at CUEA?

Strictness: CUEA administration was so strict on students’ issues when I was in the student leadership.

It used to look bad to us, the leaders as pressure was on us to serve the student community better.

However, I later realized that the strictness on students’ demands and freedoms was done to enhance an enabling environment for teaching, research and community service. Zero balance of fees: This was a tug of war between CUEA administration and CUEASO. We felt it was unreasonable for the administration to ask for zero fees balance for all the students. However, I later understood that CUEA couldn’t run its programmes without monies paid by students in full. I am so grateful that during my visit to CUEA Lang’ata Campus in August 2018, I noticed massive changes in CUEA’s physical infrastructure.

What advice do you have for students joining CUEA?

I would advice students joining CUEA to take the wholesale-all-round education CUEA offers. It is so great, particularly, in the job market.

Many universities in the world are offering quality education and research but the uniqueness of CUEA is inculcation of truth to its students.

The world is desperately looking for truthful human beings. I would also advise students joining CUEA to put up with CUEA’s strict culture and Catholic Identity and to take advantage of the quality education and research opportunities its offers.

What is you current position?

I am serving as an Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the University of Juba and one of the Directors of National Oil Company: Nile Petroleum Corporation in the Republic of South Sudan.


 

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