UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School laments the passing of alumna Dr. Lilyann-Kitawa Oyugi on May 11th due to post-natal complications.
Oyugi was an alumna of the Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies (SPEDR) emphasis in the Department of Education. She joined the SPEDR program in fall 2008 with a full scholarship from the Ford Foundation and graduated last June. While a student she received a prestigious Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) Award from the World Bank. MMMF awards educational grants to women from developing countries whose graduate studies and future plans aim to benefit women and children in their respective regions. Her thesis was titled Inclusive Education in Kenya: A Study of Special Education Teachers’ Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Inclusion of Children with Disabilities.
“Lilyann was one of the best students that I've had in my career, and I was very proud of what she had achieved during her study at UCSB,” says Dr. Mian Wang, her advisor. “I believe she lived her life as an example to many graduate students that determination and perseverance, in addition to intelligence, can lead to success in the graduate school. I have also had the highest hope and expectation for her to be a rising star in the field of special education in Kenya.”
A memorial service at the School of Education will be held Wednesday, June 6, from 4 - 6 p.m. in the Gevirtz Boardroom, 4108 Ed Buildlng, for all the students and professors who knew Oyugi well to come to share their memories of her and remember her together.