DWU APPOINTS FIRST FEMALE DEAN

“The offer to be a Faculty Dean was a surprise because I only expressed interest to teach when I learnt that Divine Word University required lecturers for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program,”

Associate Professor Susanna Andrias Khobu is the new Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). She replaces veteran health education professional Mr Kari Totona who returns to the Department of Environment Health within the Faculty.

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is one of four faculties in Divine Word University and it is the largest with a total of seven departments:Department of Environmental Health, the Department of Health Extension (Rural Health), the Department of Health Management, the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, the Department of Public Health Leadership and Training, the Department of Medicine and the Department of Nursing with its two nursing schools at DWU’s Vunapope, Rabaul campus and the St Benedict’s campus at Kaindi, Wewak.

“The offer to be a Faculty Dean was a surprise because I only expressed interest to teach when I learnt that Divine Word University required lecturers for the Bachelor of Medicine’ Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program,” Dr Khobu said.

She commenced teaching at the beginning of this academic year on an Associate Professor of Medicine position in the Department of Medicine, FMHS. She has over 12 years of experience in academic teaching at the previous Medical Faculty of University of Papua New Guinea, and has facilitated in the problem based learning curriculum for graduate medical students at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney Australia.

Associate Professor Khobu is a practicing medical doctor and a physiologist by profession. She is also an entrepreneur who managed her own health consultancy company before joining DWU. She is a Divine Word University Alumna, being a student of the Divine Word High School in the mid-1970s with Father Kenneth Feehan SVD being the pioneer headmaster of the School.

She has qualifications ranging from an MBBS from the University of PNG, a Master of Science in Physiology from the University of London, UK, a Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine from the University of Sydney,Australia, plus several Certificates in Emergency Response, Occupational Health& Safety, Certificate IV in Training & Assessments, Accounting &Business and certificates in various other fields to expedite her professional undertakings.

“Knowing that there are challenges with this role, I feel a sense of responsibility to be able to move a huge ship along but with the priority to students & staff members’ academic excellence and personal welfare, I gratefully accepted."

I am confident that my experiences in the fields of my profession will help me add value to the faculty and DWU as I work with all my colleagues and the management of this university,” said a determined Dr Susanna Khobu.

Along with the role of Dean, Associate Professor Khobu is still lecturing to her class of 125 first year students from the Department of Rural Health, Rehabilitation Sciences and Medicine, which she believes is equally important. She lectures on the fundamental basic medical science concepts in Physiology & Anatomy, which form the basis of the students’clinical practice.

“As for the MBBS program, it is the second in the country.

We target at producing highly competent graduates who will contribute to the University’s reputation good standing in academic excellence and who will competently & effectively handle the country’s health issues and disease burdens,” Dr Khobu stated.

“We also want these graduates to know that they can work equally competently in any international arena of engagement.”

Dr Khobu’s quote is: ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all thy might’ and her encouragement to other women (and men alike) is in three words, ‘Believe in yourself.’

September 24, 2019