By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

An Old Dominion University professor spent the summer teaching and making donations in Kenya.

Victoria Time, professor of sociology and criminal justice in Old Dominion University's College of Arts and Letters, was a visiting professor at the University of Nairobi Law School, teaching criminal law, criminological theory and penology. She also partnered with a local orphanage to donate needed supplies.

Time said the work is a way for her to share her skills as an educator with a wide range of students. She was originally invited to the university in summer of 2020 but had to defer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"My students, for the most part, are already well-established in their careers, but are back in school to get law degrees as aspirants for political careers and just to be very savvy in the global market," Time said. "Others are just fresh out of high school to law school since they did very well in the general certificate advanced-level exams. The level of students' preparation prior to each class, the high-quality class discussions make teaching here extremely exciting."

The orphanage is not related to her visiting professorship, but something she decided to do after hearing about it from a former schoolmate at George Washington University Law School, where she received her master's in law. That schoolmate is now governor of Makueni County, where the orphanage is located.

"I wanted to help out an orphanage and I chose Blessed PEACE in Makueni County because I found out that the young lady running the home for children spends 60% of her own income as a government employee and a doctorate student to run the orphanage, and even houses some of the kids in her home," Time said. "That to me is evidence of dedication and not someone who would misappropriate my gifts to the children. I decided on the donations based on what I imagined children in an orphanage would need most - footwear, school supplies, candy and money to help run the place."

The work wrapped up in August, but Time hopes to return to teach and do research in coming years.

"What remains etched in my memory are the little, yet meaningful things like students saying, 'thank you' after each class because of a well-delivered lecture, orphans giggling and laughing as I told them the story of Cinderella, and the man on the street grateful that some stranger asked how his day was going," Time said. "Every day of my stay here has been enriching in all ways."

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