Dr. Mwizenge Tembo
Department of Sociology
As a 10-year-old boy, Dr. Mwizenge Tembo was attending geography class one morning in rural Zambia when his teacher walked in and said, "Class, you know that right now it is bright and early here at our school. Do you know that in Japan right now it is midnight and people are fast asleep?" That statement fired up Tembo's curiosity, fascination and inspiration to learn. As a professor, he desires to bring moments like that to his students.
Tembo, the son of a teacher, grew up in the Lundazi District among the Tumbuka people of Eastern Zambia in Africa. Two of his sisters are also teachers. In all of his stages of learning - from primary school to graduate school - Tembo says teachers opened his eyes to a wonderful world that inspired him to appreciate the secrets of life that you learn from going to school.
Tembo likes the small, intimate classes at BC as compared to other universities he has taught at where classes ranged in size from 100 to 500 students. Tembo says he likes the sense of intimacy and comfort that he gets interacting with much smaller classes at BC.
An associate professor of sociology, Tembo has been a member of the BC faculty since 1990. A man with many talents, he incorporates many of his interests and hobbies into his teaching - reading poems he has written, including photos he has taken in PowerPoint presentations, telling African folk tales and demonstrating traditional African drumming and dance. An author, Tembo has written a romantic, adventure novel, The Bridge, which he uses in his class Cultures of Africa. He also has written several skits that he uses in his classes. He takes the Racial and Ethnic Studies class to the Asian Food Market so they have the opportunity to see the diversity of ethnic foods and how immigrants enrich American food.
Tembo has a passion for travel and cross-cultural experiences. Since 1995, he has taken students to Jamaica four different times on Interterm trips.
As a professor, Tembo says two students stand out in his mind. The first was one of the brightest students in the department of sociology. He taught her in some of the toughest courses in the major and she went on to graduate summa cum laude. In graduate school, she sent him a copy of her master's thesis in which she had used some of the sophisticated quantitative methods he had taught her. His heart beamed with pride. The second student was taking a sociology course during the spring semester of his senior year. Not doing well, he was afraid he would not be able to graduate - the first person in his family to go to college. Tembo worked with the student and helped him pass the course. Once again, his heart beamed with pride as he received his diploma.
Tembo received a B.A. from the University of Zambia and earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.