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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
The University Drop-In: The Life of Calestous Juma in His Own Words is an inspiring autobiography. Professor Calestous Juma is an internationally recognized authority on the application of science and technology to sustainable development; he has certainly come a long way. Born in Bubamba in 1953, and raised in Port Victoria, Kenya, he grew up in a poor fishing community that was generally very supportive of children showing interest in learning. For high school, he went to a self-help school a mile away from home where the community built the first classroom and students were responsible for helping with subsequent classrooms until they graduated. He was a brilliant and determined student who would go on to become a teacher, journalist, policy pioneer, and scholar. This is his story.
Calestous Juma's The University Drop-In reveals in great detail his personal and professional journey. It covers his rural origins showing how his community helped to shape him into an influential science and technology policy scholar. It’s an unconventional and fascinating journey. In part a testimonial work that uses Juma’s story as an example for others, this story lists his successes as an encouragement not to let anything get in your way. It also breaks down complicated issues of innovation, science, and technology into layman’s terms that we can understand so that we can do our part in saving our planet. This is a remarkable story that must be told about a curious young boy from rural Kenya who grows up to be a man with global influence in academia, innovation, and sustainable development. Above all, Juma’s resilient optimism is contagious and inspiring. Highly recommended!