Salone News

Honouring one of Sierra Leone’s finest

30 October 2017 at 20:16 | 3213 views

From Miriam Conteh-Morgan’s Facebook page

Today (October 26, 2017) we honour another Sierra Leone’s Finest Change Maker #BlackHistoryMonth, someone I am so delighted to say taught me in school.

Madam Miriam Conteh-Morgan has been an educator for over 35 years, starting her career as an English teacher at her alma mater, St. Joseph’s Secondary School, and Albert Academy in Freetown. At the tertiary level, she taught Linguistics at the University of Sierra Leone, English as a Second Language at various universities in Ohio and Harvard University in Massachussetts, and African Literature and information studies courses at The Ohio State University in the US.

Also an academic librarian, she was the subject specialist for Linguistics, French and African Studies at the latter institution, where she expanded the library collection to include more materials from sub-Saharan Africa, especially videos about the continent and books published there. “I would consider the starting of the African comic books collection as the achievement I am most proud of while at OSU,” she states. She gained tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2005. Though she says she loved and thrived in her job there, after about 22 years in the US, the strong pull of home could no longer be ignored.

She returned to the University of Sierra Leone in 2013 to head the library at a constituent college, the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM); she is also the Deputy University Librarian. She currently is leading or participating in a number of institutional and national initiatives and projects aimed at modernising academic libraries and librarianship, and re-energising and revitalising teaching, research and publication in the country. Exciting as this is, one of the depressing things she feels is that there are not more women in higher academic ranks to be involved in these course-changing activities – she is one of two women at the professor rank at the University of Sierra Leone; the other, a full professor who, she boasts, is also an alumna of St. Joseph’s!

Miriam has B.A. in English and African History (Div 2, 1981) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (1984, with a distinction in her dissertation) from the University of Sierra Leone, an M.A. in Linguistics and English Language Teaching from the University of Leeds (1984) and a Master in Library Science (1999) from Kent State University. She is the co-author of one book, author of another and many articles. This mother of two brags most these days about being Nana to two adorable grandchildren.