Associate Professor Susanna Andrias Khobu PhD is the new Dean for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) in Divine Word University. She is an alumna of DWU and the first female to assume the position since the faculty came into existence in the mid-2000s.
Associate Professor Khobu replaces veteran health education professional Mr Kari Totona who returns to the Department of Environment Health within the Faculty.
The FMHS is one of four faculties in Divine Word University (DWU) and it is the largest with seven departments. The departments are Environmental Health, Health Extension (Rural Health), Health Management, Rehabilitation Sciences, Public Health Leadership and Training, Medicine and Nursing, the latter located at two nursing schools in 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 in FMHS.
She has over 12 years of experience in academic teaching at the previous Medical Faculty of University of Papua New Guinea, and has involved in the problem based learning (PBL) 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, United Kingdom, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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..
“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 and 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 Dr Khobu.
Along with the role of Dean, Associate Professor Khobu lectures her class of 125 first year students in Rural Health, Rehabilitation Sciences and Medicine programs, which she believes is important.
She lectures on the fundamental basic medical science concepts in Physiology and 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 and 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 to get by in life 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”. Ends/
- Report by Rachel Shisei is a Communications Officer in the DWU Marketing Division.