DW alumna is first female dean of FMHS


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.

Catholic health managers learn about DWU programs

A team from the Divine Word University’s Flexible Learning Centre (FLC) participated at the Mamose regional Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) Conference in Madang. The

The FLC team from the main campus in Madang led by Mrs Cathy Pamba was invited to talk to participants about programs offered under the flexible learning mode that the Catholic Church Health Services managers and officers in the provinces could take up.

The DWU team was at the conference on Thursday 18 July 2019.  The conference was held at the Alexishafen Conference Centre of the Catholic Archdiocese of Madang.

Mrs Pamba presented an overview of DWU and the flexible learning programs that were offered for working professionals.

She highlighted the FL programs available for health professionals and they are the Master of Public Health (Health Service Management), Bachelor Rural Health (for HEOs in-service) and Diploma in Health Services Management.

Mrs Pamba also spoke about other DWU programs offered through the flexible mode and the support services available for FL students. Those interested for the details of the programs can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or they can go online on the DWU Website at www.dwu.ac.pg

Members of the FL team Wapu Urisip and Eunice Sange were on hand at the conference and distributed program information and application forms much to the appreciation of the participants.

The Catholic health managers and officers were very pleased to hear about the programs offered at DWU.

Conference organizer and Madang Archdiocese Health Service Manager Ms Nola Marita said they were grateful that Mrs Pamba and her team from DWU attended the meeting and talked about the programs.

Ms Marita said the conference was the first for the CCHS in Mamose and they were pleased that the managers and officers attended.

On Tuesday July 18, the Head of the Health Management Department Dr Tabian Ambang spoke at the conference on Visions 2050.

The week-long Mamose regional Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) Conference ended on Friday 19 July with a closing dinner and presentation by Archbishop Stephen Reichert OFM Cap from the Archdiocese of Madang. 

Report and pictures by Dr Kevin Pamba  

DWU attends career expo

Divine Word University (DWU) participated at the 2019 Career Exposition hosted at the University of Goroka in Eastern Highlands Province from 5 June to 6 June.

A team from DWU was at the two-day exposition and took the opportunity to inform prospective students about the programs the University offers in its main campus in Madang and other campuses around the country.

The two-day event brought many tertiary institutions like DWU to set up program display booths and talk to students and teachers from high schools and secondary schools in this part of the Highlands.

The students were informed about the entry requirements of Grade 12 students for each tertiary institution for further studies.

Non-school leavers and working professionals including prisoners also attended and received information about the study programs.

The higher learning institutions also highlighted different policies for students to follow once they were selected and enrolled to study.

Mr Ted Alau Vice President (Student Affairs) of DWU told the students gathered that it was crucial they scored good grades to have better Grade Point Average (GPA) scores to be considered for university studies.

Mr Alau also reminded the students about good behavior that plays a part in their pursuits for further education.

Students from the various high schools, secondary schools, technical institutions and universities, who attended were pleased with the two-day expo, which assisted the students to make their choices for further education.

Most students and teachers were delighted about the event, which gave the appropriate information for further education. They thanked the University of Goroka for hosting the event adding that they looked for to the next one.

Marina Waita from the DWU Office of the Registrar said so many students flocked to the DWU booth and the University team was kept busy with questions and requests for information for studies.

Ms Waita said students mostly asked for entry requirements of the different programs and especially the GPA requirements. She said non-school leavers were there too and received information about enrolment in DWU.

Ms Waita said working professionals also turned up at the DWU booth and received information about the University’ popular flexible learning programs for adult learners. DWU participated in the Career Exposition last year and would participate in future events. The DWU was represented at the 2019 Expo by a three-member team comprising Mr Alau, Ms Waita and Mackenzie Mistera from the DWU Marketing Division.

Story by Mackenzie Mistera of the DWU Marketing Division

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Madang Campus

Divine Word University,

Allotment Portion 7,

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