Dr. Clem’s Biography


Dr. Msengi receiving the Lamar University Faculty Mentor of the Year Award 2018


Dr. Msengi received a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. She is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in Doctoral Studies at Lamar University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Health Promotion from the University of Northern Iowa, where she received the Purple and Old Gold Award for graduating at the top of the class in her major. Dr. Msengi holds Masters of Arts in Community Health from the University of Northern Iowa. She is also a professional speaker, mother, wife, sister, social entrepreneur, and a strong believer in God’s power.

Following her master’s studies, Dr. Msengi received two prestigious fellowships. The first was The New Voices Fellowship, funded by the Ford Foundation. Under the New Voices Fellowship, she became the Director of Refugee and Immigrant Outreach Projects at the University of Northern Iowa Global Health Corps. The second fellowship was awarded by the Echoing Green Foundation Fellowshipa highly competitive and prestigious fellowship given to social entrepreneurs with bold and innovative ideas. Dr. Msengi was one of 10 recipients out of 1,500 applicants worldwide to be selected for the Echoing Green Foundation Fellowship.  With this fellowship, Dr. Msengi founded the Bright Move Network (BMN), a non-profit organization designed to help refugees and immigrants adjust to American culture and contribute to the well-being of their new local communities.

Dr. Msengi has written and received various grants to support research projects and  various programs she has designed. She also received a number of awards including the Outstanding American by Choice Award, a significant recognition for her outstanding work with refugees and immigrants. This award was presented to her by Dr. Emilio Gonzalez,  former Director for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and United States Senator Charles Grassley. Additionally, she received, the Immigrant Entrepreneur Leadership Award from the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, the Dan Chavez beyond the Horizon Award from the Iowa Culture and Language Conference and the Human Rights Award from University of Northern Iowa Amnesty International. Dr. Msengi was the co-founder for the Refugee, Immigrant, and Minority Health (RIM) section of the Iowa Public Health Association and the Lamar University Multicultural Awareness Program (LUMAP).  In 2016, Dr. Msengi was selected to be part of the Diversifying the Pipeline in K-12 Education Community of Practice (CoPe),  which is funded in collaboration with the Echoing Green Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation. More recently, she received the 2018  Lamar University Faculty Mentor of the Year Award and was also nominated for the 2018 Lamar University Inspirational Women Award.  

Dr. Msengi has taught many doctorate level, masters level, and undergraduate courses. She also has served as chair and/or committee member on many dissertation committees. She has published over a dozen peer reviewed articles and book chapters and is currently working on a number of research projects. Her research interests focus on global leadership, multicultural and global education, domestic and international health education, mentoring, and diversity and inclusion. Her research has centered primarily on minorities and other underserved populations in the United States and internationally, middle and high school, as well as college students. Outside her professional work, Dr. Msengi enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering, and sharing her journey of faith, hope and resilience.

Dr. Msengi relies a great deal on her faith. Her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 33:3:

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not.”