The TOTEMK project has professional experience both from Finnish and Kenyan universities.
Seija Karppinen

Seija Karppinen is the main coordinator of the TOTEMK project and is currently working at the University of Helsinki at the Faculty of Educational Sciences as an associate professor, senior lecturer and teacher educator. She has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher educator that has brought her a broad insight into Finnish education system and teacher education. Her internationally oriented focus on education and several exchange visits abroad offer wide potential for collaboration across countries. She is actively cooperating in East Africa (Kenya), e.g. managing Ken-Fin projects in education. She has lived outside Finland in Bulgaria, Great Britain, and Kenya. She has produced 51 publications and 8 teaching materials. She also has experience in fundraising.

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Veera Kallunki

Veera Kallunki works as a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE), in the University of Helsinki. She has a Docentship of Science Pedagogy. Her recent research addresses digital learning, multidisciplinary teaching, and learning processes. In her doctoral dissertation, she has studied the learning processes of natural sciences among primary school students. She has a long experience in development projects on technology-supported collaborative learning, and in-service teaching.

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Arto Kallioniemi

Arto Kallioniemi is currently working as a Professor and Vice Dean of International affairs, Societal Interaction and Equality at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Arto's background is in religious didactics. 

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Tapio Lahtero

Tapio Lahtero (Ph.D., Adjunct Professor) has been making his career both in the education departments of municipalities and at the universities. He graduated as a primary teacher at the University of Turku in 1993 and made his doctoral theses at the University of Jyväskylä in 2011 with the topic “Leadership culture at schools”. eMBA exam in Leadership in the public management he finished in 2015 at the University of Tampere.

Tapio Lahtero has worked for over ten years as a principal, as a regional principal and as the head of the comprehensive schools in the education department in City Vantaa. Since 2015 he has been the Administrative Principal of both Teacher Training Schools of the University of Helsinki – Viikki Teacher Training School and Helsinki Normallyceum.

Tapio Lahtero has been educating principals and leaders of education departments of municipalities at the Universities of Jyväskylä, Turku and Helsinki. He has published several research articles about leadership culture, strategic leadership and pedagogical leadership.

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Andrew Riechi

Dr. Andrew Riechi is an accomplished researcher and policy analyst with over 20 years of work experience in educational leadership, teaching, research and consultancy in education and development in Kenya and other African countries. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics of Education from the Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where he was admitted on a Commonwealth Scholarship. He received his Master of Education degree in Economics of Education from Kenyatta University and an honors Bachelor of Education degree (Arts) Economics and Business Studies from University of Nairobi’s Kenyatta University College. He is Senior Lecturer in the University of Nairobi’s Department of Educational Administration and Planning, College of Education and External Studies (CEES) where he is the Head of the Economics of Education Thematic Area. Between June 2019 and June 2020, Dr. Riechi was seconded to Koitaleel Sameoi University College, a constituent College of the University of Nairobi where he was appointed a pioneer Director of Education Programmes in the School of Education. He has a track record in research and consultancies in the Government of Kenya and a wide range of international organizations including the IFC, the European Union, Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT), UNICEF, USAID, World Vision, UNESCO, Education for Change Ltd, RTI, Save the Children, the Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN), among others. In 2015, Dr. Riechi was the National Technical Advisor in RTI’s Kenya Data for Education and Research Programming (DERP), a project providing technical assistance to Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) to test ICT to inform future education management information systems (EMIS) strengthening efforts. Well versed with education systems of most African countries, Dr. Riechi is equipped with skills in policy analysis and has collaborative acumen and extensive networks in Africa and within Government ministries, civil society, inter-governmental bodies, universities, and public schools in Kenya. In addition to being recognized as a Research Champion of the University of Nairobi’s College of Education and External Studies (CEES) in 2016, Dr. Riechi has been a member of the National Steering Committee for the ongoing Curriculum Reforms in Kenya since 2016. He is a Life Member, Comparative Education Society of India (CESI); member, African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE), member of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE); Women Educational Researchers of Kenya (WERK), a local research NGO. He is member of the National Research Panel at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), among many other networks that he actively engages with. Dr. Riechi has research interest in curriculum reforms, educational planning, policy research, program evaluation, impact analysis, education and development.

Janet Chumba

Dr. Janet Muhalia Chumba is currently a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, department of Physical Education and Sport. She holds a PhD in physical Education and Sport. Her PhD thesis focused on Under-representation of Kenyan University Students in Selected Ball Games at International Competitions She worked at Laikipia University as an assistant lecturer in the department of Sports Sciences. She was also an Assistant Games Tutor in the Directorate of Sports and Games and part-time lecturer in the Department of Recreation Management and Exercise Science of Kenyatta University.  She is a qualified swimming coach, an outdoor leadership trainer and peer counselor.  She holds a Master of Science degree in Sports and Recreation Management.  Her Master thesis focused on Sports Tourism development in Kenya. She has also coordinated swimming galas for Kenya University Sports Association (Nairobi Province).

Francis Gatabu

Francis Gatabu is highly skilled and passionate about technology and is greatly driven by the capacity enhancement, automation and productivity that IT adds to an organizations systems and processes and are motivated by seeking solutions to problems that cause positive impact. He is currently working the the University of Nairobi.

Magdalene Dimba

Dr. Magdalene Adhiambo Ngala-Dimba is a Senior Lecturer at Strathmore University, Kenya.  She is the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She holds a PhD in Educational Administration and Planning from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, a Master’s in Economics of Education and a Bachelor of Education in Economics and Geography from Moi University, Kenya. Magdalene is an experienced educationist, administrator, and researcher. She has a wide teaching experience at the university level with particular interest in teacher education. She has experience in teaching Geography and Business Studies at the Secondary school level as wellHaving held a high-intensity, people-oriented job as Head of Academic Programmes and a Dean of Students, she has good skills in mentoring and handling students' issues. Her research interests include Teacher education, access, equity, planning and quality in education. She has served as a member of different educational institution boards.

Alfred Kitawi

Dr. Alfred Kitawi is the Director of Centre for Research in Education and a lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Strathmore University. He received his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Bath, UK and Master’s degree at Makerere University. He has carried out a number of monitoring and evaluation projects in the areas of community capacity development, action research, life-skills development and community engagement in Kenya and Uganda. His interests, publications and expertise span the areas of education management, community engagement and use of instructional technologies to facilitate learning.

Ian Wairua
Mary Omingo
Stephen Macharia

Stephen Macharia is an educationist with over 18 years of teaching experience. He holds a Masters Degree in Linguistics and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Nairobi. He is currently a Doctoral Fellow based at Strathmore University.

He has an interest in online learning and has completed courses and earned certificates in that field. The courses include: Specialist Diploma in Digital Communications(CIPR), a Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) award in Supporting Technology Enhanced Learning (STEL), Certificate in Introduction to Technology Enhanced Learning, Certificate in Blended Learning Practice from Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University as well as a Certificate of Completion of Facilitating Online Course from University of Cape Town.

He is a tutor to STEL students of the Developing Blended Learning (DBL) course in East Africa as part of the Association of Commonwealth Universities project on Partnerships for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL). This role involves training university lecturers on blended learning.


Michael Gichure
Helen Mondoh

Prof. Helen Omondi Mondoh is a professor of Education with close to 40 years experience in teaching, teacher training, curriculum development, research and pedagogy. She has been a Dean of School for eight years and a Director in charge of Quality Assurance for six years.

Currently, she serves at Pwani University in Kenya, as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Finance and Planning.

She enjoys teaching and mentoring students as well as colleagues. Her other passion is travelling and providing service leadership.

Since she played a major role in the conceptualisation of the TOTEMK project, She will continue to bring her vast experience into it. Her expectation of the project is that it will make a major contribution to unravel gaps in teacher education in Kenya and come up with practical interventions through training, development of modules and online learning packages.

Jacinta Kwena

Dr. Jacinta Aswani Kwena is a Senior Lecturer and Dean of the School of Education at Pwani University, Kenya. She is an Educational Psychologist with a bias in Educational Statistics, Tests and Measurement.  She has been teaching at the University for over twenty years, with the better part of it having taught at Kenyatta University in the department of Educational Psychology.  She enjoys teaching, especially the interacting with her students, molding them into responsible teachers, this gives her a lot of joy.  Sje also enjoys carrying out research especially related to education. In addition to all these, she also enjoys doing community outreach services.

By the end of the TOTEMK project she expects:

  1. To be very well versed with the New Competency Based Curriculum as a teacher trainer.
  2. The faculty members at Pwani University and other universities in Kenya training teachers will all be competent to deliver competency Based Curriculum to their Teacher trainees
  3. The teacher trainees will be competent to prepare learners with knowledge and requisite skills matching the current educational needs as per the New Competency Based Curriculum.
Newton Andebe

Newton Andebe has over eleven years’ experience in ICT industry and is currently working as an ICT manager at Pwani University. His expertise covers areas such as project management, systems analysis, design, development and implementation, disaster recovery, people management, policy development, assets management, data security and training. He enjoys developing solutions that make a difference in society.

His goal is to support the project through development of digital tools which will be used in collection of data. This will help to reduce costs, enhance speed and efficiency, improve quality of data and enable ease of tracking of the survey tool.

Tuija Marstio

Tuija Marstio (MSc, Econ) works as Expert in Digital Pedagogy and Senior Lecturer. She has been working in the field of education and training for more than 30 years and has gained a strong insight in digital pedagogy, online education, digital marketing, entrepreneurial training, digital marketing and international business operations. At Laurea University of Applied Sciences she contributes to the development of online learning through staff training and managing various digital learning initiatives. She has also an extensive background in international project management and has managed several projects in the fields of education and business-related ICT. Ms. Marstio has published several articles on online learning and learning design.

Mikko Häkkinen

Mikko Häkkinen (PhD) is a Principal Lecturer and Master’s Program Leader at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. He has comprehensive training in health and education sector; he holds PhD in Public Health, additionally he is Qualified Psychotherapist, Qualified Vocational Teacher and Registered Nurse. His doctoral dissertation dealt psychosocial coping in crisis environment. He has an extensive experience in mental health promotion education and development. He has also comprehensive competences in educational planning, multidisciplinary network orchestration and collaboration with civil society actors. He has been working as a senior expert and specialist in number of national and international development projects related to educational development.

Irma Mänty

Irma Mänty, M.S.Ed. (Master of Science in Education), works as Development Manager of Learning Solutions at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. She has a wide experience in the strategic development of online education and in training teachers both offline and online in higher education. She has continuously studied the methods of e-learning and digital tools of many international partners for development purposes. Ms. Mänty is working as administrator of several digital tools and her work has been significant when choosing and implementing new digital tools in higher education.

She has participated in internationally funded projects, for example, in developing e-learning methods in pedagogical projects. She is a member of The Board of the Association of Finnish eLearning Centre. Currently Ms. Mänty participates in an Erasmus+ KA2 project where she is developing online training and networking for European SMEs to develop tourism services.

Ms. Mänty will contribute to planning, building and delivery of the MOOC from technological perspective.

Virve Pekkarinen

Virve Pekkarinen has a Master of Arts degree in Adult education including the official teacher’s qualification, and minors in Educational ICT, University Pedagogy. She is also pursuing a PhD degree in Education, and she is at the final stage in her studies. In addition, she is currently studying a MBA degree in Leadership and People Management, and she has also a BSc degree in Social Sciences.

Virve has worked for several years as a teacher trainer and pedagogical and digi-pedagogical expert in a HE context. She has participated in the creation and development of the pedagogical teacher-training curriculum at Aalto University, and also implemented and evaluated the pedagogical training. She has also been active in developing digital learning opportunities through MOOCs and open online materials, and has wide experience in teaching such courses. Currently, she works as an expert in digital pedagogy at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, and one of her tasks is to facilitate the creation and the delivery of different kind of MOOCs.

In this TOTEMK project, Virve will work with MOOC creation and ToT’s, and she expects to have fruitful collaboration with project partners!

Outi Nieminen

Outi Nieminen (M.A., Master of Arts) works as an International Coordinator at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. She has worked as a language teacher for several years and also has experience in projects and administration. She is enthusiastic about intercultural communication, learning and international collaboration.  

In the TOTEMK project, Outi's main responsibilities include coordinating the various tasks of the project, including communications. 

Tomi Tolonen

Tomi Tolonen has a Masters of Education degree and minors in special education, youth studies and ethics. He is an expert in gamification of education, PBL and using different digital solutions to enhance learning and teaching. And he has been training teachers about these topics for almost 10 years.

He has teaching experience for over 10 years and during those years he has also worked as a teacher trainer and pedagogical expert in different city, state and nation wide projects using his expertise on gamification, PBL and digital pedagogy. Tomi is also a CEO in a company that focuses on teacher training and especially using gamification in education. He has facilitated workshops and held lectures in different international educational events and occasions. He has also worked as a learning experience designer in a start up company that focused on production of educational games. Currently Tomi works as an expert in digital pedagogy at Laurea University of Applied Sciences with a focus on planning, creating and delivering different kinds of MOOCs.