Steady H. Moono ′85
Currently the Vice President for Student Affairs,
Montgomery County Community College
Residing in Collegeville, Pennsylvania
When Dr. Steady Moono ’85 earned national recognition as the “2008 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate,” his acceptance speech cited not his master’s degree alma mater, nor his doctorate alma mater, but Messiah College—a place that taught him the meaning of mentoring relationships.
“Messiah was incredibly gracious to me as a struggling first-year student,” said Moono, who came to the Grantham campus from an “extreme peasant background” in Livingstone, Zambia. “When I struggled and wanted to go home, to give up, it was the most unlikely of persons who stepped into my life and kept me moving forward. Messiah is where it all started.
As a “young, lost African kid struggling to make it work at a U.S. college,” Moono met and befriended Mike Brown, librarian emeritus at Messiah, and psychology professor Robert Suggs—two individuals that took it upon themselves to reach out to the beleaguered student, helping him to establish a new home, with people who truly cared about him. “Mr. Brown and Dr. Suggs took a liking to me,” recalls Moono.
“They became my ‘pops,’ asking me what I wanted out of life and helping me to figure things out. I had dinner at their homes, we went for long walks, and talked things through. To this day, I still seek counsel from Dr. Suggs.”
Those mentor/student relationships encouraged Moono to press on, and today he returns the favor. As the dean of student success at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), Moono has dedicated his life to improving the first-year experience for students. “It [his experience of the mentoring relationship at Messiah] really helped me see how every institution needs vision supporters and first-year advocates. I see students struggle and am determined to change that through the development of support programs.”
To date, Moono has helped MCCC create a Student Success Center, intervention programs for at-risk students, retention programs to assist students of color and first generation college students, and peer-mentoring programs. The College reports that student success rate has doubled in three years.
Dr. Moono lives in Collegeville with his wife, Kelly, and their two children, Micah, 15, and Naomi, 12. In addition to his Messiah College bachelor’s degree, he holds master’s degrees in Theology and Counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary and in English from Arcadia University, and a doctorate in Education Administration from Immaculata University. Dr. Moono and Kelly are also founding members of Africa-American International Ministries for Christ, a non-profit organization that provides aid to people in Africa who live in drought-stricken areas.
Posted on November 12th, 2008