James Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr.—40 Years Serving Students

“His quality of service, dedication, technical knowledge, and judgment make him an invaluable campus resource.”

Described as “epitomizing the spirit and dedication of the staff at Chico State” and always “working tirelessly to help and guide students,” James Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr. was honored as the Outstanding Staff Employee of the Year in May 2012. The office of International Education employee has dedicated 40 years of service to CSU, Chico.

The award came as no surprise to his colleagues, who have watched Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr. give 40 years of service to CSU, Chico, in the offices of Counseling and Testing and International Education.

“Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr. is a key member of the Office of International Education,” wrote Bill Loker, dean of Undergraduate Education. “He is, and has been, a phenomenal international student advisor these past 40 years, advising thousands of students. His quality of service, dedication, technical knowledge, and judgment make him an invaluable campus resource.” 

In 2004, he traveled to South Africa as an acclaimed Fulbright Scholar. “I went through all of the emotions that are possible while I was there,” he said. “I was deeply struck by the focus on reconciliation, an attitude taken from Mandela himself, rather than on feelings of anger and retribution.”

Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr. works closely with a range of campus offices, including- Financial Services, the Registrar, Academic Advising, the Student Health Center, Counseling and Wellness, and the Student Learning Center. He also has led cross-cultural communications workshops to promote understanding and build relationships within a community.

At its 2011 Annual Placement Conference, the National Student Exchange (NSE) awarded Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr. its Exemplary Service Award. NSE is a domestic parallel to study-abroad, with exchange sites at 182 universities in the United States and Canada. Luyirika-Sewagudde, Jr. implemented NSE at Chico State 30 years ago and has served as the program’s only coordinator for the campus.

In his presentation remarks, President Zingg said, “James is a man of great wisdom, and is well known throughout the region and the international community—our campus ambassador of respect and good will.”

Portrait of Luyirika