Throughout his time at County College of Morris (CCM), Dr. Stephen Kaifa, an award-winning professor of economics and finance, has played a major role in advancing the economics program for CCM students. Some of his accomplishments include implementing an e-commerce certificate program so career professionals can keep up with the new economy, starting the Center for Economic Education to train teachers in local school districts to increase economic literacy and developing a number of business and economics courses for business students at CCM.
â€śMy deep passion and unparalleled enthusiasm for teaching economics comes from the inspiration of the students,â€ť Kaifa says. â€śIâ€™ve tried, over the years, to help students understand that economics is not a spectator sport but instead a participatory exercise. Iâ€™m thrilled each day when I arrive in class to begin the shared journey of social cooperation as I teach and they learn economic concepts, issues and interpretations.â€ť
Kaifa began his higher education at Cuttington College and Divinity School, now Cuttington University, in sub-Saharan Africa where he received his Bachelor of Arts in economics. Kaifa earned his Master of Science in economics from the University of Oregon and his Ph.D. from Fordham University.â€ŻHe also has been awarded the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD) Honoris Causa in 2009 by Cuttington University where he also served as served as Vice-President for Academic Affairs for three years and as a commencement speaker.
Kaifa has authored and co-authored several economics texts books and study guides and continuously conducts research in the field to remain competitive and up-to-date. He has received several awards including the Distinguished Teaching and Achievement Award from the Business Department at CCM, the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society Honorary Service Award and the St. Paul River District, Liberia, Community Service Award. In addition, he has been named an Honorary Chief of the region of Liberia where his maternal great-grandparents lived.â€Ż
Along with his teaching and research, community service also is important to Kaifa. Volunteer service is a message he likes to share with his students as means for discovering how economics affects every aspect of life.
â€śEconomics is everywhere around us,â€ť he notes. â€śIn many ways, all of my students come to class with a wealth of economic knowledge that is unorganized but still relevant. It is my responsibility to make each one understand in a systematic way this very important knowledge which affects all walks of life, in the marketplace, the family, businesses, churches, voting, banking, investing, the environment and other human activity.â€ť
Kaifa has served on many boards of trustees including Friends of Cuttington, Liberian Studies Association, East Orange PAL and Northern NJ Planning Association. He is a founding member of the Cuttington Alumni Association, USA and served as President for 10 years. He has been a member of the NJEA Higher Education Committee since 2012 and served as President of the Faculty Association at CCM for nine years.