Before Ngomboko Muzinga, also known as Lawrence, worked at Morningside, he was managing a bank. Located in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa is where he lived. As the manager, Muzinga would teach his clients how to manage their money. Muzinga wanted to help everyone. He would venture out to find his clients and talk to them about business, opening an account and the benefits. Muzinga was not like the other bankers and his friends and family told him that. Everyone saw Muzinga as a professor, not a bank manager. He believed them. He believed them so much he that he got a scholarship to study in the United States. Thus, began his journey to becoming the professor that he is today.
Starting from the beginning, Little Muzinga fell into the path of excellence. When he was of age, his parents sent him off to boarding school that was 2 hours away from home. He made the best of it as he states it was the start to learning to be a man. The learning worked because he continued to pursue the highest grade in his education. Aiming for the best. He soon learned that he wasn’t the only one with a smart brain.
As a junior in college, Muzinga had a friend who had a younger sister. And to Muzinga’s eyes, he saw her as a little sister too. There was not love interest, at least right away. The girl was in high school when she received the highest grade in the entire country. Muzinga started to think of her differently, especially when she got the highest grade on an exam of that section. Each section exam was focused on a subject, for example economics. She did very well and became a star to the other students. Because of her smarts, Muzinga knew that he wanted to marry her. That is what he did, on June 2nd, 1990.
Everything was going good for them. Around this time was
when Muzinga was working at the bank and to which he got told to pursue teaching.
This worked out well as his wife decided to further her education in the United
States. Muzinga soon followed once he received his scholarship.
They both ended up at the University of Illinois. Muzinga could have gone anywhere, but he knew of students from back home that went there. While there, he got a scholarship to teach African languages in the linguistic department. He called upon the students to help him determine an American that he can be called as, because his African name is hard for others to say. Muzinga asked, “I asked my students what is the closest American name to Laurent?” Laurent is a name in French equivalent to his African name. The students came up with two options, “Larry” or “Lawrence”. The decision was quick as an African American student straight up told him, ‘Hey, Muzinga don’t take Larry, Larry is for old white man.’. There it was, the day Lawrence was officially born.
Later, he got his PhD,
but to also point out, Muzinga was rewarded three times their graduate
assistant of the year: 2000, 2001, 2002. The reason why it is important is
because Muzinga said, “no one has received that award twice.” Further proving his
talent in mastering his education and achieving great prestige in the work he
does. He has proof too, as his plaques hang on the wall in his office.
After graduating, Muzinga and his wife moved to Platteville, Wisconsin. From there, he began working as a Professor at the University of Dubuque. His hard work continues to pay off because he received awards for teacher of the year, twice. Working roughly 15 years in Dubuque; Muzinga decided for a change. This is when Morningside College comes in.
This is his 3rd year at Morningside College. His wife also works there too, in the Agriculture department in Buhler Rolfs. She goes by Annie.
Everything is going well for Muzinga. Underneath all the jokes and stylish looks he presents himself as everyday when he teaches, is a respectful man then to inspire. Jodie Nieman, the Business Department’s Housekeeper had this to say about Muzinga, “he is a real nice guy, real friendly.” She goes on to when he first started working that he willingly introduced himself first. The amount of respect he expresses to his colleagues and students is pleasant. Giuseppe Del Rio Broggi, a sophomore in Muzinga’s class, said, “Pretty good teacher. Really takes care of you and understands things.”