> By Funmi Falobi <
History was made as the Council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), recently confirmed Mrs. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika as the first female professor, Mass Communication department.
Ogwezzy-Ndisika whose specialization straddles Communication for Development, Public Relations and Advertising was confirmed on Monday, June 5, 2017 making her the first female professor of the department in a record time spanning a 16-year stint as a lecturer in the Mass Communication department of UNILAG.
According to her, “It’s like a dream, I am still in disbelief, but it’s a reality now to be at the peak of one’s profession”. While admitting that it has not been easy, she said, “lots of hard work passed through the grill. At every stage in the university, you must meet a panel of experts. It’s a big relief I won’t meet it again. It’s a big relief and above all, it is the Lord’s doing.”
Commending the people who have been part of her feat, she said, “The university management should be commended. If you do your work, and meet the criteria for promotion, you will be promoted. I appreciate all my teachers. It has been through the grace of God, hardwork and the good people around me”, she said.
Recalling her journey through the years as a lecturer in the Mass Communication department, Ogwezzy-Ndisika who had previously served as Head of Department, alluded her feat to God. “I was not born when the department was established but now, I’ve made history in the department. You will know that it’s the finger of God”, she said.
Commenting on her feat, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Director, International Press Centre (IPC) noted that her confirmation into the professorial status was ‘very welcome’, describing her as a ‘thorough bred academic and professional’. “She has made enormous intellectual contributions to media professionalism and development,” Arogundade said.
Comments from former students were in unison that she is hardworking, diligent, persistent and intelligent and so “she deserves it”.
Mr.Biodun Elugbaju, a graduate from the department and a journalist with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), said, “She has all it takes, she has the charisma and that’s the basic background for anyone in academia. She’s brilliant.”
“I am happy for her. She has worked to deserve such a position. I am not surprised at all. I respect Prof. Ogwezzy,” said Dr. Kehinde Oyesomi, a graduate of the department and lecturer at the Covenant University.
On next step now that she is at the peak of her career, she told sdnonline: “my task now is to push other people under me up!”.
Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika holds a B.A. in Linguistics and Communication, University of Port-Harcourt; PGD, M.Sc. in Mass Communication, University of Lagos, M.A. in Gender and Development, University of Sussex, England; and PhD, in Communication Arts, University of Ibadan.
Furthermore, she is a recipient of ELF Petroleum Coy Ltd and British Chevening scholarships; laureate of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); laureate of the African Association of Political Science, (AAPS)/Harry Frank Guggenheim (HFG); and 1991 best graduating student in Department of Linguistics and Communication, University of Port Harcourt.
In addition, she is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (MNIPR); Associate Registered Practitioner of Advertising (arpa); member, Association of Communication Scholars &Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN); African Council for Communication Education (ACCE); Association of Women in Development (AWID); Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture (APNILAC); and International Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR).
She is also a member of the editorial board of a leading national newspaper; has attended various local and international conferences; and published articles and books locally and internationally. She joined the services of the University of Lagos as Lecturer II in 2001.