CU Director of International Office and Linkages Wins US-Sponsored Scholar Exchange Programme Award
Covenant University’s Director of International Office and Linkages, Dr. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu, who was recently awarded the Summer Study of the United States Institute for 2011, returned to the University this month (September) after participating in the programme, which lasted two months at Ohio University, USA.
The Summer Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media is an annual summer institute of international journalism scholars and media experts from universities and academic institutions from around the world. The SUSI programme is funded by an annual renewable grant from the U.S. Department of State's Study of the U.S. Branch in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs, Washington DC. Covenant University is the first and only private University in Nigeria from which a member of the academic staff has won this grant.
Dr. Ekeanyanwu’s participation was made possible by the University’s nomination and support and the selection by the US Embassy in Nigeria. The final selection was made by the US Department of State in Washington DC. Covenant University (Nigeria) was selected to represent the West African sub-region at the Institute for 2011 after its nominee’s application/proposal was adjudged the best in the region during the selection process at Washington DC.
According to Dr. Ekeanyanwu who is the immediate past HOD of Mass Communication and current Director of International Office and Linkages, “the 2011 SUSI programme was really a life-transforming and eye-opening academic venture for me. The programme offered me a unique opportunity to really internationalize my work in the area of collaboration with scholars across the divides. There were 17 Scholars in the programme from 17 different Universities in the world, Europe inclusive. I am also working together with notable scholars and professionals in my field of study in the United States. We are discussing new research trends and ideas, co-teaching of related courses from diverse perspectives as well as other issues related to higher education pedagogies”.
Dr. Ekeanyanwu also noted that his participation in the competitive Scholar Exchange programme offered him the opportunity to evaluate his own experience at Covenant University. According to him, “Covenant University really ‘exported’ some best practices while the programme lasted. Our promotion criteria and mass communication curriculum generated challenging interest on the part of other scholars in the Institute. The pictures they saw of Covenant University also raised interest there. I will certainly be expecting a lot of international scholars in Journalism and Media studies from the next academic session. I also discovered that our Course Compacts here are rich and I made presentations on this and other academic issues as they relate to the overall objective of the Institute”.
Dr. Ekeanyanwu noted that his experience in the programme was not purely academic: “I learned the American cultural values travelling around major States and counties; visiting historic sites and places; trying to eat food that I do not understand or have conviction that I should eat in the first place; and getting rude shocks about some philosophical inconsistencies and contradictions in the American system. I have also been amazed how the US has been able to manage these situations to remain a model society and the No1 in the world. It is really an interesting study”.
He also stated that through the help of the Institute, his two papers that were earlier peer reviewed by the Ohio University faculty were accepted for presentations at AEJMC International Convention at St. Louis USA which held in August. AEJMC is the largest body in the world that brings media academics, scholars and professionals together. Presenting a paper at the Convention is like publishing in a high impact journal. The United States places a lot of
academic weight on this. Through the support from the grant, Dr. Ekeanyanwu also received a 2-year membership of the renowned AEJMC and free subscription for all its publications.