For the first time since the inception of the PhD programme, the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University (SMC) awards four doctorate degrees in one year to graduating students of the programme. The awards were presented at the 17th convocation ceremony of the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), which took place on Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 at the main campus in Ibeju-Lekki.
Commenting on this achievement, the Dean of the School of Media and Communication, Dr. Mike Okolo, said that it is a thing of joy for the school to see the four students complete the programme amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his words, “We are very glad to have graduates who are going to actualize the mission of the University. The ultimate aim for the University is to make a change in society. So having four PhD graduates, knowing their pedigree and what they do, we are very optimistic that they will meet that ultimate aim; and Media and Communication are one of the fastest ways to make an impact in society. Having a PhD means they can do a lot.”
The SMC PhD programme commenced in 2014 and has since produced six graduates from the programme.
The four recipients of the SMC PhD degree in Media and Communication for the year 2020 are:
Dr. Ijeoma Onyeator’s thesis was titled ‘Gatekeepers, Gatewatchers and the Construction of News in Nigeria.’
Ijeoma holds a Master of Arts with distinction in Media, Communication and Technology from Brunel University, Uxbridge in the United Kingdom. She is also a graduate of the University of Lagos with a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Mass Communication.
She is a recipient of the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship Award and a member of the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN), the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), as well as an associate member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.
In University, her reputation for attention to detail earned her the Best Graduating Student of the Mass Communication Department.
Dr. Onyeator is a foremost Nigerian-based news anchor with professional media experience of nearly 20 years. She currently anchors Channels Television’s flagship bulletin – The News at Ten, as well as several live news and current affairs programmes.
She is an adjunct member of faculty at the School of Media and Communication (SMC), where she teaches the value of ethical newsroom leadership and professional media practice. She is happily married and blessed with children.
Dr. Bolaji Akinola’s thesis was titled: ‘Millennials, Digital Natives and the Future of Print Newspapers.’
Dr. Akinola is a maritime and corporate communication expert. He is spokesperson of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria and the Chief Executive Officer of Ships and Ports Communication.
He is also the CEO of Ships & Ports Limited. He consults for leading maritime industry companies including Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) and INTELS Nigeria Limited. Dr. Akinola is Co-founder/Director of the Maritime Microfinance Bank Limited, Apapa.
Dr. Akinola holds an MBA from the Lagos Business School, a Masters in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, and a PGD in Journalism from the Times Journalism Institute, Lagos.
Dr. Akinola has attended several professional trainings in Nigeria and abroad, including the Birmingham City University, UK; IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, New York; among others. He has served as the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) and also as the President, Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) from 2011 to 2014. A Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) and Fellow of the Certified Institute of Shipping of Nigeria (CISN), he has won several awards and accolades in the maritime sector.
Dr. Bolaji Akinola is happily married to Adeyemi and their union is blessed with two lovely children.
Dr. Frederick Mordi’s thesis was titled:‘The Role of Internal Communication in Managing Diversity in the United Bank for Africa.’
He is the Head of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, Cadbury Nigeria Plc —a subsidiary of Mondelez International—with responsibility for West Africa.
Dr. Fredrick has over 20 years of experience spanning journalism, media relations, internal communications, corporate reputation management, change management, communications consulting, corporate social responsibility, public relations, and government affairs.
Mordi holds a first degree in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan and an MSc in Media and Communication from the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University. He also has a Certificate in Research Leadership from Birmingham City University, United Kingdom.
He is a PROSCI-Certified Change Manager and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Dr. Mordi, who is also a football enthusiast and versatile writer, is the author of The Familiar Stranger and Other Stories, his debut collection of short stories. He loves mentoring younger colleagues on how to optimise their potential both in their personal and professional life. He is happily married with a son.
Dr. Kelechi Samuel’s thesis was titled ‘Prosperity or Precarity? Digital Marketing Communication and Intellectual Property Protection by Lagos-based Fashion Designers in Nigeria’.
Kelechi has extensive experience in managing businesses. His experience includes corporate business management in banking and finance as well as the management of SMEs in executive education, commercial printing and packaging, petroleum products marketing, telecoms VAS and Fintech.
He rose to Assistant General Manager and was a core member of Access Bank’s turn-around team until 2005 when he voluntarily resigned to pursue other interests.
As an entrepreneur, Kelechi has significant experience in new business development and general management strategies for SMEs, having successfully pioneered start-ups in commercial printing, petroleum products marketing, executive education and professional training, and the telecoms VAS and Fintech industries.
He was a pioneer executive team member, and also Country Director, at Regenesys Business School, Nigeria, a private higher education institution in South Africa, which established offices in Nigeria in 2013. Kelechi facilitates executive training programmes in business strategy, financial statement analysis, and leading business performance. He was also Chief Operating Officer/CE at Greystone Partners Limited, a VAS/Fintech company, operating in Lagos.