A Nigerian Professor, Chris Wolumati Ogbondah, has won the Distinguished Scholar Award for the 2021-2022 academic year, at the University of Northern Iowa, United States of America.
The award is given yearly to the lecturer who is most accomplished in scholarly and creative activity.
Ogbondah obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), before proceeding to United States where he obtained the Master’s and doctorate degrees in journalism.
A letter dated March 11, 2022 and signed by Associate Dean, Graduate College of the university, Dr. Gabriela Olivares and addressed to Prof Ogbondah said: “The Graduate College is pleased to inform you that the faculty committee for the 2021-2022 Distinguished Scholar Award has selected you as the recipient from a group of excellent nominees. A recognition award will be presented at the annual graduate faculty meting on Thursday, April 28, 2022.”
The letter added: “The Graduate College will recognise your achievements across campus and our community. This includes official announcements through different communication platforms and recognition at the annual graduate faculty meeting in April and annual Fall faculty meeting.”
In 2009, Professor Ogbondah received the State of Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, the most prestigious award for excellence and achievements in education that the board awards annually to deserving tenured lecturers in the state’s three regency institutions of higher learning – the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa.
Ogbondah is a four-time recipient of the American Press Institute Fellowship. He had also previously received the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) Excellence in Journalism Fellowship. He is also a three-time recipient of the Apple Polisher Award in recognition of excellence in classroom teaching and mentorship of students at the University of Northern Iowa.
Professor Ogbondah was a former Sports Editor at The Tidegroup of newspapers in Port Harcourt before going to the United States for post-graduate studies.
He was a reporter at the WNTV/WNBS broadcast station in Ibadan. He is currently an Ambassador of press freedom at the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) in Abuja.
Ogbondah has worked at six newspapers in America as a reporter and was a former essay contributor to the Newswatchmagazine. He served on the international panel of press freedom that ranks the countries of the world on a scale of press freedom at Freedom House, New York.
He is the author of the pioneer book of annotated bibliography on Nigerian press, The press in Nigeria: An annotated bibliography, published by Greenwood Press, Connecticut in the USA. His other books are: Military regimes and the press in Nigeria, 1966-1993: Human rights and national development, as well as State-press relations in Nigeria (1993-1998): Human rights and democratic development.
As a scholar and educator, Professor Ogbondah has completed three sabbatical leave assignments at the Rivers State University, Mkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt and another sabbatical leave assignment in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He is a visiting Professor of Journalism in the Department of Mass Communication at the Cross River University of Technology (UNICROSS), Calabar.