Liberian Students in India Bestow Honors on UL President and Sawyer College Dean
Liberian students in the Republic of India on Saturday, 15 July 2023 bestowed honors on the President of the University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, and the Dean of the Prof. Amos Claudius Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Associate Professor Dr. Josephus M. Gray for their tireless efforts, valuable services to higher education and inclusive education.
The Service Award is one of the highest honors awarded by Liberian students in the field of dynamics leadership, headwork, and commitment to duties. The honoring ceremony took place on Saturday at Sharda University, New Delhi, India.
According to the National President of Liberian students in India, Mr. James Flomo, the prestigious award recognizes the scope and depth of Dr. Nelson’s activities, contribution to higher education, services to the nation and commitment to quality learning and teaching at the Nation’s flagship university.
Mr. Flomo emphasized that Dr. Nelson and Dr. Gray deserved to be recognized for their distinctive leadership roles as President of the University of Liberia and as Dean of Prof. Amos Claudius Sawyer College respectively.
He disclosed that the two academics are the first public officials from Liberia to be honored with such prestigious award by Liberian students enrolling in India. Mr. Flomo who outlined some of the difficulties the students are facing in India, said the students believe that the President of UL exemplifies the true meaning of leadership and commitment towards higher education and quality learning. They praised Dr. Nelson for the introduction of eLearning at the university and appealed to him to ensure that eLearning always form part of teaching and learning at the university.
On behalf of the students, Mr. Flomo expressed gratitude for the week-long visit of the high-powered delegation from the University of Liberia to Sharda University to hold meaningful discussion and seek tangible opportunities for the faculty, staffs and students at the Nation’s flagship university. They described the visit as laudable, necessary, and rewarding, which they believe stands to bring positive Development at the university and the entire educational sector of Liberia.
Presenting the award to Dr. Gray, the president of Liberian students in Greater Noida, New Delhi, India. Ms. Margaret Sumo praised the Dean of the Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College for his outstanding leadership and dedication to human development and support towards women education and empowerment.
Fortunately, at Sawyer College females outpace men in the college three separate graduation ceremonies held during the academic years 2020, 2021and 2022, respectively. The valedictorian of the 2022 class was a female while 19 females graduated with high marks above male graduates.
Besides, under Prof. Gray’s leadership more female faculty members have been hired, from 14 when Dr. Gray took over to 49 females, including hiring of two female chairpersons, while more females have been hired as record officers and administrative secretaries.
Fortunately, the past three convocation Speakers of the College have been females and the task to introduce the speakers was given to female graduates.
Also, females were exceptional during the 2022 final thesis oral defense and presentation. As a result of the academic exercise, two female graduates who outpace men during the undergraduate final thesis oral defense were awarded a fully-funded master’s degree Scholarship by the Amos C. Sawyer Foundation.
Under Dr. Gray’s leadership, more part-time faculty members status have been changed to full-time faculty including the introduction of new degree granting programs, the reviewed and revision of 90 percent of the College’s curricula, the university sponsorship of faculty and staffs to pursue master’s degree studies and doctorate degree programs in Ghana, Nigeria, America, Netherlands and India.
Other tangibles include establisment of academic ties with other higher institutions of learning in America, France, Ivory Coast and India as well as the introduction of the college’s newsletter. All these tangibles were achieved due to support given the college by the President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Nelson and support received from the College’s leadership.
According Ms. Sumo, the honor is a true testimony to the extraordinary contributions Dr. Gray is making to change the trajectory of Amos C. Sawyer College. She named the introduction of undergraduate thesis across the entire College of which two females were awarded scholarships as top of the undergraduate thesis defense and presentation. She also named empowerment of women, the encouragement of hard work as well as other meaningful contributions to quality learning and teaching.
According to the students, they were pleased to honor Prof. Gray for his unrentless support in empowering females, students, faculty and staffs of the Amos C Sawyer College.
She said Dr. Gray continues to seek scholarship opportunities for faculty and students, while at the same time initiating developmental programs, research, and placing emphasis on quality teaching of students through research and education.
She stressed that Dr. Gray has instituted several positive changes at the college, which she described as laudable.