Former Star Radio Journalist Earns Ph.D with Distinction

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Dr. Gbollie (3rd from left) celebrates with some of colleagues.

…Wins academic excellence award

For many young Liberians and some individuals across the world, particularly in Africa, earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) remains a challenging sought-after dream. But for Charles Gbollie, a young Liberian scholar, it is a well-accomplished dream with distinction.

The former independent Star Radio’s producer and presenter was on Thursday, June 20, 2019, formally awarded the enviable doctorate degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Charles Gbollie also worked at the Ministry of Education’s Basic Education Division as a director.

The ceremony, according to a dispatch from China, was followed by an elaborate excellence award night on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, by the College of International Cultural Exchange (CICE) of Central China Normal University (CCNU) at which time Dr. Gbollie was a proud recipient of the Academic Excellence Award.

According to the college, the honor was bestowed upon Dr. Gbollie in recognition of his academic diligence and excellent behavior at the university. The excellence award was also informed by favorable reports from the Academic Supervisor and foreign examiners of his scholarly works, including doctoral dissertation and international peer-reviewed journal publications.

“Charles is an inspirational international student with great plans and clear goals. He is an active learner and a critical and innovative thinker with other exciting skills. He is a good communicator and team-player. His Ph.D. research is novel; the research design is more rigorous; the research process is standard; the statistical analysis method is scientific; and the research results are reliable.” Dr. Gbollie’ Supervisor, Professor, Dr. Shaoying Gong, wrote on the university’s website.

Prof. Gong’s evaluation was further validated by foreign degree and research examiners, as one reported: “This research is a study with great practical and international significance. The theoretical foundation of the research is solid.

“The research method is correct, the sampling is representative, and the tools used are appropriate. The relatively large workload also shows the researcher’s ability to independently conduct research design and implementation, with reliable results and correct conclusions. The writing of the paper is logical and the description of the problem and the conclusion are concise and clear,” the foreign examiner reported.

The independent excellent evaluations both internally and externally earned the young Liberian scholar an enviable place for his doctorate and his 3rd Academic Excellence Award from the prestigious Chinese Normal University, particularly dedicated to training educators and other professionals.

It can be recalled that Dr. Gbollie was in 2014 and 2018, also awarded “International Excellent Student Award and Academic Diligence Award,” respectively from the university.

Dr. Gbollie expressed profound gratitude to God, the Liberian and Chinese governments and his family for making his educational sojourn a resounding success.

He added, “This could not have been possible without divine arrangement and empowerment.”

Dr. Gbollie, who is also president of the Liberian Student Union in China, said that his Ph.D. journey was mind-changing and life-transforming, expressing fervent confidence and hopefulness that his education and experiences overseas would go a long way in promoting societal transformation, especially for Liberia.

According to Dr. Gbollie, there were a countless number of impactful developments in his life, far beyond his imagination. “During this doctoral journey, I transcended from being a student to a mentor, and coach for hundreds of people from all backgrounds. I transcended from not only submitting academic journal articles for review and publication, but became an international journal peer reviewer with excellent certificates. I transcended from having two academic peered review journal articles published to over five and three in queue, awaiting publication. I transcended from not only reading books written by others, but also ready to contribute to the knowledge economy with two books being launched this month. I transcended from being a member and committee chair to president of the Liberian students in China, and a role-model for many individuals,” Dr. Gbollie wrote on his Facebook page.

On his post-doctoral graduation plan, Gbollie expressed strong passion to addressing critical issues related to human, social, and educational development of all individuals, especially youth and students.

According to him, various programs are currently being planned under his two institutions: Foundation for Research, Education and Empowerment (FREE) Liberia, a Liberian-based NGO devoted to improving lives and interventions through research, education and empowerment programs; and the Youth Champions Alliance Network (You-CAN), which is being founded to focus particular attention on holistic youth empowerment and development.

Dr. Gbollie used the medium to admonish his fellow young people to remain hard-working, devoted and persistent in their dreams, noting, “If God can change my name and history, He can also do it for you. The Heavens and Earth are on your side—keep pursuing your dreams.”

He expressed the hope that many young Liberians will emulate the good example he has set and that government would make use of its best brains to drive the much-needed transformation and change in the country.

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