The keynote speaker of the University of Liberia’s (UL) 97th convocation exercise for the Science College has told graduates to demonstrate the significance of their degrees so as to become useful to society.
Dr. Mosoka Fallah, a Harvard-trained Liberian epidemiologist, gave the admonition on Wednesday, December 7, while addressing 208 graduates of the Thomas J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology.
“What’s the purpose of your degree? Is it for selfish and material gain? You have to make use of your career to benefit your country and people. Be ambitious; for life does not give you what you want, but what you demand from it,” Dr. Fallah cautioned.
He urged the graduates to help solve the problems of others and exhibit integrity and honesty; ethical values which, he said, are lacking in many Liberians.
Dr. Fallah said comparing Liberia to other neighboring ‘comfort zones’ will not help to solve Liberia’s problem, rather, every Liberian acquiring higher education can make use of their education for the benefit of their country.
As an alumnus of UL, he urged the university authorities to be creative and make the university a research center and not just for academic activities.
Dr. Fallah believes that Liberian students earning degrees in biology, chemistry and other science courses have the potential to conduct research and arrive at solutions that can help to solve some health problems, and it only takes the university to organize a research center where they can meet and organize their research plan.
He recommended that UL authorities organize symposia and forums where science students can come together to discuss issues related to their careers.
By that, Dr. Fallah said the graduates will bring to the attention of others how well they are using their careers to innovatively create solutions out of the knowledge they’ve acquired.
He lauded outgoing UL President Dr. Emmett A. Dennis for his achievements over the past seven years at the helm of the university.
Dr. Fallah recalled that during his stay at the UL prior to Dr. Dennis’s administration, they used the coal pot in their chemistry lab to do testing.
For now, he said students no longer use such rudimentary materials, but modern equipment as evidenced by the ones in the Engineering College.
He acknowledged that through Dr. Dennis’s innovation, funds were solicited from international non-governmental agencies, such that labs of various departments have been fully equipped to the convenience of students.
In remarks, Dr. Dennis said he is excited that the Science College has 12 faculty members with Master’s degrees, unlike in the past when most of the instructors were Bachelor’s degree holders.
“When I took over the university, I decided closing down the Science College, because not a single member of the faculty had a Master’s degree. But today, we can boast that 12 of them have acquired Master’s degree and are teaching here,” he said.
Dr. Dennis also expressed his delight in the establishment of the College of Engineering which he said will be separately graduating students next year without forming part of the general Science College.
Meanwhile, the UL has designed a new strategy to conduct graduation exercises. Each college now has a day to graduate students instead of having all the colleges at the same commencement convocation.