The Department of Journalism and Communication (DJC) is filled with excitement after hitting a record high of 20 Masters graduates at the
just concluded 67th graduation ceremony of Makerere University. This number, was in addition to the over 140 Bachelors graduates awarded degrees by the Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma on 24th February 2017 at the University ceremonial Freedom Square.
The Chair of the Department Dr. William Tayeebwa, who attended the ceremony, could not hide his excitement at this harvest, the first of its kind since this Department was started about 30 years ago. “I am extremely grateful to a team of supervisors, comprised not only of members of staff at the Department but also members from the School of Literature, Languages and Communication and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” he says.
“This team under the leadership of the Office of the Principal and the School Dean helped in organizing the viva voce exams, reading dissertations as internal examiners and ensuring that all processes were dully followed. I am immensely grateful to our external examiners too, most of whom have been working without their due pay for years. Luckily, we got a resident Professor from the USA for three months under the Carnegie Africa Diaspora programme- Prof. James Kiwanuka-Tondo of North Carolina State University, who dedicated his fellowship time to specifically external examine our students. I think this did it,” he adds.
In appreciation, the Master’s students led by Rachael Ninsiima and Doreen Kembabazi delivered a giant cake to the Department. All members of staff at the Department shared this cake at a meeting held on 3rd March 2017. Three of the Masters graduates, John Baptist Imokola, Racheal Ninsiima and Davies Rwabu, double as members of Staff at the Department.
“The Department, especially our lecturers sacrificed a lot for us to graduate. Some of us actually held our viva voce during the staff-sit down strike. I was excited when my students cheered upon seeing me and when my name was read for conferment. I am inspired and will definitely further my studies to the next level,” emphasizes Imokola.
“I am thrilled to complete a Master of Science in Information Science. I hope this additional qualification ups my skills as a resourceful person in my career as an information and communication professional,” says a delighted Rwabu.
Other students expressed gratitude in emails to DJC Staff. One such email was from Naris Kambaho who wrote, “The purpose of this email is to extend our innermost gratitude to all the staff of the Department of Journalism and Communication of Makerere University. Your efforts inspired us to the greatest achievement of graduating in a record time of two years. It was a dream and indeed it was, but with the guidance we made it. On behalf of the team of MAJ C 2014, I write this email to extend our innermost appreciation to each one of you for the individual impact you made towards shaping our desired professional growth and scholarship.”
“At colloquium, viva stages, all seemed well. The technical guidance was superb, it was more of mentoring. You exhibited the highest level of patriotism when you opted to arrange our viva session when the rest of the staff were on Strike. Thank you for that love, thank you for making it a priority for us to graduate on time. I wish to extend our love to all the Academic and support staff in the Department for the much-needed help they gave us. We pledge to uphold the image of the Department in all our professional and career pursuit and we pledge our continued partnership and support to the Department,” Kambaho adds.
In response, Prof. Goretti Nassanga a member of Staff at DJC wrote, “Thank you for recognizing our contribution to the realization of your goal of studying and getting the Masters degree. As your lecturers, we feel very contented when our students manage to concentrate on their studies (like you did) and finish in record time! Wish you and all your year mates a bright future and may the Masters degree propel you to greater heights.” The School Dean, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi thanked Kambaho for finding it necessary to appreciate the efforts of the Staff members.
Moving forward, DJC intends to maintain this momentum by clearing the student backlog and ensuring that students finish on time. “As a Department we are very committed to seeing that the remaining backlog of students graduate next January. The challenge is that there is some level of fatigue by external and internal examiners who are yet to be remunerated. We are optimistic that their pay will be sorted soon so that we maintain the momentum,” explains Dr. Tayeebwa.
Congratulations to both the Masters and Bachelors graduates.
Article by Marion Alina