By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU Main Campus- With a PhD in Conflict resolution and peacebuilding, Joan Owade is the only lady that has graduated with a PhD at the 24th graduation ceremony today, Saturday 20th November 2021.
Doctor Owade who is also the Head of Department Journalism and media studies at KIU, told this website in a virtual interview shortly after graduation that she was simply out of options to express how she felt following her historic achievement.
"I honestly don't know how to express what I feel deep in me. I am a superstar! I am bubbling with great joy within. I'm very proud of myself. Seeing myself as the only feminine amongst the male graduands made me feel so special,"
"But at the same time, I look at this achievement as something doable. What a man can do, a woman too can," she added.
She also said that "Most females fear reaching out for the stars, they fear treading in thorny roads, yet to me, this is what makes life interesting. It is a clear indication that we need to arise and sensitize the girl child in pursuant to their academic ambitions. The world would be a better place with more women at the top."
She added that she was privileged to be the only female graduand at the 24th graduation ceremony and that it justifies why there is a need for society to invest more in the girl child. She called upon authorities to sensitively realize different potentials in female students.
"I would beseech all directors and Principals to be very sensitive in realizing different potentials within the female students in their directorates, schools and colleges," Owade advised.
"Girls are born with special multidimensional skills; others sprout so well in academia while others in co-curricular activities. It takes a sensitive leader to realize such potentials and nurture them," she added.
Owade began pursuing her PhD in 2012 as a beneficiary of the KIU scholarship which is given to students who exhibit exceptional academic performance. She disclosed that her triumph required Commitment, hard work, teamwork and sacrifice.
"I had to balance books and other responsibilities within my workplace. Being a lecturer and HoD, I had to ensure all these dockets are effectively attended to. This has not been an easy task as a student, but I'm glad I executed my roles perfectly well," she disclosed.
She has implored continuing students to focus on their studies; "Campus life is so sweet". "No one is there to monitor or dictate your movements. It is one's sole responsibility to take charge of their life at campus." A student who lacks self-control, discipline and focus may not realize their intended goals at the end.
Like all successful people, Owade attributes part of her success to some notable individuals who have seen her through toils in pursuit of happiness.
"The two deputy vice-chancellors at KIU have been very instrumental in my PhD journey; Assoc Prof. Janice Busingye, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration always played a key role by following our PhD progress as students, and this made me remain focused all through, while Dr Sophie Kazibwe, Deputy Vice-chancellor in charge of academics equally encouraged most of us when situations were getting tougher." She acknowledged.
She also commends among others, the following people; The College Principal, college of humanities and social sciences; Dr. Mbabazi Mbabazize, Senior lecturers in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Badru sseguja, Dr. Grace Lubaale, Dr. Mwaniki, Dr. Tumukunde, Dr. Tarabina, Dr. Muzaare, Dr. Rodgers, Prof. Edward Bantu, Dr. Sussane Nambatya. prof. Joel Isabirye whom she says were of great assistance during her research.