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 defunct independent Star Radio’s producer and presenter and Ministry of Education’s Basic Education Division Director was formally awarded the enviable doctorate degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology on June 20, 2019.
It was followed by an elaborate excellence award ceremony 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 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, a student with great plans and clear goals.
“He is an active learner and a critical and innovative thinker with other exciting skills”, said an official of the School.
Additionally, He is a good communicator and team-player noting that 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.” Charles’ Supervisor, Professor, Dr. Shaoying Gong wrote on the University’s website.
Professor 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,” one blind 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 also awarded “International Excellent Student Award and Academic Diligence Award” in 2014 and 2018, respectively from the university.
Commenting on his Ph.D. journey in China, Dr. Charles Gbollie, who refers to himself as “Charles God-made Doctor” expressed profound gratitude to God, the Liberian and Chinese governments and his family for making his educational sojourn a resounding success.
Dr. Gbollie asserted “this could not have been possible without divine arrangement and empowerment.”
Dr. Gbollie, who is also President of the Liberian Student Union in China, told this media entity 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 countless numbers of impactful developments in his life, far beyond his imagination, something he wish to domesticated in his mother land upon arrival into the Country.
“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 peered reviewer with excellent certificates. I transcended from having 2 academic peered review journal articles published to over 5 and 3 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 role-model for many individuals,” Dr. Gbollie wrote on his Facebook page.
Speaking on his post-doctoral graduation plan, the young Liberian youth and student leader, educator, researcher, media practitioner, and mentor expressed strong passion to addressing critical issues related to human, social, and educational development of all individuals, especially youth and students.
As a staunch campaigner and promoter of better youth today, much better world tomorrow, Dr. Gbollie vowed to utilize his foreign quality education and impelling testimony to positively impact the younger generation. According to him, various programs are currently being planned under his two institutions, Foundation for Research, Education and Empowerment (FREE) Liberia, a Liberian 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.
The young Liberian doctor used the medium to admonish his fellow young people to remain hard-working, devoted and persistent to their dreams, stating “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.”
Dr. Gbollie said he hoped that many young Liberians will emulate the good example of him and that government would make use of its best brains to drive the much-needed transformation and change in the country.
The current breed of national leaders in Liberia now are young, qualified and prepare people as Dr. Charles Gbollie is of no exception as such maximizing on his skills and versitile experience will be a great milestone for the Country.
It can be recalled that former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf spoke of a generational change and with the current Trent of event especially seeing more young people making sufficient use of the opportunity, it is indeed evidence that the generational change with clear emphasis on the young people in driving such change is already here.