ROLE MODEL OF THE WEEK, DR UDOH ELIJAH UDOM BASED IN THE UNITED STATES

Udoh Elijah Udom was socialized early to view education as the passport to success. Therefore, he grew up with a ravenous appetite for knowledge. Unfortunately, his education was put on hold when his father passed away even before he completed his primary education. With the money earned from menial jobs, and support from his mother, he completed his primary education and moved on to study privately for ordinary and advanced level General Certificate of Education (GCE). Success in GCE opened doors for further studies in institutions of higher learning.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in social science/psychology from The University of Wisconsin (USA); Juris Doctorate degree from The University of Iowa (USA); Master of Law degree from The University of Leicester (UK), and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government/Public Administration from The University of Texas at Austin (USA)—mission accomplished. While in graduate schools, he served as Faculty Assistant to different faculty members. This was when he developed an interest in academics, but his interest in academics was overtaken by an attractive job offer with the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office for Africa (AFRO) in Brazzaville, Congo.

He began a long career with WHO that lasted for two decades (1984 – 2004); first with AFRO in various legal and administrative capacities for thirteen years (1984 – 1997). This job took him to many African countries, South of the Sahara. He loved working in the African region of WHO, except when he was assigned to war-torn countries. Traveling to different African countries exposed him to different African cultures, particularly languages. In 1997, he was transferred to WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where he served as the Head of Administrative Services till his retirement in July 2004.

Retirement, in the true meaning of that word, was not in Dr. Udom’s lexicon. He retired from WHO but was not tired. In 2005, he accepted an Adjunct Faculty position with Strayer University in Washington, DC, USA.

This appointment paved the way for him to satisfy his passion for teaching, writing, and research. At Strayer University, he taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in law and public administration. His passion for teaching earned him recognition among students, his peers, and university leadership. In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Donald R. Stoddard Faculty Award of Excellence. In 2009, he was promoted Academic Dean of Strayer University campus in Nashville, Tennessee. This was a unique position in the continuum of his career in academics, particularly as the facilitating link among faculty members, staff, students, and University leadership.

As an Academic Dean, he decided on courses to be offered each quarter, coordinated students’ admission processes, recruited faculty and staff of the academic department, and carried out regular faculty evaluation. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, Washington DC.

Dr. Udom is an author of three books: (i) Adminisprudence: A Behavioural Approach to Managing Ourselves and Others (1998), (ii) Restless Citizens: The Hidden Burdens of Living and Working for the United Nations (2010), and (iii) What Makes Students Tick: Unlocking the Passion for Learning (2014), and peer-reviewed articles. He continues to sharpen his knowledge by reading, writing, and a blogger for his online journals: http://www.ourroot.net. He is involved in church activities, ethnic and professional associations promoting human welfare and dignity. As a grandfather, he often travels to visit his grandchildren scattered across the globe. No wonder he says retirement is a job of many colors.

He is a man who “never sleeps.” He is always thinking or doing something to improve himself. What’s next after this autobiography has been published? Stay tuned.

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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