By Onyeka Uwakwe
Chinyere Stella Okunna, an administrator and educationist, is a Professor of Mass Communication and the first female Professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria, and in sub-Saharan Africa.
Stella Chinyere Okunna began her early education at St John’s Primary School in Ekwulobia. After secondary education, she later bagged a Bachelor of Arts (UNN) and a Master of Arts from Leicester Center for Mass Communication Research. She later bagged a rare Mass Communication PhD from University of Lagos.
Teaching, consulting and academic career
She began teaching Journalism at IMT (Institute of Management Technology), Enugu and later at Nnamdi Azikiwe, University Awka.
Prof. Ouknna was Head, Department of Mass Communication, Dean, Faculty of Social sciences and Director, UNIZIK 94.1FM, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
At the School of Post-graduate studies, where her ideas brought hopes to many, her students confirm she brought life back to the programme leading to their successes at Post-graduate studies.She has published in diverse areas of Mass Communication and her book titles include Introduction to Mass Communication (1999), Ethics of Mass Communication, 2nd Ed. (2003), Teaching Mass Communication: An Interdisciplinary Approach (2002).
Prof. Okunna is an expert in Development Communication and has contributed adequately to literature in this area. Contributing to Third World development drive, she has participated in many workshops on development communication. As a resource persons to UNICEF, she participated in the development of UNICEF”s ACADA Model. She has also made robust contributions to the improvement of women affairs in Nigeria.
She is on the memberships of professional organisations including Nigerian Institute of Public Relations where she has also led the Anambra State chapter.
Public service and political progression
During the administration of Mr. Obi as Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Okunna served in Obi’s administration in various capacities.
Thus, between 2006–2014, Chinyere Stella Okunna took a leave of absence from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and joined the administration of Mr. Peter Obi as Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Culture (2006–2009) in the first instance.
She was later appointed Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget as well as the Coordinating Commissioner for Development Partnership/Donor Agencies (2009–2014). In that capacity as Commissioner, she got an added responsibility being the Chief of Staff (2012–2014).
She has a long list of other administrative roles at local and international levels and public records attest to that.
Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna was recently appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Paul University Awka, Anambra State. The appointment was approved by the Senate of the University during its meeting on Thursday 27th January 2022. In this new capacity, she will bring up her expertise, and replicate her sound administrative leadership enjoyed at Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
Prof Okunna was born to Joshua and Christiana Adimora family in Uga, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. She is happily married with children at Ukpo.
To underscore your contributions to society and a beacon of light,, your were conferred with the prestigious title of Kakpando n’Ukpo by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Dr. Robert Eze (Okofia VI), Eze Ukpo.
We wish you many more luminous years, in good health and mind, and in service of humanity.