Home Community Insights Reflecting on 11 Town and Gown Initiatives that Shape Knowledge, Communities

Reflecting on 11 Town and Gown Initiatives that Shape Knowledge, Communities

Reflecting on 11 Town and Gown Initiatives that Shape Knowledge, Communities

In the last one decade, I have reflected on my activities charged towards impacting the immediate university and host community. In the past decade as a university teacher, researcher and development enthusiast, I’ve realized the transformative power of town and gown collaboration in fostering innovation, learning, and community development. Here are 11 of the initiatives

  1. Fountain Dialogue: A Tradition of Engaging Discourse

The Fountain Dialogue stands as our flagship programme—a town hall-styled media engagement. It commenced in 2013 to celebrate the one-year tenure of then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bashiru Ademola Raji. Continuing with each subsequent Vice Chancellor, these dialogues serve as a platform for informative discussions and student engagement. The second edition happened in 2018 to welcome Prof. Amidu Olalekan Sanni, and the third edition was mounted in 2023 for Prof. Olayinka Ramota Karim, our current and 4th substantive Vice Chancellor

  1. Creativity Challenge: Nurturing Innovation and Skills

This inventive challenge, resembling an advertising hackathon, involved students forming agencies to tackle briefs and develop communication portfolios that address real-world problems. Organized by the students’ association with staff support, it served as an innovative platform to foster creativity and problem-solving.

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  1. Advertising Pitch: Real-world Application in Learning

The Advertising Pitch, an integral part of the advertising class, focused on real companies such as Innosson Motors, Premier Custards, and Golden Penny Flours. It allowed students to engage with industry experts and apply their learning to address real business challenges.

  1. SDGs Community Outreach: Practical Application of Learning

The Communication for Development Class executed community-oriented projects and collected KAP (Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice) data from Osogbo metropolis. The initiative extended to executing developmental projects, such as educational sessions on nutrition and distribution of food items, exemplifying the commitment to the SDGs. It also included the pursuit of the No Poverty goal with an outreach to a radio station programme in Osogbo.

  1. Interactive Sessions with Industry Experts: A Window to Real-world Insights

Sessions with industry experts across various sectors, from advertising to PR to Development Communication, served as invaluable interactions for students. These sessions provided real-world insights and motivation for students in their respective fields.

  1. Event Management Practical: Showcasing Skills and Talents

Derived from the event management class, students organized full events as part of their examinations, showcasing their talents, skills, and organizational capacities. This served as a testament to their growth and development.

  1. Osun 2018 Gubernatorial Election Campaign Atmosphere Monitoring: A Pioneering Research Project

Leading a combined team in media studies and political science, we monitored the election atmosphere in real time. This innovative project disseminated outcomes and contributed to the development of Positive Agenda Nigeria (PAN).

  1. Communication Infrastructure Audit in Osun 2019: Examining Government-Citizen Engagement

Conducted to analyze the infrastructure used by the Government of Osun State to engage its citizens. The study employed survey, interviews, and website analysis to investigate the level of citizen engagement by the government. The outcomes were disseminated via mainstream and social media. The discourse that emanated from the study to the Apero initiative in the state.

  1. Osun 2022 Gubernatorial Election Campaign Monitoring: In-depth Analysis of Campaign Strategies

Interrogated the extent of issue-based campaigns during the governorship election. The outcomes were widely disseminated and documented in policy briefs, articles, and presentations in civil society meetings and radio interviews. This led to the establishment of Postive Agenda Nigeria (PAN).

  1. Solutions Journalism Fellowship 2022: Mainstreaming Solutions Journalism in Media

This was a fellowship that came with $2,000 grant award aimed at mainstreaming Solutions Journalism practice and teaching in the media ecosystem in Osun. It involved advocacy visits, trainings and media engagements. I engaged with 3 media organisations, 3 media professional bodies, 2 national agencies and two departments of Mass Communication in the state

  1. The 2023 Presidential Election Campaign Monitoring: An International Collaboration

An international campaign monitoring project with RUDN University, Russia, and Centre for Research on Development of Africa Media, Governance and Society (CEREDMS). It aimed to analyze the engagement with issues during the presidential campaign in Nigeria and disseminate outcomes in real time using webinars, media engagements, articles in the newspapers and social media platforms. This project led to the registration of PANSOR Development Initiative.

Each of these initiatives represents a collaborative effort and a commitment to fostering academic learning, community engagement, and meaningful impact within my university and beyond. They reflect the dedication to innovation and the realization of practical solutions in real-world scenarios.

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