Post-Doctoral Life in Boston College – January – June, 2015
Sr Ojo Anthonia Bolanle
A post-doctoral fellowship is a temporary programme in which an individual with a doctoral degree obtains mentored training intended to enhance professional skills. It is often an ideal way to obtain the experience necessary to achieve one’s career goals. Examples of mentoring activities include: writing articles, publications and presentation; participating in seminars, consulting with scholars and graduate students; and, attending meetings and conferences. All these aimed at guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas which will eventually broaden my horizon and stimulate my research ability.
As one of the CTEWC scholarship beneficiaries, I am privileged to be a post-doctoral student under the mentorship of Jim Keenan, Canisius Professor, Theology Department, Boston College. At the commencement of the Winter Semester on 12th January, 2015, I was warmly welcomed by Jim to Boston College. Although it was around the peak of winter, and immediate adjustment was not smooth, however, through his encouragement and support, I was able to settle down quickly. Thanks to him!
One of my major activities in the university is to research and write articles. Presently, I am researching on the topic: “The Church as a Catalyst for Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria” intended to be published in the third volume of Theological Ethical Moral Series (TEMS) edited by Dr. Anozie Onyema. In this article, I am examining the sub-standard human conditions of many people in Nigeria and the causes of poverty in a country that is richly endowed with both mineral and natural resources. Considering the social teachings of the Church which regards concern for the poor as her basic duty on earth, it therefore proposes the Church to be more proactive in poverty alleviation in the country. The Church by virtue of her moral and spiritual mandate has the potential to become a catalyst for poverty alleviation in Nigeria. This will consequently make the Nigerian Church “A Church that is poor and for the poor” (Pope Francis). There will be a departmental presentation of this article immediately after Easter celebration break.
As part of my other activities, I also audit a course – Seminar Class – which is the only class-like event that I am involved in. With this, I have the opportunity to participate in seminars through listening and interacting with the doctoral students and the professors in the Department.
I also have the privilege of meeting in person and interacting with some renowned scholars in the field of Moral Theology that I have read their numerous writings, such as David Hollenbach, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Andrea Vicini, and Kenneth Himes. These too have been providing guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas.
The programme concludes with the CTSA Conference in Milwakuee which comes up on 11th through 14th June, 2015. Assessing the post-doctoral fellowship, I am convinced that it will enable me to build on my existing research skills and allow me to develop as an independent researcher by acquiring new techniques. The programme would help me to be better equipped for future academic endeavours.
Finally, I see this post-doctoral period as my transitional state. It is a stepping stone to becoming a professional in the field of Moral Theology. And like all periods of transition, it is challenging but interesting. I use this medium to show my deepest gratitude to the CTEWC and all our sponsors for affording me this rare privilege and opportunity, God will reward you all with eternal life. Thank you all!