The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Inquirer Ex-Employee Returns With PhD

A former employee of The INQUIRER Newspaper, Dr. Charles Asumana, has returned home from the People's Republic of China after receiving graduate/postgraduate training in Chemical Engineering and Technology with emphasis in Petroleum Technology."

The INQUIRER family is happy to welcome home one of her products as he prepares to contribute his quota to the postwar nation's nascent oil industry. I spotted him at the Lott Carey Baptist Mission School in 2002," Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, Managing Editor of the newspaper said.

He added, " I readily had the brilliant teenager join The INQUIRER as a cadet in the typesetting department and he rapidly progressed in his training as a typesetter and potential writer to the extent that he was appointed as a cyber editor. Little did I know that he would be molded as an oil expert in a foreign land and would be willing to return to his roots; I have no regret recruiting this young man from Lott Carey Baptist Mission School."

In 2006, Dr. Asumana graduated as a Chemist with a minor in Mathematics, from Cuttington University and went on to lecture at the university before accepting an offer to study at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2007.

During the course of his studies, Dr. Asumana excelled in research, and can boast of about twenty well-researched publications in high-impact, peer-reviewed, and internationally-acclaimed journals. His research encompasses the production of clean oils, extraction of heterocyclic sulfur and nitrogen compounds from fuel oils, synthesis and application of ionic liquids, separation technology, among others.

Dr. Asumana said he was privileged to gain hands-on experience in the oil industry when he worked as an intern at the Qilu Petrochemical Company in North China. According to Dr. Asumana, he was advised by the Vice President of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph Boakai Sr. to return and join the workforce at NOCAL.

Prior to his return, Charles contemplated signing a two-year contract with the Qilu Petrochemical Company or a year's contract with a Beijing-based Coal Company that exports the fossil fuel to Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. "I have benefited from my society; it is only right to give back to the society; so I have no regrets of being back home despite the impoverished condition," the young man remarked.

Charles, still in his 20s, ranked highest nationwide in the WAEC examinations in 2002, and graduated summa cum laude from Cuttington University in 2006. He graduated top of his class of international students at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology and was certificated accordingly. Some of his accolades include the Distinguished International Student Scholarship for his PhD studies offered on a highly-competitive basis by the Chinese Ministry of Education, WAEC's certificate of outstanding performance, and the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Educational Foundation (JJREF) Scholarship.

He has also served in a number of voluntary and leadership roles, such as Urban Service Volunteer in the Department of Translation Services of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, Monitor of International Students at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing Coordinator of the Liberian Student Union in China, Secretary General of the Cuttington University Student Association (CUSA), President of the Cuttington University Natural Science Student Foundation (CUNSSA), and President of the Lott Carey Baptist Mission School Student Council.

Dr. Asumana lifted praises to God for the opportunity of studying in the Chinese mainland which provided a platform to get a good grasp of the Chinese language and communicate well with a quarter of world's population situated on that side of the world. He is encouraging his fellow young people to be industrious because success is usually a result of hard work, be it in academia or vocational skills.

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