Professor Taiwo Abioye Marks 60th Birthday with Inaugural Lecture Says ‘By Special Grace of God, I Am Alive and Well Today’

Professor Abioye delivering the 12th Inaugural Lecture of Covenant University, Ota

Ayo Ajayi

Not many academics have the privilege to give the account of their research and contributions to knowledge in their lifetime. But for Professor Taiwo Olubunmi Abioye, a Professor of Discourse Stylistics and Applied Linguistics at the Department of Languages and General Studies, Covenant University, Ota, it was a great privilege and double honour as she presented her Inaugural Lecture on her 60th Birthday. “That this inaugural lecture coincides with my 60th birthday and 30 years in academia is by the special grace of God, because it is by His grace that I am alive and well today,” she said. 

The 12th Inaugural Lecturer
The 12th Inaugural Lecturer

Professor Taiwo Olubunmi Abioye was born in Kaduna, 60 years ago on 17th January 1958. She attended Anglican Girls’ School, Kaduna, Gaskiya College, Apapa-Lagos, and Bauchi Teachers’ College, Bauchi. For her tertiary education, she attended Borno State Advanced Teachers’ College (1979-1982). Afterwards, she was admitted to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where she obtained a B.Ed (Language Arts) degree with Second Class (Upper Division) in 1987. She joined the services of the Ahmadu Bello University in 1988 and went on to obtain M.A and PhD (English) degrees in 1992 and 2004 respectively.

Prof. Abioye, a fully qualified teacher and seasoned university administrator, has served in different capacities in the institutions where she had worked and is currently working. These include Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of Covenant University (2012-2014), and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2014-2016), Chair, Senate Business Committee (Oct 2014 – June 2016); Ag. Head, Department of English & Literary Studies (2008-2012) during which the department received another full accreditation status as well as the graduation of the first set of postgraduate students; Chairperson, Covenant University Convocation Planning Committee (2008); Chairperson, the first Covenant University-Industry Partnership Luncheon (2015), among others. She is the first female faculty in the university to have served in all these positions. Today marks another first as she becomes Covenant University’s first female professor to deliver her Inaugural lecture.

An accomplished academic, she is an External Examiner to a number of universities at the postgraduate level, and an Assessor at the professorial cadre.  She was a member, Covenant University School of Postgraduate Studies Committee (2006-2008). She has supervised scores of undergraduate projects and postgraduate projects at Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and PhD levels. She has also served as External Examiner for theses at the PhD level.

Prof. Abioye has several publications in scholarly journals and conference proceedings, and her specific research interests include Stylistics, English Literacy (Language in Education), Sociolinguistics; Media Language; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to women, girl-child and children issues. She has also authored and co-edited several books including Leadership and Innovation in Africa’s Research Paradigm, a book in honour of Dr. David Oyedepo @ 60.

The Elegant Woman @ 60
The Elegant Woman @ 60

She is a member of reputable academic, professional and research bodies, both nationally and internationally. Some of these are: International Reading Association (IRA); Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN); English Studies Association of Nigeria (ESAN); and International Sociological Association (ISA), where she belongs to the Language and Society Research Committee (RC25), and Women and Migration Research Committee (RC32). After a highly competitive exercise, she was appointed to serve as the Secretary of the Executive Board, Language and Society Research Committee of the International Sociological Association, a global interdisciplinary association. She held this position for four years, between 2010 and 2014. She currently serves as the Research Cluster Leader of Covenant University Women Development and Human Security Initiatives (CUWD&HSI).

She has coordinated, organised and participated in conferences, seminars and workshops within and outside Nigeria. For instance, at the 19th ISA World Congress which will be held in July 2018, she is co-chairing two different sessions. She was the Coordinator, “Trends in English Language Learning, Teaching & Testing Workshop for Teachers of English”, Covenant University, in 2006. Her academic background in interdisciplinary knowledge and its discourses are quite evident, in that she has taught courses in stylistics, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics.

Prof. Abioye has served as Facilitator and Ogun State Representative of the Joint British Council/NTI Continuing Professional Development Course (CPD), a Programme for English Language Teachers (ELT) in Nigeria & Africa. She has also served as a Resource person for the NTI /MDGs Project: Retraining Workshop for Teachers of English, and as PGDE facilitator. She is on the editorial board of Language, Discourse and Society, a reputable international journal in her field.

Prof. Abioye is a recipient of several awards. Some of these are the Covenant University “Award for Effective Management Oversight” in the 2014/2015 session; ISA grant for 2010 World Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden.  In 1982, she received the Department of English Prize for Best Graduating Student in English, and Flora Waziri Prize for Best Graduating Student in Philosophy of Education, Borno State Advanced Teachers’ College, Maiduguri, and so on.

She is blessed with three wonderful children: Lekan, Osaru, Yeti and an adorable granddaughter, Ayomide.

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