What is CASSON and why should LR bother about its affairs? The reason is not far fetched. As a ‘borderless motivational space’, we make all things motivational our business. The core professionals world wide, who make it their business to listen, look out for and encourage people, pointing them on the perceived path of success, following them up empathetically and mentoring them actively, devoid of any bias are the Counsellors. Some call them Guidance Counselors. Currently, the Counseling Association of Nigeria (CASSON) has come of age and must now take its proper place and have a voice in the country.We must all recognise that Counselling is multidisciplinary, multi-sectorial and that inter-sectorial involvement is required to tackle the Counselling challenges of any country. Team LR understands this, hence, our interest in CASSON.
Elizabeth Omotunde Egbochuku, by virtue of birth and marriage, is a detribalized Nigerian, who has over the years become a motivational emblem of hard work and tenacious dedication to duty in her endless pursuit of excellence. She had her early college education in St. Louis College in Kano State, Nigeria. Following this, she went on to acquire a National Certificate of Education (N.C.E.) in English/Physical & Health Education from Adeyemi College of Education, University of Ife. Not one to be content with half measures, this wife and mother of four toiled assiduously while she worked as a teacher in secondary schools across the country to obtain a Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.) in Physical and Health Education from the University of Benin in 1982 as well as Master’s degree (M.Ed.) in Guidance and Counselling from the University of Benin 1991.
Over these years, she helped to shape the future of many a Nigerian child and has continued in that quest till date. This amazing woman of our time decided she had to get to the pinnacle of academia to enhance her life long passion of growing a motivated next generation. So what did she do next? She went ahead to complete a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Guidance and Counselling from the University of Benin in 1997. Further more, in 2002/2003 she won and completed a Commonwealth Postdoctoral fellowship in Counseling & Psychotherapy at the School of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London.
My dear readers, Professor Elizabeth Egbochuku has always engaged in extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research and community service. Her area of specialisation is Guidance and Counselling with emphasis in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Gender issues, Behaviour Modification, Drug abuse Counselling, Developmental Psychology, and Educational Psychology.
She is the Founding Co-ordinator Guidance and Counselling Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Benin. She is the first and only Counsellor to have presented her inaugural lecture in the University of Benin on March 15th 2012. It may interest you to know that this lady who started out as an NCE holder, became a Professor of Guidance and Counseling since 2009 and has now published over a hundred and fifty journal articles, conference papers and text books both in National and International journals. Professor Egbochuku was a visiting Professor to the University of Swaziland until recently and is also an external examiner to many International and National Universities.
When Team LR asked her what the recipe is to create many more versions of her self or even new improved copies as the case may be, her response was “ identify your goals in life and believe in yourself that you will achieve them. Then, re-evaluate them and prioritize them at regular intervals or when you fall along the way and seek out the information and mentors that inspire and motivate you to navigate the sometimes very windy and rocky path to success while all the while reaffirming to your self that giving up is not an option”. Professor Egbochuku further explains that there is no harm especially if one is a student within an institution to utilize the counseling services because, according to her, Counselling is a science of personal effectiveness. An understanding of counselling principles provides you with a clear understanding of yourself, as well as those around you.
It is little wonder then that this reservoir of knowledge and dedicated community service worker is currently doing her Sabbatical in Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City where one of her core engagements is the rehabilitation of drug addicts.
Interestingly, Professor Egbochuku is the current Vice President of the Counselling Association of Nigeria (CASSON). Prior to this, she was one time President of CASSON, Edo State. It was during her tenure as Edo State President that the publication of a Counselling Journal of international repute started. She was also the first to organise a CASSON State Conference as well as successfully host the 2014 CASSON National Conference. So, as CASSON prepares to elect a new national president this month, it is no rocket science that this lady who has over time built her capacity to function and deliver in the role of national president, is supported. She has humbly presented herself to be elected, as National President of CASSON with a vision that includes collaborating with relevant agencies of government to ensure curriculum reform for the education and training of counsellors that would also strengthen their capacity to function effectively in the emerging cognate occupational opportunities of the Nigerian society.
The president however, cannot do anything except with the co-operation and commitment of the members. Hence every CASSON member’s support is needed as together with Prof Egbochuku, you all can make CASSON better.
Even if those of us reading this feature article are far away from her, our prayers will make the difference. It is high time the right persons for the job get them; especially in sub-Saharan Africa to enable proper development and implementation of projects that will move the populace in a positive direction. It is the very least we can do for this woman who has over time, moved from her very humble beginnings and surmounted a lot of life’s obstacles, giving all to a career of service to humanity and mentoring as well as motivating many along the way.Well-done Professor (Mrs) Egbochuku!
Now we all know what CASSON is and who Professor Egbochuku is, lets not forget to share your thoughts on this article – comments section, here we come.