Dean’s List: Pius Ughakpoteni

Pius Ughakpoteni is both an RKC graduate and a student. He was so happy with his studies in the MALIC programme that he enrolled in the Leadership and Sustainability MBA where he is now. Looking forward, he has been accepted to Middlesex University in London where he will obtain his doctorate. All of his studies come together in his work for the Niger Delta Development Commission where he has worked for several years.

Pius 2Kelly Boler: Tell us about yourself. Background: work, life, family.

Pius Ughakpoteni: I obtained a B.Sc. (Management) from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, in 1991. Thereafter, I went into journalism and had an extremely satisfying career. A providential detour took me to the public service and culminated in a blossoming public relations career.

In 2011 I took a momentous decision to go back to school for a Master’s degree in Leading Innovation and Change, MALIC, without leaving work. I started the MALIC studies at Robert Kennedy College on September 1, 2011.

It was a highly challenging adventure, as I studied alongside carrying out my duties as a member of the management cadre in the Niger Delta Development Commission and running a nuclear family of almost 10, but coming to RKC ignited my longstanding desire to reach the pinnacle of education. Hence, since October 2012, I have been doing an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability, also at RKC, which coursework I should complete by the end of 2013. Moreover, with the MALIC, I have been admitted for a Doctorate degree at Middlesex University, London.

KB: You are an Assistant Director in the Niger Delta Development Commission. What do you do there?
PU: The Niger Delta Development Commission is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria created to bring about change in the well-endowed but highly beleaguered Niger Delta region, and facilitate its speedy, even and sustainable development. As Assistant Director in the Corporate Affairs Department, I work with the Head, Corporate Affairs, and other colleagues to position NDDC in the minds of its different publics as an organisation that delivers projects and programmes which meet their needs in a cost-effective, timely and transparent manner.

KB: Has your study at RKC helped in your work?
PU: Absolutely! My study at RKC has deepened my insight into the different antecedents of innovation and successful change that need to be strengthened in my work and working environment. It has boosted my concern for people. It has enabled me to respect others’ perspectives, even seek contrary or novel views and value the contributions people can make no matter what their status in the organisation.

KB: What was the best part of your experience doing the online degree?
PU: Beyond the extremely fruitful online and extra-curricular discussions with fellow students, I cherished the very helpful feedback I received from RKC faculty on my various mid-term and final assignments. In addition, memories of the face-to-face meetings with some fellow students as well as RKC and York St John University faculty at the Residency will linger for long.Pius and his family

KB: Describe your favorite local food.
PU: It is starch and banga soup. Starch is a solid, favorite food of mine that is prepared by mixing a solution of cassava starch with a little palm oil and stirring it while over heat until it changes from fluid to solid state. Thereafter it is eaten by skillfully cutting it in lumps which are dipped, one after another, into banga soup. For me, the soup has to be densely populated with pieces of dry fish and cow head.

KB: Are you reading anything right now?
PU: O yes, of course. For a few weeks now I have been reading Dr. David Costa’s The Portable Banker. Today, I also started re-reading Research Methods for Business Students by Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill.

KB: Do have any favorite books about innovation that have influenced you?
PU: Well, I have found Managing Innovation and Change: A critical Guide for Organizations by King and Anderson very useful. It is succinct but deep and loaded.

KB: Who are your heroes in the working world?
PU: I admire people who, by sheer determination, dint of hard work, and faith in God, surmount obstacles without being discouraged and work their ways to the top.

KB: What is your motto?
PU: With God in you and you in Him all things are possible, provided you work hard and smart.Pius and wife

Kelly Boler


  1. Bernie

    Congratulations on making the Dean’s list. Looks like we will soon be calling you Dr. Pius. Wish you success with this doctorate studies as well as your MBA-LS. You have a lot of things going on together, including your work. But as you say, with God on your side and a lovely family to support you, I think you will succeed in all things.
    Take care

  2. Admire Nyamayaro


    Congratulations Pius soon Dr. P.

    Glad to be in the same class with you (MBA-LS), have enjoyed your wisdom and appreciation of others view (great leader).
    Enjoy the journey and we are inspired indeed.


  3. Chinomso Nwamadu

    Congratulations Pius and thank you for making all of us proud. You have shown that with dedication and clear commitment to duty and learning, coupled with your desire to reach the top…everything is possible. I wish you luck in all your future endeavors.

  4. Elmuez Marhoum

    Congrats. Doctor to be.

    As you enter the Dean’s list, we wish you all the best and hope your doctorate will be an added value to your academic endeavors. Ride that high and be a true positive changer, your country, family, and we are all foreseeing your changeability.

  5. ep

    Dear Pius

    The man with the unequivocal,sophisticated,cool and cultivated english. Whose thoughts transcend continents and time-lines. Your ideas combined with support managment have made the MALIC journey ever so precious.I raise a glass of banga soup (although I preffer beer) in your honour. See you in York…


  6. Miguel Camalando

    Dear Pius,
    All the best with your doctorate, God will abundantly support your ideas alongside your family’s.
    Highly congratulate you for your success and determination.

    Miguel C

  7. ashok sarin

    Dear Pius,

    Good morning!

    Hope with family at home, you are doing well.
    “Hearty Congratulations” for being nominated to the coveted “Dean’s List” of RKC and secondly doing your second Master’s Degree (MBA) at RKC. Thirdly and still better, Congratulations for being accepted to the Doctorate program as well. Your interview is enlightening, motivating and simply from your heart. What comes from the heart is the clear parth and roadway to success and you are doing that time and again.

    I can single you out as being the most driven and highly successful RKC student.

    Very best wishes for your current and future academic endeavors.

    Kind regards

    Ashok Sarin
    MBA, RKC

  8. Michaela Koch

    Congratulations Pius!!!

    I was so hoping to meet you during MBALS Residency. (sadly it was not in the cards)

    So wonderful that you are being recognized for your contribution and success. It has been my privilege to learn alongside you.,.a great privilege indeed.


  9. Leonard

    Hey Pius,

    Congratulations. I knew you’re going very far and this is just the beginning of the great and mighty journey divinely orchestrated. It’s good to see hard work paying off.
    I would employ you to keep keeping on.


  10. Djamil Remodkhan

    Dear Pius,
    Congratulations my friend.
    I’m very happy to have known you and working together in the MBA LS class.
    I guess you are inspiring a lot of people on the program.
    I hope other people in your country and other parts of the world follows your step.
    I wish you best of luck in everything you do.
    All the best
    from Mauritius

  11. Samuel Hanson Hagan

    Hello my dear friend Pius,
    I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on this feat. You have motivated me in the past and continue to motivate me..Going forward,,,,i hope to follow your foot steps in achieving greater heights in my educational career. Congrats bro.

  12. Folarin Olusegun

    Dear Pius,

    I want to say a big congratulations to you on your achievement so far including your acceptance into Middlesex University for the Doctorate Program and to wish you well as you progress in your quest for a greater and better achievements.

    Also congratulations on your admittance into the prestigious RKC Dean’s List. You are a great ambassador of our great nation – Nigeria, keep the flag flying….

  13. Congratulations Pius, and I wish you success in your future endeavours.
    I worked and retired as an Engineer in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, and I have similar passion for development in the area, hence I registered for the MBA in Leadership and Sustainability online programme.

  14. Rosemary Abara

    Dear Pius,
    Congratulations! I am so pleased to read about your outstanding progress with the MALIC programme; your quest for knowledge and your plans for the future. May the good Lord Almighty continue to bless you and guide your steps and path. Amen.

    My greetings to your family.

  15. Kebin Daniel

    Dear Pius,

    I join the entire RKC family and your immediate family to celebrate and congratulate you for this honour . May God continually help you and lift you higher and higher.



  16. Rathna Subramanian

    Hi Pius,

    Congratulations. As an alumni of RKC and Dean’s list, I can understand how excited you are to make into the list.

    Good luck with your doctorate programme.


  17. Joachim Okudo

    Dear Pius,
    Congratulations on your well deserved achievement. Wishing you many more!


    Joachim Okudo

  18. Mercy Achola

    Dear Pius,

    Congratulations for this mean fete and I wish you God’s blessings in your next endeavours at York.

  19. Fulgence Deguenonvo

    Dear Pius,

    Congrats on your impressive endeavors! It is not obvious for someone working for public administration for quite long to get back to studies and cherish it the way you are doing. Trust you will also be sharing these extremely strong values with all your family, friends and junior fellows like us.

    God bless you!


  20. Annette van Zeist

    Dear Pius,

    Congratulations with all your great achievements! I hope you and your whole family will enjoy the fruits of all your hard work!

    Kind regards,

    Annette van Zeist

  21. Anthony Danso-Appiah

    Dear Pius

    It is with much pleasure that I write to congratulate you on your splendid achievement for making the Dean’s List. I’m also happy to learn you have been accepted to do your doctorate at Middlesex University, congrats!

    I’m making plans to relocate to Africa and hope to enjoy the starch and banga soup one day when I visit Nigeria.

    I’m happy for you and your family wishing you a very happy weekend.


  22. opeyemi owolabi

    Dear Pius,


    You are a source of inspiration and challenge to many of us now.


  23. Michael Ogunfowora

    Hi Pius,
    Good to read about a fellow country man being recognized for making the Dean’s List.

    It gives me great joy that leaders required to take Nigeria to greater heights are gathering at Robert Kennedy College.
    Education of the minds bring transformation to a nation


    Best Regards

  24. Karin Doguet

    Congratulations for your model work and career.
    May your efforts assist your country in her goals and dreams;
    Best regards

  25. Lucky Aigbokhaebho

    Hello Pius,

    Congratulations on this well deserved Dean’s List award, and also wishing you the very best in your Doctorate program.

    You have made us proud.



  26. Nashwa Mehanna

    Dear Pius,

    You have outstanding capabilities and tenacity. Carry on my friend. You are a big inspiration for your fellows.

    All the best with your upcoming studies.


  27. Minna Breider

    Dear Pius,

    Congratulations! I would like to wish you and your family all the best in the future with some words from Dag Hammarskjöld: “Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road”

    Your classmate,Minna

  28. Minna Breider

    Dear Pius,

    Congratulations! I would like to wish all the best for the future to you and your family with some words from Dag Hammarskjöld: “Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road”. Go for it!

    Your classmate, Minna

  29. Pius Ughakpoteni

    Dear Friend and Colleagues,

    I appreciate your kind words, commendations and prayers. Thanks, thanks and thanks.

  30. Pius Ughakpoteni

    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    I appreciate your kind words, commendations and prayers. Thanks, thanks and thanks.

  31. Annette Levy

    Congratulations Pius. You are an amazing role model for us. So glad to hear that you have done so well. We knew you were a ‘star’ in our class!
    ~ Annette

  32. Tunde Alabi

    Pius my brother,

    Firstly, I will like to congratulate you for your achievements both in public service and academics here at RKC. You are a star already. Continue to make us proud.

    Secondly, I will like to draw your attention to the critical requirement for great, selfless, charismatic and visionary leadership in our great country. It is high time people like you bring your skills, education, exposures and experience to bear by taking up political leadership.

    God bless you as you consider this passionate request.


  33. Abraham

    Hi Pius,
    We are very proud of you. Congrats and more grease to your elbows as you take your new and higher challenge in towards PHD. Good luck. Abraham

  34. Abraham

    Hi Pius,
    We are very proud of you. Congrats and more grease to your elbows as you take your new and higher challenge towards PHD degree. Good luck. Abraham

  35. Mutotwe Kafwaya

    Congrats Pius,

    There is no question God honors the efforts and labour of your hands. It’s gratifying to observe that you give him glory because obviously he is the one who gives you the power to make things happen.

    Best wishes

  36. Oluwaseun Ogunpolu

    Dear Pius,

    Congratulations as well from me for making the Dean’s list. We are so proud of you.

    I thought my plate was too full until you let me into your world briefly through this interview. You have inspired me to fire on in all cylinders as well and finish my program in record time with flying colours.

    Congrats bros and all the best 🙂

  37. Hello Pius,

    Celebrate your success at RKC. I know how tough it is to combine family, work and studies. You have done so well. May you be truly celebrated in Jesus name.


  38. Lucky Edjenekpo


    Congratulations on your achievements. It is inspiring indeed.
    Wishing you the best in your current MBLS program and your PHD program as well.


  39. Helen Egbe

    Congratulations Pius!

    You are definitely an inspiration to me! Wishing you all the best in your PHD studies!



    Pius, I’m joining others to say congratulations for making the Dean’s list. Also wishing you success in your P.H.D. program and continued joy in your family.
    Keep the flag flying as you give Jesus Christ the first place always.


  41. Dr P. (almost),

    Great result, and I’m pleased to be one of your classmates. All the best and let see that we one day meet.

    Yours, and good luck,


  42. ijeoma

    reading your story has really spurred me on to start and I must. no time to delay.
    all the best all times.

  43. Dr Sanjiv Kumar

    Dear Pius,

    Congratulations and welcome to the club of the students on the “Dean’s List”. I draw inspiration from you for handling so many things and so well at the same time. Best wishes Sanjiv


  44. Lizette Hollander

    Dear Pius

    Congratulation on your exceptional achievements. Thank you for enriching my learning experience at the Residency and in the module forums.

    I wish you all the best with your Doctorate and raising your beautiful family.

    Kind regards


  45. Syed M. Tauqeer

    Dear Pius,

    First all accept my heartiest congratulations for being in Dean’s List. After reading your story, I strongly agree that you indeed deserve to be in this list. Your story is source of inspiration for many including myself. Especially you are managing family, work and doing Ph.D. /MBA all together simultaneously.

    Looking forward to see you in residency of Sep 2013.
    Best Regards,
    Syed Tauqeer

  46. Vincent Dumnoi

    My Brother Pius,
    I was really impressed after reading your story.
    You have really motivated me this morning.i am a new kid in the block and just going through my personal induction.With the kind of stuff i read through about you,it shows that my taking this great school was not a mistake.It was God’s design.
    Do have a great fulfillment and very soon we start calling you Dr Pius.
    have a wonderful time and looking forward to meeting you in person.
    great time bro


  47. Juliet Jockey

    Congratulations Pius on all your endeavours, I am really proud of you my brother. May God almighty continue to give you the zeal and will to contnue in your self development to further impact positively in your community through works of service, amen.

  48. Olabisi Margaret Boboye

    Congratulation Pius, I celebrate with you and the interview is very impressive one. Happy for you, soon to be Dr Pius

  49. Funmi Awotunde

    Congratulations Pius and best of luck in your future endeavours. Regards to your family. Like the popular saying goes “Behind every successful man, is a woman!

    Funmi Awotunde

  50. What else can I say that has not been said. I never expected anything less. A major attribute of a great mind is you ability to rather the storm no matter how rough and tough, seek knowledge like the Qur’an tells us from cradle to grave and most importantly exhibit humility irrespective of your achievement. all these embodies and personifies you person. My bro, there is no better way to appreciate you than to say thank you for making us proud which is essence of our relations. You have shown character, scholarship and inspiration for the young ones. Stay blessed bro and keep the sail on

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