HISTORIC! KNUST appoints Prof Rita Akosua Dickson as First Female Vice-Chancellor

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has appointed Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson as the first female vice-chancellor.

Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, Professor of Pharmacognosy, is an erudite scholar of international repute. Prior to her appointment as Vice-Chancellor, was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, KNUST making her the first accomplished female academician to be appointed to hold both positions in the history of the prestigious University.

A leading academic with considerable experience and her people-oriented approach to leadership is underpinned by her commitment to both staff and students in providing them with opportunities for their development.

Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson had her GCE Ordinary Level at St Monica’s Senior High School and Advanced Level at Wesley Girls’ High School. She is also an alumni of the University.

She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy in 1994 and continued with her graduate studies leading to the award of a degree in Master of Sciences of Pharmacy (MPharm) in Pharmacognosy in 1999.

Prof Mrs. Rita Aksosua Dickson was then appointed a lecturer the following year at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In 2003, she was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to pursue a doctorate programme at the King’s College London, University of London, UK. She seized the opportunity to successfully complete her programme and obtained a Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP) from the same university.

She returned to teaching at KNUST in 2007 and was promoted to a Senior Lecturer in 2009 and further to an Associate Professor in 2014.

Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson is a Phytochemist whose work spans the areas of bioactive natural products in the management of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

She has been devoting her time to natural products research with anti-infective, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and antidiabetic properties among others; based on their ethnopharmacological usage.

Her research works led to the isolation and structure elucidation of several bioactive natural products, including cassanefuranoditerpenoids, coumarins, alkaloids, glucosides, and flavonoids with potentials as leads in drug discovery.

Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson has successfully supervised a number of MPhil and PhD students and has published extensively in her research area.

She has attended and presented research papers at several local and international conferences and has over 50 publications in peer reviewed International Journals to her credit.

She serves as a reviewer for several journals in pharmacognosy, natural products and phytochemistry as well as a reviewer for South Africa’s National Research Foundation and the KNUST Research Fund (KReF).

Besides, Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson has been actively involved in the evaluation of papers of academic staff for promotion in both local and international universities and has been an assessor and external examiner for Ph.D. thesis locally and internationally.

She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Ethnomedicine, Pharmacognosy (IJEP), an editorial member of the International Journal of Science and Research Methodology.

Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson has been the Head of the Department of Pharmacognosy for three terms from 2009 to 2013. Before her appointment as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, she was the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and also acted as Provost of the College of Health Sciences in the absence of the Provost.

She is also a board member of the Ghana Pharmacy Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. Before her appointment, she was the Chairperson of the Education sub-committee of the Pharmacy Council and serves as an examiner in the Ghana Pharmacy Council Professional Qualifying Examination for pharmacy graduates.

She also served on the Continuous Professional Development Technical Committee of the Pharmacy Council.

Prof Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson belongs to several local and international organisations, including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA), Society of Medicinal Plant Research (GA), International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISEP), Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE) and American Society of Pharmacognosists.

Prof. Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson is married to a banker, Nana Dickson, with whom they are blessed with four girls.

Source: Phamousghana.com/Barima Kwabena Owusu

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