Ngondo bids fond farewell to Chico State

Prisca Ngondo, a journalism and public relations professor, is leaving Chico State after three years on the faculty to be closer to family in Houston. Photo credit: George Johnston

Next fall, the journalism and public relations department will be losing faculty member Prisca Ngondo.

Ngondo will be teaching at Texas State University as an assistant professor of strategic communication.

“I believe March is when I found out I was leaving,” Ngondo said. “It was something I obviously actively looked for because I need to be closer to my family.”

Ngondo joined the department in 2012, the year she gave birth to her first child, Yananiso. Her daughter is one of the reasons why she made the decision to move back to her home state of Texas, she said.

“I have a 2-year-old daughter, and it is just us,” Ngondo said. “She needs to grow up around her family and have them close by to help me when I am trying to get work done.”

During her time in Chico, Ngondo balanced raising her daughter and working with help from former journalism professor Katherine Milo. However there was always that need for family, she said.

Ngondo made her mark on campus by being a part of the Diversity Certificate Program, run by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and teaching journalism classes about diversity and how to be tolerant of others’ differences.

“She was one of the first teachers I actually connected with,” said Alisa Butler, a senior public relations major. “Through her diversity class, she inspired me to talk about my own experiences in an article that actually got published in the Synthesis.”

Elizabeth Dutt, a senior public relations major, had Ngondo as a professor for two years and was upset by the news of her departure.

“It makes me sad that other students at Chico State will miss her smile that she brings to students,” Dutt said. “I wish Prisca the best in her future endeavors. She was my favorite teacher in the two years that I have been here.”

When Ngondo told her students the news, she was touched that they were upset about her leaving, she said. It made her feel like she was doing something right during her time at Chico State.

“I am definitely excited to be teaching there,” Ngondo said. “But what excites me the most is being close to my family. I am really getting the best of both worlds. Definitely not excited about the heat though.”

From the beginning, the journalism department has been supportive of her coming to Chico, Ngondo said, and even of her decision to move back to Texas.

She was pregnant when she first came to Chico State, and her child grew up around her colleagues.

“My daughter is a journalism and PR baby,” Ngondo said. “She was born here, which is why Chico will always hold a special place in my heart.”

As she prepares to move to Texas, she will finish up her last semester here at Chico State by helping her students strive to be mindful of how they treat others, she said.

“During weekly assembly in my high school, we used to sing a song by Petula Clark,” Ngondo said. “I’ve somewhat adopted the lyrics as my guiding principles. So I want to encourage my students that in whatever they do, they should strive to be brave, strong and true — and to fill the world with love.”

DJ Morris can be reached at [email protected] or @djthejournalist on Twitter.