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25 May 2017 became a cause of great pride for the India-Nigeria-Britain-Ireland Province when Fr Plavendran masterfully defended his doctoral dissertation, titled, "Neil Postman’s Media Ecology" at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.

The research has been carried out under the guidance of Prof. Peter Gonsalves, dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences. The examining panel consisting of Prof. Mauro Mantovani, Rector of the University, Prof. Peter Lah and Prof. Tadeusz Lewicki, the first and second readers respectively, were unanimous in affirming the quality of the content and analytical precision. Fr Plavendran in his inimitably serene and composed manner responded to the clarifications sought by the panel of experts with great clarity.

Through his well-written work, consisting of three chapters, Fr Plavendran explores media ecology proposed by Neil Postman, an American media theorist and cultural critic. Media ecology is the study of media as environments; it looks into how the change takes place in a society with the introduction of new communication technology and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival.

A great number of members of the Pauline Family, including the General Counsellors, friends and well-wishers were present on the occasion. A moving thanksgiving speech by Fr Plavendran signalled the closure of the defense, followed by sumptuous refreshments for all.

“I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude, and I am thankful to God for my Pauline Vocation,” said the new PhD holder. We congratulate Fr Plavendran for this splendid achievement and wish him good luck and God’s blessings as he takes up his new responsibility as the Director of Media Education in his Province.

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