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UWI Awardees Challenged to Sustain Caribbean Excellence

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles called for a concerted effort to sustain excellence in the Caribbean. He was delivering the address at the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence 2015/2016 on Thursday 19 October, 2016, when the regional University honoured six persons and one department for exemplary service. The seven recipients were:

  • Dr Farid Youssef, Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences, St Augustine Campus | Excellence Award for Teaching.
  • Professor Jayaraj Jayaraman, Department of Life Sciences, St Augustine Campus | Excellence Award for Research Accomplishments
  • Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden, Caribbean Institute for Health Research (formerly Tropical Medicine Research Institute), Regional Headquarters | Excellence Award for Research Accomplishments
  • Mr Floyd Reifer, The Academy of Sport, Cave Hill Campus | Excellence Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community
  • Professor Verene Shepherd, Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Regional Coordinating Unit | Excellence Award for Contribution to Public Service
  • Mr Jessel Murray, Department of Creative and Festival Arts, St Augustine Campus | All-round Excellence in University Service and Public Service
  • The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, St Augustine Campus | Departmental Award for Excellence

During his remarks, Vice-Chancellor Beckles stated, “Excellence is that space beyond the norm. It is where effort engages the creative imagination and where intellectual focus forges commitment and passion”. He noted that although the University is short of cash, it is rich in intellect and it has a responsibility to sustain that excellence. He added, “Our university has a role to play in ensuring the excellence of our people is sustained…these awardees will be the carriers and the sustainers of excellence in our University and our region. As we celebrate them, we will also give them a mandate to ensure that the excellence which is celebrated here this evening is sustained far beyond your time”.

A University tradition for more than 20 years, the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence specifically celebrates service in the areas of teaching, administration and research accomplishments, service to the university community, contributions to public service, all-round excellence in a combination of two or more of these core areas as well as departmental operational excellence. Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research Professor Dale Webber who chaired the University Selection Committee explained the process. He noted that for the 2015/2016 Awards, 26 applications were screened from which 14 were presented to the University selection committee for further review that led to the seven awardees recognised on the evening. He acknowledged, “There is much excellence within The UWI that we must celebrate and communicate” and also revealed that two new awards would soon be added. According to Professor Webber, these are the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for ‘Excellence Globalisation, Internationalisation in Research’ and the ‘Multi-Campus One UWI Research Award’. The criteria for these are being finalised and will be included with the invitation for applications for the 2016/2017 Awards.

Since its inception, 120 Awards for Excellence have been presented at ceremonies rotated among The UWI campuses. In addition to this year’s ceremony, St. Augustine Campus has been host of this special event in 1997, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016. Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland who had his first duty as host of the Awards’ ceremony, congratulated the seven recipients stating, “They all stand out as exemplars in their respective fields”. He mentioned that he was extremely proud of the four awardees from The St Augustine Campus and dubbed them the “fantastic four”.

Photo caption:

Back row: L-R - Mr Floyd Reifer, Professor Jayaraj Jayaraman, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Professor Verene Shepherd, Mr Jessel Murray

Front row: L-R - Dr Farid Youssef, The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (represented by Ms Camille Renaud and Dr Fasil Muddeen), Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden

VC and awardees-10-25-2016.jpg

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