Professor Sir Hilary Beckles says: “No retreat at UWI”

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has continued to thrive and advance new strategies for its future. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the regional university, credits this success to its staff who are not just “fine and bright, but caring, committed and courageous.”

On November 19, The UWI honoured twelve outstanding academics, senior administrative staff and units at its annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The prestigious awards ceremony pivoted to a completely virtual event this year, leveraging the technology of UWItv to deliver an interactive ceremony that streamed celebrations from the awardees’ homes, and was hosted by Dr. Maurice D. Smith, University Registrar.

Addressing the award recipients and virtual audience, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted, “This year we have been tested by COVID-19. We have experienced death, destruction, pain and suffering. But at The UWI there has been no retreat or lack of confidence. It is because we care, because we are committed and we are courageous. And we are not looking back. We have seen in all of the COVID darkness, the light to the future. Each honouree is a torch bearer, a keeper of the light, a beacon to our better future.”

This year’s ceremony featured the largest number of recipients in the Awards’ history. Professor Stephan Gift, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research, who serves as Chair of the Selection Committee for the Awards said, “This year, as occurs in almost every year, we had many outstanding nominees. It is a testament to the excellence of our University that the selection committee had tremendous difficulty in selecting from among those worthy candidates.”

Dr Kimberly Robinson-Walcott who received the Excellence Award for Service to the University Community responded on behalf of the 2019/2020 awardees thanking the University “…for giving us the space and the support to pursue our endeavours and for respecting and honouring our efforts.” She added, “Our vision is for The UWI to be showcased globally as an institution that unwaveringly and unequivocally promotes and produces excellence. If we have been able to play a small role in this process, we are grateful.”

The complete list of Vice-Chancellor’s Awardees for Excellence 2019/2020 celebrated included:

Dr Delroy Chevers, Mona School of Business and Management, Mona Campus
Dr Chris Maharaj, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, St. Augustine Campus

Research Accomplishments
Professor Paulette Ramsay, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Mona Campus
Professor Alina Kaczorowska-Ireland, Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus

Service to the University Community
Dr Kimberly Robinson-Walcott, Caribbean Quarterly, Vice-Chancellery

Contribution to Public Service
Dr Olivene Burke, Mona Social Services, Mona Campus
Professor Charles Grant, International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences, Mona Campus
Dr Floyd Morris, Centre for Disability Studies, Mona Campus

All-round Excellence Award in two or more areas
Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies, Mona Campus
Professor Michelle Mycoo, Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management, St. Augustine Campus

International Collaboration (Globalisation Award)

Multi Campus Research Collaboration (One UWI Award)
The Early Childhood Quality Initiative Project