Young Alumni Advocates (YAA) launched!
The YAA, a group “powered by the Alumni Ambassadors of the Vice Chancellor’s UWI STAT Ambassadorial Corps will operate regionally and internationally as an active resource network for each other as well as young graduates and will visibly promote alumni engagement and interact with their respective campuses.
Under the Director of Alumni Relations, IAD, Vice Chancellery, The UWI Regional Headquarters, (Celia Davidson Francis) – the Alumni Ambassadors will organize and lead the YAA and will work with and through the Director’s office to interface with the Centre, campuses and the UWIAA. They will operate autonomously, but in a complimentary and supportive way. There will be an Advisory Board made up of Alumni Ambassadors and the annual plans of the YAA will support campus priorities.
The YAA will operate mainly virtually as they are located regionally and internationally, however there will be face to face highly visible activities, to encourage continuous engagement with The UWI and Young Alumni in a structured way with the support of the Director and Campus Alumni Officers, including:
- Meet Ups with alumni abroad when travelling arranged by Alumni Relations – IAD for networking benefit of YAA Alum Ambassadors and to promote awareness of alumni engagement and The UWI abroad
- Participation in the Alumni Engagement Programme and the use and promotion of the Pelicans Engage App
- Sharing expertise, challenges, tips, articles with current students & being lead or additional participants in the Soft and Life Skills Series, as well as being or recommending alumni as speakers for Pelican Talks, UWItv and other media opportunities
- Participation and support of the UWI/YoPro Annual Networking Conference
- Virtual and on island/country support and Mentorship of current UWI STAT Regional Corps
In expressing his pride, the UWI Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted that “ UWI STAT is unique as it forms a permanent bridge between student life and alumni life. This group serves as a model, showing that there could and should be a lifelong relationship with one’s alma mater. STAT stands for Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow – so it is most apt that this Corps continues to evolve – and through this active resource network – will continue to connect our Alumni Ambassador graduates with their Alma Mater. The Alumni Ambassadors are role models for their fellow graduates as they continue to serve the University and the UWI campuses and show their peers that engagement and involvement as graduates assists the continued development of The UWI.
Mrs. Celia Davidson Francis, the Director of Alumni Relations for the UWI and the Director of the Regional UWI STAT Corps remarked that she continues to be very proud of the Corps which she founded in 2006 and remarked “ It is important that the Corps keeps evolving as the years pass to suit the needs of its Alumni Ambassadors and the University – and so, to further facilitate the lifelong engagement aspect of the pledge that all Ambassadors make at Induction – I am delighted that this evening will see the launch of the Young Alumni Advocates. I firmly believe in the power of networks and great relationships and this is why I created this unique regional group, the only one whose members pledge lifelong connectivity to The UWI.” She continued” The Alumni Ambassadors are an elite cadre of professionals and many have already seen amazing successes. In the 14 years of UWI STAT’s existence there have been:
- 10 Rhodes Scholars
- 5 Chevening Scholars – Jeffery Foreman Attorney
- Prime Minister’s Youth Awardees – Asha Gaye Cowell – Leadership
- Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors
- Queen’s Young Leaders
- Some serve as political representatives
And many have leadership positions in all disciplines and professions regionally and globally.
Charles Ball, an Alumni Ambassador continues to serve UWI as the UWIAA Contact in Australia where he is pursuing a PhD in Psychology at Western Sydney University through a Postgraduate Research Scholarship. He noted “Being an Alumni Ambassador gives me a sense of belonging to The UWI, even when I cannot be physically present. As far as I’m concerned, the UWI experience is one that just keeps on giving, especially my UWI STAT experience. I always remember the day I was inducted as a UWISTAT Ambassador, when it was stressed that we should each learn a foreign language to prepare us for the global environment. This dovetailed well with one of my major goals which is to make a contribution to the teaching and learning of foreign languages in the Jamaican/Caribbean context….Again – my UWI STAT experience and the work you do really does have a lasting impact on students. I am looking forward to being involved in the Young Alumni Advocates. I look forward to working with my fellow Alumni Ambassadors from all over the Caribbean and the world, as this programme will benefit us as we build our professional network and will also build our Alma Mater”.