Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2015 Contents 4 UWI TODAY – SUNDAY 1st NOVEMBER, 2015
Professor of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine,
Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences,
St. Augustine Campus
Outstanding Research Accomplishments
In addition to clinical and teaching commitments,
Professor Hariharan Seetharaman has been published in
numerous peer-reviewed journals. His interest in developing
innovative models for performance measurement of
healthcare units, including ICUs, has led him to pioneer
work in the area of healthcare management. He has
conducted expansive research in other areas including
critical care, medical ethics, general surgery and health
economics. Outside of his medical qualifications, Professor
Seetharaman has successfully defended and completed his
PhD research thesis in economics and is awaiting the award
of the degree.
PROFESSOR MICHAEL TAYLOR
Head, Department of Physics, Mona Campus
Outstanding Research Accomplishments
Professor Michael Taylor’s general areas of academic
specialisation are environmental physics, climate variability,
climatology and climate change. He is well known for
undertaking the study of Caribbean climate variability and
climate change at a time when studies devoted to the region
were largely led by persons outside the region. Among his
publishing accomplishments is a book authored earlier
this year, “Why Climate Demands Change.” In May 2015,
he played the lead role in securing a US$10.4 million grant
for the Mona Campus.
PROFESSOR BYRON WILSON
Professor, Herpetology & Conservation Ecology,
Department of Life Sciences, Mona Campus
All-round Excellence in two or more core areas
(Research Accomplishments and Public Service)
While Professor Byron Wilson has a proven record of
leadership in research, his efforts to document and conserve
Jamaica’s biodiversity also contribute to public service.
Over the last five years, Professor Wilson has displayed
outstanding productivity in all categories of research output:
authorship of books and journals, special issues, editor/
series editor and conference presentations. His research
and service activities positively impact the island’s unique
biodiversity. Since 2009, he has earned over US$900,000 in
local and international research funding; a total of about
US$1.5 million since joining the Department in 2001.
DR. SANDRA GIFT
Senior Programme Officer,
Quality Assurance Unit, St. Augustine Campus
Outstanding Service to the University Community
Within the regional Quality Assurance Unit, Dr. Sandra
Gift has long played a lead role in building awareness among
The UWI community and external stakeholders on quality
in higher education issues. Dr. Gift successfully led the St.
Augustine Campus’ inaugural institutional accreditation
exercise involving six self-study working groups and internal
and external stakeholder consultations. She cultivated
general awareness of the importance of institutional
accreditation while securing the Campus’ accreditation for
the maximum time possible.
PROFESSOR PATRICIA MOHAMMED
Head and Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies,
St. Augustine Campus
All-round Excellence in two or more core areas
(Research Accomplishments and Service to the University Community)
Professor Patricia Mohammed leads two
interdisciplinary academic fields and has successfully
introduced a gender perspective into Caribbean Cultural
Studies, generating an original body of work in visual
studies and visual intelligence in and of the region. She
has consistently advanced knowledge in these fields,
shaped research agendas, influenced curriculum offerings,
supported graduate students and influenced policy locally,
regionally and internationally.
Seven Awards for Excellence
Seven members of The UWI community were presented
with the 2015 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence at a
ceremony at the Cave Hill Campus in October.
From the St. Augustine Campus were Professor
Hariharan Seetharaman of the Department of Clinical
Surgical Sciences; Professor Surendra Arjoon of the Faculty
of Social Sciences; Dr. Sandra Gift, Head of the Quality
Assurance Unit, and Professor Patricia Mohammed, Campus
Coordinator, School for Graduate Studies and Research and
Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies.
A University tradition for more than 20 years, the
awards recognise and reward outstanding performance in
Teaching, Research Accomplishments, Service to University
Community, Contributions to Public Service, and All-round
Excellence in a combination of two or more of the four core
areas. In the 2012-2013 academic year, a departmental award
was added to recognise quality, service and operational
The 2015 honorees included: Professor Michael Taylor
of the Department of Physics at the Mona Campus; Professor
Byron Wilson, of the Department of Life Sciences at the
Mona Campus; and the Centre for Resource Management
and Environmental Studies (CERMES), Faculty of Science
and Technology at the Cave Hill Campus.
PROFESSOR SURENDRA ARJOON
Professor of Business and Professional Ethics. Head,
Department of Management Studies, St. Augustine Campus
All-round Excellence Award in the combined
areas of Teaching and Research Accomplishments
Professor Surendra Arjoon’s research, teaching and
practice in ethics are all integrated. He has pioneered
both research and teaching in the areas of business and
professional ethics at The UWI and is internationally
recognised for his work. In 2012, Professor Arjoon was the
winner of a UWI/Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award.
THE CENTRE FOR
AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Faculty of Science and Technology, Cave Hill Campus
The VC’s Departmental Award for Excellence
The Centre for Resource Management and
Environmental Studies (CERMES) promotes and facilitates
sustainable development in the Caribbean and beyond
through graduate education; applied research in natural
resource and environmental management; innovative
and collaborative projects; professional training and
building capacity of decision-makers; and involvement
in the national, regional and global initiatives that shape
the Caribbean’s future. It also provides advisory services
to governments, non-governmental organisations and the
The UWI St. Augustine awardees with Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat (from left) Professor Surendra
Arjoon, Professor Patricia Mohammed, Campus Principal, Professor Sankat, Dr. Sandra Gift and Professor Hariharan Seetharaman.
For more about the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, visit: www.uwi.edu/vcaward/vcawardforexcellence.aspx
SUNDAY 1ST NOVEMBER, 2015 – UWI TODAY 21
From its inception in 2005, The UWI St. Augustine Film
Programme has contributed to the evolving film industry
of the Caribbean. Many of the Programme’s students and
lecturers have written, produced, directed, edited and
appeared in a number of documentaries (“Caribbean Skin,
African Identity” directed by Mandisa Pantin, 2010), short
films (“Buck, the Man Spirit” by Steven Taylor, 2010) and
feature films (“Haiti Bride” from Yao Ramesar, 2014).
This year, a new film from the Film Programme made
its way to the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (also
celebrating 10 years). What started off as a 50-minute film
made during the Programme’s third-year Capstone thesis
course evolved into a 72-minute feature in competition for
Best Trinidad and Tobago Feature at the Festival.
“Pendulum”, the debut feature from 23-year-old
Michael Rochford, won him the bpTT sponsored prize for
the Best Emerging Trinidad and Tobago Filmmaker.
Written by Rochford, Anastasia Alexis and Joshua Paul,
the movie revolves around the character of Ryan Williams
(played by Jovon Browne), a former soldier turned journalist
who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a
traumatic wartime incident left him mentally scarred.
Perception of reality or the “reality” presented to the
audience permeates “Pendulum.” Shot in Port of Spain,
Tunapuna, Arima and The UWI St. Augustine Campus, the
film was designed in such a way that it all feels part of the
same place – this place being the fictional Urio City.
There’s also the film’s comic relief, a former soldier
turned Ryan’s unofficial accomplice, Harold (Scott
Evans), who subtly represents the perception of reality in
“Pendulum.” Established in his introductory scene (filmed in
Trevor’s Edge – a popular pub/restaurant in St. Augustine) as
a man who chose alcohol as a means of moving on from his
wartime past, Harold regularly uses colloquial slang in his
dialogue despite his blatantly foreign accent. Oddly enough,
he uses more colloquial slang than anyone else in the movie.
Perhaps I’m reading into this character too much, but to me,
Harold represented a level of self-awareness in “Pendulum”
where the use of colloquial slang to help authenticate the
nationality of Trinbagonian film characters (not actors) is
Potential and Possibility
BY MATTHEW BAILEY
Matthew Bailey is also a product of The UWI St. Augustine’s Film Programme
AT THE MOVIES
challenged – or should I say, poked fun – at by having a
“foreign” character say them.
But it’s the character of Ryan Williams that truly
embodies the film’s theme. Ryan questions, and is questioned
about, his own sanity as he is regularly bombarded by brief,
intense panic attacks and flashes of broken memories.
There’s a memorable scene where we see the first of Ryan’s
panic attacks, which begins with him staggering through
a street and ends with him on the muddy ground of a
playground – heart racing, losing his breath. I wish the film
took some more time to delve into the fractured mindset of
Browne’s character, to really make the audience understand
how powerful a grip his PTSD has onto his psyche, and make
us question his sanity even more.
Fortunately, the narrative and technical missteps
(sound design, for example, for the version that I saw needed
some polishing) are few and far between, as “Pendulum” is
still an amazingly entertaining movie from start to finish.
Michael Rochford’s direction is focused, economical
and assured. The cinematography, with its cool colour
palette of greys, browns, blues and greens, helps in creating
a contemporary yet neo-noirish version of Trinidad for the
film’s characters to inhabit. Speaking of characters, the cast of
“Pendulum” turned in impressive performances, especially
from Jovon Browne, Stephen Hadeed Jr. and Scott Evans.
There’s also the talented Anokha Baptiste, who plays Luther’s
receptionist Sarah Darding, who easily rivals Browne, Evans
and Hadeed Jr. in terms of standout performance.
Michael Rochford started off his film career with a
2012 short film (which he made before entering the UWI
Film Programme) “The Man in the Woods” (you can find
it on YouTube), which starred himself and Jovon Browne
as the two lead characters. Three years later, they’ve worked
together on their own feature film. Having known Michael
since the challenging production of “The Man in the
Woods,” and having heard from Michael himself of the trials
and tribulations that went into making “Pendulum,” I am
truly amazed at the success his debut feature turned out to
be. For what it’s worth, this movie represents the potential
and possibilities of Trinbagonian cinema.
Michael Rochford’s first feature film, “Pendulum” saw
him being named as Best Emerging Trinidad and Tobago
Filmmaker at ttff 2015.
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