Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 6th 2017 Contents 4 UWI TODAY – SUNDAY 6 AUGUST, 2017
At the launch of their National Heroes Project, Invicta,
CEO of the National Gas Company (NGC), Mark Loquan,
said it was an opportunity to reflect on the contributions
our national heroes have made. Locating their personal
achievements on a broader landscape, he sought to show
the nexus between these exemplars and national spirit.
“ Trinidad and Tobago’s social fabric has been
influenced by exemplars in the field of sport; education;
arts and culture,” he said. “ These nationals, who have
increased the visibility and prestige of the country at
both the national and international levels, sometimes
remain largely unrecognised, and in other cases, where
their accomplishments are noted, the details of their
accomplishments and challenges remain relatively
As he lamented the lack of visibility of positive role
models to inspire the youth, Mr. Loquan said it was NGC’s
hope that in celebrating heroes and highlighting their
achievements, they would provide models for the youth
“ The project’s ultimate goal is to preserve and honour
our national legacy, disseminate positive attributes and
The University Council, at its annual business
session held at the Cave Hill Campus on April
27, 2017, approved the recommendations of the
Joint Committee of Council and Senate to award
honorary degrees at the upcoming Graduation
ceremonies as follows:
St. Augustine Campus
Mr. Winsford “Joker” Devine
Composer, Trinidad and Tobago
Mr. Andrew Marcano “Lord Superior,”
Calypsonian, Trinidad and Tobago
Ms. Hazel Brown
Social activist/founding member of NGO for
the Advancement of Women in Trinidad and
Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
Professor Emeritus Clem Seecharan
Mr. Luis Moreno
International leadership, USA
Ms. Edwidge Danticat
Cave Hill Campus
Hon. Justice Adrian D. Saunders
CCJ Judge, Law, St. Vincent
Professor Ihron Rensburg
Leadership, South Africa
Ms. Kaye Foster-Cheek
Ms. Olive Senior
Mr. Anthony Hart
Mr. Monty Alexander
Professor Emeritus J. Edward Greene
Regional Civil Service, Guyana
Mr. Wesley J. Hall
These excited campers were thrilled to meet Mr. Crawford at the exhibition at the Reading Room of the Alma Jordan Library.
PHOTO: SHEREEN ALI
We All Need a Hero
messages of our national heroes and thereby encourage
pride in our accomplishments, national unity and
cohesion,” he said.
The first subject of the Invicta series is Mr. Hasely
Crawford, TC, the Olympic Gold medallist of Montreal
1976, who won the 100m in a time of 10.06.
Mr. Crawford told guests at the launch that he
simply wanted to break free of poverty at first, but he
also discovered a very competitive spirit in his running
shoes. His personal economic circumstance of childhood
made him determine to do what he could to contribute to
developing young people. Through his relationship with
NGC, he has worked all around the country with the Right
on Track Programme, which has targeted both primary and
secondary school students for more than a decade.
The exhibition, called “The Crawford Legacy,” is
currently on at the Reading Room of the Alma Jordan
Library at the St. Augustine Campus. It is free and open to
the public on weekdays from 9am to 4pm, and on Saturdays
from 9am to noon. It will then make its way around the
country via the NGC caravan.
The exhibition continues until August 18, and Mr Crawford will be there again to sign autographs and to
show off his Gold Medal on August 16 and 18 from 10am to 12 noon.
Olympians Wendell Mottley and Hasely Crawford flank the Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland at the launch of the Exhibition.
PHOTO: KEYON JAMES
SUNDAY 6 AUGUST, 2017 – UWI TODAY 13
Jeanette G. Awai is a freelance writer and marketing and communications assistant at The UWI St. Augustine Marketing and Communications Office.
What does becoming Dean mean to you?
It means an opportunity to build on the work of the
previous FST Deans. It means I’ve been entrusted with
leading a powerful force for change. Personally, it means
considerable sacrifice and opportunity.
How do you define your role as a Dean and
how do you define your leadership style?
I see the Dean as a servant of the Principal and
broader university management (of which Deans form
a part) in that Deans are entrusted to lead academic
units, put university policy into action and run faculties
as productively as possible. Often that requires being
the keeper or interpreter of regulations and statutes.
Always, that means exercising oversight of all quality
assurance and quality control mechanisms in relation to
the business of the faculty and UWI and our interactions
with all stakeholders.
But Deans are also servants of all members of staff.
And that means finding ways to help them achieve their
goals – maybe by assisting with removing obstacles
to productivity where possible, or through finding
creative means of resolving conflicts, maybe in ways that
might not be immediately appreciated. So I reckon my
leadership style involves being a facilitator/coach for the
...You’re trying to help people achieve their goals
or helping people collaborate, helping people work out
conflicts – pretty much that’s it. I recognise subject matter
experts as being just that – experts in their field – and my
challenge is to attempt to get them to perform at their
best by removing obstacles.
Students have grade anxiety, problems
with lecturers, and other challenges.
As a facilitator, what is your method for
handling student-centered issues?
That is a tremendous challenge. Since access was
greatly increased and more young people are seizing
the opportunities to further their education, we moved
from traditionally solely focusing on A students, to
seeing B and C students as legitimate. Course delivery
and assessment needed to be modified to address these
students. FST has one of the most robust staff-student
liaison traditions. All courses have student liaisons, and
staff-student liaison meetings are held by all departments,
where students are encouraged to bring concerns. The
minutes of those meetings are tabled at the Faculty Board
and they are taken very seriously. Former FST Dean
[Dyer] Narinesingh (before Dean [Indar] Ramnarine),
tremendously influenced me in the way he would
scrutinise every item that came to the Faculty Board. He
showed that quality assurance is important and it’s the
Dean’s responsibility to ensure that everything we do
here, we do it to the best of our ability.
“In all classes, I aim to nurture independent
skeptics.” This is your teaching philosophy.
One of the criticisms of our current
education system is that this approach has
not been encouraged at all. What have been
the challenges for you?
There’s a preference for notes. The more ‘complete’
(as in what covers the examination paper ‘completely’)
the notes, the better. Our programmes are mainly face
to face but in some quarters this is seen as a weakness
because it’s ‘traditional.’ I think it’s actually a strength.
Students who show up to class and are ready to be
engaged, find themselves rewarded. Teaching through
encouraging a logical progression of thought and
enquiry asks much of the student body, but empowers
them to answer questions that haven’t been asked yet.
My major challenge has been in attempting to make this
How do you feel relinquishing your
Public Orator duties?
I enjoyed some of the aspects of being Public Orator.
It was quite a challenge, trying to craft a citation that
would do honour to the honorary graduand but also serve
as some form of inspiration to the graduates. Am I going
to miss it? The delivery, yes. Preparing the citations – not
Any advice for the next Public Orator?
Try to enjoy it, have fun and lighten up. I took the
role very seriously but as Professor Eudine Barriteau
demonstrated at Professor Brian Copeland’s Induction
– it’s possible to have your presentation bear the gravitas
that’s appropriate, but also make it quite entertaining.
What changes and challenges
does your field face now?
The challenges we face in my field are related to the
frenetic pace of discoveries and analytic tools available.
The number of publications now makes it difficult to stay
abreast of your field, even within your narrow specialty.
It’s one of the reasons people require more collaboration
within biology and sub-disciplines in biology and even
outside of biology. The challenge is to break down the
barriers that we erect. There’s not enough talking between
the departments, we don’t talk about work and science
and about issues and challenges in our communities and
what role scientists can play in addressing these concerns
of the communities; there needs to be more such talk. And
really, that’s how you’re going to break down these artificial
barriers, because if there’s a research question, you need to
employ solutions wherever you find them – engineering,
physics, chemistry. You ought not to pigeonhole yourself.
Is there anything else you can tell us that
would be interesting or helpful to others
aspiring to enter and succeed in the same field?
One thing I tell students during academic advising,
no one has a monopoly on good advice – speak to lots
of people and filter what you hear. Figuring out what
to do with your life is one of the most difficult pieces of
homework you will ever get. There are no signposts, there
is no grade, there’s no one to tell you you’re doing it right.
I attempt to tailor the advice I give to whomever is sitting
in front of me, and it’s a painstaking process that requires
lots of listening. I’m a ferocious listener and I ask a lot of
questions. So that’s why I think people should ask one
more question. Stay curious. Learn. Learning is fun, I’m
Dr. Brian Cockburn officially took up the position of Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology on August 1. A graduate of
The UWI with a BSc in Chemistry and Biochemistry and a PhD in Biochemistry, Dr. Cockburn has done considerable research into
diabetes and obesity. He was a senior lecturer and Deputy Dean of Enterprise, Development and Outreach in the Faculty of Science
and Agriculture, and Campus Orator since 2013. In this interview with Jeanette Awai, he shares some ideas on his new role.
New Dean is as thought-provoking as they come
Professor Copeland with Fr Clyde Harvey.
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