Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 6th 2017 Contents SUNDAY 6 AUGUST, 2017 – UWI TODAY 11
“I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of Professor
Rhoda Reddock who as Deputy Principal has created the
platform that I will build on.”
On August 1, 2017, Professor Indar Ramnarine took up
the position of Deputy Principal of The UWI St. Augustine
Campus, the post recently vacated by Professor Rhoda
Reddock who shaped a framework and agenda focused on
the student for the past eight years. Ramnarine says he is
grateful for Reddock’s contribution and happy to continue
with her initiatives. He brings his own impressive career as
a scientist and the first Dean of the Faculty of Science and
Technology (FST) when it was separated (in 2012) out of
the Faculty of Science and Agriculture.
In the five years as Dean, he effectively led the major
revision of the curriculum in the Faculty. Old, unattractive
and irrelevant programmes were discontinued; Science
offerings were strengthened and expanded, with several
special degrees, majors and minors introduced, some
with collaboration with the Faculties of Medical Sciences,
Engineering and Social Sciences.
New programmes in technology were introduced
such as Information Technology, Biomedical Technology,
Biotechnology, Computer Science & Technology, Renewable
Energy Technology, Biomedical Physics, Environmental
Science & Sustainable Technology, Electronics and Data
Science. These new programmes were aggressively
Today, enrolment in the Faculty of Science and
Technology is the second highest at the UWI St. Augustine,
with approximately 3,000 students.
His greatest influence however may be from his
substantive knowledge base in fisheries management and
aquaculture, reaching local and global audiences. From
lecturer in zoology in the Department of Life Sciences,
New Deputy Principal
continues focus on students
BY PAT GANASE
Professor Indar Ramnarine: I would like to congratulate my successor, Dr. Brian Cockburn,
as the new Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, and wish him all the best.
Pat Ganase is a writer and editor with experience in newspapers, publishing and corporate social responsibility.
Ramnarine progressed to senior lecturer; and subject leader
in zoology, environmental science and marine biology; to
professor of fisheries and Aquaculture.
His research in aquaculture has focused on several
species such as the cascadu, river conch, shrimp, Malaysian
prawn and tilapia, and he is considered to be a world
authority on the cascadu. He has done voluntary work in
Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand
He introduced aquaponics to Trinidad several years
ago and has conducted several very successful workshops
in aquaponics. His research work in fisheries has focused
on the development of sustainable fishing methods. He
also works on evolutionary biology (using the guppy as a
model species) and collaborates with several researchers
from Canada, the USA, Australia, the UK and Europe. His
research has yielded one book, a monograph, a book chapter,
82 publications in refereed journals, 18 refereed conference
proceedings, 13 refereed abstracts, 18 workshop papers and
10 technical reports.
As Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science and
Agriculture (2006-2012) and Dean of the Faculty of Science
and Technology, he was responsible for student matters.
He has also enjoyed supervisory and mentoring roles with
several Master’s and PhD students.
Ramnarine has progressed through the ranks at UWI,
from student (1980) to teaching assistant, research assistant,
assistant lecturer, lecturer, senior lecturer, professor, subject
leader, deputy dean to dean and now, deputy principal.
The years, it seems, have sped by while he was busy and
enjoying what he was doing. He married Ria Batchasingh
and achieved his PhD one year later. They have two children,
Nikhil, a year 5 medical student, and Aryaa, who is hoping
to start medical school soon.
His life, it seems, has grown organically and blossomed
from the childhood in Carapichaima, fascinated by cascadu
and trying to make a business from breeding ornamental
fish, most of which he gave away. Though he was the
fourth child in a family with seven children, he has always
had a sense of security in his own ability, enhanced by an
international education. He encourages students to welcome
overseas opportunities, either for further degrees or to at
least participate in international conferences.
Now, he welcomes this shift in his focus. The students,
he believes, are the ones in whom the legacy of The UWI,
and his own scientific approach and framework, must be
invested in. His vision in the new role, deputy principal,
will focus on that legacy. Simply stated, as a parent might,
he wishes “to ensure that students are well taken care of;
that they have good experiences and are proud to say they
are alumni of The UWI.”
He wishes this for every single student.
It is a deceptively simple vision to be fleshed out as he
now assumes the role. He intends to pay attention to reduce
the attrition rate; to improve retention and throughput; and
to introduce an early warning system so that students at risk
are identified and cared for.
Without doubt, Ramnarine will bring his scientific
approach to ensuring the academic and social requirements
are met, across the board and equitably. In this way,
he expects to expand the initiatives put in place by his
predecessor, Professor Reddock.
Education and service are the twin pillars of Ramnarine’s
personal philosophy. He believes, with Nelson Mandela,
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can
use to change the world” and with Mahatma Gandhi, ‘ The
best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service
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