August 21, 2002 vol. viii, number 8
Dr. Ragster Begins Her Tenure as UVI's President
Dr. LaVere Ragster made her
debut as president of the Univer-
sity of the Virgin Islands on Au-
gust 1, in front of colleagues, sup-
porters and members of the me-
dia. UVI's fourth president and
first female president, Dr. Ragster
spoke about her goals for UVI and
unveiled plans for new informa-
tional kiosks on both campuses.
At a press conference in the
Sports and Fitness Center, Dr.
Ragster said she looks forward to
working with faculty and staff to
lead UVI boldly along its contin-
ued path of success.
"Everyone will have a part to
play in achieving the objectives of
the strategic plan," she said, call-
ing the plan UVI's "roadmap."
President LaVerne Ragster (
her cabinet after a press con
she began her presidency.
Thomas Campus Chancell
President for Administrat
Kirwan, Chieflnformation O
Interim Senior Vice Preside
"I think that we are starting an exciting time and I am
humbled by this leadership role," Dr. Ragster said. Born and
raised on St. Thomas, Dr. Ragster earned a Ph.D. in biology
from the University of San Diego and then returned home,
where she spent the first 10 years of her career as a member
of the teaching faculty of the then College of the Virgin Is-
The president detailed the great role UVI has played and
continues to play in the economic and social development of
the territory, saying that the destiny of UVI and the Virgin
Islands is intertwined.
As part of Dr. Ragster's plans to forge better community
engagement, UVI will soon have information kiosks located
near the entrances of the St. Thomas and St. Croix cam-
puses. The kiosks, which have been designed by DeJongh
Associates, will provide a basic map of each campus and
show where events or activities are to be held.
"A lot of people come to our campus and they don't know
where to go," Dr. Ragster said.
Using the kiosks, clients, customers and visitors will be
able to easily navigate each campus. The idea for the kiosks,
Dr. Ragster said, came from members of the community. The
University is currently seeking permits for the kiosks and the
project is expected to be completed this fall.
Dr. Ragster is also optimistic
about the Research and Technol-
ogy Park, which will be developed
on St. Croix. "It is a major under-
taking of the University and we
have to see this through," she said.
Having worked her way up the
ranks at UVI, Dr. Ragster served
as assistant professor of marine
biology, chair of the Division of
Science and Mathematics, faculty
iddle bottom) potrustee to the UVI Board of Trust-
middle bottom) poses with
ference on August 1, when ees, acting vice president for Re-
From left to right are St. search and Land Grant Affairs and
or Dr John Leipzig, Vice vice president for Research and
ion & Finance Malcolm Public Service. Her most recent
fficerSusanAnderson, and post before being selected for the
ent & Provost Dr. Gwen- presidency was that of senior vice
president and provost.
Dr. Ragster will serve as the
acting vice president for institutional advancement until that
position is filled. Dr. Gwen-Marie Moolenaar, who previously
held that post, is now UVI's interim senior vice president and
"Working together, we will make this great University even
better," Dr. Ragster said.
Children participate in the mango .... ,, contest at Mango
Melee, the sixth annualfruitfestival, held on July 27 at the St.
George Village Botanical Garden on St. Croix. It showcased
tropical fruits and of course mangoes. Other activities in-
cluded a mango cook-off a mango identification contest and
a silent auction of all fruits.
Workshop Helps Local Farmers, Amazes Presenters
Farmers in the territory received ductive," said Leroy Richardson, a
information they otherwise may not farmer in Estate Bordeaux on St.
have had access to, thanks to the Vir- Thomas. Participants and USDA of-
gin Islands Natural Resources and ficials toured Richardson's farm, and
Agriculture Workshop held August two other sites in Bordeaux, as part
5-9. The workshop, held for two days of a field trip on the second day of
on St. Thomas and two days on St. the workshop.
Croix at the University of the Virgin USDA officials saw firsthand the
Islands campuses, put local farmers backbreaking work necessary to
in direct contact with officials from convert the hillsides of Bordeaux into
the U.S. Department of Agriculture productive farmland. They com-
(USDA). The workshop, held annu- Benita Martin-Samuel a workshop participant and mended farmers in Bordeaux for
allyonthe mainland, was held forth member of We Grow Food Inc., introduces U.S. De- their persistence. "I've never seen
first time in the Virgin Islands. apartment of Agriculture representatives to the sugar farms like these and I've been all over
The workshop included sessions apple fruit. the world," said Ben Burkett, presi-
in farm management and planning, dent of the Federation of Southern
crop insurance, financing small farm operations, oganic crop pro- Cooperatives. "I'm amazed at the labor one has to put in," he
duction practices and the 2002 Farm Bill. Farmers said they said.
learned most from the sessions on marketing and forming coop- Sponsors of the workshop were UVI-Cooperative Extension
eratives. Participants also learned about low interest loans and Service, USDA, USDA-Natuml Resources Conservation Service,
cost-sharing initiatives. USDA-Forest Service, the V.I. Resource Conservation and Devel-
"It gave us a lot of information in terms of being more pro- opment Council and the VI. Department of Agriculture.
Reichhold Center's 2002-2003 Season Lineup
The 2002-2003 season lineup for UVI's Reichhold Cen-
ter for the Arts was announced at a Business After Hours
event held on the center's grounds on July 25. The acts in-
* David Sanborn Oct. 19, 2002
* Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra Nov. 2, 2002
* Folk Nativity Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2002
* Eddie Palmieri Jan. 25, 2003
* P'Your Passion Feb. 23, 2003
* Koresh Dance Company March 29, 2003
* STARfest 9 May 10-11 and 24-25 2003
The Reichhold Center offers subscription packages which
include benefits like preferential seating, invitations to exclu-
sive artist events and discounted tickets to all season perfor-
mances. Subscription packages are available. Tickets go on
sale on August 25. For more information call the Reichhold
Center Box Office at 340-693-1559.
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