April 22, 2004 vol x, number 4
Humanities Festival Unites UVI and the Community
Crucians, St. Lucians, Puerto Ricans,
Native Americans, Filipinos and Indians
were all represented at the University of
the Virgin Islands International Night.
Held on March 28, as part of the 2004
Humanities Festival, the event celebrated
the diverse cultures of the people of the
The night included Middle Eastern
belly dancing; St. Lucia, Dominica and
St. Croix Heritage Dancers; Crucian
storytelling; Native American Spirituality;
health, crime, education and unemploy-
ment managing to make people laugh
as he discussed serious subjects.
The Old-time Calyposians Panel Dis-
cussion featured Stanley Jacobs of
Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights,
Camille "King Derby" Macedon, Louis
Ible, Dimitri Copeman and James
Wakefield who after speaking about
their struggles and inspirations per-
An oratorical contest about same-
Indian dancing; and Hispanic folklore sex marriages drew seven contestants.
from Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Do- LThe winners were: 1st place, William
minican Republic. The night of song, "Spike" MacKean-Davis, a UVI stu-
dance and storytelling drew a crowd of dent; 2nd place, Khnuma Simmonds, a
more than 500 people to the Cafetorium UVI student; and 3rd place, Laurie
of the St. Croix campus, where most of F Aaron, a Seventh-DayAdventist School
the festivals' events were held. student.
"Every year the International Night At the Short Story Contest Awards,
is a big success because it brings people noted Caribbean author Olive Senior read
together," said UVI Professor Marvin two short stories. The winners of the con-
Williams who helped to organize the fes- test were: Berlina Wallace in the univer-
tival. sity category, Michael Bachoo in the
"Word Power Sound: Caribbean Cul- ncers perform during Humaniti community category and Peter Roussev
Dancersperform during the Humanities
tural Connections," was the theme of the Festival International,. ~,hr held at the in the high school category.
week-long Humanities Festival. Along St. Croix campus Cafetorium. Olive Senior was the keynote
with the International Night, other aspects speaker at the Student Literary Confer-
of the festival included a panel discussion, lectures, poetry ence where she spoke about the significance of the festival's
and short story readings, literature contests and a film festi- tl
"The Humanities Festival went overwhelmingly well, with
the International Night setting the pace," said Valerie Combie,
a UVI professor and an organizer of the festival. "There were
people from the community who were there for four nights,"
she said, recalling how some had asked for the University to
organize more of those events throughout the year. The stu-
dents, she said, also loved the festival.
Raconteur and social commentator Paul Keens-Douglas
performed twice to a packed Cafetorium, educating his audi-
ence about communication and the various elements of com-
munication. He emphasized the importance of diversity as he
described qualities of Caribbean people. Keens-Douglas spoke
on several issues of importance to Caribbean people including
Humanities Festival Continued on Page 2
April 24 StudentAwards STX
April 27 SBDC Workshop STX
April 27 Staff Council Meeting STT/STX
April 28 Nursing Poster Display STT
April 30 UVI Closed for Carnival STT/STX
May 4 Golden Key Induction STX
May 6 Academic Awards STT
May 16 Upward Bound Luncheon STT
May 26-27 Nursing Workshop STX
UVI Says "Thank You" to Employees at Service Awards
Vernon R. Williams has
watched the University ofthe
Virgin Islands grow- literally.
Williams began working on
the St. Thomas campus ofthe
then College ofthe Virgin Is-
lands in 1968 as a general
maintenance mechanic. Af-
ter three and a half decades
of service, Williams, the
trades supervisor in the physi-
cal plant department, has re-
tired.Williams and other UVI
employees were honored for
Left: UVI President LaVerne Ragster congratulates St. Croix
campus Employee of the YearArthur Joseph. Right: Dr Henry
Smith, St. Thomas campus employee of the year gives brief
remarks after ...... i,, his award
their years of service, retirement and attendance at the Annual
Service Awards Ceremonies held on March 24 and 25 on the St.
Croix and St. Thomas campuses, respectively.
"Saying thank you is never a minor event," UVI President
LaVeme Ragster told the award recipients at the St. Thomas
campus event. "This time at UVI has been one of touching lives
and impacting the future."
A total of 33 people on both campuses were recognized for
their five, 10, 15,20,25,30 and 35 years of service. Williams was
recognized for 35 years of service and for his retirement. Atotal
of 10 retirees were recognized and five employees were recog-
nized for perfect attendance.
A highlight of the service awards is the announcement of
the employee of the year, which remains a secret until the actual
ceremony. Arthur Joseph was greeted with a standing ovation
and applause when he was announced as the employee of the
year on the St. Croix campus. As intended, Joseph, a mainte-
nance supervisor, was surprised by the award.
Dr. Henry Smith was announced as the employee of the
year on the St. Thomas campus. Dr. Smith is the Vice Provost
for Research and Public Service and Director of the Water Re-
sources Research Institute.
"None of what I've achieved
I've done by myself," Dr. Smith said.
He accepted the award on behalf
of the Research and Public Service
staff. "They are the ones that make
my blunders look like innovations."
Malcolm Kirwan, the guest
speaker at the St. Croix campus cer-
emony, told employees that despite
the financial hardships that the Uni-
versity has faced over the years, no
one was fired. Kirwan is the interim
director of the Research and Tech-
The guest speaker for the St. Thomas campus ceremony
was Territorial Court Judge Audrey Thomas, who shared with
the audience a series of affirmations.
"Choose your own direction; it's never too early or too late
to begin. Time has no favorites; time is the great equalizer,"Tho-
The service awards are organized annually by UVI's Hu-
man Resources Department.
Humanities Festival ... Continued
Another popular Caribbean author, Poet Lelawatee Manoo
Rahming, read some of her work at a poetry reading.
Other activities included a film festival that featured three
films by Guyanese Michael Gilkes, an author, critic, cultural
activist and filmmaker; a short story and storytelling session
on the St. Thomas campus; and a trip to Buck Island.
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FAX: (340) 693-1055
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