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2004, Vol. 8
UNIVERSITY of the VIRGIN ISLANDS MAGAZINE
Chalkdust, Calypso and Culture
Dr. Hollis Liverpool, professor, author, historian
and Calypsonian, lives to teach and chronicle
culture through song.
Student research in alternative energy reveals
the powerhouse potential of Virgin Islands
natural resources and research at UVI.
3 EDITOR'S CORNER
4 PRESIDENT'S LETTER
5 FACULTY NOTES
7 ON CAMPUS
17 OUT AND ABOUT
A CLOSING SHOT
Cover portrait of Dr. Hollis
by Eric Johnson
UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS MAGAZINE 2004
VICE PRESIDENT FOR
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Patrice K. Johnson
EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL BOARD
LaVerne E. Ragster, Ph.D., President
Gwen-Marie Moolenaar, Ph.D., Provost
(UVI Magazine Founder)
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our internal and external communities
about the people and events shaping the
University of the Virgin Islands.
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the UVI Public Relations Office with the support
of the Office of the President and the
Institutional Advancement component.
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#2 John Brewer's Bay
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The University of the Virgin Islands
is an affirmative action/equal
The University of the Virgin Islands is
accredited by the Commission on Higher
Education of the Middle States Association
of Colleges and Schools,
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Philadelphia, PA 19104
T: (215) 662-5606
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on Recognition of Post-secondary Accreditation.
Back when the 21st century seemed too futuristic for most of us to envision, there
were brave men and women who dared to dream. In 1969 I was one of about 100
children who sat cross-legged before a television screen at summer camp, watching
with rapt attention as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. As young as
we were, we were impressed with how one person's quest for greatness was made
possible by so many others who supported and propelled him forward.
So it is with the University of the Virgin Islands today. On each of UVI's campuses
great minds are being nurtured minds that will one day impact the world in ways
that we can't even imagine.
UVI students are securing, celebrating, exploring and discovering environments,
habitats, communities and ecosystems at home and abroad.
Members of the UVI faculty are instructing with a passion and expertise that is
As our cover story illustrates, Dr. Hollis Liverpool, a renowned calypsonian and
social scientist, is working to provide an inclusive view of history and to ensure
that a facet of the Caribbean region's cultural legacy not be lost.
Students Sabrina Valdivia and Andre Francis are conducting cutting-edge research
that demonstrates that their link to alternative energy is real, not imagined. With an
eye toward the future, these students are looking at ways to refine and redefine the
ways that we utilize energy in our everyday lives.
UVI students are widening their experiences by living among those who speak
other languages. Students who participated in a Mexican exchange program with
the Universidad Internacional de Cuernavaca share their experiences in this issue.
And, as if terrestrial experiences were not enough, this issue of UVI Magazine
reveals the coral reef research conducted by UVI students Leia LaPlace and Emily
Broderick, not only in the Caribbean Sea but in the Pacific Ocean as well.
Come, visit with us, learn from our experiences. We are UVI. We specialize in futures.
Patrice K. Johnson
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
T -. O iiii .i-. a 1t.-. lci \It. \\.I r I l\\ in which lives
\\trt" p- 'i, lt%'lvI cl.tIngI. l b\ lIlv I int i rtsity of the Virgin
Islands. In this issue of UVI Magazine, we wish to share
some of the more inspiring stories of the year. I believe
you will agree that UVI is interacting with and influencing
the community it serves.
As an innovative public institution, UVI is developing
entrepreneurial endeavors to reduce its dependency on
government appropriations. And UVI is hitting its stride
with competitive academic and research initiatives that
are impacting the region and the world.
Let me be the first to tell you how proud I am of UVI
faculty, staff and students who have contributed to:
UVI's having been selected to administer the Virgin Islands'
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research
(VI-EPSCoR), a territorial research initiative designed to
expand and enhance the U.S. Virgin Islands' ability to
participate in nationally supported research activities.
The Virgin Islands Department of Education's development
of a plan to ensure the re-accreditation of St. Thomas's
two public high schools.
UVI's Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning
(CELL) center's efforts to invigorate the local economy
by providing courses that industry employers require in
order to hire and promote skilled workers.
A bank loan program, through UVI's Virgin Islands
University Center for Excellence in Developmental
Disabilities, which assists the disabled in the attainment
of low-cost assistive technology devices.
I would like to publicly thank those who support the
University of the Virgin Islands as we respond to the needs
of the community. I encourage those who are considering
supporting UVI to take a look at the University's history
of academic excellence and unwavering commitment to
the social and economic development of the community.
The work the University must do grows more challenging
in difficult economic times and requires us all to support
higher education in the territory and the region in
whatever ways possible.
I invite alumni and friends of the University to take
pride in UVI's past accomplishments as we continue to
work I' i'villt-v anticipating the impacts we will have on
lives that are being shaped for the future.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
"The fact that I could give them greetings in
seven African languages that were here has
opened the door to an abundance of information
about the African presence in the Virgin Islands."
UVI music professor Dr. Lorna C. Young-
Wright, founder and director of Polymnia,
a chamber choral ensemble, presented a
choral concert in Paris, France on Saturday,
July 3 at the Eglise Reformee de Paris.
Under Dr. Young-Wright's direction, Polymnia,
with UVI student accompanist Monet I. Davis,
presented Mozart's Coronation Mass in C,
Schubert's Mass in G, and a collection of
spirituals with the Spiritual Workshop Choir,
a Parisian choral ensemble dedicated to the
study and performance of the Negro spiritual.
Notable performances included those of UVI
student and soprano soloist Detra Davis and UVI
graduate and soprano soloist Shaneel Richards.
Polymnia received outstanding reviews and an
invitation to return in November 2005.
UVI Humanities Professor Gene
Emanuel and UVI Social Sciences
Professors Dr. Robert Nicholls
and Dr. Hollis Liverpool served as
panelists during the 13th Triennial
Symposium on African Art, which
was held on Harvard University's
Cambridge, Mass., campus from
March 31 through April 3, 2004.
Sponsored by the Arts Council
of the African Studies Association
(ACASA), the Triennial Symposium
on African art is the premier gather-
ing of scholars, museum curators
and interested members of the public
devoted to the presentation of cutting
edge research on the art of Africa and
the African Diaspora. The conference
encouraged participants to explore
how African imagery has moved
across cultures, places and time, and
how it has fostered vibrant new forms
of expression and interpretations in a
global world. Emanuel, Liverpool and
Nicholls participated in a panel that
explored symbolism and cultural
influences in the U.S. Virgin Islands
and Caribbean region that are directly
related to a common African heritage.
"We looked at Ibo tonal character-
istics and vocabulary that persist in
the Caribbean today," Emanuel said.
Expressions such as "eh eh," "kati
kati" and "bam bar" are African
examples of reduplication that are
common in contemporary Caribbean
"Clearly the panel was extremely
well received," Emanuel said. "The
fact that I could give them gnvvliii,
in seven African languages that were
here has opened the door to an
abundance of information about
the African presence in the Virgin
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Taking a Look at Language
UVI humanities professors Dr. Valerie Combie
and Dr. Alma Simonet are closing the aquat-
ic divide between the U.S. Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico. Combie and Simonet recently
initiated a linguistic study group in cooperation
with the University of Puerto Rico's Rio Piedras
campus, which investigated linguistic character-
istics that are unique to St. Croix and the U.S.
Community involvement was a key component
of the week-long study group, which convened
Puerto Rican graduate students and Crucian
community participants. The group looked at
how a historically distinct Crucian dialect had
She sees the classroom
and beyond as a
community of learners,
and integrates material
that puts mathematics
in a real world context.
undergone subtle changes over time due to
various linguistic influences. The participants
shared anecdotes, stories and expressions such
as, "every pot has to stand on its own bottom,"
and dialectical constructions such as "me seh
me wan da" as unique to the region
What the group also found is that the com-
prehension of once-familiar sayings has begun
to slip away.
"It was a very good week for them," Combie
said. "They learned so much and they were able
to make contacts."
UVI Professor Rosalie Dance
Receives Mathematics Teaching Award
Dr. Rosalie Dance, an assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands,
received the 2004 Etta Zuber Falconer Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching Feb.
20, 2004, in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Dance was presented with the award at the 13th Annual National Conference of Quality
Education for Minorities (QEM). The award is named in honor of Dr. Etta Zuber Falconer, a
pioneer in mathematics education. During her 37 years as a member of the faculty of Spelman
College, Dr. Falconer carried out a lifetime commitment to increasing the number of African-
American women in mathematics and the sciences.
In her classes at UVI, Dr. Dance emphasizes interactive learning in a variety of contexts.
She coordinates a developmental mathematics program and has stressed the importance of
"Rosalie Dance is highly deserving of this award," said Dr. Camille McKayle, an associate
professor of Mathematics at UVI who serves as liaison to QEM. "Her work over the years
before UVI and during her UVI tenure is outstanding. It is very reflective of Dr. Dance's belief
in community, and her ability to provide meaningful mathematical experiences and challenge
to students at all levels. She sees the classroom and beyond as a community of learners, and
integrates material that puts mathematics in a real world context."
Dr. Dance has participated regularly in local, national and international workshops as well
as in professional Innh.inig, Recently, she presented her research at the Joint Mathematics
Meeting of the American Mathematical Society, at the Mathematical Association of America, the
Caribbean Assessment Conference, the 21st Century Mathematical Educators Conference in Brno,
Czech Republic, and the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Dr. Dance earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Dickinson College, a master's
degree in mathematics from Boston College, and a doctoral degree in mathematics curriculum
and instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
A Preference for Pan
"H ere it was that I was almost done and was practically going to
1 start over," he remembers of his decision, which required him
to take another four years of courses in order to earn a music
degree. Four years later, Pickering was again preparing for gradua-
tion this time with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education -
after becoming the first UVI student to have a concentration in the
The steel pan is perhaps the first instrument indigenous to the
Caribbean that has gained worldwide popularity. First created in
Trinidad from oil drums that were craftily dented to produce a
melodic sound when struck, there are now several types of steel
pans. The resulting steel bands developed from these instruments
have since become well known and sought after iln III.Iih i the
When Pickering declared his Music Education major in 1999,
he didn't know about the steel pan concentration at UVI. He
had planned to study the trombone, which he also plays.
Professor Austin Venzen, who knew of Pickering's musical
talents, asked him to study the pan.
Pickering has been involved with music for many years, eight of
them as a member of the Territorial Court's Rising Stars Youth Steel
Orchestra. It was after being hired as an instructor's aide for the
Rising Stars that he decided to study music at UVI. He plays the
tenor bass, six-bass and baritone bass pans and is now an instructor
in the Rising Stars' guitar section. The switch from biology, which
Pickering, who trains race horses at Bovoni Stables, initially studied
in the hope of becoming a veterinarian, was sometimes difficult -
but he stuck it out.
"It's good to know that I'm starting off a possible trend," Pickering
said of being UVI's first steel pan concentration graduate.
"I'm hoping that this will encourage students who know how
to play the pan to learn to read music and come into the program,"
said Venzen, UVI's Music Area coordinator and Concert Band
director. With an example like Pickering, there's no doubt it will.
It turns out that Pickering wasn't crazy at all.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Coffee Fuels Frederiksted Renovation
The University of the Virgin Islands Community
Engagement and Lifelong Learning center (CELL)
and Our Town Frederiksted, a nonprofit (rg.lli '.li, II
dedicated to the renovation and preservation of
Frederiksted, are partnering with King's Caribbean
Coffee and Illinois-based Bunn-O-Matic, to provide
training in the service and repair of beverage
equipment. As many as 30 local residents will be
employed as beverage equipment service technicians
CELL has received a $541,000 community devel-
opment grant from the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, which will be distributed
over the next three years for "critical community
development" ii r iigh. I the territory, with special
attention given to St. Croix.
Ilene Garner, (ewt.llli\c
director of CELL, says the
grant gives CELL the
participate in the revi-
talization of Frederiksted
and provide training that
will open up new career posibilhiin.
for V.I. residents.
As part of the grant, a run, I. \\ ibui i, hnil
in Frederiksted will be reno.il II 1. .trT.ii.
a community outreach center .uihl, Iir.uliII,
facility for CELL.
Sunsational Tournament A Winter Treat
The University of the Virgin Islands varsity basketball squads will
share a winter treat with students and local fans when they host
the UVI Sunsational Basketball Tournament from
December 28, 2004, through January 7, 2005.
The Sunsational Tournament, now in its third
year, gives the UVI men's and women's teams
a valuable opportunity to play NCAA
Division II and III teams, according
to Athletic Director Peter Sauer. And,
UVI students and Virgin Islands fans
get an extended chance to see their
teams in action.
Sean Georges, UWI's men's basketball
coach, says he's "excited to
see how the squad will match up and
compete. That should be fun." Georges
adds that he's pleased to see an improving
talent level at UVI. "We have more and more
high-quality student athletes choosing to attend UVI."
UVI's Lady Bucs, second-place finishers in their ODI
league play in Puerto Rico last season, chalked up their first
win against a Division III squad in last year's tournament.
A field of ten teams from eight schools, including UVI's men's and
women's Buccaneers, will participate in the 2004-2005 tournament.
The Sunsational roster includes men's and women's teams
from UVI and Salem State College in Massachusetts;
the men's team from Mary Washington College in
Virginia; and women's teams from Wheeling
(W. Va.) Jesuit University, Berea (Ky.)
College, the University of Scranton in
Pennsylvania, Messiah College in
Pennsylvania and Randolph-Macon
College in Virginia.
Sunsational is just one example
of UVI's continuing commitment
to host stateside sports teams. Volleyball
enthusiasts regularly get to see the UVI
varsity squad play NCAA Division III teams
and university club teams during Labor Day
weekend and spring break tournaments. Last
year's spring break also brought lacrosse to the
territory, with three Division III squads practicing and
playing (.e\IiIII iin games on UVI's St. Croix campus in March.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
on St. Croix
How there is another incentive for St.
Croix students who want to pursue an
Associate of Science degree in Nursing
from the University of the Virgin Islands.
r11irn m.g the STARS (Strategies for
Achieving Results) Program, 10 incoming
freshman nursing students will be selected
this year to receive tutoring, counseling
and a stipend.
"It is intended to increase the number
of culturally competent nurses within
our c. iiiuiiliii," explained Joan Marsh,
a nursing professor and chairwoman of
the St. Croix campus Nursing Division.
During an intensive two-week workshop
held in July, students are encouraged to
apply to be part of the program. Part of
the STARS Program is the Future Nurses
Club a club for middle school students
who are interested in pursuing a nursing
The "future nurses" are mentored by
the STARS Program participants and
meet once every other month on UVI's
St. Croix campus. This year 40 students
from Arthur Richards, John Woodson
and Elena Christian Junior High Schools
joined the Future Nurses Club. Marsh
said she expects another 40 students to
join the club this year.
The STARS Program is funded by a
$443,539 grant from the U.S. Bureau
of Health Professions and will be
administered over three years.
Forget the Chalk, UVI
Utilizes a Virtual Blackboard
"r he kids love it," UVI Information
1 Technology Specialist and computer
science instructor Mary Zayac said.
"It" is Blackboard, an innovative, online
course delivery system that UVI professors
say has made it possible for them to share
documents with their students, communi-
cate revisions, take and grade tests and
rearrange schedules outside of the class-
room. Blackboard is an online course
delivery system that allows faculty to
spend more time on the creative aspects
of teaching. With Blackboard in use,
information is accessible to everyone in
a given class including assignments
and their due dates. "There's no excuse
that they didn't see it or didn't know
about it," said Zayac, who engaged
faculty in hands-on Blackboard tutorials.
Blackboard can provide students with
support materials, transmit teacher feed-
back and monitor students' progress.
It also works well for videoconferencing
enabling teachers and students to share
information without face-to-face contact.
"They don't have to worry about misun-
derstanding i uinvilfing because class
notes are on it," Zayac said.
Students can check their grades and
see how their performance matches up
with the class average. A digital drop-box
makes it possible for students to work
from any terminal to access a common
class calendar and announcements,
which show up on each student's
homepage. Students can even "chat"
with other students via Blackboard.
Dr. Gary Ray, a biology professor, said
Blackboard makes it possible for him to
communicate with students in a way that
didn't exist before. Students select an e-
mail address and it's their responsibility
to regularly check that e-mail for
announcements, assignments and mes-
sages. "It's a multifaceted tutoring tool,"
Ray said. "If I want to assign supplemen-
tary readings and get them to dialogue
about them, I can do it with Blackboard."
"I have found the Blackboard program
to be quite useful in retrieving course-
related information, as well as a means of
communication between the student and
the teacher," said Suzette Kelly, a student
whose Police Science and Administration
class interacted via Blackboard.
"Blackboard is a way of making life
easier for you," Dr. Gwen-Marie
Moolenaar told faculty at a recent
Blackboard seminar where those
who had only recently begun to use
the program were given pointers on
the software's finer points. UVI has
850 students enrolled in Blackboard-
supported classes, with between 200
and 400 students iu.in, on each day.
"The best part of it is the students'
responsibility to interpret what's going
on in a course," said Dr. Aletha Baumann,
a social sciences professor on the St.
Croix campus who has used Blackboard
extensively. "The students also like it
because instantly they see what they
have done. They don't want to go back
to the old way of doing things."
In memorial Mary An Zayac (1955-2004)
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
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Calypsonian Enjoys Comeback, But Prefers Spectator's Role
So when, as a member of UVI's Afternoon on the Green Committee,
he was able to write a jingle in a matter of minutes, everyone was
delighted but not surprised. Afternoon on the Green is like a huge
lawn party held annually on the St. Thomas campus golf course for
which members of the community prepare and contribute food.
"I asked for a list of cooks," George remembers of that After-
noon on the Green committee meeting. "Right there in the meeting
I wrote that jingle," he said, "then I perfected it later on." He
explained that the catchy theme, "Cuisines Galore for 2004" made
it easy for him to pen the jingle, which was used in radio advertise-
ments and became a favorite among listeners.
Soon George began hearing that familiar question: "Why did
you stop singing calypso?" The public kept urging him to consider
recording and singing calypso again. That, coupled with the
audience's response from his performance in the UVI Fall 2003
Little Theater production "Man Better Man," made George consider
In the play, George played Hannibal, the equivalent to a chorus
in Greek plays. Hannibal narrated the play through song which
in this case was calypso helping to relate the story to the audience.
George decided to perform in St. Thomas 2004 Carnival and
what a comeback he had. George was the first runner-up in the
"Boy ah Boy, Big Man ah Big Man" calypso competition, where
contenders wrote and performed a song on the topic, "If I Was
Governor and I had all the Power."
"It was fun," George said of the competition. "I didn't feel
rusty just had butterflies. I was anxious to do it."
Even with a comeback like that, George is apprehensive about
ci iupviling again. "I just feel that I've done my part in elevating
calypso to where it is now," George said, noting that he enjoys the
spectator role. "I enjoy watching and helping people." If his fans
have anything to do with it, George will be back again.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
UVI Student Nets Coral Reef Internship
Ever since she can remember, Leia LaPlace has
had a love affair with nature. By the time she
was in high school, LaPlace knew what she wanted
to do unite her love of nature with her love for
This year, LaPlace's two loves have netted her a
reward a three-month, all-expense-paid summer
internship with the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver
LaPlace, 21, a senior marine biology major at
UVI, is one of two, first-time recipients of the
Governor Tause PE Sunia Coral Reef Conservation
Summer Internship Award. LaPlace of St. Croix and
Aja Reyes of Guam were chosen based on their
demonstrated interest in coral reef conservation in
their home islands, exemplary academic achieve-
ments and related work experience.
"People don't take as good care of what's unique
to us as they should," LaPlace says, referring to the
fragile state of the Virgin Islands' coral reefs.
"Hurricanes and human influences are destroying
the corals." Because corals act as a buffer for the
region's beaches, LaPlace says people need to be
informed about the consequences of their actions.
"Corals are living animals that take thousands of
years to get where they are now. There are so many
things happening that are negative like sewage,
sedimentation and garbage I want to let people
know that this is going to affect them. I want to help
protect our marine environment."
on the job
Process Technology degree recipients (left to right) Martinez, Dick, Dujon, St. Jean and Christian
are employed at the HOVENSA Oil Refinery on St. Croix.
The first students to complete the
Associate in Applied Science Degree
Program in Process Technology received
their degrees during commencement
exercises on the St. Croix campus on
Sunday, May 23, 2004.
Janella Christian, Natalie Dick, Stephen
Dujon, Linda Martinez, Andrew Mayapin,
Augustin Nemiah and Trish St.
Jean have been working at HOVENSA
since January 2004. Another group of
students will complete the program in
The University of the Virgin Islands, in
conjunction with HOVENSA L.L.C., began
offering the Process Technology degree
in fall 2002 on the St. Croix campus.
The program prepares students to enter
employment as operations technicians in
the process industry, which includes oil
production, refining, chemical manufac-
turing, pharmaceutical manufacturing,
power nvlhir.i ii utilities, wastewater
treatment facilities management and food
This program arose out of the need
to provide skilled operations technicians
for the HOVENSA Oil Refinery on St.
Croix and other industries ildin igh1 I
the Virgin Islands.
According to Eric Douglas, a chemical
engineer and program coordinator of
UVI's Process Technology Degree
Program, there will be as many as 60
students enrolled in the program for
the fall 2004 semester.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
What's in a signature?
A signature is a symbol of
identity, fl ditirLCiOn arnd of
integrty. TheDdore Tunick
used his siyni)ttire as a seal
signifying personal dedication
to the Virg n lsiands, ia pcvle
and the insurance prmfessin.
4? yoars later, his signature
odlinus dthe tradition
The mark of quality.
Theedore Tunic & Company Ser 'ng V9rgin islands insurance Needs sinrc 1962,
THE 'TUNCK BUILDINO / 1336 Belijen Road i Swi 3W / St Thornua, USVI, 12 I PH 340-776-70DO / FX 340-776-.575
=e PSC -
UVI Is First HBCU to
Administer EPSCoR Grant
The National Science Foundation has awarded the U.S.
Virgin Islands a grant that will amount to $4.5 million
over the next four years. The grant will support a program
based at the University of the Virgin Islands, the Experimental
Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR),
which is designed to expand and enhance the U.S. Virgin
Islands' ability to participate in nationally supported research
The U.S. Virgin Islands is the smallest jurisdiction to have
ever received such an award and UVI is the only Historically
Black University ever awarded. VI-EPSCoR, which is
administered through the National Science Foundation, was
developed at UVI with continuous input from representatives
from all sectors in the U.S. Virgin Islands community.
The EPSCoR grant supports development of the University's
capacity to conduct research on Caribbean coral reefs,
which is of immediate significance to the territory's economic
development. Additionally, among other things, the grant
will also provide for the development of materials for
enriching elementary, secondary and undergraduate science
and mathematics education in the territory.
f11 ii 'hli the EPSCoR program, the National Science
Foundation aims to partner with the U.S. Virgin Islands to effect
lasting improvements in the territory's research infrastructure.
UVI Paradise Jams On...
The University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, a Division I
basketball tournament that has become an institution in the
territory, will bring 14 teams to St. Thomas in November 2004.
The tourney, now in its fifth year, continues to provide top-notch
entertainment to local sports fans, while attracting a flood of
visitors second only to St. Thomas Carnival to the territory.
The 2004 men's field, with play from November 19-21, includes:
Arkansas, Austin Peay, Eastern Michigan, Saint Louis, Troy
University and Winthrop. The championship round will be played
on November 22. The women's tourney, playing from November
25-27, includes: Kentucky, Louisville, Hampton, Nebraska, NC
State, Oregon State, Rutgers and South Dakota State.
D disabled Virgin Islands residents will be able to obtain
low-interest loans to buy equipment that can improve
the quality of their lives, thanks to an agreement signed
April 1 between Banco Popular and the Virgin Islands
Assistive Technology Foundation (VIATF) Inc. The agreement
is believed to be the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
Supported by a grant obtained by the University of the
Virgin Islands' Center for Excellence in Developmental
Disabilities (VIUCEDD), the VI Assistive Technology Foundation
has been designated as the not-for-profit, community-based
ora.lli '.ni nl that will administer the Virgin Islands Assistive
Technology Loan Program.
"I want to thank Dr. Yegin Habtes for staying on target with this
effort," UVI President Dr. LaVerne Ragster said upon signing the
agreement yesterday. "The territory now has a new foundation
charged with doing great things." Dr. Habtes is the e.Clli\V direc-
tor of the University's center for the disabled.
Through the Assistive Technology Loan Program, disabled individu-
als, their family members or authorized representatives will be able
to obtain assistive technology devices that will improve their func-
tional capability and quality of life.
Assistive technology devices include wheelchairs, hearing aids,
text telephones, computer talking software, computers, Braille
printers, optical scanners, as well as home and van modifications.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
UVI CREW: Virgin Islands high school students enrolled in UVI's Summer Science Enrichment Academy program prepare to haul off the debris they
collected in a beach cleanup field trip at Perseverance Bay.
Summer Turns Salty at UVI
for V.I. High School Students
Summer took a salty turn for 48 Virgin Islands high school students
enrolled in the 2004 Summer Science Enrichment Academy on the
St. Thomas campus of the University of the Virgin Islands.
The academy exposes V.I. youngsters to the wide variety of opportunities
available in the medical and science professions. The students live in the
dormitories, getting a taste of college life, and have a chance to make new
friends from 11i rii Igh liI the territory.
In a break from five weeks of classroom sessions and land-based field
trips, the students boarded the UVI research vessel "Willy Mac II" for
beach cleanup trips in July. Their destination was St. Thomas' Perseverance
Bay, one mile west of the MacLean Marine Science Center dock. On the
rocky beach they collected more than 1,000 pounds of trash and debris,
learning first-hand the extent and effects of modern pollution.
The UVI program was begun in 1991 as the Health Careers Opportunity
Program. Its scope expanded in 2000, with the addition of grant funding
from the National Science Foundation. That same year Junior Summer
Science Academies were begun on UVI's St. Croix campus for seventh and
eighth grade students.
The 2004 Junior Academies enrolled 60 students from the territory.
UVI's Summer Science Enrichment Academies program is made possible
by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Health
and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, and
the Jones-Byran Holloway Foundation.
Summer Science Academy Assistant Coordinator
Brittany Marshall hands out an assignment at
the beginning of the Summer Science Academy
boat-beach trip to Perseverance Bay.
Summer Science Academy Instructor Dr. Adam
Parr explains the procedure for timing the boat trip
from the UVI dock on the St. Thomas campus to
Perseverence Bay at the beginning of the Summer
Science Acad St. Thomas.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
UVI marine biology major Emily Broderick and Christy Loomis,
an assistant data manager in UVI's Eastern Caribbean Center, spent
six weeks over the summer of 2003 studying coral reefs in Guam.
"It was very intense and I learned a lot," Broderick said. "The
reefs are a huge resource especially for island communities."
Broderick and Loomis were chosen to participate in the
all-expenses-paid trip by a competitive application process. The
six-week course in coral reef in' 'nii' rill, and management was
taught by scientists from the University of Guam, the University of
Hawaii, the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida.
Both women took a UVI marine ecology course during the spring
of 2003, which helped to prepare them for their Guam experience.
Broderick was the only undergraduate selected to participate.
The other students were graduate students or working professionals.
Although she was accustomed to diving in the Caribbean and had
observed some 40 species of coral in the Virgin Islands, Broderick
said diving in Pacific waters was a breathtaking experience.
"There were so many species I had never seen before," she said.
There are just hundreds of species. It's a woven tapestry of color
UVI marine biology major Emily Broderick
One of the most important opportunities for professional
development for UVI students is travel to scientific conferences.
Sixteen UI students attended the Annual Biomedical Research
Conference for Minority Students in San Diego From October 15
to 24, 2003, where they presented their findings as posters or
oral presentations. Funding for the conference attendees was
supported by grants UI received from the National Institutes
of Health and the National Science Foundation.
In February 2004 four UVI students won awards at the
annual National Science Foundation's HBCU-UP conference,
held at North Carolina A&T University. More than 15 universities
competed, with more than 100 posters and in excess of 60
oral presentations given.
The conference was held to showcase student research in
science, technology, engineering and math.
Kevin Mills placed first in the poster exhibits for mathematics.
Rachel Lasley took second place for her oral presentation in
the biology division. Thora Henry came in second for her oral
presentation in chemistry.
Alkin Paul claimed third place in the poster exhibits in biology.
Fourteen other UVI students participated in the conference, with
travel supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
at UVI, along with a competitive spirit, are
the driving forces that yield us a win year
after year." Other elements that contribute
to winning entries include solid educational
and cultural themes, creative costume
design, enthusiastic participants and
"Our desire to keep the spirit of Virgin
Islands culture alive here at UVI,
along with a competitive spirit, are
the driving forces that yield us a win
year after year." Cherie Wheatley
Perhaps it was the colorful costumes,
the well 1liiiIlii-. III themes or the
dance routines. Perhaps it was a combina-
tion of all. No matter the reasons, the UVI
family celebrated as its floupe (float plus
troupe) in the 2004 St. Thomas Carnival
Adults' Parade won first place and its
troupe in the Children's Parade won
The UVI floupe was themed "Knowledge,
Culture and More for Carnival 2004" and
depicted various cultures that contributed
to knowledge in the region. Red raffia
skirts and beaded red neck pieces were
reminiscent of the Dogon tribe of Mali,
white togas and purple and gold gladiator
costumes depicted the Greco-Romans,
and orange and black skirts with matching
triangular neck pieces signified the local
Tainos. On the float was a brain con-
structed to symbolize knowledge. UVI's
own Peas Soup band provided the music.
UVI Communications Supervisor Cherie
Wheatley has been chairwoman of the St.
Thomas campus Community Engagement
Committee, the group that organizes UVI's
annual Adult's Parade entry, for the past
four years. She credits UVI's winning
entries to the winning attitude of her
"The committee I have had the opportu-
nity to work with over the last four years
is made up of serious individuals who are
all committed to being culture bearers,"
Wheatley said. "Our desire to keep the
spirit of Virgin Islands culture alive here
The UVI Cooperative Extension Service's
4-H troupe won double accolades. 4-H's
Monetrick Olive and Kahlid Blyden won the
Junior Queen and King of the Band titles,
respectively. Olive's costume portrayed a
fan dancer. Rose-patterned lace, fabric
trimmed with frills, and gold lame made
up Olive's four-foot-high and eight-foot-
wide fan costume. Blyden's eight-foot-wide
costume portrayed Pancho, a Mexican boy,
who guards the South of the Border bill-
board, a tourist landmark that marks the
border between North Carolina and South
Carolina. Pancho's magical hat grows
larger and larger as the sun gets hotter.
UVI's Family Life Center (FLC) Pan
Panthers gave impressive performances
in both the Steel Band Jamboree and the
Children's Parade. Members of Pan
Panthers were made up of the students
from the FLC, some of their family mem-
bers and members of the UVI staff. They
learned six performance tunes, including,
"Children are the Future," "Beating Iron"
and "Look the Band Coming." Dressed in
white tops, madras bottoms and matching
madras head pieces, 24 members of the
band pounded out calypso tunes down the
parade route. FLC Director Carmen Rogers-
Green lauded the steel band's instructor
Samuel Lawrence for "always challenging
these kids to their best." The assistant
instructor is St. Clair DeSilva.
UVI is well on its way to creating a
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Dr. Bethany Bradford, right, supervises the transport of St. Thomas livestock in preparation for the flight to Haiti.
Look! Up in the air,
it's a ... goat?
Crouched in the cabin of a 402 Cessna airplane while surrounded by live
stock, Drs. Robert Godfrey and Bethany Bradford made a 500-mile flight
from St. Thomas to Haiti. There they delivered five sheep and seven goats
donated by the people of the Virgin Islands and UVI's Agricultural Experiment
Station (AES) to Heifer Project International (HPI). Dr. Bradford, a veterinarian
at the V.I. Department of Agriculture, contacted HPI with an offer of assistance.
Then she contacted Dr. Godfrey, the assistant director of UVI-AES, who willingly
endorsed the project.
"We are physically located in the Caribbean and it's just good for us to
work with our neighbors," Dr. Godfrey said. He added that it is the Experiment
Station's responsibility to promote island agriculture systems.
flr 1-1iil HPI the animals were given to farmer associations that are part
of two projects on Haiti. HPI participants receive training in animal husbandry,
are required to build adequate hIi lisin., plant improved forages and keep
records on the animals. HPI has technicians that visit the associations monthly
to monitor their progress.
Two hair sheep from UVI's animal science program on St. Croix were given
to the University in Les Cayes for its breeding program, and one of the Boer
goats from a St. Thomas farmer was given to the Christian Veterinary Mission,
which distributes improved livestock iihrl IIIh, m Haiti. The other animals were
donated by Dr. Bradford and St. Thomas livestock farmers Sinclair Hamm,
Arthur Harthmann, Buddy Henneman and Eugene Peters. The animals were
tested for a variety of diseases by the National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
in Ames, Iowa, prior to shipment. The flight to Haiti was provided by Coastal
At top, Dr. Robert Godfrey accompanies Virgin
Islands livestock to Haiti.
One of the Virgin Islands animals enroute to a
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Celeste Radelet, Terisha Fahie, Marquex Boyton and Tequasi Hendricks spent one semester in Mexico.
UVI Students Immerse Themselves in Spanish
A mid the ruins of the ancient Aztec
pyramids in Mexico UVI students are
testing their command of the Spanish
language and expanding their knowledge
"Mexico is full of history ... The history
here is not hidden, it is very obvious," said
UVI sophomore Terisha Fahie, who spent
one semester studying in Mexico.
In increasing numbers, Fahie and other
UVI students are signing up to complete
their foreign language requirement on a
separate continent. f11iriiilhi an exchange
program between UVI and the Universidad
International, The Center for Bilingual
Multicultural Studies (UNINTER) in
Cuernavaca, Mexico, UVI students can
earn all 12 of their Spanish credits
in one semester and there are no
"Actually we want students to take
advantage of the option to do all their
Spanish there," said UVI Assistant
Professor of Spanish Violeta Donovan.
Championed by Professor Donovan,
a memorandum of understanding was
signed by the two universities in 2002.
The exchange program enables UVI students
to spend one summer or one semester
studying in Mexico, and for students at
UNINTER to study for one summer or one
semester at UVI. The exchange agreement
with UNINTER is the first for UVI with a
foreign institution outside of the region.
During the semester of exchange the
students pay tuition and all fees to their
respective schools and only have to pay
for their airfare to the exchange institution.
When students arrive at UNINTER they
are tested in order to determine their level
of fluency in Spanish. They are then placed
in appropriate classes, which are held daily
from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The time after 2 p.m.
is spent participating in extra curricular
activities at the school and with host fami-
lies, with whom the students live for the
duration of the semester.
The students from UNINTER live at the
dormitories on UVI's St. Thomas campus
and usually take a full load of courses,
including an English as a second language
For Cinthya Rodriquez Brito, who spent
one semester at UVI, learning English is
imperative for a lucrative career in Mexico.
"To get a good job they demand both
languages," Brito said. She added that
because the U.S. and Mexico are so close
it only makes sense that the people of both
countries learn each others language.
Brito explained that the different accents
and dialects spoken in the Virgin Islands
presented an additional challenge in learn-
ing English. However, she made friends
who helped her to understand local dialect.
The exchange students are encouraged
to speak the language of the country they
are in at all times no matter their level
Professor Donovan said that the exchange
allows students to learn a second language
in the country in which it is spoken while
immersing students in a different culture.
"It's a very holistic way of h.irniiin.," she
said. Marquex Boynton can attest to that.
"The best benefit (of the program) is
not in the classes but living with your host
family," said Boynton, a UVI junior. Boynton
lived with a middle class family and spent
many afternoons talking to them and watch-
ing Spanish television programs in addition
to completing homework. During the week-
end he explored the country. For Spring
break he visited the Pyramid of the Sun
and the Pyramid of the Moon.
Boynton, who had failed one of the two
Spanish classes he took at UVI, is now quite
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
"The school is set up where you feel very comfortable.
The atmosphere is easy to learn in and the faculty is
determ ined to see students excel." I(l: V, FAI .IH I ..v,,,i,,i.,,,,
fluent in Spanish. "I'm seeing how much I've evolved," said
Boynton, who entered UNINTER at a level 1, the lowest level -
and left at a level 3.2. He even kept a diary, in Spanish, which
helped to improve his grades.
"The school is set up where you feel very comfortable," said
UVI sophomore Celeste Radelet. She noted the 5-to-1 student-to-
instructor ratio. "The atmosphere is easy to learn in and the
faculty is determined to see students excel," Radelet said.
Language-related courses are not the only ones available. UVI
freshman Tequasi Hendricks took an introductory accounting
course at UNINTER. That class, of course, was taught in Spanish.
After overcoming the initial difficulty of the first week of class,
Hendricks was able to understand all of the concepts and went
on to pass the class with a 90 percent. She said that the Mexico
experience boosted her confidence in speaking the language.
It boosted Fahie's confidence also. "I know for sure that my
Spanish has improved because I now think in Spanish," she said.
"When people ask a question, I can answer immediately without
translating in my mind."
All of the students initially experienced culture shock when they
first arrived in Mexico, but it soon wore off. The culture shock
went both ways though. Boynton said that he was the first person
of African descent that many of the people he came in contact with
had seen. He had to field questions like, "do you know Bob Marley?"
and "can I touch your hair?"
"It got to the point that they were taking pictures of me and I'm
in like all the local papers," Boynton said.
Boynton, Fahie, Radelet and Hendricks spent the Spring 2004
semester at UNINTER, meeting their UVI foreign language require-
ment. Their travel to Mexico was sponsored in part by E.D.
Plumbing on St. Thomas. UVI students also have the option of
studying French in fulfillment of the foreign language requirement.
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UVI MAGAZINE 2004
"Look at this!" he says. "This student lists five or six citations and sources at the end of the paper. But none of them are
referred to in the text. They can't fool me!" He furiously scribbles a series of notes on the paper.
The telephone rings. A student is on the line pleading for more time to get in a final project. "If you want to graduate,
get your work in today!" he says firmly into the telephone.
If that's not bad enough, Liverpool is having a bad sinus attack, made worse by a recent airplane trip.
Turning back to his stack of papers, he says, "I will fail them if they do not perform! They know I'm very hard, but very
fair. I have high standards university standards." Indeed, in two years at the University of the Virgin Islands, students have
come to know Liverpool as a professor with rigorous standards and a passion for unraveling the mysteries of history and
Administrators and faculty, in the Caribbean and U.S. mainland, admire Liverpool for stimulating lectures in the social
sciences, as well as his authorship of a half dozen books on Caribbean culture.
To many people in the Caribbean, however, Liverpool is simply "Chalkdust" the small-framed, master calypsonian
with the trademark white beard, who provokes smiles, nods and outright laughter as he puts the community's social and
political foibles into song.
Each of these personas shares a single trait: a high standard for excellence.
The Liverpool standard of excellence got its genesis long ago in Chaguaranus, a small U.S. Army basis in Trinidad,
where his father worked. Hollis was born there in 1941.
"I actually grew up in a small village in Trinidad called Laventille Hill. I never knew I was poor. It was a middle class
community. We had to dress well on Sundays and we rode our bicycles. People were friendly and respected the village
authority," Liverpool says.
Hollis Liverpool came of age in the Catholic school system during the late 1940s and 1950s. Polite company might say it
was the system's emphasis on discipline that brought about his love of learning. Liverpool, however, states it more plainly.
"It came from licks and blows," he says laughing at the memory. "I'm talking about real blows. I remember I got 20
strokes on my pants in primary school. Those teachers would wail us, man. I remember one teacher in particular, when
he finished with me, I couldn't sit down."
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
The young Liverpool earned good "0 levels"
in the British-based school system in Trinidad,
(C.WcllIIi at St. Mary's College a secondary
school. A family misfortune, however, took
him out of school and on the hunt for a job.
"My mother died, so I had to go to work.
I went to a priest and asked him to give me a
recommendation to join an airline c iiuipa.u! .
Divine intervention, of a different kind,
however, put him on the path to teaching.
"While I was there talking to the priest,
it was as if someone else was talking to the
priest while I was there. I heard this voice
say, 'Go and teach, son. God wants you to be
a teacher."' I said, 'What?' I left there and
applied to the Catholic board to become a
He pauses at the memory. "I don't tell many
people that, but it's true."
Liverpool attended Teachers Training
College, graduating in 1966 with a teacher's
diploma. He eventually enrolled at the
University of the West Indies. At UWI, medicine
was his first choice of study with one small
"That was my first love but I couldn't see
blood," he says with disdain on his face.
He switched to the law program, and began
taking courses in history. It was a subject that
caught on like fire and became the beginning
of what he calls his "magnificent obsession."
Liverpool's voice is filled with passion and
zeal at the mere mention of the word "history."
"When you study history, life unfolds itself.
There is a history of everything. To understand
the world, to understand yourself, to have a
sense of identity, you have to have a sense of
hiiiri\.'" he says.
After receiving his degree in social studies,
in 1977, he earned a master's degree in histo-
ry at UWI.
Today, his bookshelves are overflowing with
titles on history and culture of the Caribbean:
"The Growth of the Modern West Indies,"
"Carib Slave Society & Economy," hl hi I, 4
"When I first began to study history, I was
studying world history and Caribbean history.
When I began to study Caribbean history, I
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
began to see what our people did, our
customs," he says. "And, I saw African
history when I studied that. You can't study
Caribbean history in a vacuum. You have
to study and understand European history,
African history. And so I began to see the
Those links between European, African and
Caribbean history inspired him to pursue
both a master's and doctorate degree at the
University of Michigan. He earned a master's
degree in African History in 1990 and a
Ph.D. in history/ethnomusicology in 1993.
Liverpool's dissertation "Rituals of
Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition
in Trinidad and Tobago, 1783-1962" is the
basis of a course he's taught on the St.
Thomas campus for the past three years.
It was also the genesis for his book of the
same name, published in 2001.
The book is a comprehensive treatise of
the African and European influence on the
evolution of Caribbean Carnival. The book -
and the course looks at Carnival from a
sociological standpoint. Swiveling in his
chair, Liverpool explains, "Carnival is not
just a fete. It is an African tradition that goes
back way past the history of the Caribbean.
It's a festival celebrating freedom."
"The goal is to see Carnival within the
social science dilemma," he explains.
For example, for one segment of the
course he has students study the "economy
of Carnival," looking at the impact of the
event on major players from costume
designers and pan players to hotel
And, for the 2004 Virgin Islands Carnival
celebration on St. Thomas, students were
required to write final papers on sociologi-
cal aspects of the event.
Students wrote papers titled: "Carnival
and Double Consciousness" and "History
of the Hugga Bunch Troupe."
Students who take the course have to
be prepared to take a hands-on look at
"I had a student who said, 'I'm Seventh
Day (Adventist) so I'm not going to the
Carnival village.' Well, that student can't pass
my course," he says adamantly. "You don't
have to partake of Carnival, but you have to
know of it. You have to know why things
are. When you see a woman 'wining up'
during Carnival, you have to know why
she is doing that."
His course, "Introduction to Social
Sciences," also requires students to
immerse themselves in Caribbean culture.
Liverpool uses data from the Caribbean
to teach geography, history, .iln iiip 'u1, '4,
sociology and psychology.
"We have a standing joke in the class
when we're talking about language," he
says. "I have a class of students from various
Caribbean cultures. I ask each one, 'Where
you come from, how do you say, 'My girl-
friend is cheating on me?' They came up
with 14 different ways phrases. It's a
whole expos of Caribbean culture."
Liverpool's most recent book, "Straight
From the Horse's Mouth," tackles a subject
of Caribbean culture even more dear to his
The book features interviews and stories
of more than a dozen top Trinidadian calyp-
sonians and ranks as perhaps the most
comprehensive look at the artform.
Liverpool's eyes twinkle when he reflects
on his own beginnings as a calypsonian -
starting as a student at secondary school.
"In secondary school we used to com-
pose songs for our football tournaments.
All through the match we'd sing. Our
school was CIC College of Immaculate
Conception. And our rival was QRC -
Queens Royal College. So I wrote a song
that said, 'Send your songs to CIC and your
dogs to QRC,"' he says with a hearty laugh.
"That's when my composing started."
He was also inspired to study music at
age 16 after writing a school essay on
"Music and the Listener."
"I researched Winston Spree Simon, the
man who invented the steel pan. I couldn't
go to established musicians so I went to him
and he was so glad to see me. My essay was
read to the whole school, man! It was an
assignment, but that opened my mind to
research," Liverpool notes.
Chalkdust the calypsonian, however,
was truly born when he entered college.
"Somebody cheated on an examination
and we were told that everybody in the
school had to do over the whole exam," he
recalls. "So I composed a song about that.
I wrote the chorus, 'Whoever write that
exam, we sorry for they bam bam!' The
whole college was singing the song."
The name "Chalkdust" however, would
come much later. And contrary to what
many people may think, the name has
nothing to do with his with his chalky white
"Chalkdust came from a book written by
a Mr. D'Wilton Rogers, a teacher of sociolo-
gy. He made sociology come alive, man!" he
says animatedly. R1' ',r wrote a book
called 'Chalkdust' in which he was looking
at the problems of teachers in denomina-
tional or parochial schools in the British
islands. The priests really controlled the
"When I joined the teaching profession, I
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Dr. Liverpool instructs students on the St. Thomas campus.
Photo by Ethelbert Bedminster
got into problems with priests. I met a priest
telling me I can't do this or I can't do that.
For example, he accused me of teaching
children anti-Catholicism, because I was
teaching about God," he says, pausing.
"He wanted me to teach the catechism
word for word."
Leaning forward, Liverpool continues,
"I told him, 'I can't teach that. I'll teach
them about God, teach them their faith,
but not to learn things by heart.' He accused
me of breaking the system and wrote to the
archbishop about getting rid of me."
"When I began to sing calypso, I remem-
bered Rogers' book on the system, and
called myself, 'Chalkdust'," Liverpool says.
R1' ',vr helped orient my teaching and
made me the teacher I am today."
The story of the white beard, though,
is one that makes one pause, shudder
and contemplate the divine.
It's one Liverpool recounts reluctantly,
after some prodding.
"My beard turned white in Michigan in
1989. Just like that, with no warning."
He explains that while awaiting a flight
in the Detroit airport, he got into a pro-
longed conversation with a fellow traveler
about Trinidad history and missed his flight.
Moments later, that airplane crashed into
"The same plane I was going to take,"
he says softly. "So, history saved my life.
In about a week my beard turned white.
The doctor said the fear, the reality of death
changed my hormones and the beard turned
white on its own."
That divine intervention has personal
and global implications. Such a loss may
have been too much for the academic and
calypso world to take.
After years of honing his craft, Liverpool
is respected as a master calypsonian in the
tradition of Mighty Sparrow and Lord
"All good calypsonians are inspired by
Sparrow and Kitchener," he says. "I used to
also listen to Bomber and Mighty Composer
and Nap Hepburn. They were my idols. Just
Oll.I.Ihil ilu 'I"
He recites, with pride, the rigorous rites
of passage calypsonians endured to make it
to the big stage.
"Kitchener used to have auditions on a
Sunday morning for those who wanted to be
in his tent. His yard would be packed with
calypsonians fellows under a mango tree
rehearsing their songs," he recalls.
"Kitchener would be on the gallery listening
to them. Someone would come before him
and sing one line: "I meet a gyal last
night..." And he'd say, "Next!"
Liverpool still shakes his head in awe.
"It was no joke, you know. When Kitchener
allowed them to sing a whole verse of
calypso, it was a great damn calypso."
The budding calypsonian paid close
attention to those yard sessions, honing
his own composing and singing skills
He competed in the Buy Local competi-
tions in Trinidad and won third place while
still a college student a lpriigi ..Ii honor.
In 1968 he auditioned for a calypso tent
and was invited to open the program. His
first big calypso was a song titled, "Brain
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Drain," sung in 1968, about Trinidad's
teachers leaving for Canada.
"I always liked political and social com-
mentary. I have never sung about sex and
those things. I grew up in a real Catholic
environment both at home and at school.
I grew up to respect women," Liverpool
After a series of local competi-
tions, Chalkdust performed before
Sparrow, Kitchener and other mas-
ters of the art on the big stage in Port
0' Spain in 1976. He won his first
He has competed every year since
then, going on to win Calypso King of the
Worldin St. Thomas eight times between
1973 and 1985.
He was twice crowned World Calypso
Monarch in New York. In his home,
Trinidad, he won the Calypso Monarch
title in 1977, 1981, 1989, 1993 and
most recently, February 2004.
Liverpool captured his latest crown on
the strength of the song "Trinidad in the
"That was about how the morals and
values that we had are buried in the
cemetery with our ancestors," he says.
Liverpool says he's had many calypso
monarchy wins that went to someone else.
"People in Trinidad will tell you I won
for the past three years, but I didn't get the
crown. I couldn't win it in 2001 because
Sugar Aloes was singing a song e.\ii IhlIg the
favors of the government. It was celebration
time and they were celebrating an election
victory. Nobody could have beaten him. But
calypso for calypso, everyone knew I won,"
He's not bitter about those results and
doesn't place blame.
"In 1973, I sang a calypso (breaks into
song) 'Until I die, you'll hear my cry.' I just
sing, win or lose."
In fact, he criticizes many of today's
calypsonians for backbiting their peers and
public fighting over competition results.
"You have to pay your dues. To be a
calypsonian in Trinidad, you had to win a
competition in your village, then win the
crown in your county before you attempted
to come in town to Port Of Spain and get
on the national stage," he notes.
"We had to go through auditions before
they selected us. They would tell you, 'Go
fix that song, change them lines and come
Today's competitors, he says, "don't
"The name calypsonian meant that you
were a master of the lyrical word. That's
where the art form came from. Now, a fel-
low feels that he can drop two or three lines
and he's a calypsonian."
He calls many of today's artists "journal-
"They sing literally what they see. There is
no double entendre or word play. I can sing
on .m 'imlillii or someone without calling
their name that's the art of calypso," he
Liverpool's songs are in no way limited to
Trinidadian life. He's penned songs about
Black history, Caribbean heroes, and the
social politics of the wider Caribbean.
During St. Thomas Carnival, he wowed
the crowd at Lionel Roberts Stadium during
the International Calypso Revue, singing
"The song is about the important papers
found lying in the public dump in Bovoni,"
he says, before breaking into song:
"Just because I teaching history, Lord
Blakey took me up to Bovoni.
He said the dump in Bovoni have plenty
history, that St. Thomians dem never see.
So, like a scavenger bird I went and dig
and if you see things I see.
I see a long letter with names in red,
from the St. Croix health Commissioner. Big
men would fall, good Lord, so I can't call
dey name. It's a big, big ex-senator, a really
just preacher, is a list of men in the territory
who sick with HIV. I find all these names
lying openly in the dump over at Bovoni."
By now, the sinus medication has kicked
in and Liverpool is feeling a bit better. He
logs the last of his student grades into an
Excel spreadsheet on the computer screen.
The next day he is scheduled to board a
plane to Trinidad. Each summer he heads
to his home on the island, where he spends
time in the town square, talking to folks,
catching up on social and political happen-
ings. That information will be used to
compose songs for the upcoming calypso
While in Trinidad this summer, Liverpool
will also conduct interviews for his newest
book project, a look at the role of "Bad
Johns" in Trinidad Carnival.
In between those projects he'll also travel
to St. Maarten to present a paper on the
"History of Carnival" at the University of St.
Maarten and to New York to sing at calypso
Historian, sociologist, calypsonian,
author, teacher. Dr. Hollis "Chalkdust"
Liverpool blends each role with passion
That's why he has no tolerance for
students who do not take their education
Restacking his graded papers, he says,
"I have taught in Connecticut, Oregon,
Michigan, Trinidad. A university student
must be able to perform at university level,
to write and express himself, to analyze."
He adds, "On the first day of class, I ask
students to write a paper. It's only worth 10
of 100 points. One time 15 of the students
walked out. They said they were not writing
since it's only 10 points. I gave them all
incomplete. They cussed me! But I told
them, 'This is the university, this is not
high school. What we try to teach you here
is you have to work'! *
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
by Catherine Fahy
In a perfect world, proponents of
alternative energy envision all of us
zipping around in electric vehicles
along roads lined with turbines
instead of telephone poles, shopping
in stores where compact fluorescent
bulbs are as common as coffee
makers and living in neighborhoods
where solar panels are standard in
Also standard in this alternative
energy utopia are solar hot water heaters and timers, low-flow show-
erheads and many other energy-saving devices that are only now
catching on in our world. Some of us may already have one foot in
this perfect world, especially in the Virgin Islands where saving water,
for example, makes low-flow showerheads commonplace.
Regardless of your familiarity with the world of sustainable energy
- also called 'alternative' energy or your use of energy-saving
devices such as solar panels, it makes sense to ask what more this
world can offer us and how it affects us
in the Virgin Islands.
John Munro, an associate professor
of computer information systems at the
University of the Virgin Islands' St. Croix
campus, said the abundant sunshine
that makes tourism the mainstay of the
Virgin Islands economy also makes it
the perfect proving ground for new
John solar energy-related technology. Munro
said now more than ever, affordable
new technology is needed to offset uncertain oil prices that could
leave poorer countries in danger of depleting their natural resources
- as Haiti has. Once a country begins losing its natural resources it
generally begins losing its tourist appeal as well, since natural
resources such as trees lend the beauty and greenery tourists enjoy.
For this and many other reasons the Caribbean's reliance on alterna-
tive energy is essential to its future. "Alternative technology is
guaranteed to become a crucial source of entire." Munro said.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
V.I. --- ; "' Somme III
Not that standard energy sources
such as electricity generated by the
Virgin Islands Water and Power
Authority (WAPA) will become
obsolete. While it's possible to live
'off the grid' as a handful of residents
already do in the Virgin Islands, most
of us will always rely at least in part
on electric power from WAPA. In a
Sabrina Valdivia perfect world, WAPA would continue
doing what it does best, Munro said with a little help from the sun
and the wind. "We can blend the two and coexist with the energy
grid," he said.
What's encouraging and even a little surprising to local proponents
of alternative energy is that unlike many utility companies in the
United States, WAPA fully supports and even facilitates alternative
energy research. In 2003, WAPA's research and projects coordinator,
May Adams Cornwall guided UVI towards the receipt of its first solar
energy research grant from the American Public Power Association
(APPA), the largest membership org.Ili '.iii -l in the U.S. utility
Cornwall said WAPA is very much behind lending its resources to
UVI's pursuit of additional energy research grants. "I hope this is
just the beginning of energy research at the university," she said.
WAPA's support of energy research at UVI, plus steps UVI President
Dr. LaVerne Ragster is taking to form partnerships with several ener-
gy-related orgI.i '.llni n, in the territory underline the growth of ener-
gy research at UVI, said Munro. It also hints to the potential of the
Virgin Islands' becoming a pioneer in a world where electricity from
the sun and the wind and even the ocean currents is accepted as a
viable, complementary and reliable alternative to hydrocarbon fuel.
In the beginning...
Few people in the Virgin Islands know more about the potential of
energy efficient technology than Andre Francis and Sabrina Valdivia,
the two UVI students whose research caught Cornwall's eye and
prompted her to think they'd be good candidates for an APPA grant.
Her instinct was uncanny. Not only did Francis and Valdivia win UVI's
first APPA scholarship grant, they also helped the territory take its
first step towards establishing a reputation as a leading incubator of
cutting-edge energy efficient technology. What's more, their study
comparing the efficiency of stationary versus tracking solar panels
made a surprising discovery.
Francis and Valdivia based their
study called Solar Energy: The
Efficiency of Panel Tracking Systems -
on the premise that stationary panels
do not generate as much energy as
tracking panels because tracking pan-
els are inherently designed to produce
More energy by tracking the path of
Andre Francis the sun lir, n igh III the day.
But since most tracking panel systems are designed, manufactured
and sold in areas farther from the equator than the Caribbean, where
the direct rays from the sun are weaker, the study found the energy
required for the tracking panels to follow the sun here, plus the con-
siderable wear and tear they incur, make stationary panels a better
choice in the Caribbean.
"Because we get such a surplus we do not need the tracking
system," Francis said. Besides being unnecessary, he said tracking
systems are more expensive. Francis called his project's discovery
vhIIhIiI.inmg" but said it is just the beginning. Next, he said
consumers should have a method or a meter, for example, to deter-
mine how a particular solar panel will perform according to their
location and how they plan to position the panel.
"I would say in the future this would be extremely useful if
you're really going to go and develop solar panel research,"
he said. "We need to develop some sophisticated systems."
Also necessary is more research into storing surplus solar energy,
which in most cases goes unused if it is not captured by battery
banks that are generally too expensive for the average consumer.
"You really need to find a way to store all this energy so I think we
still need to do a lot of research," Francis said.
Ironically, neither Francis nor Valdivia was a big alternative
energy buff before they began their project, which was launched
at the urging of Munro and Dr. Velma Tyson, a UVI mathematics
professor on the St. Croix campus.
In fact, Valdivia's interest lay more in the moon and the stars than
the sun. As a math and physics major at UVI, her goal was to become
an astronomer. "It started when I was five and saw the Haley Comet,"
she recalled. "I wouldn't let go of it and made them (her parents)
buy me a radio telescope."
Francis, a math and chemistry major at UVI, had a little more
experience with the environment closer to home, having been
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
interested enough in the related field of environmental pollution
to invent a crude oil cleaning system that he said is now on file
with the U.S. Patent Office. "I've always been interested in the
environment," he said.
Few research projects develop in a vacuum and Francis and
Valdivia began developing theirs in 2002 as part of a summer
program for emerging scientists.
Their collaboration led Valdivia to present a poster at an annual
science research symposium for Historically Black Colleges and
Universities (HBCUs) hosted that year by Tuskegee University.
Although the project consisted of borrowed materials and, according
to Valdivia, was essentially finished when it was presented as a poster,
it nevertheless won a prize. From there, it became the topic of the
feature story in the St. Croix Avis that caught Cornwall's eye.
At the time, in early 2003, Cornwall was becoming more aware of
the growing interest in renewable energy through WAPA's developing
partnership with the Virgin Islands Energy Office. Recognizing the
study's potential and assuming it shared the funding needs of
research projects everywhere, Cornwall drew on her knowledge
of grants and targeted the APPA's Demonstration of Energy Efficient
Development (DEED) Program as the study's best potential source
of grant funding.
Cornwall arranged a meeting with Francis and Valdivia through
Munro, who said Cornwall's interest came as a complete surprise.
"I never expected to get that call," Munro said. "We thought the
project was over."
A legacy of energy research ..
Based in Washington, D.C., the APPA DEED Program has been
funding energy-related projects in the utilities industry for nearly a
quarter of a century, said DEED Program Manager Michelle Ghosh.
The program awards 10 grants a year in varying amounts for energy-
related projects at utilities with dual memberships in the APPA and
the DEED Program. Among the APPA's 2,000 members, about 600,
or slightly less than one third, also belong to the DEED Program.
Grant scholarships like the one UVI received are awarded twice a
year, Ghosh said, for energy education research projects sponsored
by a DEED Program member.
To promote energy education, dual-member utilities such as
WAPA can sponsor a project at a school in their area. According to
Cornwall, WAPA had never been a sponsor before 2003 but turned
out to have made a worthwhile choice its first time out when it
helped Francis and Valdivia win the Virgin Islands' first APPA DEED
Program scholarship grant.
Along with considerable ri' .giilii nl, Francis and Valdivia received
$4,000 to continue their research. They didn't suffer the fate of many
in their position, whose life's work is stalled or abandoned for lack
In the larger context of the general community, the DEED Program
grant is tangible proof of the Virgin Islands' potential to become a
powerhouse of energy-related research and development, not to
mention a proving ground for energy-efficient products and devices.
"We have a backyard full of opportunities," Cornwall said, refer-
ring to abundant wind and sun as the most obvious opportunities,
plus the lesser-known and more recent discovery of deep ocean
currents as a source of renewable energy available in the Caribbean.
Valdivia said that's what makes her continued research so interest-
ing. "The project may be fun but there's so much more we can do
with it," she said. "You can start with one project and just keep
In March, the University made a significant step towards taking
advantage of the renewable energy opportunities in its backyard
when it finished the largest solar lighting installation on any U.S.
college campus on UVI's St. Croix campus. Size matters little without
function, of course, but by the time classes let out in May the solar
lights had proven their worth and illuminated the campus every night
A significant factor working against more widespread use of solar
energy is cost. The initial price tag on a project the size of UVI's, with
66 solar-powered streetlights and four solar-powered flashing cross-
walk lights, is approximately $330,000.
Fortunately for UVI, much of the price of its solar installation was
paid for with a $275,000 grant from the V.I. Energy Office, which in
turn receives support from the U.S. Department of Energy and other
sources of federal funding.
Energy Office Director Victor Somme III praised UVI and its new,
progressively minded president, Dr. Ragster.
"Under Dr. Ragster's leadership the University has really taken off
in a very convincing and tangible way towards the pursuit and study
of energy efficient and renewable energy tvchnIIl 1 ." Somme said.
"The installation signifies the university's commitment to increasing
its research of renewable eIIr. "
The University and the Energy Office stand to gain more from each
other since earlier this year, with money from an anonymous donor,
the Energy Office established an endowment for a new annual energy
education award named after one of its former employees, Vincent D.
George. The endowment is off limits for a few years while it accrues
interest. Somme said that once it can be tapped into, the endowment
will be used for the winner of the Vincent D. George Award, who will
participate in a paid internship at the U.S. Department of EiivrI 's
National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder, Colo.
"This is the first award of its kind in the lvrril i. ," Somme said,
adding that he hopes that by the time the first award is ready to be
presented, there will be a large pool of talented students to choose
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
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Other projects in the pipeline at the Energy Office that the
University will likely be involved in are the installation of wind
anemometers and wind turbines on St. Thomas, plans to
monitor wind pattern, flow and speed on St. Croix and ultimately
plans to install wind turbines dihni 'gh.' 'I the territory.
While Francis and Valdivia will probably be well into their
professional careers by the time any of these projects begin,
they would both like to see the wake of energy efficient research
expand behind them. With a little more support from the local
government and more understanding of the need to pay up
front for the installation of technology that will more than pay
off that installation cost in the long run, Valdivia said the
territory can reduce its reliance on the mainland.
"We need to be able to support ourselves because we're so
far away from the mainland," she said.
Valdivia, 22, was born in Chile and moved to the Virgin
Islands when she was 14. She said it is relatively easy for
students presently studying science at UVI or those planning
on studying science to find a mentor and move ahead with
"Because we're small we can get attention that not many other
students can get at other universities," she said. "I've seen a
number of students at UVI do really well."
Francis said he hopes to be at the forefront of future energy-
related research in the territory. For starters, he said he envisions
designing and implementing a digital electric meter reader that
displays, with split-second accuracy, how much energy has been
consumed in a household since the last billing cycle, how much
is being consumed at any given moment and an up-to-the-minute
detail of costs incurred in the present billing cycle. Francis said
he thinks it's possible that if consumers want to see what's draw-
ing the most power in their households at a particular moment,
the meter reader he has in mind will tally the total amount of
power a household is using, divide it according to how much
each opi.r.iiinl electric device is using and determine how much
each device costs to operate.
Francis said his design won't be a high-tech toy but a tool to
give consumers greater control of their electric bills. He said
he envisions businesses using it to adjust overhead for greater
profits or people on low and fixed incomes using it to gauge
precisely how much electricity they're .o iimiii.-, where they
can cut back to save money and how much they can expect to
spend on their next bill.
"The importance of this is that many places are deep into
poverty because of a lack of resources and, sadly, a lot of those
places are in the tropical regions," Francis said. "We need energy
to do so much and to me the big change is in people's attitudes
and in the country's approach."
Basically, he said, the scenarios are endless for anyone who
wants to manage their money more effectively and take the guess-
work out of their electric bill. One scenario might involve trying
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
to avoid a big electric bill spike from houseguests using the air
conditioner in the spare bedroom. By determining, for example,
that the freezer in the garage uses as much energy as the air
conditioner, one could empty and unplug the freezer and treat
the houseguests to its contents.
"If you ask anyone how much energy we use on a daily basis,
we can't say, but we know how much we're spending," Francis
said. .vIIIg it going up in real digital time, broken down by
appliance, that basically is what I foresee in the future. That is
the be all and end all."
Unfortunately, the bridge to the perfect world of energy efficient
technology development and implementation is fraught which
obstacles, not the least of which is cost. Unlike the electricity that
comes from wires connected to every home, electricity from the
sun and the wind can't be produced without certain equipment
that can cost a lot to install. And since energy from alternative
sources is still relatively new, consumers have no guarantee it will
be easy and reliable, making skepticism another obstacle to more
widespread use of alternative energy.
The beginning of a new world...
Changing the resistant, skeptical mindset of the general
population toward the ultimate benefits of alternative energy is
the key to making it part of the mainstream, Cornwall said.
Consumer education and the successful use of incentive programs
offered by the V.I. Energy Office are contributing to the develop-
ment of a public-private consortium of org.Ii '.uli% l interested
in furthering alternative energy research in the territory.
Working 1I gvilhir, it is hoped that the V.I. Department of
Agriculture, WAPA, the V.I. Energy Office and the university
will be able to identify more grants like APPA DEED to further
alternative energy research in the territory and to educate the
public more effectively.
WAPA's incentive, in addition to recognizing the environmental
benefit of alternative energy, is avoiding the capital expenditures
that will be immense and ongoing if the public continues to rely
solely on electricity from WAPA, Cornwall said. "In terms of
planning, we have to have 200 percent more power available
than peak demand. If we get the peak load down, then we
don't need to make capital investments. We can make capital
Among the places in the Virgin Islands that exhibit the ease
and effectiveness of alternative energy are the Nature
Conservancy's eastern Caribbean headquarters in Little Princesse
on St. Croix, Mt. Victory Camp on St. Croix's west end, Coral
World on St. Thomas and numerous residential and commercial
properties on St. Croix and St. John.
With continued commitment on the part of the University, the
Virgin Islands government and the private sector, the territory
may one day be an alternative energy showplace a perfect
world where coffee makers are powered by solar energy and
power outages are a thing of the past. *
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
Chapel-Hardy and fellow "agebusters" prepare for one of several televised challenges.
UVI Alumna Sheds 10 Years On Reality TV
Jacqueline Chapel-Hardy believes in signs. One day while eating
breakfast at her Miami, FL, home, the UVI alumna got a sign
she couldn't ignore. She was eating and listening to the radio
when she heard an advertisement for a reality show scheduled
for taping in Florida that was seeking area residents as contestants.
Then she turned around to read her newspaper and saw an ad
for the same reality show in the paper.
"I took that as a message that that was 'inu-liing I should be
involved in," Chapel-Hardy said. The show, "Ten Years Y' uinigvr,
produced for the Discovery Health Channel by London-based Keo
Films, challenged five adults to "turn back the biological clock"
and lose 10 years of their lives in 10 weeks. Chapel-Hardy, who
had just turned 50, called the show's producer. She impressed
the producers and was selected to be a contestant. Cameras
followed the .igbu.ir'" around as they embarked on intense
diet, exercise and skin care regimens and were advised by a
team of healthcare experts.
Part of Chapel-Hardy's regimen included two-hour workouts
five days a week, consultations with a psychiatrist, treatments
with a dermatologist and yoga once a week.
The 1994 UVI graduate lost five inches from her waist and
gained a refreshing new attitude. "We did things that I had never
even considered doing." One of those things included canoeing
in the Everglades through a reptile-infested waterway "I gained a
sense of adventure that I felt I had lost over the years," Chapel-
Hardy said. "Now I feel like I'm in my 30s. I feel like a young girl."
UVI alumna Jacqueline Chapel-Hardy.
Perhaps the last time that Chapel-Hardy felt so youthful was
when she taught computer theory and computer applications at
UVI after earning her Master in Business Administration degree
there. "I loved the kids. That added to my sense of youthfulness,"
she said of her teaching experience.
"When the show first aired, what floored me was that everyone
else all over the world was watching it," said the Cunard Line Ltd.
computer security officer and systems administrator. "Ten Years
Yi 'inr,l;" was broadcast across the United States, Europe and
Latin America. In the end, Chapel-Hardy was declared the"
winner," having "lost the most years."
"It just turned out to be one of the most enriching experiences
in my life," the gra.iiliii ilh-r of a seven-year-old said. She still
exercises and eats healthily. Chapel-Hardy encourages others
to take charge of their lives by c\(..ciinL., eating healthily and
"It's never too late. Take control of your life."
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
THE LINK GROUP
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We would like to thank
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commitment to higher education.
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UVI Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Auguste E. Rimpel, Jr., left, meets with Dr. Darshan Padda and family at a UVI alumni reception in Washington, D.C.
UVI President Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster reached out and
touched someone or rather several someones at UVI
alumni receptions held in the Washington D.C. metro area,
on St. Thomas, St. Croix and the British Virgin Islands.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
D.C., Atlanta, BVI
UVI President Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster, upper left, and UVI Alumni Affairs Supervisor Jacqueline Sprauve,
far right, visit with alumni at receptions in Washington, D.C. and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
President Ragster and key UVI administrators reconnected
with alumni ilr ii ghi -iim the Caribbean and on the east coast
of the U.S. mainland during the 2003-2004 academic year.
During the receptions the University's strategic plan,
combined with Dr. Ragster's vision and direction for the
institution, which are integral to alumni involvement, sparked
lively discussions between UVI administrators and alumni.
The activities also served to reunite alumni and to develop a
networking base. Dr. Ragster was accompanied by Dr. Auguste
E. RimpelJr., chair of the UVI Board of Trustees, Joseph B.
Boschulte, vice president for Institutional Advancement, and
staff of the UVI Institutional Advancement Component.
Planning nmvlviigs for upcoming receptions have been held
with alumni from the Miami chapter and in the Atlanta area,
where a commitment has been made to create a new chapter.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
The Heath Distinguished Speakers Forum highlighted UVI's Charter Day March 16,
2004. Dr. Alfred 0. Heath, left, and his wife Geraldine, right, with inaugural series
speaker the Hon. Ronald V. Dellums and UVI President Dr. LaVerne Ragster.
UVI MAGAZINE 2004
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