THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES ST. AUGUSTINE CAMPUS
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBERI2009
As the society reels from its violent wounds, there seems no
immediate way to staunch the torrents of blood. Many of the
perpetrators of violent acts are barely out of their teens and
several citizens have succumbed to the temptation to dismiss
that generation as lost, but not everyone is so pessimistic
about the present or the future.
Commenting on the mental state of the society in
our last issue, psychiatrist Professor Gerard Hutchinson
contended that more should be done to help these young
"I think a lot of them could be reached if we had systems
and structures in place to reach them, it is not that they
don't care but they have been taught or conditioned not
to care. Once they're taken out of that environment, they
Shludren's Research IJ
nurturing, warm environment, the more likely they will feel
valued and build a sense of belonging to the society.
Both UWI experts also agree that the high degree of
instability at every level has contributed significantly to a
practically dysfunctional society, but do not feel that all is
lost for a recovery project.
This issue, we feature the School of Education's Family
Development and Children's Research Centre (FDCRC),
where Dr Logie is administrative director, and its distinctive
approach to early childhood education, which stresses a
"loving" environment that empowers children to develop
critical thinking and responsible behaviours as they learn
from very early how to take charge of their lives.
(See Centrespread: Pages 8&9)
become concerned again about the things that most people
in society are."
Mentorship at many levels was an important aspect of
reaching them, he said.
"People recognize that the younger people in whichever
context, professional, school, religious, need that kind of
guidance. The key thing there is stability, as many people
have said, single parent homes are not a new phenomenon,
he said, noting that single parent homes in the fifties and
sixties didn't produce children who could be branded as
"bad" on the same scale.
The School of Education's Head of Department,
Early Childhood Education, Dr Carol Logie, shares that
outlook, believing that the earlier a child is surrounded by a
Its PHI Time!
* The first pan that's not a pan
A Blastfrom the Past
* How those good times got better
* Dr Bourne's
got the edge
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 3
At COTE '08: Professor Patrick Watson, Gregory Mc Guire, Eric St Cyr and Dr Lester Henry, listen to Dr Shelton Nicholls,
Deputy Governor, Research and Policy, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Department of Economics of The
UWI, St. Augustine is hosting its third
annual Conference on the Economy
(COTE '09), October 1-2, at the UWI
School of Education Auditorium, Agostini
Street, St. Augustine.
Each year, the Department, through
COTE, provides a platform whereby
national, regional and international
economic and development issues can be
explored, thus creating an environment in
which meaningful dialogue is encouraged
and collective solutions can be advanced.
The conference is designed to be both
useful and pragmatic for decision and
policy makers as well as for technocrats,
private sector representatives, academics
and students with respect to issues in the
COTE '08, which was also a tribute
to Dr Trevor Farrell, former Head of
the Economics Department, revolved
around the theme "Economic Planning
in a Turbulent Environment." For 2009,
COTE continues to address the situation
of local and regional economies within the
present volatile economic climate. This year's
conference will take the form of a series of
sessions, each covering a specific theme
around three key headings: Situational
Assessment, Response Framework, and
The Way Forward. Situational Assessment,
the opening session, provides a review
of the present and projected economic
situation. Among the issues to be addressed
in this session will be Trends in the Global
Economy, State of the Financial Sector,
Trends in Export Sectors and its Fiscal
Implications, and Employment and Social
This will be followed by the Response
Framework, which will address the
parameters for responding to the present and
projected economic environment. Speakers
will critically assess both the macroeconomic
and governance frameworks required.
The final session, The Way Forward,
is to be an interactive session involving
dialogue amongst various presenters and all
participants as they examine the required
responses for moving toward sustainable
Speakers at COTE'09 include staffofthe
Department of Economics, Faculty of Social
Sciences, and related Centres and Units at
Among them will be:
* Professor Dennis Pantin
* Professor Patrick Watson
* Dr Lester Henry
* Dr Roger Hosein
* Dr Marlene Attzs
* Mr Gregory Mc Guire
* Mr Kelvin Sergeant
Representatives of other regional universities
as well as key agencies are also expected to
participate in the conference proceedings.
As I welcomed thousands of new students to the St
Augustine Campus earlier this month, I reminded them
that education is a lifelong journey and that the difference
between a student and a true scholar is the commitment to
use knowledge and research to uplift society and to make
a contribution to development.
As an institution, a university is therefore not merely
a place dedicated to higher learning. It is a place where
scholarly research helps to shape and develop a civilization,
with a focus on building a better future. At The UWI, we
have pioneers in our midst working on a range of issues that
affect our daily lives-lifestyle diseases, climate change and
sustainable development, diversification of our economy,
creative and festival arts, steel pan research and marketing,
food and agricultural science, to name a few.
The UWI has intensified its efforts and increased its
funding for research and development work, because we
firmly believe that this is the cornerstone of an innovative
and competitive society. In support of the Government's
national Vision 2020 Plan, we are concentrating even more
on demonstrating the relevance of the research we do to
the needs of our society.
In this issue, we feature one element of pioneering
work in early childhood education being done at the Family
Development and Children's Research Centre (FDCRC).
For just over 20 years, the FDCRC has been developing
teaching methods and has become the model school for
the State's current investment in Early Childhood Care and
Education (ECCE) centres throughout the country. We have
also supported the University School which, for more than
60 years, has produced many scholarship winners but more
importantly, very rounded children steeped in the arts,
culture and sports with a strong sense of civic pride.
In a nutshell, The University of the West Indies is
much more than undergraduate teaching. Knowledge
creation and dissemination, research, innovation and strong
partnerships are all at the core of what we are about. Let us
celebrate all those who continue to work steadily at building
this institution and our nation.
CLEMENT K. SANKAT
Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal
Professor Clement Sankat
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Mrs. Dawn Marie De Four-Gill
Ms. Vaneisa Baksh
For more information on COTE '09, kindly contact the Secretariat at:
Tel: 662 2002, Ext 3852, 3055 Fax: 662 6555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Department of Economics, UWI, St. Augustine.
The UWI Marketing and Communications Office
Tel: (868) 662-2002, exts. 2013. 2014
Or email: email@example.com
4 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009
ON THE CUTTING EDGE
Little laser points the way ahead
The first local patient to go under Dr Compton Bourne's laser.
Time was when the idea of a doctor waving around a 10-
ft long laser in surgery was impressive, but how the times
have changed and how quickly! That same doctor, who
impressed young student, Compton Olatunji Bourne, with
his maxillofacial techniques at the Royal London Hospital,
is probably using the same laser principles but instead
of an unwieldy two-ft wide instrument, he is likely to be
using a sleek, pen-sized laser like Dr Bourne uses in his
Keeping abreast of technological developments is an
essential aspect of staying on the cutting edge and for Dr
Bourne, who returned to Trinidad in 2000 to practise and
teach orthodontics at the School of Dentistry of The UWI's
Faculty of Medical Science, it is as important for teachers
and students as it is for practitioners.
"As a lecturer at the University I try to make sure that
I am doing my bit for the University to keep abreast of
the most recent developments, and to at least expose all
undergraduate clinical dental students and those interns
and teaching assistants who are interested in orthodontics,"
he said as he demonstrated the finesse and precision of the
laser at his private practice, bluntly named Braces, in St
The laser is used for minor oral surgical procedures,
such as gingivectomy, and in addition to the better
visibility which reduces chances of mishaps, and the shorter
procedural times, there are several benefits for patients. It
leaves no scarring, there is little or no bleeding, and post-
operative pain is negligible.
It also shortens the time between procedures, thus
reducing cost significantly. Many people, he said, believe
orthodontic costs are prohibitive, especially as they see it
as a cosmetic procedure, more than a corrective one. Most
patients come in because they want to improve the way they
look. Fewer come because the improper positioning of their
teeth causes discomfort.
Dr Bourne said that it was also more common for
parents to bring their children in first, and after they have
had their treatment, then the parents take turns coming
for attention. He surmises that it is not that they use their
children as test cases, but more likely that they prefer to look
after the young ones first, and then seek personal care.
Often, because they imagine it to be very expensive, they
defer it and when they discover that it really ranges between
$13,000 and $20,000 over a two-year period covering about
15-20 visits, they decide to take the plunge.
It's never too late to do it, says Dr Bourne, though the
earlier treatment is begun, the better. When people feel that
they look good it affects their self-esteem and confidence,
and their sense of wellbeing. A happy countenance reflects
that, so it is no wonder the first thing he notices in a person
is their smile.
Dr Compton Bourne
* Do you need an Orthodontist?
Orthodontics is one area of specialty in dentistry and
it is primarily concerned with treating malocclusions
(bite) occurring because of improperly positioned
teeth or overcrowding. In the past,orthodontists were
associated primarily with braces, which were also
thoughtto be only for children.Orthodontics offers a
range of treatments that includes repositioning teeth
and roots and supporting crowns.
Generally,people seekorthodontists to improve their
appearance, and treatments are often considered
cosmetic enhancements, especially in cases where
they reshape the jaw, neck and lips.
* Whatis aGingivectomy?
The orthodontist or surgeon will numb your gums
with a local anaesthetic-of differing strength
depending on the scope of work and the time to
do it-then using either a laser or other cutting
instrument, will remove or restructure loose or
diseased gum tissue.
and Man Crab
In the August issue
of UWI Today, the
credit for our cover
photograph of the
1983 Peter Minshall
costume, Man Crab
did not appear due to
a printing error. The
photograph was taken
by Noel Norton.
We apologise for the
"As a lecturer at the University I try to make sure that I am doing my bit
for the University to keep abreast of the most recent developments, and to
at least expose all undergraduate clinical dental students and those interns
and teaching assistants who are interested in orthodontics"
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 5
0 UWI HL
u RUNER' P~ uuAuRAD IS-
First Citizens I
St Augustine Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat receives the cheque for TT350,000 from Anthony Alexander, Corporate Manager,
The UWI's St Augustine Campus will host its signature
UWI SPEC International Half Marathon 2009 on Sunday 1st
November, 2009. This year, the Half Marathon begins at the
UWI SPEC from 6 a.m. with the 13.1 mile route remaining
unchanged. The race will continue along the traffic-free
Priority Bus Route (PBR) to the La Resource Junction in
D'Abadie, before doubling back to the UWI SPEC. The
course will be complete with markers and water stops at
every mile for the running convenience of the athletes from
around the world including the Caribbean, USA, Latin
America and Europe.
Over 1,000 local, regional and international athletes will
compete for over TT$135,000 in prizes, including specific
categories for UWI students and staff, and wheelchair as well
as physically challenged competitors. This year, a new team
category will be introduced. Teams must have a minimum
of 15 athletes. Team members are allowed to also enter in
the individual categories.
Participation has grown over the years from 300 at
its inception in 2004 to more than 750 in 2008. "The half
marathon is touted as the best organised road race in the
region especially since it is the only traffic-free distance
event, said Dr Iva Gloudon, UWI's Director, Sport &
Once again, this year's race will be electronically timed
and any records broken in this AIMS-certified (Association
of International Marathons and Distance Races), and
International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF)-
accredited race will be recognized worldwide.
Another important feature is the recognition by the
National Amateur Athletic Association (NAAA) of the
UWI SPEC International Half Marathon as its official half
Local participants have the added convenience once
again this year of registering at any First Citizens branch
throughout Trinidad and Tobago by presenting valid picture
identification and their registration fee. Race waivers will
now be signed at the First Citizens branch when completing
Registration has been taking place since September 10th
and runs to October 23rd. Registration will automatically
close, however, when 1,000 persons have registered for the
race. There will be no registration on race day.
Only athletes residing outside of Trinidad and Tobago
can register online at active.com. The deadline for online
registration is Friday 16th October, 2009.
First Citizens is the presenting sponsor of the UWI
SPEC International Half Marathon and presented a cheque
for TT$350,000 to St Augustine Campus Principal, Professor
Clement Sankat at the official launch. The event is also
supported by the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago
"Over 1,000 local, regional and international athletes will compete for over TT$135,000 in prizes, including
specific categoriesfor UWI students and staff and wheelchair as well as physically challenged competitors."
6 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009
0 REEARH & OMMNIT
It looks like a steel pan, it sounds like a steel pan, and it
travels like a tenor pan, but the PHI is no steel pan. PHI
stands for Percussive Harmonic Instrument and is more
akin to an electronic synthesizer; so why does this new
instrument have this strong pan character?
It was part of a marketing strategy to brand the
instrument so as to immediately invoke Trinidad and
Tobago, the home of the steel pan. There are other reasons,
such as the desire to make it a modern version of the pan in
the hope that it would appeal to this and the next generation.
Apart from that, the circular shape lent to more versatility
when compared with the linear structure of the conventional
The PHI is the latest development to emerge from the
Steelpan Research Lab of the Faculty of Engineering at The
UWI. The last was the G-Pan, currently being patented, for
which Engineering Dean Prof Brian Copeland has received
a national award.
The PHI has been ten years in the making, since its
conception by Keith Maynard, Prof Copeland, Earl Phillips
and Marcel Byron. In 2000, Byron began developing the
ideas and two years later, the MIDI Pan emerged. MIDI,
the acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface,
is the communication facilitator of electronic music
With their pan foundation, the collaborators wanted
to take something indigenous into modern technology
with all its enhanced capabilities for sound reproduction,
mobility, ease of access, recordings and interface, the MIDI
Pan evolved into the PHI, and became the first pan not to
be a pan.
Speaking at the Lab, now physically located at the
Trincity Industrial Estate at Macoya, one member of the
young team directly engaged in its development, Jeevan
Persad, explained that the PHI, can reproduce all the notes
of a pan and indeed, can be played with pan sticks, but
its range as a synthesizer makes it possible to sound like
virtually any instrument.
Designed with a 36-note layout in 12-note concentric
circles, the interface follows the spider-web layout of the 4ths
and 5ths tenor. This makes it easy for pannists to adapt. But
you don't need to be a pannist to feel at home with it, you
don't even need pan sticks, your fingers will do the work of
selecting either preset modes or simply switching from one
instrument to the other then caressing the white interactive
panels to deliver sound ranging from pan to string, wind
and percussion instruments, and more..
Inside the studio, where continuous testing goes on,
Randall Ali demonstrated the range, pointing out how
simple it was to operate. Once you have a power supply of
115V, you can plug in and play, using headphones or PC
speakers, and if you have software such as Cakewalk or
Sibelius, you can easily record your compositions. If you
have Ableton or Logic Studio, premium industry-based
software, once you connect your PHI, you can record, mix,
produce and distribute your own music.
Earlier, with a charming mix of youthful enthusiasm,
science, and knowledge of trends in today's techno music
and home studio markets, members of the team, including
the marketing duo of Anushka Mahabir and Allende Lee
Lung, had taken turns making the case for the PHI as the
super instrument for their generation.
Later, Marcel Byron, the lead developer and an inventor
himself, supported their reasoning.
"The local music industry is lacking that kind of
experience and technical know-how to actually produce
and mix songs," he said. "We are opening that whole realm
to the pannist. It's like giving them a bigger tool chest of
opportunity. Now the pannist can move beyond the pan
and become like a one-man band.'
He recounted how Len Boogsie Sharpe put together
three songs in two and a half hours, recording each
instrument himself, at the studio, and how the possibilities
The shift from the MIDI Pan actually came about
through patent issues, so they decided to refocus the patent
and make it more general and applicable and relevant to the
steel pan. The evolution to the PHI was gradual.
"The MIDI was an exact replication of what the
[conventional] steelpan was, just with current technology
applied to it. The PHI has extended the possibilities, a lot
of the ideas, features and capabilities incorporated into
the PHI were not even thought of in the MIDI Pan," said
Byron, who coordinates all activities of the team involved
in its production, research and development and marketing
"The third ring in the middle came about because
we didn't have the limitations of working a piece of steel
and trying to fit everything in a small space. Since it was
electronics, you could actually do everything you want to do
inside there. That's how we came up with the 36 notes'.
With all this technology, and the potential it offers,
one imagines it will be an expensive investment when it
hits the streets.
"It is a fraction of the cost of a recording studio," said
Byron, "around US$3,000, and that is in the same ballpark
as a high-end synthesizer."
The enterprise is not simply about making money
though. The group has been taking the PHI out to
communities; their short-term targets are Embacadere,
Enterprise, Patna and Pinto, and wherever they have gone,
they've created a stir.
"They are amazed, because of what you can do with the
instrument, they realise it is not a pan, and they can play
everything. By the time they realise the full potential of the
instrument, you see the WOW effect, regardless of where
you go," he said.
The community outreach programme is in partnership
with the Citizens Security Programme, out of the Ministry
of National Security.
"The idea was that steelpan came from the communities
and it was responsible for reducing a lot of crime [decades
ago], and it gave the pannist an avenue to go out and travel
and express themselves. It is the same idea, there is so much
crime and violence, we were trying to provide an alternative
to young people by introducing them to a new instrument,
and an alternative way of expressing themselves," said
The pannist inspired the PHI and now the PHI is
inspiring pannists-as it was in the beginning, so it is at
The PHI team shares a moment at the Steelpan Research Lab. Standing from left: Derron Ellies, Jeevan Persad, Rehana Mohammed,
Marcel Byron, Wade Ramcharan, Dwayne Caberrea. Sitting: Timothy Lobin, Anushka Mahabir, Randall Ali, Edwin Jairam, Joel Castagne
and Allende Lee Leung.
8 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009
Earl Pioneers o
CHILD OD EDUCATION
"Parents don't understand the importance of being a role model,
they think children onlypick up best practices."
One of the areas appearing to withstand the rigours of
a shrinking economic pie is early childhood education.
In the recent national budget presentation, the Minister
of Finance announced that the 50 Early Childhood Care
Centres (ECCE) promised in the last fiscal year would be
completed in this new one, and that an additional 50 would
The focus on early childhood education has been so
politically marked that one could easily imagine that its
foundation stones had been laid only when the first ECCE
came to pass a couple years ago.
It goes way back actually, 21 years ago this month, to the
pioneering days of 1988, when the School of Education of
The UWI opened up its first "learning lab", formally known
as the UWI Laboratory Pre-school, at the current site at St
John's Road in St Augustine.
Back then, the School of Education (SoE) enlisted
the help of two Fulbright scholars from the US to design
an educational system for the region that recognized that
the first seven years in a child's life were crucial in terms of
The current administrative director of what has since
been renamed the Family Development and Children's
Research Centre (FDCRC), Dr Carol Logie, was a
fundamental part of this daring new initiative in early
childhood education and she speaks with a creator's pride
of its evolution.
To explore new ways of learning, new ways of teaching
had to emerge. No tertiary level programmes existed
regionally, so the SoE busied itself with designing and
introducing first the Certificate in Early Childhood Care
and Development and then the Bachelor of Education
(B.Ed.). In 1996, when the B.Ed. was introduced, there were
nine students, today, with the degree offering two separate
specialties-Primary and ECCE-student enrolment is at
"We've been able to tie what we've been doing with the
growth and development in the region:' said Dr Logie, as
she explained how they could expand to the post-graduate
level and offer masters and doctoral degrees as well as post
graduate diplomas in education.
The FDCRC, as part of the SoE, is more than a school
for young children, it is actually a training centre for students
of education, many of whom will actuallybe employed at the
State-run ECCE centres. Within an environment carefully
designed to appeal to all of the sense, teachers and students
interact in a marvellous routine that enables both parties to
learn from each other.
The notion of learning communities forms the
theoretical foundation of the Centre, based on psychologist
Lev Vygotsky's theory of social interaction's role in
the development of cognition. The Centre encourages
everyone-parents, teachers, students, family members-
who moves within the orbit of the child to see their
relationships as opportunities for two-way learning at every
level. Theoretically, people become each other's students.
Thus, the approach at the Centre emphasises early
empowerment of children to make decisions and take
responsibility for decisions and to find socially appropriate
ways of interacting with each other.
Dr Logie, who has been working at various levels in the
area of early childhood education, has a broad and uniquely
detailed knowledge of its complexities and its relationship to
national development. In conversation, she connects every
strand of thought to development, and it is as clear that she
has had to make the case several times as it is that she firmly
believes in the link.
People don't quite see that link, she says, don't realise
that the state of Trinidad and Tobago, which everyone
complains about, and the behaviour of the youth which they
lament, are connected to their own misbehaviours.
The children are looking at the adults, and we have to
look at the state of parenting, the values you carry, she said.
"It's not about whether you're single or not," it's about the
values you communicate.
"Parents don't understand the importance of being a
role model, they think children only pick up best practices,"
she said. "We can see it on the roads, we can see it in the way
they relate to children at home," we can see it in the poor
relationships that children witness.
"We have to stop as a society and examine what we
are doing," she said, citing the use of corporal punishment
as one sure way to perpetuate violence. "Children have to
understand that they have to find other ways to deal with
problems," she said. "We need our children to understand
[what it means to have] a caring, loving, warm environment,
and to bring a new learning experience to them.
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 9
"We live in a fishbowl," says administrative director, Dr
Carol Logie, repeatedly, as she guides a tour of the facilities
at the Family Development and Children's Research Centre
(FDCRC) on St John's Road in St Augustine.
Although most people refer to it as the UWI Pre-school,
it is much more than a school, as its formal name indicates.
Founded by The UWI's School of Education in 1988, the
FDCRC is practically a learning lab in many ways. While
its design and ongoing upgrades are meant to integrate and
express a specific philosophic and theoretical approach to
early childhood education, it is also an active classroom for
trainees in the field.
The physical structure has been recently upgraded,
presenting a charming facade that is idyllic to a fault.
The serenely cheerful spaces-areas earmarked for every
possible activity, all built on the scale that suits 3-5 year-
olds-must make parents wish that they could transpose
this completely into their households.
The Centre is not, as many people think, exclusively for
the children of UWI staff, and although the waiting list is
long, Dr Logie says people are welcome to come and have a
look at it to see whether its "distinctive approach" appeals to
them. They have an annual open day and a book fair which
provide ideal opportunities for exposure.
"Parents have invested heavily in their children:' she
says, adding that they see it as a site of investment (instead
of a carnival costume) and so they do what it takes to pay
It was just a few days into the new term so the children
were all fresh at it, but they seemed very able to adapt to
the expectation that they set their own places at the table,
washed up after themselves, chose their own activities and
took responsibility for their choices.
Even so, amidst all the freedoms and ownerships on
offer, it was obvious that it wasn't a free-for-all and the adults
were guiding and monitoring them constantly. The children
are kept within adult supervision of a 10:1 ratio, and there
is a discreet overhead observation deck where students can
study the children from behind a glass window without
interrupting their activities.
Everything is worth studying in this laboratory of
It's a fishbowl in there.
Diane Phillips is the Centre's Supervisor and an integral
part of ensuring that things run smoothly on a daily basis.
* The Centre holds:
A respectful image of all children as competent,
capable, and equipped with an enormous
potential for development
That children's rights are to be respected
The belief that all adults in the environment
are co-researchers and co-constructors in the
The child's role in constructing knowledge
through exploration and relationships
The value of observation, documentation, and
individual and group processes as important
elements of the programme
Its environment as a source of well-being and
an educational force that will work in the best
interest of every child
The importance of fostering self-expression,
learning and communication through the use of
a wide range of media
The value of collaboration among stakeholders
in the educational system
The importanceof the relationship among school,
community, family life and values
The reciprocal influences of diversity, ethnicity,
and family norms on high-quality earlychildhood
care and education
10 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009
She's got the
Angela Sarojini Cropper, is United
Nations Assistant Secretary-General
and Deputy Executive Director of
the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP),and has worked
S, with various organizations promoting
sustainable development.A graduate
of The UWI, she holds a BSc in
Economics and an LLB.She is founder
of the Cropper Foundation. She is
one of five persons receiving honorary
degrees at the St Augustine campus
next month. She was in Nairobi, and
about to travel again when UWI Today
contacted her,but managed to answer
Where were you born?
What was your childhood like?
S: I was born in Aranjuez, though I have no recollection
of that period of my life. I grew up mainly in Princes Town
and Penal; we moved back and forth.
[I grew up] within a very large family: 11 siblings, from
three marriages of my mother; who over her lifetime was
widowed three times. Circumstances were always very lean,
not destitute, because my mother found ways to be a single
parent in between marriages and to keep her large household
together. In [such] a very large household everyone had a
contribution to make, and did so, as my mother was pretty
strict. Nothing exceptional about my childhood: sparse
in terms of material provisions; many and large family
gatherings; restricted in terms of leisure activities and
opportunities to "do" things, like develop skills and talents;
o made do with little.
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 11
Why did you choose the career path you did?
It is not a straightforward path. Was there
something specific in your mind? Were you
simply trying to shape public policy to align
development with environmental concerns?
How did you get here (your current position)?
I elected to do Economics when I had the opportunity
to go to UWI because I wanted to contribute to changing
the world, especially to removing poverty and inequity. I
thought that as an Economist I might be able to influence
Development. I was soon corrected of this fantasy when the
first job as an Economist required me to be preoccupied
with the "internal rate of return" for entrepreneurs and my
disposition to assess social and environmental dimensions
of the business activity was not appreciated. I concluded
that the discipline was too narrow for me (especially for
a person who was tutored by Lloyd Best) and I deserted
that profession. However, the intellectual framework of
Economics remains with me to this day and I have drawn
upon it indirectly in the course of my career. When I was
at the CARICOM Secretariat as Director of its Division
of Functional Cooperation (which was a very diverse
portfolio) I enjoyed the context of working within a broad
set of intellectual domains, and especially exploring how
they interrelated. I then added to the portfolio the area of
Environment and Development-I could see the intrinsic
linkages and the way in which this relationship would be
so vital for Caribbean development.
I guess it is from my CARICOM portfolio that it
crystallised for me that I enjoyed "making the linkages,"
thinking broadly rather than disciplinarily. And I made
the conscious decision that I would want to develop the
lateral thinking skills, seeing the whole not just one or
other part. The subject of Sustainable Development added
dimensions of equity, poverty, participation and governance,
to the issues strictly of Economics, or Environment, or
to Environment and Development. That is where I have
focused since then.
I then realized over time that most of the professional
community thinks in a sectoral or disciplinary way; and
so the added value I came to bring to many discussions is
the lateral, holistic thinking about Development that goes
beyond meeting present material needs for those who can
afford and devil take those left behind.
Not surprising that upon retirement from the United
Nations system and [my] return home, when my husband
and I set up The Cropper Foundation, the first major
substantive event we did was an international conference
on "Development as if Equity Mattered." So, no, the path
is not straightforward. Intellectually, the Environment
and Development portfolio is very complex, the issues are
challenging and urgent, and they are of vital importance to
a form of development that is sustainable and equitable.
How did I get to this position? I guess precisely because
I do not fit a single disciplinary mode of thinking or
analysing. It is this background and tendency, coupled with
objectivity and balance, for which I have, I think, become
known internationally, and for which I have been invited
to serve on many policy processes and the governance
bodies of major global organizations concerned with
Sustainable Development. All my professional occupations
since the early eighties are in this field, whether in policy or
management. It is the breadth of undertaking that I think
appealed to the recruiters for the position that might have
motivated them to seek me out.
However, agreeing to be considered and accepting
the job were motivated for me by a very, very personal
consideration. The colleague who is the Executive Director
of the United Nations Environment Programme had served
with the World Conservation Congress (IUCN) at the
same time as me, and we knew each other from the early
When I served at UNDP at its Headquarters in New
York, he served in Washington DC for IUCN at its DC
Office. We kept a close axis. When he served as the Secretary-
General of the World Dams Commission, located in Cape
Town, South Africa, I responded to his need for help and
went out to help him on a short-term assignment basis. He
then became Director-General of the World Conservation
Union. So I knew his ability and integrity, and that for him
UNEP would not be business as usual, but that it might be
exciting to partner with him in this enterprise.
Also, I felt that issues of Environment and Development
had come to a new and interesting juncture: surely the
political leaders and policy makers could no longer bury
their heads in the sand-perhaps it would be an opportune
moment for intensifying the effort.
But more than the above: on December 22, 2001, this
colleague (who was still with IUCN at the time) was already
on Christmas leave with his family in Germany, but came
to Port of Spain to stand by my side, as I gave meaning to it
somewhat in lieu of my son (who had died at age 20 three
years earlier) as I went through the motions of burying
my mother and cremating my husband and sister-he was
there in my time of need. The least I could do to reciprocate
that gesture was to come to UNEP to help him in his vision
here when he indicated he had a need for my services and
support. Very personal motivation. I was already retired
from the UN System for 10 years. But trying to do the same
kind of work on the ground via The Cropper Foundation.
Interesting idea that you think of
transcending the limits of a single
disciplinary mode. Would you say that you
are a strand seeker? Would you say that
you consciously try to find the strands that
connect things, and your objective is to
weave them together?
No. I do not think I am a strand seeker. I think I search
for the Whole. It does require connecting the strands and
weaving them together.
Do you feel that your current position
enables or empowers you to fulfill your
I do not have a personal mission. But among all the
purposes for which one might work, I feel that sustaining our
planetary home and in ways that contribute to human dignity
and equity among groups and peoples transcend everything
else. It is for me a most noble mission. I do like to leave a
place somewhat better off byvirtue of my having been there.
Finally, what does the honorary doctorate
from The UWI mean to you?
I am deeply honoured by this. Even though I think I am
undeserving of it, in terms of academic accomplishments.
I made the decision early that I did not want to pursue
a career in Academia (even though Lloyd Best sought
to persuade me to that), because I wanted to change the
world. Every employment option I have chosen over my life
since university has been seen as an opportunity to continue
to change the world. In that work I do draw heavily on the
work of academics, but I try to put it to use for the larger
The Marks of Childhood
The practice of my mother to put aside
something for those who were absent
...later on in my life and professional work
I came to associate that with the concept
of "intergenerational equity" i.e. taking care
of the needs of those who were not present
* The example of my mother for hard work, duty
to her family
* Transcending ethnic divisions and perspectives
because among our household friends were
people of various ethnic backgrounds
* The proselytizing of the Christian
denomination into which we were baptized in
order to be eligible for a place in the Church-
run primary school; accompanied by name
change which relegated parental given names
to middle names (hence, Angela Sarojini), and
later on in my professional life the realisation
that that was my first encounter with the
concept of "tied aid"
* The almost accidental access to secondary
* The first among my siblings to attend
* The first among my siblings to attend
* My mother's generosity to others despite
having very little of material value-she could
always "feed another mouth:' she used to say
* The expectation on me to help to "provide
for the family" after high school, which I
did, and also after university, for the younger
ones... the incredibly indelible influence on
me from reading Sophocles "Antigone" at a
young adolescent age while at high school
and the crystallisation for me of the principle
of duty, which became the most central of the
principles by which I am guided
* The years of contribution to the household
and the progress of my younger siblings (while
deferring my own university education) was
the first crystallisation and demonstration of
my emergent "social conscience"
HIIII 'First Citizens
SUNDAY 1 ST NOVEMBER, 2009 AT 6:00 AM
UWI SPORT & PHYSICAL EDUCATION CENTRE, ST. AUGUSTINE, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
MAP OF THE ROUTE
= ORANGE GROVE
BE PLACED ALONG THE ROUTE
RACE ELECTRONICALLY TIMED
ATHLETES WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED
CROSSING THE FINISH LINE
WATER STOPS AT
AVAILBLE T UW SPE
FROM 8 OCTOBER TO7 11 ~~ I
ST. AUGUSTINE CAMPUS
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
visit us at www.sta.uwi.edu/spec
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 13
BOK EL F
The Accreditation Council
of Trinidad and Tobago
Established byAct No. 16of2004
Quality is the Key
* UWI & ACTT MAKE STRIDES
FOR QUALITY EXCELLENCE
Making a bold commitment to improving quality,
The University of the West Indies has submitted its
accreditation candidacy to the Accreditation Council of
Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT). As one of the first tertiary
institutions of its size and reach to bid for accreditation,
UWI Campus Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor,
Professor Sankat believes that institutional accreditation
would not only provide further endorsement of the
quality standards at UWI but would also contribute
to a process of continuous quality enhancement at an
institutional level. The UWI already has its programmes
registered and accredited, but is embarking on the self
study assessment of its entire operations.
While important to many stakeholders, institutional
accreditation has two main purposes: quality assurance
and institutional improvement and it provides assurance
to the public, and in particular to prospective students,
that the university is meeting the agency's requirements
The Campus management team is dedicated to using
the opportunity of this self-study exercise to conduct an
institutional assessment within the framework of the
UWI Strategic Plan, 2007-2012 against the background
of the specific accreditation criteria and standard.
;. ... -r N
* EARTH SCIENCE
The Seismic Research
Centre (SRC) ofThe UWI,
in collaboration with the
Institute (AGI) will be
celebrating Earth Science
Week 2009 during the
period October 11-17.
The SRC theme for
the week is "Tsunamis and
Other Coastal Hazards."
During that period, the
SRC (which monitors
and tsunamis for the
Caribbean), will have a student workshop on the theme,
to which students from Mayaro Secondary School have
been invited. Students will have an opportunity to learn
the causes, hazards and safety precautions for tsunamis
directly from a SRC scientist.
In partnership with the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations, the SRC will plant 50
trees suited for coastal areas with students from Cedros
* HISTORY JOURNAL LAUNCHED
In a greater effort to bring local, regional and
international attention to the scholarship of history,
the Department of History at The UWI, St Augustine
has launched an in-house journal.
Contributions are hereby solicited from a wide
cross section of scholars and advanced graduate
students in and outside the Department of History,
undergraduate students with works of exceptional
quality as well as non-university researchers and
writers of history.
The journal, which will be published annually
and made available via the UWI institutional
repository (UWISpace), will be of considerable
benefit to a wide cross section of scholars and
students, libraries in addition to members of the
public interested in history.
UWISpace is a platform being implemented
by UWI's Main Library to capture, store, index,
preserve and redistribute research material in digital
formats. The journal will be part of an interactive
web site embracing available multimedia and web
2.0 technologies (RSS feed, blogs, podcasts, video
streams, hyperlinked resources, etc.)
History is not only based on written records
but on all human actions, including those recorded
orally and reflected exclusively in the archaeological
record. The Journal's Editorial Committee therefore
invites diverse contributions on documentary
history, archaeology, personal narratives (based on
oral interviews), ethnography, historical geography,
historical linguistics and cultural landscapes.
Contributors are actively encouraged to submit
multimedia data in support of their respective
papers, should the need arise. In order to expedite
the process of publication, this journal will not
be peer-reviewed. However, all submissions will
be assessed by the Editor and members of the
Editorial Committee to determine their suitability
for publication. The Editor reserves the right to edit
all submissions. Contributors, especially students,
are gently advised to guard against plagiarism and
copyright violations. Full paper submissions must
be no more than 2,500 words and must each have a
bibliography and endnotes. Paper submissions must
adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style http://www.
The first issue is carded for March 2010.
Abstracts of no more than 150 words should be
submitted to the Editor, Dr Basil Reid, Senior
Lecturer in Archaeology in the Department of
History, U.WI., St. Augustine no later than October
30, 2009. Once the abstracts are approved, full paper
submissions should be made no later than December
31, 2009. Dr Reid's e-mail contacts are Basil.Reid@
sta.uwi.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The members of the Editorial Committee are:
Dr Basil Reid (Editor)
Dr Claudius Fergus
Professor Bridget Brereton
Dr Michael Toussaint and
Mr Frank Soodeen
(UWI Main 1. i', i Representative)
HIV IN THE
Eds. Dorothy Roberts,
Proceeding from the premise that gender influences
sexuality and sexual behaviour, "Sex Power and Taboo"
provides an interdisciplinary exploration of how gender
affects HIV risk and prevention.
The paradigm of HIV and AIDS research is shifted
by illuminating the influence of gender ideologies, norms
and power relationships on sexuality and the impact of
gender on HIV risk and prevention within and outside of
From diverse Caribbean and international perspectives,
the contributors investigate the relationship between gender
and sexuality for academics, public health workers and
advocates and social policy makers. Sex, Power and Taboo
contributes to the research-based interventions to prevent
HIV infection as well as the design, implementation and
evaluation of programmes addressing the AIDS epidemic.
The book is inrhidbii at bookshops nationwide.
In four short stories and a
novellathat conveya complex
vision of the Caribbean, this
is written with a profound
and disturbed sense of the
history that shapes the region and rejects all serene
and sentimental images of the islands and its people.
Imaginatively and honestly presenting how human relations
have become distorted as a result of the class and racial
divides wrought by colonialism, these acerbic narratives
create highly fragmented but authentic characters who
are driven to test both their boundaries and their personal
identities. Emphasizing the urbanized population of
Trinidad, especially its trendsetters, these stories also explore
how sexual transgression can be viewed as a commentary
on a society's fundamental character, a topic about which
many past Caribbean novelists have generally maintained
a discreet silence. Decidedly ambitious and contemporary,
these edgy and unrestrained tales explore the deepest issues
regarding island existence.
The book is rn',i/iiie at bookshops nationwide.
14 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009
19 LOVE ,a(9j7;
1.I LIFE M0
1 14 W Tj Iv I II IF
,ILIIIIo i or6
The ubiquitous UWI cheerleaders provided a
rousing start to the morning's proceedings.
Marketing & Communications' own Renata Sankar A faithful supporter of UWI events, Richard "Chynee"
presents Ultra Malt hampers to lucky winners. Valentine, delivers his hilariously riveting martial arts
exposition on the final day.
There's Deidre Charles (left), Director of Student Ten years later, at least the excitement and thrill
Services, giving some advice on the post-graduate hasn't faded. Doesn't this new batch of students
programme at the UWI Life Extension. remind you of us?
Clinical Psychologist, Dr Dianne Douglas was an
enormous hit as her delivery was anything but dry.
Dr Douglas came loaded with information and advice
which she presented under several hats: mother,
counsellor, lecturer, and, of course, former student.
lJ I JF. 019
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 15
Send Attach Insert Priority Signature UWILW To Do Categories Projects Links
Subject UWI owes me a refund!
Attachments: UWI LIFE PICS
Verdana i14 B 1 U T
Just a quick email to touch base since we haven't spoken for some time. Hope since you moved to London it's a little
warmer than Manchester. Indian summer or not, you'd better enjoy it before the single digit degrees kick in. I don't think I
even mentioned that I'm now with UWI's Marketing & Communications Department. Actually, it is this new post which
allowed me to witness what I consider the most amazing evolution in life last week. I couldn't wait to share it with you.
Take your mind back let's say, a decade, when we donned our hipster jeans and tank tops and enrolled in this place of
higher learning for our undergrad degrees. At the end of it we loved the experience and only spoke highly of it. And I guess
it's because it was all we knew at the time. But last week, I was pleasantly surprised. What we had was chick feed compared
with what I witnessed.
Anyway, enough nostalgia, there I was, my first week of UWI as a staff member witnessing a jaw-dropping, invigorating
phenomenon, called UWI Life. And no Rhea, I'm not using the phrase UWI Life as a simple noun. That's a branded title
describing three days of activities that celebrate, coach & challenge new students. And it's not just three arbitrary events
filled with speeches and academic "how to's"
It's a strategic project aimed at introducing incoming students to the academic, physical and cultural environment of
UWI. These three days are separated according to the audience type so that even parents and spouses, are involved and it's
fully interactive. Can you believe that?
Gone are the days when you pay, line up to register and wait for that first class to begin. (BTW did you know that
students attend UWI free now...lucky huh?)
The week starts with UWI Life Support which (as it connotes) involve the people who make up the support system
for students. Well, these supporters (parents, guardians, spouses) attend what I'd call an energizing and enlightening three
hours, where they learn the true meaning of campus life. The supporters were educated about the real deal once their loved
ones started campus life, and were treated to anecdotes about "draftin late," having to "live"in the library and the countless
pleas for the phone card money to be increased.
As a new parent myself, I thought this was exceptionally useful especially as I now see life through different lenses
where money is not that disposable. Jokes aside though, it's also instructional to the parents and spouses to understand the
commitment needed and the physical, financial and even emotional backing necessary.
The following evening, UWI Life Extension, was for post grad and more mature students. The big shebang though is
the culmination of the three days, and this was actually the one that really blew me away. Aimed at helping students glide
easily into UWI, this all-day event was explosive and interactive and tickled all senses.
Remember in our day there was the Dance Theatre? Well, it's still up and running and the dancers performed more modern
versions of what we did in the JFK Hall (As an aside, I don't think you have seen it yet, but JFK is so passe, everything
is now held in a state-of-the-art facility called UWI SPEC-an indoor stadium which can seat over 2,000). Anyway, so the
dancers evolved and I was pleased to see this. But Rhea, what fascinated me was the UWI Cheerleaders who apparently
perform at all sporting events.
The addresses by campus management were very informative, warm and engaging. Their mentoring words were seasoned
by a presentation that received standing ovation-a no-holds barred orientation into this phenomenon called UWI Life.
Delivered by Dr Dianne Douglas, clinical psychologist, this feature dealt with sex and sexually transmitted diseases, money
management, time management, substance abuse and emotional disorders, to name a few.
Of course, there was free lunch (which UWI student would not love that?) and during the break, students were treated
to an Information Village which displayed all the services available at UWI-from health to security and even banking.
What a great way to initiate them!
You'd think that was it, right? No siree. The afternoon was kind of like a SUI fete in the quad back in our day, but times
10. The games, the giveaways and the gaiety were largely due to this upsurge called event sponsorship that's taking over as
T&T becomes more and more commercial, firms like Digi-Data, Digicel, Mario's, Republic Bank Ltd, and E-City were all
represented. As the perfect target audience for corporate T&T, Generation Next(ers) were in receipt of every possible branded
merchandise from cups, to bandanas and the much needed stationery. This was accompanied by prizes which ranged from
MP3 players, stereo systems, phones and the biggies: laptops. Just remember how only 10 years ago-we huddled in the
computer labs to use the machines, and now every other student has a laptop.
I was even speaking with one of the two President's Medal winners, Nadeemah Mohammed, at the event and she had
high praises. She admitted that the euphoria of her national achievement (only a day before) was matched by the wonderful
experience she was having at UWI Life, if that's not a great testimonial, what is?
Girl, while the students experienced their baptism into UWI Life, so did I, and what a great orientation it was for me.
I learnt about the rudiments of the campus from the structured speeches, I had fun with the interactive games and most
important I became engaged with my UWI community. And Rhea, if you think I'm, exaggerating just because I work in the
Marketing Department, check it out on flickr. In fact, I'll also attach some for you to see what we've missed out on. I don't
know about Unees in the UK but from my experience at UWI Life I'm thinking about enrolling in another course to get in
there in 2010.
Gotta run, we'll chat later on FB
16 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2009
UWI CALENDAR ofEVENTS
Conference on the Economy
Thursday 1 and Friday 2, October, 2009
UWI School of Education Auditoirum,
Agostini Street, St Augustine
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Faculty of Medical Sciences, St Augustine at
Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex
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UWI TODAY WANTS
TO HEAR FROM YOU
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..I Ilih ,'I I l I l' 'I ,., Ih.' l, lh u 1 I it4
Community School of Arts
Sept 12 to November 21
The Depaitment of Cieative and Festival
Arts, Goclon Street, St Augustine
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UWI SPEC International
Half Marathon 2009
Sunday 1st November, 2009
6am, UWI SPEC, St Augustine
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Presentation of Graduates 2009
Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October 2009
Sport and Physical Education Centre, St
Augustine Circular Road, St Augustine
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Friday October 30,2009
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Saturday October 31,2009
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UWI TODAY is printed and distributed for The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, through the kind support of Trinidad Publishing Co Ltd, 22-24 St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies.
The UWI/Guardian Life
'Premium' Open Lecture 2009
Friday 2 October, 2009
UWI, St Augustine Campus
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Brazilian Film Week
October 1st to Sunday 4th October
The Centre for Language Learning ICLLi,
UWI St Augustine
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