Group Title: President's Newsletter for The College of the Bahamas
Title: President's Newsletter December 2007
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: President's Newsletter December 2007
Series Title: President's Newsletter for The College of the Bahamas
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: The College of The Bahamas President
The College of The Bahamas ( Contributor )
Publication Date: 2007
Subject: College
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- Bahamas -- Nassau
Coordinates: 25.0661 x -77.339
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA00299001
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: The College of The Bahamas, Nassau
Holding Location: The College of The Bahamas, Nassau
Rights Management: Copyright 2007, The College of the Bahamas. All rights reserved.

Full Text

December 2007
Volume 1, Issue 2

The College of The Bahamas,

Dear Colleagues,

This issue of The President's Newsletter is dedicated to all who
have made and who continue to make The College of The Bahamas
a great place to learn and to those whom we loved and who have
left us.

We face challenges of resources and growth, but we face them
together. Nowhere was this more evident than in the courage and
solidarity we displayed to the nation as we grieved the loss of
wonderful colleagues and friends this last semester. I invite you to
remember Pauline Glasby, Michael Hepburn and Thaddeus
McDonald and to know that what we do to build the future, we
also do to honour the past.

I invite each member of our community students, faculty, staff,
alumni, friends and members of our Council both past and
present to be engaged in the work ahead. May the coming year
be the year we work together to realize our dream of becoming a
university.. There will be debates and there should be. A university
is a place for debate, a place of ideals and ideas. We must engage
in such debates civilly, displaying the exemplary respect we have
demonstrated this fall.

We have tried to adopt a new and better registration process and
we have much to learn from the experience. We are developing
new programmes and we will need to find both faculty and
students for these. We are about to develop new quality assurance
policies and practices. We are trying to reach out internationally to
benefit both students and faculty. We are seeking additional
resources from both public and private sources. We are trying to
improve the overall quality of the student experience, creating


President's Message 1
Council Corner 1
Student Engagement Study 2
Class of'77 Reunion 3
Passages 3
Email... Yours for Free 4
The President's Email Etiquette 4
Mailbox 5
Hall of Fame Inductee 5
Alumni Relations & Development 7
Worst Job Quiz 8
academic Endnote 8

better advising, improving student retention rates and increasing
graduation rates. We are expecting to build a library and seeking
resources to do this. We are improving our facilities, both in New
Providence and on the Northern campus. We are also trying to
ensure that we have better data on which to base our decisions.

Through all of this, we are trying to build a culture of decision based
on evidence, a culture of shared and distributed leadership, a culture
of empowerment so that teams everywhere, in schools, in faculties,
and in departments can share ownership of the outcomes that we
believe will best serve The University of the Bahamas.

I offer each of you my gratitude for your commitment to our shared
vision and for your support of students and colleagues and look
forward to sharing with you the road ahead.

Peace & Joy and Goodwill to all!

Council Corner

The College Council met on September 12th, 2007, on
October 10th, 2007 and on November 14th, 2007.

Council approved the launch of the draft Strategic Plan and
the launch of the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on
Governance (the Bethel Report). It also recognized the
results of The College of The Bahamas Union of Students
2008 election. It established a Task Force on Academic
Programme Quality Assurance, to be chaired by Dr.
Frederick Lowy, former Rector of Concordia University in
Montreal. The Task Force will submit its report April 2008.

lanyne M. Hodder

Council created Search Advisory Committees for the
positions of Vice-President, Finance & Administration, and
Associate Vice-President, Human Resources. It agreed on a
process to seek a bond issue for the funding of the Harry C.
Moore Library and the construction of the Northern Bahamas

Council received reports on Security matters and approved
an increase of 14 to the number of security officers. It also
received a report on the The National Study of Student

Please see Council Corner on page 6

From The President

Student Engagement: How we measure up?
William Fielding, Director of Planning

In spring 2007, the College participated in the National (North
American) Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) along with
610 universities and colleges from the United States and
Canada... The NSSE is a research based survey which targets
first and final year students enrolled in baccalaureate
programmes. Participation in this survey allows colleges to
not only get feedback from students on their educational
experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, but also
allows colleges to see how they are performing in relation to
other colleges.

The NSSE looks at a number of broad areas such as Academic
and Intellectual Experiences, Mental Activities, Reading and
Writing, Problem Sets, Examinations, Additional Collegiate
Experiences, Enriching Educational Experiences, Quality of
Relationship, Time Usage, the Institutional Environment,
Educational and Personal Growth, Academic Advising and

In spring 2007, 133 first year (those with 15 credits or less)
and 149 final year students (those who were within 30 credits
of completing their programme, as of fall 2006) gave the
College feedback about their experiences. These numbers
represent about 25% of first year and 70% of final year

( National Survey uf Student EngagemenI

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is
designed to obtain, on an annual basis, information from
scores of colleges and universities nationwide about
student participation in programs and activities that
institutions provide for their learning and personal
development. The results will provide an estimate of how
undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from
attending college. Survey items on The National Survey of
Student Engagement represent empirically confirmed "good
practices" in undergraduate education. That is, they reflect
behaviors by students and institutions that are associated
with desired outcomes of college.
From website: facts.cfm

Where do we perform at or above the mean?

Compared to North American colleges, we rate at or above
the average of the 610 North American colleges with respect
to our academic performance and the personal growth of our
students. We motivate them to do better and work harder
than they thought they could and we place a great deal of
emphasis on the academic side of the students' time at The
College. Students acknowledge the tremendous contribution
which the College makes to their personal growth in many

What does that say about the quality of the education our
students receive and why they should come here?

Our students are telling us that The College is a good place to
come for an academic experience, one which is equal or
superior to that found in many North American colleges. They
view their academic experience as also relevant to the
workplace. Our graduates should find jobs easily and we
shall soon be investigating this hypothesis. Our students are
also saying that The College allows them to grow and develop
- and they say this as often as or more often than do students
in the study from other colleges and universities.

Where do we perform below the mean?

The College underperforms compared to its American
counterparts when it comes to activities outside of the
classroom. Students have less interaction with instructors
outside the lecture room and students are less likely to
participate in clubs, societies and cultural events compared
with North American students.

Facilities for students were found to be lacking and do not
allow students to support each other academically and
socially so that all areas of their growth are allowed to reach
their potential. Information technology resources were found
to be particularly in need of upgrading.

Please see Student Engagement on Page 7

Page 2

From The President


A number of our colleagues have left this fall to pursue other
interests. Among these is Patricia Glinton-Meicholas. Ms.
Meicholas will be remembered for her two passages at The
College, first as a faculty member and academic administrator,
more lately as Council Secretary and most recently as our Vice-
President, Communications. In that role, she brought a new
sense of professionalism to all we did and succeeded in
enhancing the presentation of a number of major publications
such as The College catalogue, our research magazine, the view
book and many others. She raised the bar for the quality of our
print materials and for tireless devotion to the cause of
Bahamian history and culture. We thank her and wish her well.

We also thank other staff members who have left us to pursue
other dreams. These are Barbara Barton, Gwen Charlow, John
Collins, Janis Curry, Lia Head, Gurth Ford, Judith Heastie,
Nathelyn Lacroix and Julian Moncur. We also thank our 2005-
2007 retirees and look forward to celebrating with them early
in the New Year. These are: Livingstone Adderley, Arlene
Albury, Barbara Ambrister, Patsy Curtis-Morris, Ernestine
Douglas, Hilda Douglas, Vernelle Edwards, Eric Hepburn, Peter
Knowles, Eugene Lightbourne, Andrea Miller, Lambert Miller,
Joan Pinder, Genevieve Roker, Berdie Stubbs and Neville

We also welcome new colleagues who joined us since August:
Yvette Albury, Perez Bethel, Calvin Brown, Ruth Brown, Hewitt
Burrows, T Ziette Culmer, Yolanda Darville, Olivia Davis, Audrey

Deveaux, Patronella Evans, Cyd Fernander, Alvin Hield, Peterson
James, Kathleen Johnson, Kendra Moxey, Crystal Rolle,
Randaneshia Saunders, Jevon Stubbs, Justin Taylor, Natasha
Taylor, Evania Thompson, Decoda Williams and Cleopatra

Finally, we offer our congratulations to colleagues and members
of our community. Congratulations are extended to Chairman T.
Baswell Donaldson for his recent Lifetime Achievement from
Association of International Banks & Trusts. We also
congratulate John Bain (Class of '77) on winning the prestigious
and highly-coveted 2007 ACCA Achievement Award for the
Americas, and all members of our College community who have
obtained a high national and/or international honour.

Please let us know when there is someone to celebrate or when there
is community news to share by writing to .

Class of'77 Happy 30th Anniversary and welcome home

John Bain, Greta Kemp, Pam Moultrie, Ethric Bowe and
Hammond Rahming...What do all these persons have in
common? They are among the 93 graduates of the class of '77
and they formed the organizing committee for reunion activities
for their 30th graduation anniversary.

Students may have been the "guinea pigs" then; these
graduates, however, are now leaders across The Bahamas. They
are ambassadors for the excellence of the education they
received which we still offer today. We thank them for coming
home to celebrate.

I also salute the faculty of the time especially since I was

among them! Thirty years ago, there were 132 faculty
members, compared to over 220 today. Special recognition
goes to those who still serve today: Judy Blair, Marjorie
Brooks-Jones, James Murray, Freeman Kelly, Peter Daniels,
Ernestine Ward, Eve Poitier, Haldane Chase, Cephas Ward,
Neromanie Nezamudeen, Camille Liverpool-Barnett, Felix
Bethel and Sheila Seymour.

This important anniversary will also be marked in the
forthcoming publication of a new and exciting publication:
The College of The Bahamas Alumni Magazine.

Don't miss it!

Page 3

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

Oren Arnold

From The President

Email: Yours...for free

Vernice Williams, Acting Director,
Management Information Services


An email address is available to each employee of The College
of The Bahamas. This email account provides you access to
communicate with others electronically. As a user of this
service, each user is placed in the following:-
COB employees mailing list
Staff or Faculty mailing list
The department or school mailing list


Email is the fastest and surest way to stay in touch with all
that is happening at The College. Soon, it will also be our
official means of communicating with all employees. Finally, it
is a quick, reliable and free way for you to send and receive
messages from colleagues wherever they might be on

Furthermore, email distribution lists are used to issue
announcements, notices, and information to the entire staff
or to specific groups. By using email, we also reduce paper use
and costly distribution mechanisms.


Employees may request their network and email username
and password from the IT Help Desk located on the ground
floor of the C Block or by phone at 302-4588. If you are
unable to log on using the account information given to you,
kindly report this error to the IT Help Desk.


To access your web mail, please do the following:-

1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Type in your URL
3. Click Enter on the webpage
4. Select Webmail Staff from the navigation tab
5. Enter your username and password received from the IT
Help Desk
6. Click the Log On button

Email etiquette:

The President suggests...

Over many years of using email, I have a set of rules I am
happy to share with you. Other resources can help when you
want guidance on the etiquette of email. The following sites
are useful:

1. Email is a postcard. Do not email anything that you would
be embarrassed to see on the front page of the The
Tribune or The Punch.
2. Use email for practical messages. Important discussions
are best had in person. This is particularly true when you
and your recipient are not agreeing. Keep talking.
3. Do not write an email when you are angry. No one wants
to be attacked by their email. Also, tomorrow you might
not be so angry and what you wrote won't seem so clever.
4. Do not write in BLOCK CAPITALS. It sounds like screaming.
5. Do not overuse the high priority option or URGENT and
IMPORTANT. Your recipient can decide this.
6. Do not overuse c.c. or reply to all. Email is a message, not
a power play.
7. Stay away from bcc. What you have to say and to whom
you are saying it should be clear.
8. Do not request delivery and read receipts. When I read is
my business.
9. If you must use another account but cob's, make sure your
name is appropriately professional. Hotpants@hotmail
won't get you respect in our workplace and where exactly
do you want to work?
10. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission.
11. Try not to attach large files unless you have said you will be
sending one and it is welcome.
12. Avoid forwarding jokes, or other mass emails on your work
account. It usually isn't funny.

And for a baker's dozen,

13. Read your email before you send it!

Page 4

From The President


Reserved for your letters or internal mail

Why has COB decided to take from staff the maternity
benefit that so many had enjoyed for so many years?
Sharlene Smith, Administrative Assistant, Libraries &
Instructional Media Services Dept.

The College agrees that mothers should receive full salary
benefits during maternity leave. They do.

In the past, The College was not compliant with The National
Insurance Act and maternity benefits exceeded salary, clearly
not the intention of either The College or The National
Insurance Act. On August 14th, 2007, Mr Brown, VP Finance
& Administration, confirmed the change which brought The
College benefit in harmony with The National Insurance one.
Maternity leave is now paid in accordance with the
provisions of the National Insurance Act, The Employment
Act and the Industrial Agreements between The College and
BPSU and between The College and UTEB. The College is
responsible for 33 % % of this benefit and the NIB for 66 % %.

What is being done to address the parking problems at the
Michael Eldon Complex? What is the point of giving faculty
stickers for their cars if students are allowed to park all over
the campus and are not directed to the Tucker Road car
Vivienne Ferguson, Assistant Professor, School of English

The College does not have sufficient parking for all who wish
to park on campus. We are, however, implementing parking
policies which clearly direct students to student parking. For
the most part, security officers work hard to ensure that this
policy is implemented. Still there are those who do not
respect these guidelines. We are planning to issue student
stickers and we hope this will alleviate the problem. We may
need to adopt more coercive measures if this fails, but for
the moment we are trying to generate collaboration with
students to ensure they park in student parking zones.

What is BECS?
Shan Higgs, Senior Clerk, Office of Research, Graduate
Programmes & International Relations

BECS stands for The Bahamas Education, Culture and Science
Foundation, Inc... BECS is registered in the state of Florida. It
can receive gifts from Americans and offer tax deductions for
these gifts. This foundation was formed for the specific and
primary purpose to operate for the advancement of higher
education programmes and research in The Bahamas.

Dr. Donald Gerace of the Gerace Research Centre, San
Salvador, Bahamas established The BECS Foundation to
support the research work done at the Centre, but The
Foundation can also be of assistance in any type of higher
education project in The Bahamas, including any type of
project at The College. The BECS Foundation is managed by a
governing board of which The College President is an ex
officio member. Its Executive Director is Felicity Humblestone,
Director of Development of The College of The Bahamas.


Charles Sealey received an Associate Degree in Management in
1991 from The College of The Bahamas. Charles Sealey has
been in the public eye recently as BTC's personality in its
Blackberry promotion campaign but it is at Doctors Hospital
where he is Chief Executive Officer that his talents and passion
for helping others have borne fruit. A committed family man,
Charles has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public
Administration and a Master's degree in Health Administration.
In obtaining the latter, he was a member of the initial class of a
unique programme for which The College partnered with
Western Connecticut State University.

A member of the Royal Bahamas Police Force from 1989 to
1997, Charles is an accomplished public speaker and member
of Toastmasters, a disciplined Rotarian, having served as
President of the Southeast Nassau club from 2003 to 2004, and
an ex-seven year member of the National Youth Choir.
Chosen by a panel of judges that comprised Dr Keva Bethel,
Joan Albury, Van Gaitor, Marissa Mason-Smith, Laura Pratt-
Charlton and Larry Gibson, Charles has regularly assisted needy
students at The College with their fees and has often hired
College students for summer employment at Doctors Hospital.

Mr. Sealey is the seventh inductee into our hall of fame. He
joins a select group of stellar ambassadors who have left their
mark upon The College and are now making their mark upon
the country. These are: Neil Ellis, Laura Pratt-Charlton, Larry
Gibson, Tanya McCartney, Vernice Walkine, and Keith Bell.

Page 5

From The President

The Council Corner from page 1

Engagement as well as various reports on alumni and
development matters. It discussed the development of a
Master Plan for the New Providence campus and
authorized initial work to be done in this area. It studied
the feasibility of creating a University of the Bahamas
Foundation. It reviewed the composition of faculty with
the goal to increase the number of faculty with terminal
degrees and began a discussion on the ideal composition
of the faculty with respect to its Bahamian and non-
Bahamian composition.

It also saw the departure of Mr. Roger Kelty and the
arrival of new members. Ms. Anastarcia Huyler was
welcomed in her capacity as President of the College of
the Bahamas Union of Students President (COBUS) as was
Ms. Prestonia Wallace as the new Staff Observer. A new
community member is also expected to be appointed

New Council Members

Anastarcia (Star) Huyler from Grand Bahama is the new
President of COBUS. A silver awardee of the GGYA
programme and an accomplished public speaker, Ms.
Huyler attended the 2006 Global Young Leaders
Conference in the Washington, DC and new York where
she spoke on women's rights at the mock United Nations

session. An active churchgoer, she wants to serve God
through serving others. She is a Mass Communications
major at The College and hopes to pursue a dual degree in
International Relations and Human Resources with a minor
in Political Science. Star aspires to eventually become the
Minister of both Tourism and Foreign Affairs and is
presently a member of the Bahamas National Youth
Council Initiative and Co-director of Business Affairs for
Youth Ambassadors for Positive Living. She accompanied
the Bahamas delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of
Government General Meeting in Uganda in November

Prestonia Wallace, the new Staff Observer on Council
joined The College in November, 1997 as the
Administrative Assistant in the Physical Plant Department.
She serves as Assistant Director of Janitorial Services. Prior
to coming to The College, she spent three years in the
hospitality industry working at the Atlantis Hotel and
Casino. Ms. Wallace holds a B. Sc. in Business
Administration with a Minor in Computer Science. She is
also a certified Housekeeping and Human Resources
Manager. A graduate of Nassau Christian Academy, she is
an active Sunday School teacher and enjoys reading and
communicating with people of diverse cultures, travelling
and walking on the beach. The oldest of seven siblings,
Miss Wallace was born in Nassau to Rev. Preston & Mrs.
Vernita Wallace and has one daughter, Ebony.

The College of The Bahamas Union of Students:
Partners in Building The University of the Bahamas

Student leaders are partners in building The University of The Bahamas and this year's new representatives have been active
throughout the fall semester. They have held open meetings to get a student's perspective on life at The College and to address student
concerns. They have held a prayer vigil in honour of Dr. McDonald. They have developed positions on matters affecting students and
they developed a strong voice at Council.

They are the Executive:
Anastarcia Huyler,
Ada Kenriva Bethel
Aqueelah A. Thompson
Duranda Minus
I'lisa E. Russell
Grier Munro

Vice President
Executive Secretary
Asst. Executive Secretary
Public Relations Officer

And the Senators:
Herbelena A. Thompson
Sharise Clyde
Delvano U. Mclntosh
Chakara Bennett
Oquendo Lewis
Marche' Mackey
Narissa Knowles
Lavell Watson
Yeshantai Thompson
Shaveka Cleare
Alex Missick
Shavonna Laing

Nursing & Allied Health
English Studies
Social Sciences
Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Science & Technology
Communication & Creative Arts

Page 6

From The President

Student Engagement from page 2

What are we doing about areas where we underperform?

The College's underperforms in areas outside of the
classroom. In some cases, we already knew this and our
Strategic Plan makes ample reference to such areas as key
goals for improvement.

This includes, for example, the need to improve registration.
We also want to be more student-centred in our dealings
with students across the campus, whether with respect to
academic advising and support or to the quality of other
interactions with students.

This November we introduced online registration on a
restricted basis and though we had our challenges, we will
continue to improve this service. With respect to student
life opportunities, The Wellness Centre will offer an
increased number of activities for students. We are also
seeing increased student life activities and great
collaboration between COBUS and the Campus Life
Department. The opening of the Performing Arts Centre
can also provide for more cultural activities, many of which
we would expect to be student initiatives.

The consultative document on the College's Strategic Plan
indicates that as the College moves to being a university,
student diversity, studying overseas and research
opportunities will become a part of the College experience
for many students.

And we already know that we need to find ways to build our
resource base so that we can continue to improve and
expand our facilities. We want to recruit the best students
in the country and we want offer the best education and the
best overall College experience. Our goals are ambitious,
but our students and the country deserve no less.

To this end, in spring 2008, we shall be participating in the
Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE). This survey
measures the expectations which faculty have concerning
student engagement and it also gathers information as to
how faculty spend their time in teaching related activities.
The FSSE results will allow the College to identify its
strengths as well as areas that may need attention. In the
New Year, 2008, faculty will be invited to participate in this
web-based survey.

The best university we can be depends on the engagement of
all and on administrative will to act on what we learn from
our students and from our faculty about building excellent
educational experiences. It is hoped that all faculty will
participate in this important next step..

For further information about this survey please contact
William Fielding or Jeannie Gibson in the Planning Unit.
More information about FSSE is available on-line at:

Alumni Relations & Development:
Engaging Our Graduates & Fostering Friendships

Felicity Humblestone, Director of Development

We are a team of three working with and for the entire
College community: Kendra Moss, new colleague Yolanda
Darville, and I. ARD supports and implements programmes
and infrastructure for our alumni and donor communities.
We work to increase private investment in The College and
to engage our alumni community in varied and meaningful
ways. The College is proud to recognize donor trailblazers
such as Franklyn & Sharon Wilson, Lyford Cay Foundations,
Bacardi & Company Limited, First Caribbean Bank, and
others for their high levels of major gift support.

It is also important to recognize the years of faithful faculty
and staff support received towards the library fund, totaling
more than $100,000. We hope to increase the number of
donors who contribute to this fund over this academic year.
All such donors are leading the way, and demonstrating
how private giving can shape the future.

We have also recruited some wonderful volunteers that
help The College achieve goals in alumni relations &
fundraising, including the Faculty & Staff Annual Fund Co-
Chairs, the Alumni Association Executive, the Alumni Annual
Fund Class Champions, the Class of 1977 30th Reunion
Committee, search and advisory committee volunteers and
many more. Generosity, of time and funds, from our alumni
and friends communities is helping us build The University
of The Bahamas.

ARD supports and encourages all levels of contribution and
giving. The ARD team works to engage our alumni and
donors, consistent with their tremendous value and
contribution to our College.

Page 7

From The President

Worst Job Quiz: Connect the members of the Senior Team with their worst job ever. The person with the best
score wins a Starbucks reward. Send your answer matching the number with the right letter to
newsletter@ by Friday, January 16.

1. Janyne M. Hodder

2. Denton Brown

3. Rubie Nottage

4. Danny Davis

5. Linda Davis

6. Colyn Major

7. Pandora Johnson

8. Antoinette
9. Rhonda Chipman-

10. Coralee Kelly

A. Cleaning/gutting fish and cleaningthe outside toilet

B. Reading newspapers and Mills & Boon books and twiddling my thumbs from 9-5 at Maritime Affairs as a clerk. It was
incredibly boring! Painfully boring! Imagine getting paid to do nothing! Horrors!
C. It was the summer. I was 12 years old and given a job to scrub the cement walls (outside) of buildings using a
cement brick until the walls had a yellow stain. The buildings were never painted -still are not. I was eventually
fired. Couldn't get the yellow stain.
D. My worst job for which I was not paid was cleaning small fish, especially the one we called the "sammy". Other than
this, I'll take 's washing doo-doo out of cloth napkins for nieces and nephews.
E. Registering voters

F. Scraping the loose paint from a tin ceiling where absolutely none of the surface area was level. It took hours of work
using a very small scraper and sand paper standing on a ladder and working overhead. I had stiff neck for a week
G. TA assignment as a graduate student which required weekly air travel

H. I worked in a bowling alley and had to manually return the balls on many nights.

I. The worst job I ever had was in a meat packing plant. It was a clerical job in which I recorded how many pounds of
meat came in and how many dollars went out. Meanwhile, as I sat in the glassed in office, sides of beef hanging on
large hooks went past in endless stream. It was my final year in College and I spent most of my time hoping that my
degree would lead to a better job. I also went off beef.
J. Once per week I had to wash, change oil, lube and fix tyres on the same truck. I hated that truck. Work was always
nn n rlin d-

Academic endnote: The Anatol Rodgers Memorial Lecture
Marjorie Brooks-Jones, Chair, School of English Studies

The second Anatol Rodgers Memorial Lecture was
delivered to a packed audience on November 8th by
Caribbean academic Dr. Carolyn Cooper, Director of the
Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of the West
Indies at Mona. Arriving straight from a lecture
delivered at Yale University, Dr. Cooper enthralled her
audience with her lecture entitled "'No Matter Where
You Come From': Pan-Africanist Consciousness in
Caribbean Popular Culture".

Dr. Cooper spoke passionately on the subject of identity,
specifically the urgent need for African peoples to
acknowledge and reclaim their African ancestral and
cultural heritage. She began by discussing notions of
difference or otherness. She noted that difference figures
in both scribal and oral literature, using Claude McKay's
novel Home to Harlem and folk tales from Zola Neale
Hurston's Mules and Men as illustrations. The humour
embedded in these narratives, however, did not obscure
the thrust of Dr. Cooper's talk which is that while the
narratives represent difference--of ethnicity and of
education--both forms of literature attest to the "cultural
continuities" between African- American and Caribbean

Caribbean popular music also affirms these links and extends
them to embrace African peoples everywhere. Categories of
identity such as nationality, religion, class and colour must
not be allowed to obscure or devalue African identity, stated
Dr. Cooper. Interspersing anecdotal and musical references,
she stressed that race pride is an idea that is not and cannot
be subject to what we may term the Eurocentric tides of
postmodernism. To Dr. Cooper, the "I" matters and the
African "I" must matter; Pan-Africanism is an ideology that
matters. In the words of the reggae artist PeterTosh,

Ifyu come from Trinidad
Ifyu come from Nassau
Ifyu come from Cuba
You're an African.

Provocative, controversial, stimulating, Dr. Cooper's talk
engendered much discussion. Responses from the audience
ranged from the intellectual to the emotional. Clearly the
lecture series satisfies a need within the larger community
for this kind of event. That the School is able to do this is in
large measure due to the support of the Rodgers family. We
are most grateful.

Page 8

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