Friday, November 21, 2014

Reichhold Center: Legends Perform Here


From Ray Charles to Common – from Michael Bolton to the Alvin Ailey American Theater - UVI’s Reichhold Center for the Arts has hosted legendary artists and performers for over three decades. This year the center takes it over the top. Grammy Award winning singer Natalie Cole, on her second visit, delighted the Reichhold Center audience with an encore on Nov. 1, after performing for two hours straight to a packed Reichhold Center audience. This is Cole’s second performance at the center. “The intimacy that we have, especially with artists like Natalie Cole, is unique to Reichhold,” says Denise Humphrey, interim director of the University of the Virgin Islands Reichhold Center for the Arts. “You don’t experience any other artist, anywhere else, at any other venue, like you would here at the Reichhold.”

Up next on the line-up of legends is Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Babyface is a musical maverick who has ignited the hearts of music lovers for decades. A prolific song writer, hit-maker, superstar recording artist and record label owner and producer, Babyface has won 10 Grammy Awards. He has sold more than 500 million singles and albums, and has more than 100 chart topping R and B hits. He performs at 8 p.m. on Jan. 17.

“He will have everyone moving and grooving,” says Humphrey. “His performance is definitely going to be a nice kick-off for the New Year.”

Babyface’s cool, soulful love songs include hits like, “When Can I See You Again” released in 1994, “Every Time I Close My Eyes” in 1997, “Whip Appeal” in 2001, and “For the Cool in You” in 2001.

In 1989, Babyface co-founded LaFace Records. Three of the label's early artists were, TLC, Usher, and Toni Braxton. “You can expect a plethora of music,” says Reichhold Center Marketing and Sales Manager Ian Turnbull of Babyface’s performance. “He is a music icon. There are countless records that he has either written or produced songs for that resonate with millions. He is truly a hit maker.” This year, he released a duet album with Tony Braxton titled “Love, Marriage, and Divorce.”

“The performance that he is going to bring to the stage is going to appeal to the young and the young at heart,” says Turnbull. “His musical repertoire spans the last four decades.”

Babyface is just one of the award winning artists performing at the Reichhold Center this season. Nine-time Grammy Award winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin will perform at the Reichhold Center on Feb. 7. Franklin has bridged the gap between gospel and other musical genres for more than two decades. “His show, in my opinion, is going to be the most active performance,” says Turnbull. “He puts on a high energy show.” Franklin is known for leading urban contemporary choirs such as “The Family,” “God’s Property” and “One Nation Crew.” He is also the host and executive producer of the gospel talent show “Sunday Best,” the highest-rated gospel program in Black Entertainment Television network history.

This season, the Reichhold Center has added “The Sky Lounge,” which is nestled under the shaded perch above the upper uncovered seats. The Sky Lounge has a newly designed bar and lounge seating with an intimate setting. Patrons can be served drinks and light hors d’oeuvres, while they watch the show. “You have the best spot in the house,” says Humphrey. “You have space to dance and to really enjoy the performance.” Humphrey says that this season is designed for people to come out, relax, enjoy and be entertained.

The Reichhold Center and UVI’s Virgin Islands Tourism and Hospitality Program have partnered to run the center’s concessions for regular season shows. “They have turned that whole atmosphere of our Sky Lounge into something that is very unique, that people are loving,” says Humphrey. “The students are fantastic. I love their level of service and their interactions. They are very professional and it is a testament to the quality of service that is coming out of that program.”

The Reichhold Center, a 1,196 seat amphitheater, has had a great season so far. The Center’s 36th season opened with a sold out performances from Reggae Artists Tessane Chin, winner of the hit television show “The Voice,” and Virgin Islands own Pressure Buspipe. Chin received a standing ovation and treated her fans with an encore performance.

Other shows this season include performances by:

· “Spencers: Theatre of Illusion” on March 7 and 8 – during his visit in the Virgin Islands, Spencer will also visit schools and health service centers.

· The Dzul Dance Company on March 21 – this show-stopping company fuses contemporary dance with aerial arts, contortion and acrobatics to showcase indigenous Mexican Mayan culture.

· Jeffrey Osborne and Freddie Jackson on May 23 – Osborne will perform his hits “Stay With Me Tonight,” “She’s On The Left,” “You Should Be Mine,” and more. A former lead vocalist for the band L.T.D., Osborne’s solo career has earned him a total of five gold and platinum albums. Freddie Jackson earned legions of fans with the sultry songs “You Are My Lady” and “Rock Me Tonight.”

For more information on Reichhold Center shows visit www.reichholdcenter.org or call the box office at (340) 693-1559. For advertising and sponsorship opportunities contact Ian M. Turnbull at (340) 693-1554 or via email ian.turnbull@uvi.edu. The Reichhold Center’s 2014-2015 season is sponsored by Marriott Frenchman’s Reef, International Capital & Management Company, VI Lottery, Innovative and VI Council on the Arts.







Eleven Graduates Receive Clinical Medical Assistant Certificates from CELL

2014 Graduates of UVICELL’s Clinical Medical Assistant Program.
Eleven students who graduated from the recent Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program offered by the UVI’s Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning (UVICELL) Center received certification during a ceremony on Nov. 19, 2014, in Frederiksted, St. Croix. The six-month CMA program is designed to prepare students to perform a wide range of clinical tasks in a healthcare setting. It was created to address high unemployment rates on St. Croix and provide much needed skills to increase chances for employment in the healthcare sector.
Graduates of the program are trained to assist with the administration of medication, prepare patients for examination and treatment, record and take vital signs, and perform routine laboratory procedures. Graduates included: Alberta Benjamin, Shemona Cascen, Shermin Charles, Ana Cruz, Jewelise Fahie, Mary Francois, Bernadette King, Brenda La-Force, Sophia Lawrence-Brown, Shanice Liburd and Brizeida Rivera. Ten of the eleven students are already nationally certified.
“Our students have worked extremely hard to achieve this milestone,” said Ilene Garner, director of the UVICELL Center. “It is also fitting that we are able to train and certify individuals in the industry, especially when our healthcare system needs an infusion of trained and talented staff to support our local healthcare facilities,” she said. 
The course, taught in a blended-learning environment, combined online learning with traditional classroom methods. Theoretical aspects of the course were taught online with the assistance of an online instructor. Regular group and clinical hands-on sessions with an in-class instructor rounded out the comprehensive course, providing a rich and unique learning experience.  

For more information on the CMA program, contact the UVICELL Center at (340) 693-1100 or visit cell.uvi.edu. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Training Sessions for Peer Educators Prepare Them for UVI, Community Outreach

From left, St. Thomas Campus Peer Educators Sean Benjamin, 
Lurenzo Scotland - a lead educator, Elvaneice Huggins and 
Kiah Muller - a lead educator, release balloons signifying the 
release of their weaknesses while focusing on their strengths 
during a training sessionClick on photos to see larger image
This year, when UVI celebrates Red Ribbon Week on St. Croix and St. Thomas, members of the University’s Peer Educators Program will play a key role in the activities. In addition to staffing pledge tables and participating in the planned marches, the Peer Educators – 16 on St. Croix and 19 on St. Thomas – will make presentations on campus and participate in outreach to the greater Virgin Islands community. (Note: Red Ribbon activities are set for both campuses from Oct. 27-30. Link to UVI Announcements)
           
Their goal is to share accurate information about the effects that drugs, alcohol and HIV have on their fellow students as well as other residents in the territory. Three formal training sessions held earlier this semester brought all the program’s students together to hear from experts in their respective fields, according to Program Coordinator Alyssa Ryan. The trainings, a mandatory aspect of the program, featured Dr. Peggy Glider from the University of Arizona; Vanessa Cooke, director of Bowie State University’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Center; and UVI alumna Japheth Auguste, who works as a professional counselor in Florida.

Some of the contingent of Peer Educators from the Albert A. Sheen 
Campus gather for a photo during a break from training. Shown, 
from left, are - back row - Tyquana Mewborn, Samuel Joseph, 
Akira Matthew, Briana Eleonora, Chyrise Eleonora, Shenequa 
Hector and Rokeyah Connor, and -  front row - Janalee Concepcion, 
Christopher Rosario - lead educator, Sophia Johnson, Kaila Mitchell 
and Ashley Baker.
Glider shared details of a program she runs that is designed to reduce high-risk drinking among college students and others ages 18 to 24 using campus-based media campaigns and other strategies to address misperceptions about alcohol. Cooke conducted a Certified Peer Educators Training session designed to improve listening skills, develop socially inclusive outreach efforts, and share techniques to successfully encourage individuals to take action steps for change. All Peer Educators work to achieve certification.


Auguste’s training focused on an in-depth look at the effects of alcohol and marijuana on different parts of the body, and how students can translate that information to their peers. She also discussed the possible legalization of marijuana in the Virgin Islands and how to handle situations where Peer Educators encounter students who strongly favor the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana.

The work of Peer Educators continues throughout the year. The program is part of UVI’s larger Substance Abuse and HIV Prevention Program, which is funded by a major grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

Peer Educators pose with presenter Dr. Peggy Glider, in red, from the University of Arizona during a training session in September.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Three St. Croix UVI Process Technology Students Receive Seven Seas Water Scholarships

Scholarship Recipients of the Seven Seas Water Scholarships are, from
left, Tyrone DeCosta, Alex G. Cintron and Kwame N. Garcia.
Three UVI Process Technology students on St. Croix have each been awarded $2,000 scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic school year from Seven Seas Water. The students are Tyrone DeCosta, Alex G. Cintron and Kwame N. Garcia. 

All three recipients are first-year students in the two-year Associate of Applied Science in Process Technology (AASPT) Degree Program which is offered on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. This program has produced 110 graduates in the last decade. These graduates are now employed in industrial facilities locally, nationally and globally.


Seven Seas Water is based in Tampa, Fla, and operates reverse osmosis water desalination plants at the Virgin Islands Water Power Authority (VIWAPA) plant facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Seven Seas Water has been partnering with and supporting the Process Technology Program by providing scholarships, internships and employment opportunities to UVI students since 2012. For more information contact Program Director Eric Douglas at (340) 690-9533 or send email to edougla@live.uvi.edu.

UVI Alumna, Professor Named ‘Future of Nursing Scholar’

Future of Nursing Scholar Desiree Bertrand attends 7th Annual UVI CERC Health Disparities Institute on St. Thomas. 
Nursing is Desiree Bertrand’s calling. The need to help someone else is what drew her to the career, but it is understanding that research can lead to solutions, that drove her to seek a doctorate degree in nursing. Bertrand’s dedication to research has not gone unnoticed. 

Bertrand, a University of the Virgin Islands alumna, has been named a Future of Nursing Scholar by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This fall, she is part of the inaugural cohort of the foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars (FNS) Program. This program is designed to dramatically increase the number of Ph.D.-prepared nurses in the United States.

The schools that are funded by the FNS program select the students who will receive scholarships and other support. Bertrand is enrolled in the Medical University of South Carolina and attends classes on-line. She was chosen from 15 other (MUSC) Ph.D. nursing students who were expected to begin classes in 2014.

Sixteen students from universities throughout the United States will join Bertrand in the program’s inaugural cohort. “I was very honored and humbled to receive such a scholarship,” says Bertrand. The FNS program is a three year program that provides financial support, mentoring, leadership development activities, and postdoctoral research funding to build the leadership capacity of nurse educators and researchers.
UVI Adjunct Nursing Professor Desiree Bertrand 

“My initial drive to get a Ph.D. is so that I can better understand the research process,” says Bertrand, who hopes to become a well-qualified nurse researcher. “With a Ph.D., I would be able to apply for grants and do my own research projects – which is my goal.”

For her doctoral research, Bertrand will focus on intimate partner violence. Her research interests include women's health, health disparities and domestic violence. She is co-principal investigator of a research study titled, “An Integrated Risk Reduction Intervention for African Caribbean Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence – The Empowered Sisters Project.”

“I think the fact that I am actively doing research and the depth of research over the last five years, was a major decision factor in getting this scholarship,” says Bertrand, who has been an assistant professor at UVI since 2003 and has been a research coordinator and community education and outreach director with the UVI Caribbean Exploratory Research Center (CERC) since 2009.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed as a multi-funder initiative that will create a diverse group of Ph.D.-prepared nurses committed to long-term leadership careers, advancing science and discovery through research, strengthening nursing education, and furthering transformational change in nursing and health care,” says Heather J. Kelley-Thompson, FNS program deputy director. Bertrand joined the inaugural cohort of scholars attending a leadership boot camp in August 2014. “This two-day immersion allowed the scholars to connect as a cohort and develop skills that will serve them well as they begin their doctoral programs,” says Kelly-Thompson.

“Ms. Bertrand has been a major contributor to key research projects in which the center is involved, participating in data collection, analysis and manuscript development and publications,” says Dr. Gloria Callwood, UVI associate professor of nursing and director of CERC. “I am certain that her extraordinary accomplishments related to her research activities at CERC influenced the decision makers at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

Bertrand has participated in and provided oversight of research activity on St Croix, while leading territorial community activities to inform the public on health risk reduction and leading healthier life styles, says Dr. Callwood. Under her leadership, the Community Education and Outreach Core developed a “Health Education Toolkit,” which can be accessed at http://cercuvi.com. She has also presented research outcomes at national and international conferences.

There is little health research on Virgin Islanders or research done by Virgin Islanders, explains Bertrand. “The research that I am doing now and in the future will affect people in the Virgin Islands.” Currently research done on African Americans in the mainland, are used to represent the health needs of people in the territory. She hopes she will have the opportunity to collaborate with other researches to benefit the healthcare in the territory.
Desiree Bertrand (right) speaks with CERC Community Engagement and
Outreach Coordinator Dr. Angela Ford (center ) and CERC Regional
Coordinator Dr. Janis M. Valmond at the CERC Health Disparities Institute. 

Bertrand is an adjunct nursing professor at UVI. Students participating in the FNS program are strongly encouraged to cut their workload in half. The program provides financial support that allows them to work part-time as they pursue their doctoral degrees.

Bertrand earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UVI in 1995 and a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Midwestern State University in 2002.

The other universities participating in the FNS program include Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Villanova University, the University of California- Davis, the University of California - San Francisco, the University of California - Los Angeles, the University of San Diego, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Rhode Islands, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and Duke University.

Monday, October 6, 2014

New Soccer Field Ushers in New Era in UVI Athletics

The ribbon is cut at UVI's new soccer field on the Albert A. Sheen Campus. Click on photos for larger view.

When Denny Smith started kicking around soccer balls in his native Dominica, he had no idea that the sport would lead to a collegiate athletic career. Fast forward about a decade and Smith is co-captain of UVI's men's soccer team. On Oct. 4, the junior computer science major led his team to home game victory in the school's inaugural soccer match on the new league-certified field on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. Smith scored the two goals that lead to UVI's 2-0 win over Polytecnica University of Puerto Rico. In the riveting game, Smith was assisted by co-captain Kimani George in the first goal and by Ismail S. Yusuf in the second. Goal keeper Jahidi Gussie made an impressive seven saves.

“It felt good playing in front of our home fans for once,” he said. He added that the game was tough, as both teams were playing on a regulation-sized field – which is larger than any they've ever played on. “It's the best field that I've ever played on,” Smith said.

“We should be proud of this,” said UVI's Interim Athletic Director Curtis Gilpin. “This is ours and is a first of many firsts,” he added. “I'm looking forward to all the matches – whether with the LAI or international games – because we have the only certified soccer field in the territory.” LAI - Liga Atletic Interuniversitaria – is the intercollegiate association of which UVI is a member. The soccer match also marked the first time a LAI game of any sport was played on the Sheen Campus.

The soccer field is located adjacent to the campus’ outdoor tennis and basketball courts. UVI hopes to host international teams from throughout the Caribbean and the world. 

Bucs teammates gather around Denny Smith for a selfie 
just after he scored the first goal on UVI's new, league-approved 
soccer field on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014.
The field was a long-time coming for the institution.  UVI started a LAI soccer program in 2011, led by Coach Johannes Worede. Initially scheduled to come on-line in Fall 2012, the field was delayed because heavy rains disrupted several processes. Then issues with top seeding called for hydro seeding to be redone.

Funded primarily by funds from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, the field was completed in 2013. However, divots and other minor issues kept the field from receiving initial certification and seeing any play. The delay meant that all UVI Men's Soccer games had to be played on the road – an additional challenge for a budding soccer team.

But on Oct. 4, the excitement was high and UVI pride was evident. About 100 people from the UVI community and the community at-large gathered on the field to witness the historic moment.

“We are here to unveil the best soccer field in the Virgin Islands,” UVI President Dr. David Hall said at the ribbon cutting ceremony that was held before the inaugural game. “Athletics on this campus is moving to another level,” he said. Dr. Hall also noted UVI's newly hired full-time Head Coach Dr. David Santesteban. “We are so glad that he's going to be guiding our young men and the athletic program on (St. Croix),” Dr. Hall said, noting a similar arrangement with the basketball program on St. Thomas. “This is a new era for us and for these young men.”

Buccaneer soccer team poses after the inaugural homegame on St. Croix.
Coach Santesteban said he couldn't ask for a better inaugural game. “We got support from everyone,” Santesteban said, noting the eager players and the administrators who worked hard to get the field LAI-certified. “What they did here is second to none,” Santesteban said. “They have raised the level.”

The 2014 Buccaneers feature a 15 man roster, with five from the St. Thomas Campus and 10 from the Sheen Campus. Team members are Jordan Atemazem, Maxwell Daniels, Garfield Ferdinand, co-captain Kimani George, Jahidi Gussie, Damien James, Gejae Jeffers, Peter Oculien, Gilbert Roberts, Christopher Rosario, co-captain Denny Smith, Caleb Tavernier, Josiah Telesford, Ismail H. Yusuf and Ismail S. Yusuf.

In their introduction on the field, each member of both teams was escorted by young players from the VI Soccer Association Youth players and the AYSO Youth players. The children received soccer balls from UVI. President Hall heralded them as the next generation of UVI soccer players, to cheers from their parents. 

Nereida Washington, director of Campus Operations on St. Croix, said the field is for all students. “It was developed with an eye toward delivering physical education classes that will help enhance the athletic opportunities for all our students,” she said. 

While the University's goal is for long-term success for the athletic and soccer programs, Smith's goals are more immediate. He plans to lead the team to more wins and into the league playoffs. And given the team’s make up, it is possible.

“This is the strongest team we've had in the past three years,” Smith said. 


Monday, September 29, 2014

Miss UVI Brings Home National Crown

Miss UVI Elisa Thomas is crowned Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Queen on Sept. 27 in Atlanta.

Miss UVI Elisa Thomas made history when she won the title of Miss National Black College Alumni (NBCA) Hall of Fame – becoming the first Miss UVI to win that crown.

At the competition held from Sept. 24 to Sept. 28, in Atlanta, Elisa bested 29 other college queens from Historically Black Colleges and University’s (HBCU) around the country for the title of Miss NBCA Hall of Fame. In addition to winning the crown, she won the “Hats and Heels” segment of the competition.

The NBCA queen contestants are judged in four categories, including talent, poise, image, and personal and private interviews where the contestant has up to two minutes to introduce herself and discuss her platform. Miss UVI’s platform was domestic violence awareness. As Miss NBCA, Elisa will serve as a national representative and advocate of HBCUs, and will receive an academic scholarship and other prizes.

UVI has been represented at the Miss NBCA Hall of Fame pageant for many years and several UVI queens have placed in the top five. Elisa is the first Miss UVI to win the crown.
The NBCA competition is sponsored by the NCBA Hall of Fame organization, which is dedicated to the growth and development of HBCUs through scholarships, internships, training and technical assistance, alumni recognition, and programs to encourage humanitarian involvement.

Here’s a selection of comments from the UVI social media sites. A stunning array of photos is also available on these Facebook pages.

Miss UVI Elisa Thomas with her NCAB Crown.
Click photos for larger view.
UVI Facebook Page – http://facebook.com/UVI.edu

  • Bonita Bradley Congratulations! Your Queen is PHENOMENAL! Truly a beautiful woman! She represented your institution with Grace, Elegance, Poise, and Class!
  • Sally L. Browne – Go UVI !!!!!CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!
  • Alicia Barzey – Congrats Eliza!!!!!!_
  • Davis LaVerne – Congratulations beautiful lady! you have done us proud!


STX Student Activities Page – http://www.facebook.com/studentactivities.stx

  • Dale Morton – Congratulations Elisa and your team.
  • Andrea Wilson – Congratulations MS Elisa Thomas and the committee that accompanied her. We are very proud of you. iRep UVI
  • Kimberlee I'msolovingmerightnow Smith – Congratulations Elisa Thomas I am so proud of you.
  • Joshua Emmanuel Edwards – Congratulations Queen Elisa Thomas honor and Grace is yours. Blessings to your committee and all who supported you and encourage you to succeed.
  • J Millin Young – So happy for our Queen Elisa!
  • Beyond Elegance – Words can't explain the Joy in my Heart!!! My Gem.. Queen Elisa Thomas.. Congrats from your fellow Gems & I... We are proud of... My ppl UVI on the raise.. this is jus the beginning she made History... 1st Miss UVI to become Miss NBCA .... Andrea Wilson this year will be Epic.....
  • PerAnkh Khamniversity – Congratulations!!!! Well deserved! Reign well and enjoy the experience so that HBCUs in the USA know about the Virgin Islands. Yeh meh son!
  • Senator-Myron D. Jackson – Congratulations! Job well done!
  • Claude Steele – Congratulations. So Proud!
  • Miriam Osborne Elliott – Awesome achievement! So Very Proud of You All! Continue to Soar!


STT Student Activities Page – http://www.facebook.com/UVIStudentActivitiesSTT

  • Nolma Eddy – I predict that she will be the 1st ever to represent the Virgin Island at the Miss USA pageant and win! She is soooooo beautiful! I know Marie shining down from heaven right now!
  • Karen Gutloff – So proud of Elisa. Beautiful, talented, and Smart!
  • Beranice StunninglyNatural Wade-Westerman RN – Beautiful!!! Congratulations... 
  • Mayda Pereira – Congrats and you look beautiful! 
  • Colleen Mae Williams – Congrats Bubbles!! 
  • Florinell Joseph – Job well done Elisa, nothing but the best!. Congratulations!!! And thank you for representing the Virgin Islands so well. 
  • Denise Fahie – Yeah Bubbles!!!! 
  • Marcia Thomas – Uncle is looking down at his queen from heaven about.The skies the limit cuz Thomas family is so proud of you. 
  • Pretty Brown Eyz – Congratulations Elisa........EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!! 
  • Suzie Richardson-Bruno – She is so beautiful....congrats mama 
  • Staying-Faithful Dee – Beautiful young lady; well poised in that regal gown...CONGRATULATIONS 
  • Terry Wynn Cody – That gown is beautiful.. 
  • Monica Ryan – Gorgeous gown. 
  • Sonia Frett-Colbourne – Beautiful............... Keep it up Sweetheart. 
  • Anastasia Not'Nyce Smith – CongratsElisaThomas...job well done 
  • Rima Davis – Elisa you are simply amazing! Congrats!!! 
  • Irma A Lake – Love the dress 
  • Tessa Liburd – Congrats Elisa. 
  • Gerda Hughes de Morales – So awesome!!!! 
  • Craigitoo Rico – Wooow. Miss over-dressed!!!!! Congratulations to you!
  • Beverly Thomas-Benjamin – Congrats cuz!
  • Nika Davis – She looks gorgeous and Congrats to her 
  • Alnesah Popo-Febres Skee-wee – Congrats .. She looks stunning
  • Dee Thomas – Great job!

Thomas captured the 2014-2015 Miss UVI title at the 34th Annual Miss UVI Ambassadorial Competition on April 12, at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on St. Thomas. The twenty-year-old Thomas also took home the titles Most Intellectual Speaker, Best Performing Talent, Best Business Wear, Best Ambassadorial Presentation and Best Evening Wear during the show.


She received a full year UVI scholarship that includes tuition, room and board. The junior communication major was born on St. Thomas and attends UVI on the St. Thomas campus. She aspires to work as a news anchor, host events, and produce and host her own local television show. Miss UVI serves as a goodwill ambassador for the university, including participating in UVI's recruitment efforts, representing the University locally and abroad, and maintaining a highly visible role on UVI's campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Monday, August 18, 2014

V.I.’s Top Graduates to Attend UVI

UVI students Lizbeth Carrasquillo and Ryan Shaw will attend classes this Fall on UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.
Central High School valedictorian Ryan Shaw and Central High School salutatorian Lizbeth Carrasquillo had both decided to pursue higher education on the United States mainland – until they visited UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.

Carrasquillo was always open to attending UVI, but selected a college in Florida. Then she attended “Preparing for the Next Generation of Hispanic Leaders,” a UVI – sponsored Hispanic outreach program held in June. That changed everything for Carrasquillo.

“Students were describing their experiences and I got to know people who actually enjoy their UVI experience,” Carrasquillo says. One of the student experiences that truly moved her was the story of a young man who didn’t think he was college material, until he applied to UVI. The young man enjoyed various experiences like participating in the University’s radio station, WUVI 1090 AM, and joining the UVI Bucs basketball team – realizing previously untapped potential. By the time the outreach event had ended Carrasquillo knew she was coming to UVI.

Carrasquillo will major in business. “I am excited for the new experience,” she says. She plans to take her first semester slow and focus on her studies until she can get a feel of what college life is like, then get involved in other activities at UVI in her sophomore year. After completing her degree, she plans to open her own business.

Ryan Shaw was encouraged by his neighbor to attend UVI. Still, he felt like he needed more information. “I went to Ms. Towal and I learned that UVI has more to offer than I thought,” he says. UVI Counseling Supervisor Patricia Towal told Shaw about UVI’s biology program and opportunities for research with other institutions. When Shaw left Towal’s St. Croix office, his mind was made up – he was coming to UVI.

Shaw has decided to start his freshman year on the Albert A. Sheen Campus and is looking forward to a smooth transition. Self-described as sociable and friendly, Shaw expects that his new living situation will be pleasant.

“I do enjoy a bit of research,” says Shaw, who is looking forward to taking on research projects while at the University. “I love discovering new things.” After earning his degree in biology from UVI, he plans to study medicine. He is still contemplating a field to specialize in.

Central High School Principal Janesee Sinclair supports UVI and says that the institution is comparable to any on the mainland. UVI offers a nurturing environment and puts students on the right track, she says. She added that UVI President David Hall and UVI’s faculty and staff are supportive of the students and families in the territory.

UVI provides scholarships for the valedictorians and salutatorians from Virgin Islands’ high schools.

In addition to Shaw and Carrasquillo, eleven other 2014 valedictorians and salutatorians have indicated they will enroll at UVI this fall. They are:
  • Jakobi Peets - salutatorian, All Saints Cathedral School 
  • Sherika Jacobs - salutatorian, Charlotte Amalie High School 
  • Rodney Querrad - valedictorian, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School 
  • Carishma Marsh ­- valedictorian, St. Thomas Seventh Day Adventist 
  • Kamira Webster - salutatorian, St. Thomas Seventh Day Adventist 
  • Jean Devera - salutatorian, Good Hope/Country Day  
  • Amelle Williams - valedictorian, St. Croix Seventh Day Adventist 
  • Shaquan Lewis - salutatorian, St. Croix Seventh Day Adventist 
  • Cody Cook ­ valedictorian, A-Z Academy 
  • Ameer Donaie - valedictorian, IQRA Academy 
  • Huda Qattum - salutatorian, IQRA Academy
UVI welcomes all new and returning students for the Fall 2014 semester.





Tuesday, August 5, 2014

UVI Students Present their Work at Summer Research Symposium



The University of the Virgin Islands hosted the Summer Research Symposium on Friday, Aug. 1, in the Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas Campus. The goal of the summer symposium is to showcase student research at UVI as well as other institutions. UVI undergraduate students Sheresia Gumbs (pink shirt), Krislen Tison and Sherika Alexis worked together to determine if frogs on St. Thomas were infected with Chytrid Fungus, which is hazardous to their health. About 17 presentations were made by undergraduate students. Some of their topics include:
Lionfish invasion
Parasite burdens of hair sheep lambs
The Extraction, Quantification and Toxicity of Citral from Lemongrass
Antioxidant Activity of Herbs and Spices
Telescopes & Limiting magnitudes
Weather patterns and Erosion in the USVI
Complexometric Titration using Platinum Sensing Electrodes
Foraging Patterns of of Elysia crispata
Intimate Partner Abuse of Women in the Virgin Islands
Conch Locomotion
The Cultivation of Thalassia testudinum and Halophila stipulacea For Conservation Motivation in Learning: Game-based vs. Traditional
University of the Virgin Islands student Yentyle Levet (right) presents her project on ‘Motivation in Digital Game-Based Learning.’ 
University of the Virgin Islands student Ruel Mitchel explains his research
on ‘Neutron Stars’ to UVI Mathematics professor Dr. Robert Stolz.

University of the Virgin Islands student Stephen Santana presented the results of his research on ‘Assessing Land Cover Change on St. Thomas.’ Santana was among many UVI researchers to discuss their work at the Summer Research Symposium in the Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas Campus.



University of the Virgin Islands student Eliakin del Rosario (right) presented his research on ‘Malware Signature Detection: A Comparison Between Brute Force and Boyer-Moore’ on Aug. 1 at the Summer  Research Symposium.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Education & Fun is all part of the UVI Junior University Experience

University of the Virgin Islands Junior University physical education instructor Mark Daniel conducts an exhibition game in the University's Sports and Fitness Center.

 Junior University is an intensive five-week program for boys who did not pass seventh grade but showed promise. It is a collaborative initiative of the University of the Virgin Islands and the Education Department St. Thomas-St. John School District. There are 100 enrolled in the summer 2014 edition of the program.

  
 Junior University students take part in basket 
ball tournament in UVI's Sports and Fitness Center. 
Junior University students work
on a math problem.

UVI Junior University students take interest in a mathematics lesson taught by Robyn Carlin, a visiting master teacher from Louisiana State University.