Friday, December 9, 2011

Alumni Join Effort to Develop New Strategic Plan

St. Thomas - click to view larger pic
 UVI alumni and special alumni joined the effort to develop the University's next strategic plan in sessions held Dec. 7 and 8, on St Croix and St. Thomas, respectively. Sixteen alumni on St. Croix and another 15 on St. Thomas gathered to provide input into the process. Their suggestions will be added to those offered by students, faculty, and staff who have already attended similar, wide-ranging sessions designed to develop a series of common themes on which the next strategic plan will be based.

St. Croix - click to view larger pic
 Input has also been received from the Board of Trustees. The effort is organized by the University’s Planning Task Force (PTF). The PTF will develop a draft strategic plan which will be presented to the University's formal shared governance process prior to being submitted to Planning Committee of the Board and the full Board of Trustees for approval in June 2011. The new strategic plan will be launched in the fall of 2012.

St. Thomas - click to view larger pic

Participating in the alumni session on St. Croix were Malkia Morton (’11), Darlene Baptiste (’98), Cassandra Dunn (’87), B. Patricia Welcome (’87), Wendy Wheeler (’01, ’03, ’05), Benon Kisuule (faculty), Ellsworth London (’10, ’12), Beresford Edwards (’96), Wayne E. Petersen (’09), Prospero Lewis (’74, ’84), Nissa Bailey (’04), Ann-Merrie Hendrickson (’10), Shelly Anslyn Jones (’08), Abdul R. Ali (’10), Sammuel Sanes (’09) and Marthious Clavier (’09).

St. Croix - click to view larger pic

St. Thomas - click to view larger pic

Participating in the alumni session on St. Thomas were Basil Ottley (’94), Jacqueline A. Sprauve (’94), Delaun Mercer (’97), Deanna E. Rogers (’85), Alyssa Ryan (’11), Rick S. Grant (’09), Joss Springette (’00), Allie-Allison Petrus (’01), Beverly Petrus (SA), Verna Rivers (’88), Mariga R. Fleming (’68), Joel J. Buchanan (’93), Denise Humphrey (SA), Claudette Georges (’86, ’88, ’94, ’04, ’06) and Carla Sarauw (’89). SA = Special Alumni 

St. Thomas - click to view larger pic

Thursday, December 1, 2011

“O Christmas Three!” Performances Set Today (Dec. 1) at UVI on St. Thomas Campus

UVI Theatre entertained students at four area grade schools – part of the group is shown above at E. Benjamin Oliver Grade School – this week with performances from the children’s holiday musical “O Christmas Three!” The musical, written and directed by UVI Playwright-in-Residence Dr. Doug Larche, features more than 40 UVI students, faculty and staff members. It consists of a trilogy of children’s Christmas plays published by Dramatic Publishing and performed originally across the U.S. and Canada.

The trilogy consists of “Peas on Earth: A Birds-Eye View of Christmas,” “Dorcas the Christmas Duck (Or Vincent the Violet-Nosed Vulture) A Cautionary Christmas Tale” and “The Last Straw: A Christmas Fable.”

Two performances of the full trilogy are set for today – Thursday, Dec. 1 – at the UVI Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus. Those shows are set for 4 and 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for children and students of all ages. Adult admission is $10.
Cast members, from left, for “Dorcas the Christmas Duck,” “Peas on Earth” and “The Last Straw.”

Monday, October 31, 2011

ATM Now Available on Albert A. Sheen Campus

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services are now available to the community on UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. A ribbon cutting was held at the ATM prior to UVI’s Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Shown, from left, are UVI Board of Trustees Chairman Alexander A. Moorhead, Gov. John P. deJongh, Jr., UVI President Dr. David Hall and Norma Cruz, manager of the Sunny Isle branch of First Bank.  The ATM is located on the 100-level of the Melvin Evans Center, across from the Security office, and is available 24/7.

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Food Day 2011

Many members of the University and Virgin Islands communities came together for the 2011 World Food Day activities held on UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on Sunday, Oct. 16. The goal – accomplished thorough a day of food, fun, competition, workshops, entertainment and, most important, sharing – was to increase awareness and understanding and to provoke year-round action to alleviate hunger. World Food Day on St. Croix was sponsored by the UVI Cooperative Extension Service in partnership with the UVI Agricultural Experiment Station and the V.I. Department of Agriculture.

Click here to view the World Food Day 2011 program.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

St. Croix SGA Students to Attend National Student Government Summit

SGA executive members take the oath of office at the installation ceremony on Sept. 15, on UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. From left are President Siejah Mike, Vice President Estica Caesar, Treasurer Kevin Dixon, Secretary Solgisselle Torres, Assistant Secretary Anisha Thomas and Public Relations Officer JoAnn Thomas-Lewis. - SGA Photo by Douglas Simpson

Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) on UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus will receive training at the National Student Government Summit hosted by the American Student Government Association scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, in Washington D.C.

The Summit is an annual, four-day conference, featuring nearly 50 workshop sessions, 40 brainstorming roundtables, two acclaimed keynote speakers and more than 24 intense, information-packed hours of practical help, research and advice on how to improve student government. The 2011 conference will be the largest student government conference in America. More than 700 student government leaders and advisors from all types and sizes of colleges and universities nationwide are expected to attend. In 2010, 628 student leaders and advisors from 110 institutions in 38 states participated.

Attending on the behalf of the St. Croix SGA will be President Siejah Mike, Vice President Estica Caesar, Treasurer Kevin Dixon, Secretary Solgisselle Torres and Advisor Hedda Finch-Simpson.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Debra Thompson is VI SBDC State Star

The University of the Virgin Islands congratulates Debra Thompson - the 2011 State Star of the VI Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Thompson was chosen by the VI SBDC for being an outstanding performer, making a major contribution to the VI SBDC program, and showing a strong commitment to the growth of the network. She was recently honored at a special awards reception honoring the America Small Business Development Center’s 2011 State Stars on Friday, September 6, 2011, in San Diego, California. Pictured left to right: ASBDC President Charles "Tee" Rowe; Constant Contact Director of Regional Development Annie Powell; VI SBDC State Star Debra Thompson; VI SBDC State Director Leonor D. Dottin; and Associate Deputy Administrator of the SBA Michael Chodos. For more information on starting or maintaining a small business in the Virgin Islands, visit the VI SBDC website at:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UVI Honors Outgoing CFO Vincent Samuel

Members of the UVI community gathered Tuesday, Aug. 30, to share their gratitude for outgoing Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Vincent Samuel, who has decided to return to the University’s faculty, teaching in the School of Business. Samuel’s almost 30 years of association with UVI – from student, to faculty, to administrator – were recalled with humor and deep thanks by current and former administrators, as well as members of the UVI staff. Retired long-time UVI administrator Malcolm Kirwan, above right, elicited some of the broadest laughter from Samuel, who is flanked by former UVI President Dr. LaVerne Ragster. Dr. Ragster hosted the ceremony. UVI President Emeritus Dr. Orville Kean and President Dr. David Hall, along with a number of UVI trustees, were also among the speakers who recalled the critical roles Samuel has played over the years at the University. Finally, Samuels explained that his great concern for the young people of the territory was a key factor in his decision to try to make a more direct impact on their lives through teaching.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Phonathon III Slated for Aug. 29 to Sept. 1

UVI Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs Linda I. Smith ('98, '03), left, welcomes a few of the many volunteers who will take to the phone lines for UVI's Special Alumni Phonathon III on Aug. 29 through Sept. 1. Present for the early orientation session were, from left, Dr. Xuri Maurice Allen, Toriefa Alexander ('08), Peggy Fahie ('92) and Dr. Maude Jacobs ('78, 84). They will be reaching out to UVI's special alumni - those who attended the University for 12 months or more but did not graduate from UVI - to update contact information, share the institution's latest news and seek financial support for UVI students.

Follow the links below for a look back at the Phonathon II action.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cruzan VIRIL Adds $40,000 to Support UVI Scholarships

On hand for the check presentation were, from left, Cruzan General Manager Dennis P. Potter, Cruzan Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Marvin L. Pickering (UVI '85), Cruzan President and Chief Executive Officer Gary C. Nelthropp, UVI President Dr. David Hall, UVI Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson, Cruzan Accounting Assistant Narissa T. Mapp (UVI '07) and Cruzan Assistant Office Manager Magdalen Joseph (UVI '98).

A $40,000 contribution in support of student scholarships was presented by long-time University of the Virgin Islands supporter Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. at a check presentation on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Cruzan Rum distillery on St. Croix.

Cruzan VIRIL Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Gary C. Nelthropp and Chief Financial Officer Marvin L. Pickering were on hand to make the presentation to UVI President Dr. David Hall and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson. The gift brings the total Cruzan donation to the University, since 1987, to $655,000.

“In these fiscally tight times in the territory, this gift from Cruzan Rum is even more important than in past years,” said President Hall. “The University has fewer resources to operate with now than in the past. Therefore we need the generosity of the private sector in order to support our students in their quest for academic excellence. This gift goes to the heart of UVI and comes from the heart of Cruzan Rum."

A full news release is available from the UVI website - - and from this direct link.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Budding Scientists Display Results of Summer Research

Twenty UVI science students presented posters displaying the results of research they have conducted in the Virgin Islands this summer at the annual Summer Science Symposium on Friday, July 29, at the UVI Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus. Their research was conducted while participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience and the Sophomore Summer Research Institute programs. The symposium is a part of UVI's continuing effort to promote excellence in learning by fostering student research and improving their communication skills in science and mathematics. Click here to read a news release on the symposium.
UVI applied mathematics majors Tyriq Isles, left, and Kyle Williams explain their project – exploring ways to better assign ship berthing positions at commercial docks – to UVI Eastern Caribbean Center research analyst Ayishih Bellew. The team based their study on St. Thomas' Yacht Haven cruise ship dock. Their project mentor was Dr. Marc Boumedine. Bellew was among many interested individuals who turned out to hear the students explain their work.
Lavida Brooks, left, and Gemel Joseph explain their project involving DNA extractions from white mangroves to UVI President Dr. David Hall. Dr. Alice Stanford served as their mentor.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Upward Bound 2011 Summer Program Theme: Transporting Students to the Next Level

St. Croix 2011 Upward Bound students (click image to enlarge)

Twenty-three students from the St. Thomas/St. John District and 24 from the St. Croix District are participating in six-week Upward Bound college preparatory programs on UVI’s campuses. The residential portion of the programs began Sunday, June 19, and concludes today, Friday, July 22, with open houses and awards banquets. Next week, students in the program will take a college tour, visiting nine colleges and universities in Florida and Georgia. While there they will explore their future plans and career choices with admissions and financial aid representatives.

During the on-campus portion of the program, the students stayed in UVI’s residence halls and attended daily classes in English composition, literature, SAT prep courses, geometry, pre-calculus, biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, physics and Spanish. The students also participated in a wide variety of cultural enrichment, and social and recreational activities.

Upward Bound is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Its goal is to motivate high school students from low-income families and those who are potential first-generation college students. Applications are accepted year-round, on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information visit the Upward Bound section of the UVI website – – or call (340) 693-1130 on St. Thomas or (340) 693-4182 on St. Croix.

St. Thomas/St. John 2011 Upward Bound students and faculty (click to enlarge)

Friday, July 15, 2011

The UVI College Business Residency Program Closes with Awards Ceremony

Top: Participants of the UVI College Business Residency Program are joined by two representatives of International Capital and Management Company at the far left, and five program administrators at the far right. Bottom: “Most Outstanding Student” Kareem Edwards with Program Director Ricardo Caldwell.

The UVI College Business Residency Program held its closing ceremony on Thursday, July 14, on the St. Thomas campus. The program’s 27 students from high schools throughout the territory spent three weeks studying ethics, business etiquette and business management. At the end they were divided into groups of four and tasked with creating a business plan for a new product or service. The groups presented their business plans at the closing ceremony. A panel of judges selected Candy Colorz Inc., an airbrushing company, as the winning business. Each student received a certificate of participation. Some students were selected for special awards. Kareem Edwards was named “Most Outstanding Student.” Scholastic Awards were given to Brenon Joseph (first place), Veronique Joseph (second place) and Jelani Thomas (third place). Me’khael Miller received the “Most Cooperative” award.

“We are so proud of you all. Our hearts are jumping with joy,” said Ricardo Caldwell, the program’s director and a UVI professor, noting the students’ growth over the three weeks.

The UVI College Business Residency Program is made possible through the support of International Capital and Management Company.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alumni Meet Oliver Samuels

It was all smiles as UVI alumni and guests met renowned comedian Oliver Samuels, after his performance of the play “Midnight at Puss Creek” at UVI’s Reichhold Center for the Arts on July 9. Reserved tickets to the performance were won by alumna Colleen Williams (’83, ’97), for submitting the winning entry in a contest to name the upcoming alumni e-newsletter. A panel of judges, which included Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs Linda I. Smith(’98, ’03), and Public Relations Specialist Nanyamka Farrelly (’99, ’06) reviewed the contest’s 367 entries. “The UVI Alumni Chronicles,” was selected as the winning entry. Williams, a principal at the Ricardo Richards Elementary School on St. Croix, could not attend the showing and donated her tickets to Andrea Francis and Cherlyn Wattley. Francis, Wattley, Smith, the first Miss College of the Virgin Islands 1965-66 Averricia Williams (’66, ’68) and six-time alumna Claudette Georges (88, ‘86, ‘91, ‘04 (2), ’06) had the opportunity to meet Samuels. Pictured top, from left to right are: Georges, Francis, Samuels, Wattley, Averricia Williams and Smith. Colleen Williams is pictured at the left.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Caribbean Writer Dedicates Anniversary Issue to Ayiti/Haiti

The 25th anniversary issue of UVI's "The Caribbean Writer" has been published and is available in bookstores in the Virgin Islands - including the UVI Bookstores on St. Croix and St. Thomas. The issue - Volume 25 - focuses on Ayiti/Haiti. For more information, see this UVI News Release.

Cover art by Pasko Merisier

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Learning to Sea - The USVI

The first installment of the new video feature "Learning to Sea - The USVI" will be broadcast during today's (Wednesday, July 6) 7 p.m. newscast on the territory's CBS affiliate TV2. Each three-minute episode of the 13-week series will feature a marine animal in its natural habitat. Filmmaker Ziggy Livnat and a UVI research team captured the unique footage. See a complete newsrelease at this direct link.

Learning to Sea in the USVI Promo clip from For The Sea Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

29 Certified as Future Global Leaders

UVI's 17th Annual Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders graduated 29 students on Wednesday, June 1, on the University St. Thomas campus. The students received Global Leadership certificates and three hours of college or graduate school credit after having completed the intensive two-week leadership course. Details are available in a news release - with a larger image available - on the UVI website - - or from this direct link:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Volunteers Open Alumni Phonathon Part II

UVI special alumna Tiffany Chichester, center, was the first volunteer to secure a donation in UVI's 2011 Alumni Phonathon Part II. Volunteers began placing calls to special alumni today (Monday, May 23) at the Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus. UVI held Part I of its Alumni Phonathon in March when it reached out to regular alumni. Today, the attention turned to special alumni – persons who attended UVI or CVI (the College of the Virgin Islands) for a minimum of 12 months, but did not graduate. Chichester herself is a special alumni, attending the University in 2004. She is flanked by Phonathon organizer and UVI's Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs Linda I. Smith, left, and UVI alumna Jessica Edwards ('07, '08).

Volunteers, at right, include UVI students, alumni, special alumni, faculty and staff. Along with securing contributions to support student scholarships and UVI's areas of greatest needs, the Phonathon provides direct contact with all the University's - updating contact details and sharing the latest on UVI's initiatives and activities. Their efforts continue from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each night through Thursday, May 26.

Current UVI student Twanna Hodge, left, ('13) reaches for the bell to announce another pledge received. She is cheered on by UVI alumna and current employee Sadio Thomas ('05).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders Opens

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. State Department Cheryl Benton speaks with Kanual Singhal of Texas Women's University at the opening of the 2011 Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders. Below, Hershelle Gaffney of Bennet College asks Cheryl Benton a question.

The 2011 Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders opened on May 17, welcoming 36 students from 23 universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The students will engage in two intensive weeks of leadership training, specifically addressing this year’s theme, “Global Leadership in Times of Diminishing Resources.”

Cheryl Benton, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs, was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. She explained the mission of the State Department and her role as deputy assistant secretary. In her address, Benton detailed recent missions to countries like Azerbaijan, explained careers available within the department and told the crowd how the department is able to function with limited resources. She also answered questions.

“I’m proud to say that I’m the new face of diplomacy,” Benton said about her role. After meeting with students, Benton said she was encouraged by their passion and goals. “The future of the globe is in really good hands,” she said.

In addition to traditional coursework, participants must develop a leadership prospectus and present it to the group. For more information, click here to visit the Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders webpage.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

UVI's Recaldo Richardson Wins Student Addy

UVI Ad Club President Recaldo Richardson, front row, third from left, received the Student Addy Award for Best of Show at the 2011 ADDY Awards, presented by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) of the U.S. Virgin Islands, on Saturday, April 30. Richardson won for his student project advertising campaign titled "I Am Drama: School of Theatrical Arts.” UVI Ad Club members celebrated on stage with Richardson while receiving a standing ovation from the audience. A news release is available from the UVI homepage - - and from this direct link.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Entrepreneur Kiril Sokoloff Donates $5 Million to UVI

UVI has received a $5 million gift commitment over five years from investment strategist and entrepreneur Kiril Sokoloff. Mr. Sokoloff is the founder of 13D Research (USVI) LLC (13D). His gift was announced at a news conference on May 2. Details and photos are available at this news release.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

UVI Community Remembers 'Miss V'

Students, faculty, staff and friends gathered for a memorial tree planting ceremony for UVI alumna and long-time employee Junie Violenes - affectionately known as "Miss V" - on the St. Thomas campus on Friday, April 29. A celebration of her life, including the lighting of candles, poetry reading, music and tributes, followed in the Student Activities Center. Violenes died on Thursday, April 21. Funeral services will be held at Wesley Methodist Church, in Anna’s Retreat on St. Thomas, at 1 p.m. today - Saturday, April 30.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Susan L. Taylor Inspires Heath Lecture Audience

Celebrated editor, author and activist Susan L. Taylor inspired an enthusiastic audience with her presentation - the first of two lectures in the 2011 edition of the annual Alfred O. Heath Distinguished Lecture Series - at UVI's Reichhold Center for the Arts on St. Thomas on Wednesday, April 20. She speaks again at 6 p.m. today (Thursday, April 21) in the Great Hall on UVI's Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. Click on photo to view larger image.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nursing Students Present Leadership Projects

Senior nursing students on the University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas campus presented their senior leadership projects in the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library on April 18 and 19. Topics included organ donations, potassium replacement protocol, advance directives, hypertension, drunk driving, sleep and hydration.

Naisha Williams with her poster presentation on breast health. In addition to making presentations to various community and UVI groups, Williams also gave presentations to fifth graders at the Gladys Abraham and Yvonne Bowsky Elementary Schools.

UVI St. Thomas campus senior nursing students with Prof. Dr. Maxine Nunez, far left, and Prof. Amy Burlar, far right.

UVI St. Thomas campus senior nursing students.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

UVI Launches Center for Study of Spirituality and Professionalism

President Dr. David Hall, at right, presided over the establishment of the new Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism at the University of the Virgin Islands on Monday, April 18. Dr. Gwen Sherwood of the University of North Carolina gave the keynote address on the subject of "Leadership for a Healthy Work Environment: Caring for the Human Spirit." Dr. Gosnell L. Yorke of Northern Caribbean University addressed "Race and Gender Interpretations of the Bible" during the afternoon session of a day-long seminar that was available to the public in UVI facilities on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.

More information and photos are featured in a news release on the UVI homepage - - and from this direct link.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Student Employees are Rewarded at UVI

The University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas campus celebrated National Student Appreciation Week April 10-16 with a series of activities, including the Student Employee Awards Ceremony where the Student Employee of the Year was announced. This year, two students tied for the prestigious Student Employee of the Year award. Organizers said that they were so impressed by Jessica Taylor and Alvaro deLugo that they bestowed the honor on both. Taylor is a student employee in the Accounting Department and deLugo is a student employee in the Athletic Department.

“It’s a pleasure to work in the Accounting Office,” Taylor said, noting that she has become a part of the UVI family. Curtis Gilpin, assistant athletic director and deLugo’s supervisor, said his department has never had a student employee as well-rounded and efficient as deLugo. “People at UVI and outside UVI ask what will happen when he leaves,” Gilpin said of the senior who will graduate in May.

The ceremony also included the Lighter Side Awards, which rewarded students in categories such as reliability, punctuality and best dressed.

Pictured: Student Employees of the Year Jessica Taylor and Alvaro deLugo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

UVI Students Entertain at Yacht Haven Grande

Students enrolled in Music 134 – Steel Band Ensemble – on UVI’s St. Thomas campus took time to share their island culture with cruise ship and megayacht visitors at the Yacht Haven Grande complex on Wednesday, April 13. Instructor Shenelle Warner, in the dark shirt, said her class, which meets for practice twice weekly, enjoyed the performance and the enthusiasm shown by their passing audience. Yacht Haven Grande, which includes a marina, high-end shops, fine dining and sea-side residences, occasionally hosts student performance groups from UVI, providing exposure to the University and entertainment for visitors.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UVI Celebrates Library Enhancements

Former Governor and UVI Professor Emeritus Dr. Charles W. Turnbull gave the keynote address Monday, April 11, at a library celebration that marked the beginning of National Library Week. The Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library has been upgraded, giving way to open stacks, glass-encased study rooms and a vibrant seating area. The Library's collections contain more than 100,000 volumes, which are available electronically via electronic compact shelving. Following musical renditions and the pouring of a libation, members of the UVI community listened as UVI Theatre student Natalie Opoku read from a historic document that described the College of the Virgin Islands' plans for the library.