Friday, February 28, 2014

Black History Month Challenge

SGA – from left, Kareme Thomas, Denikaa Harrigan, Jahbari Dessout and Denaesha Phipps.

The Student Activities Center on UVI’s St. Thomas Campus was abuzz with action on Thursday, Feb. 27, as the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a Black History Month Expo and Presentation Competition. Various student groups choose remarkable individuals to honor at their informational tables. Chosen were: reigning Miss UVI Murchtricia Charles – by the Queen’s Committee, radio personality Addie Ottley – by the Rotaract Club, former and current UVI presidents, Drs. LaVerne Ragster and David Hall – by the SGA main table, Bob Marley – by the St. Kitts and Nevis Association, the late Nicholas “Daddy” Friday – by the Carnival Committee, and poet Maya Angelou – by the Alpha Kappa Sorority. (Click on photos for larger view.)

Carnival Committee – from left, Sher-Laura Rivera and Khalil Dias.
Alpha Kappa Sorority – from left, 
Samantha Daniel and Gemel Joseph.

Queen’s Committee – Shania Shervington. 
Rotaract Club – from left, Sephar Callwood, Naline
Ramnaraine and Ranisha Mascole.
St. Kitts and Nevis Association – from left, Shaun Seabrookes, Ralda Claxton, Andrea Wilson and Cashkim Bussue.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

UVI’s Kevin Dixon Named White House All-Star

Dedicated, innovative, resourceful and dependable are just a few words that spring to mind when persons are asked to describe University of the Virgin Islands Student Government Association (SGA) President Kevin Dixon. Earlier this month, it became apparent that people at UVI or in the Virgin Islands, for that matter, were not the only ones who know of his stellar leadership abilities. Dixon was named a 2014 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) All-Star in February. The All-Star selection is part of a White House Initiative that recognizes 75 undergraduate, graduate and professional students for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.  
Dixon was selected from 445 students currently enrolled at 62 HBCUs. Each student submitted completed applications that included a transcript, resume, essay, and recommendation.  
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as a White House Initiative on HBCUs 2014 All-Star student,” said Dixon, a senior majoring in business management and business administration with a concentration in marketing on UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. “This is an opportunity and a distinction that I am ecstatic to be a part of. I am privileged to be among students who continue to excel and make a positive impact at their respective universities and their broader communities.”
“Kevin Dixon is phenomenal,” said Janelle Royer, SGA outreach coordinator on the Albert A. Sheen Campus. “He is sincere, fair, and a dedicated worker. If he makes a commitment to do something be assured that he will do all he can to execute it well. Mr. Dixon is and I pray will continue to be, a valued asset to society now and in the future. I am proud of him for he deserves to be named a 2014 HBCU All-Star.”
“As the leader for the Student Government Association on St. Croix, Kevin ensures a professional interaction with all on behalf of the SGA. He works on behalf of the students in all that he does and he is an able, punctual and reliable representative on many university committees,” said UVI Interim Provost Dr. Camille Mckayle. “That others recognize what we have known for a long time is no surprise.  Kevin certainly is an ‘All-Star.’”
Over the course of the next year, the HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative by providing outreach to and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the initiative as a networking resource. Through social media and their relationships with community-based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.
 In addition, the 45 female and 30 male All-Stars will participate in regional events and web chats with Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, other initiative staff and professionals from a wide range of disciplines. They will also have opportunities to engage with other scholars to showcase individual and collective talent across the HBCU community.
“One of my responsibilities as an ambassador is that, I am charged with promoting the value of education,” said Dixon. This role ties in directly with my role as the chairperson of the Shadow Our Students Committee.”  The Shadow Our Students Program brings over 200 high school students each year to the UVI campus to show them the importance of higher education. The students sample college life and are encouraged to start their own vision of college achievement.
 Dixon initiated the “Swagg” campaign - “Students with a Greater Goal” and the “Plant the Seed” initiative. Through this project, UVI students mentor fifth and sixth grade students in elementary schools on the importance of a higher education. It is an initiative of “The Shadow Our Students Program.” “I am truly excited to continue to promote the value of education,” Dixon said.
Dixon is a Virgin Islands Legislative Youth Advisory Council member, Thurgood Marshall College Fund student ambassador, Honorary Degree Committee student representative, Virgin Islands Youth Advocacy Coalition Board of Directors member, University Senate student representative and a St. Croix Presidential Advisory Council student representative.
 “Kevin takes his role as mentor and leader seriously; using his considerable talents to bring out the best in those around him; including his fellow UVI students and also our island’s younger students,” said Patricia Towal, interim dean of students on the Albert A. Sheen Campus. “Dixon, ever the gracious gentleman, brings enthusiasm, sparkling leadership and determined diligence to every project to which he turns his attention. We are thrilled to see his leadership recognized and rewarded by this honor.”
 “I know President Dixon to be a man of great integrity and uprightness. Because of this, his gifts will always take him to great places,” said Joshua Edwards, UVI Board of Trustees student representative. “He has the ability to stay on the top and make great changes. This accomplishment is just another step to the greatness that his character and leadership skills have afforded him.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

UVI Communications Majors Make Big Splash in Territory, World

UVI graduate April Fale-Knight announces the launch of WUVI , while UVI communications Professor Dr. Alexander Randall (left) and UVI communications graduate Leslyn Tonge stand in the background.
The University of the Virgin Islands Communication program is making a resounding impact in the region and beyond. Many of UVI’s former majors are now positioned in the communications industry as they provide news and information to the public. Within the last three years alone, the University’s success rate has sky-rocketed and includes the following graduates and seniors.
  • April Rose Fale-Knight (‘11) is a news reporter with News 2 on CBS TV2, where she occasionally fills in as anchor, a reporter with VI Source, an online newspaper, and station manager of WUVI. She is based on St. Thomas. (St. Thomas Campus)
  • April Glasgow (‘09) is communications officer at the Ministry of Finance, British Virgin Islands. (St. Thomas Campus)
  •  Sana Hamed (‘09) works at GM Financial in Dallas, Texas and produces newsletters for this division. (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
  • Jaedee Caines (‘10) editor of the Nevis Island Administration’s Department of Information and has just started graduate school with the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. (St. Thomas Campus)
  • Malkia Morton (‘11) completed a  master of arts in international public relations and global communications management at the Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom and is an intern with Development Counsellors International, a marketing firm in New York, that handles the United States Virgin Islands’ tourism account.  (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
  • · Sean David (‘11) operates S Dot Films, a production company, in Los Angeles, California. (St. Thomas Campus)
UVI Communications Graduate Jaedee Caines
  •  Nesha David (‘11) was formally with ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation in St. Kitts, and is now communications and research officer for the Department of Constituency Empowerment for the Government of St. Kitts/ Nevis. (St. Thomas Campus)
  • Shauna Tucker (‘12) is a reporter at the Avis Newspaper, on St. Croix. (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
  • Sheniqua Robinson (‘13) is a reporter with News 2 on CBS TV2 based on St. Croix. (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
  • Wyndi Ambrose (‘13) is a freelance reporter for the Avis Newspaper on St. Croix. (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
  • Jonathan Paul (‘13) is a reporter at the VI Source, an online newspaper. (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
  • Leslyn Tonge (‘13) is an administrative specialist in the Provost’s Office at UVI. (St. Thomas Campus) 
  • Twanna Hodge (‘13) is pursuing a master’s degree in library science at the University of Washington. (St. Thomas Campus)
  • Rich Motta is a Communications Officer in the Office of Sen. Diane Capehart. (Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix)
“My time at the University of the Virgin Islands was well spent,” said Jaedee Caines. “The television, public speaking and radio courses were beneficial. I am now able to host my own weekly television program all because of the experience I gathered at UVI.” She continued, “Thank you UVI for preparing me for the world of work. I definitely believe that other students can benefit from opportunities at UVI.”

Nesha David said working with her fellow communications majors prepared her for her current post. “I was able to transition very smoothly for my part in the working world,” she said. “It was a seamless transition.”

“We are proud of the successes of UVI’s Communications Program,” said UVI Associate Professor of Journalism Dr. Gillian Royes. “Our goal is to continue to grow along with the world’s changing technology.” Currently, courses are video-conferenced between the St. Thomas Campus, the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and the St. John Academic Center in journalism, public relations, broadcasting and internet media. UVI’s new radio station WUVI, on St. Thomas, which simulcasts from St. Croix, can be found at 1090 AM and online at “Our graduates are achieving carrier success which proves the value of studying the public media at the university level,” said UVI Department of Music, Communication, Art and Theatre Chairperson Dr. Alexander Randall. “We expect to grow the program to reach our neighboring islands and raise the caliber of public media throughout the region.”