The University of the West Indies, Vice-Chancellery. 30 October 2015 – In his first year as host of the annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles presented seven awards to academic and senior administrative staff members of The University of the West Indies (The UWI). Four persons from the St Augustine Campus, two from the Mona Campus and a department at the Cave Hill Campus were honoured at a ceremony held on October 15, at the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados.
A University tradition for more than 20 years, the awards recognise and reward outstanding performance in Teaching, Research Accomplishments, Service to University Community, Contributions to Public Service, and All-round Excellence in a combination of two or more of these four core areas. In the 2012 to 2013 academic year, a departmental award was added to recognise quality, service and operational excellence.
The 2015 honourees were Professor Hariharan Seetharaman of the Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences at the St Augustine Campus and Professor Michael Taylor of the Department of Physics at the Mona Campus, both for Outstanding Research Accomplishments; Professor Surendra Arjoon of the Faculty of Social Sciences, at the St Augustine Campus for All-round Excellence in Teaching and Research Accomplishments; Dr Sandra Gift, Head of the Quality Assurance Unit at the St Augustine Campus, for Service to the University Community; Professor Patricia Mohammed, Campus Coordinator, School for Graduate Studies and Research and Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the St Augustine Campus for All-round Excellence in Research Accomplishments and Service to the University Community; Professor Byron Wilson, of the Department of Life Sciences at the Mona Campus for All-round Excellence in Research Accomplishments and Public Service; and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), Faculty of Science and Technology at Cave Hill Campus for the Departmental Award for Excellence.
Commenting on this year’s awardees, VC Beckles – who was also the first recipient of inaugural Outstanding Research Accomplishments category – noted, “This event is viewed as the premier celebration of excellence within the wider university community and beyond recognising as it does
rigorous peer assessment of academic distinction and performance brilliance across the ocean of our academy. Individuals, networks and institutions are identified, reviewed, and recommendations made within a process known and accepted for its scrutiny of submissions and ingenuity of judgment.”
Professor Patricia Mohammed spoke on behalf of the 2015 awardees at the award ceremony, noting that “…the institution provides a fertile ground on which excellence can grow and prosper”. Common among all the awardees, she said, is a conviction that their work contributes to the collective good. “The goal of regionalism is central among the quest for excellence. As recipients we believe the awards are important to showcase the value and high standards this university sets for achievement”.