News Releases

UWI to bestow the Vice Chancellorís Award for Excellence

For Release Upon Receipt - July 21, 2008

St. Augustine


The University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris, recently announced the winners of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for the academic year 2007/2008. The Awards will be presented by the Vice Chancellor at a special ceremony during graduation week, Thursday 30th October, 2008 at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) St Augustine Campus from 5:00p.m. The recipients will be: Dr Colin Depradine, Lecturer in Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics, Cave Hill Campus; Professor Celia Christie of the Department of Paediatrics (Child Health), Mona Campus; Professor Anselm Hennis, Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC) at Cave Hill Campus; Professor Kit Fai Pun, Professor of Industrial Engineering in the Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, St Augustine Campus; Dr Hermi Hewitt Head of the UWI School of Nursing, Mona, and Professor Archibald McDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona Campus.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award was established in 1993 under the former Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alister Mc Intyre to recognise high achievement by academic as well as senior administrative staff. As many as five awards may be given in any one year in any of the following areas: Teaching, Administration and Research Accomplishments, Service to the University Community, Contributions to Public Service, and All-round Excellence in a combination of two or more of the five core areas. Each award is valued at US$5,000.

Dr Depradine, who will receive the award for Excellence in Teaching, has been a lecturer in Computer Science since 1995 and was the first recipient in 2005 of the UWI/Guardian Life Teaching Award from the Cave Hill Campus. He is highly regarded by his students as well as his colleagues for his teaching skills, particularly for his application of web-based technologies in the classroom.

Professor Christie, who will receive the award for Research Accomplishments, is a world authority on childhood infectious diseases. Since her appointment in 1999 as Professor and Chair of Paediatrics, Professor Christie has produced over 32 publications in prestigious regional and international journals. Her extensive research efforts have attracted externally funded grants to the UWI, totalling over US$3 million.

Professor Anselm Hennis, who will also receive the award for Research Accomplishments, began his UWI career in 1996 as a Temporary Lecturer in the School of Clinical Medicine and Research. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and became Director of the Barbados Eye Studies project. His research output is outstanding, with over 60 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly publications. He has attracted over US$20 million in research grants.

Professor McDonald, who will receive the award for Service to the University Community, has done research into trauma which has helped to guide national policies on injury prevention and management in Jamaica. His considerable administrative skills became evident, even before his appointment in 2005 as Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences. As Head of the Department of Surgery and the Faculty’s Representative on the Mona Campus Budget Monitoring Committee, Professor McDonald conceptualised and oversaw the implementation of the Full Fee Paying programme, resulting in the first significant increase in Faculty enrolment in forty years, with significant financial inflows to the Mona Campus.

The Award for all-round performance in a combination of two or more areas is to be shared jointly by Professor Kit Fai Pun, Professor of Industrial Engineering in the Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, St Augustine Campus, for all-round excellent performance in teaching and research; and Dr Hermi Hewitt Head of the UWI School of Nursing, Mona, for all-round excellent performance in teaching and service to the University community.

Professor Kit Fai Pun’s reputation as a researcher and teacher is recognised and highly valued by both students and academic colleagues. He has provided leadership in the restructuring and strengthening of the Industrial Engineering programme to bring it up to modern industry requirements and facilitating external accreditation. His research output is significant, including some 50 articles in refereed journals, two book reviews, 22 technical/conference papers and more than 20 consultancy reports.

Dr Hermi Hewitt is not only a very competent teacher but an outstanding administrator as well. Her impact on nursing education at the UWI and throughout the Caribbean is far-reaching. She led the phasing out of certificate programmes in nursing, replacing them in 2004 with a generic, BSc UWI degree and introduced several new graduate courses leading to a Masters Degree in five different nursing specialties. Under Dr Hewitt’s leadership student enrolment has increased from a mere sixty in 2002 to almost a thousand at present.

For further information please contact the Vice Chancellor’s Office at 1(876) 927-2406.

Contact