News Releases

Seven to receive UWI Vice-Chancellorís Award for Excellence

For Release Upon Receipt - September 29, 2011

St. Augustine

Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor E. Nigel Harris will present awards to seven outstanding University staff members at the 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The presentation ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on October 5, 2011 at the Daaga Auditorium, St. Augustine Campus.  This year’s recipients are Professors Kathleen Coard, Minerva Thame, Anthony Clayton and Mrs. Eda Martin of the Mona Campus; Dr. Anna-May Edwards-Henry and Professor Vijay Naraynsingh, St. Augustine Campus, and Professor Julie Meeks Gardner of the Open Campus.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence was established in 1993 under former Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alister Mc Intyre to recognize high achievement by academic and senior administrative staff of The University of the West Indies. This annual award ceremony is a celebration of the University’s core values, and the recipients of these prestigious awards are persons who have proven themselves the perfect examples of a commitment to the pursuit of excellence. Awards are given in 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, valued at US$5,000, is made after a rigorous assessment and selection process, first at the campus level, then at a University-wide selection Committee for the final selection. Since its inception, 83 Awards for Excellence have been presented at ceremonies rotated among the UWI campuses. The 2011 Awards take the total of prestigious awardees to 90. In addition to this year’s ceremony, St. Augustine campus has been host of the special event in 1997, 2003 and 2008 respectively.

This year, Professor of Pathology Kathleen Coard will receive the award for Teaching while two awards each will be presented in the categories Research Accomplishments and Service to the University Community. Awardees in the Research category are Professor Minerva Thame, Head, Department of Child Health, Mona, and Professor Vijay Naraynsingh of the Department of Surgery, St. Augustine, while Dr. Anna-May Edwards-Henry, Director of the Instructional Development Unit at St. Augustine and Mrs. Eda Martin, Manager Customer Service, Office of Finance, Vice Chancellery will be recognized for outstanding service to the University. Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development, Professor Anthony Clayton will be awarded in the category Public Service and Professor Julie Meeks Gardner who heads the Open Campus’ Caribbean Child Development Centre will receive the award for All-round Performance in two categories: Research Accomplishments and Public Service.

Attendance at the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence is by invitation only.

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Editor’s Notes

Professor Kathleen Coard is the first female graduate of The UWI’s Medical DM (Pathology) programme to become a Professor of Pathology. She has been attached to UWI as a Lecturer in Pathology since 1984, was a founding member of the Jamaica branch of Teaching Improvement Project Systems (TIPS), a former Chair of the Department of Pathology Examination Review Committee and is Chief Editor for the end of module Final Examination Papers for BMedSci and MBBS students in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. She has participated in numerous professional workshops on curriculum development, and has conducted staff training workshops with TIPS and the Instructional Development Unit. Professor Coard has published widely in internationally recognized journals and has received many medical awards, including the Jamaica Medical Foundation award in 2009 for outstanding achievement in the fields of pathology and research. Professor Coard was also the winner of the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence (ANSCAFE) in Science and Technology in 2010. She is a former President of the Jamaican Association of Clinical Pathologists (JACP).

An esteemed surgeon in Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Vijay Naraynsingh has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of medicine including the Chaconia Gold Medal of the Government of Trinidad & Tobago and the Gold Pin of the Trinidad & Tobago Medical Association. He was also given a personal Chair in Vascular Surgery (UWI) for his work in this area. He is the founder of the first regular vascular surgery service at the Port of Spain General Hospital and also spearheaded the establishment of renal transplantation, microvascular surgery, carotid surgery for stroke and limb replantation in Trinidad & Tobago. He has designed 12 new operations and described four new clinical signs among his over 200 international publications.

Professor Minerva Thame has attained international recognition for her publications and research which focus on the area of maternal nutrition and its impact on foetal growth and birth outcome. She received The UWI Principal’s Award for the Most Outstanding Researcher in the Faculty of Medical Sciences for the academic years 2007/2008 and 2009/2010, an award from the Jamaica Medical Foundation for outstanding contribution in the field of Child Health and The Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club of New Kingston in 2009.

Professor Anthony Clayton is the Alcan Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development at The UWI’s Institute for Sustainable Development. This year, he generated about US$7.5 million in funding for research, and supervised over 30 PhD students. One of his deepest commitments, however, is to public service. He has written policies for a number of governments and inter-governmental agencies, on issues that include planning and regulation, national security, crime and policing, energy and food security, economic development and climate change adaptation.  He served as the lead policy advisor for two world summits – the Fifth Summit of the Americas, and the 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. He was an advisor to the UK Government Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit on policy options for the Caribbean. He wrote the new national squatter policy and a new national training strategy for Jamaica, and is currently drafting the new planning framework and the new environmental regulatory framework, and reviewing the national security policy. For his service and leadership excellence, Professor Clayton was honoured with the 8th World Congress of Consuls Award of Excellence.

Dr. Anna-May Edwards-Henry has provided invaluable administrative service to The UWI. She is directly responsible for operations of the Instructional Development Unit and, as a member of the Academic Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC), reviews the courses and programmes offered by The UWI. She created the Master’s in Higher Education: Tertiary Level Teaching and Learning, co-produced the Assessment Essentials Handbook with the heads of IDUs from the other campuses and reviewed, revamped and revitalized the Student Evaluation of Courses and Lectures (SECL). Dr. Henry has published numerous papers on teaching/education evaluation and assessment.

Mrs. Eda Martin has been with the University since her appointment as Executive Secretary to the Director of Finance/University Bursar in 1993. She was directly involved with the restructuring of the Office of Finance and in conjunction with the University’s Bursars co-ordinated the first workshops on the Financial Code and the Financial Procedures and Guidelines. This UWI alumna is a holder of an MSc in Resource Development and has provided administrative support to The UWI’s Grants Committees and Taskforce on Capital Development Needs. At present, Mrs. Martin manages meetings of the Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) and the Campus and University Grants Committees (CGC & UGC) among other core duties. She has also been involved with The UWI Mentorship Programme since 2006.


Current head of the Open Campus’ Caribbean Child Development Centre Professor Julie Meeks Gardner is a widely published UWI academic who specializes in Child Development and Nutrition.  She is also a former member of the Board of Childwatch International, a network of research organizations that focuses on children and children’s issues; the UWI representative on the CARICOM Working Group on Early Childhood; a member of the Executive of the Jamaican National Food and Nutrition Coordinating Committee and member of the Board of the Peace Management Initiative. Professor Meeks Gardner is a founding member of the Children’s Issues Coalition, a group of academics at UWI striving to enable more integrated research, teaching, outreach services and dissemination of research findings, in areas related to children.  The group is responsible for Caribbean Childhoods: Documenting the Reality, a database of research on children’s issues which has obtained grants worth over JA$2.2 million from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica.  The Children’s Issues Coalition also produces an annual journal entitled Caribbean Childhoods, for which they have received grant support from a number of sources.  

About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)