News Releases

UWI Congratulates its National Award Recipients

For Release Upon Receipt - September 28, 2018

St. Augustine

As is now customary in the commemoration of the nation’s Republic Day celebrations earlier this week, National Awards are given to recognize the contributions of citizens and non-nationals who have had a significant and positive impact on the twin-island Republic. Among this year’s National Award recipients are former staff and several alumni of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus. Notably, this includes Mr. Ewart Williams, Dr. Waveney Charles, Dr. Ian Anthony Hypolite and Dr. Lester Efebo Wilkinson.

Mr. Ewart Williams, a Distinguished Alumnus and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, was a member of the first graduating class in the Master of Science in Economics Programme is currently Chairman of the St. Augustine Campus Council. Mr. Williams was awarded the Chaconia Medal (GOLD) for exemplary public service.

Dr. Waveney Charles, a former faculty member in The UWI St. Augustine’s Faculty of Medical Sciences is the first registered haematologist in Trinidad and Tobago. She pioneered the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders in this country. In her role as Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service, she transformed and internationalized this country’s blood banking service and established a paediatric haematology programme that resulted in a decreased mortality rate among children with Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Anemia and Haemophilia. Dr. Charles was the recipient of the Chaconia Medal (GOLD).

Dr. Ian Anthony Hypolite, also a former faculty member at The UWI St. Augustine is popularly known for his coaching of World Champion of the 400 metre hurdler and UWI alum Jehue Gordon. The medical professional and consultant psychiatrist is former Hospital Medical Director of St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital. Dr. Hypolite was awarded the Hummingbird Medal (SILVER) for his work in sports administration, athletics and psychiatry.

Dr. Lester Efebo Wilkinson, a former lecturer in Theatre Arts at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) in The UWI St. Augustine’s Faculty of Humanities and Education, served as Permanent Secretary in several Government Ministries including Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Sport and Youth Affairs and Legal Affairs. As a member of the Public Service, Dr. Efebo Wilkinson spearheaded, alongside other Government Ministers, several ground-breaking initiatives such as the Open School for the Arts in collaboration with The UWI, thereby enabling expanded access for all to quality education in the Arts. Dr. Efebo Wilkinson was Trinidad and Tobago’s first Resident Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba. He was the recipient of the Public Service Medal of Merit (GOLD).

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine, Professor Brian Copeland, extended heartfelt congratulations to the National Award recipients, thanking them for their contributions both to The UWI and wider community. As a former national award recipient himself, he was a joint recipient of the Chaconia Medal Gold in 2007 and in 2008, he was the first recipient of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2008.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


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