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Professor Sir Hilary Beckles says: “No retreat at UWI”

For Release Upon Receipt - November 27, 2020


In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has continued to thrive and advance new strategies for its future. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the regional university, credits this success to its staff who are not just “fine and bright, but caring, committed and courageous.”

On November 19, The UWI honoured twelve outstanding academics, senior administrative staff and units at its annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The prestigious awards ceremony pivoted to a completely virtual event this year, leveraging the technology of UWItv to deliver an interactive ceremony that streamed celebrations from the awardees’ homes, and was hosted by Dr. Maurice D. Smith, University Registrar.

Addressing the award recipients and virtual audience, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted, “This year we have been tested by COVID-19. We have experienced death, destruction, pain and suffering. But at The UWI there has been no retreat or lack of confidence. It is because we care, because we are committed and we are courageous. And we are not looking back. We have seen in all of the COVID darkness, the light to the future. Each honouree is a torch bearer, a keeper of the light, a beacon to our better future.”

This year’s ceremony featured the largest number of recipients in the Awards’ history. Professor Stephan Gift, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research, who serves as Chair of the Selection Committee for the Awards said, “This year, as occurs in almost every year, we had many outstanding nominees. It is a testament to the excellence of our University that the selection committee had tremendous difficulty in selecting from among those worthy candidates.”

Dr Kimberly Robinson-Walcott who received the Excellence Award for Service to the University Community responded on behalf of the 2019/2020 awardees thanking the University “…for giving us the space and the support to pursue our endeavours and for respecting and honouring our efforts.” She added, “Our vision is for The UWI to be showcased globally as an institution that unwaveringly and unequivocally promotes and produces excellence. If we have been able to play a small role in this process, we are grateful.”

The complete list of Vice-Chancellor’s Awardees for Excellence 2019/2020 celebrated included:



Dr Delroy Chevers, Mona School of Business and Management, Mona Campus

Dr Chris Maharaj, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, St. Augustine Campus


Research Accomplishments

Professor Paulette Ramsay, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Mona Campus

Professor Alina Kaczorowska-Ireland, Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus


Service to the University Community

Dr Kimberly Robinson-Walcott, Caribbean Quarterly, Vice-Chancellery


Contribution to Public Service

Dr Olivene Burke, Mona Social Services, Mona Campus

Professor Charles Grant, International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences, Mona Campus

Dr Floyd Morris, Centre for Disability Studies, Mona Campus


All-round Excellence Award in two or more areas

Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies, Mona Campus

Professor Michelle Mycoo, Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management, St. Augustine Campus


International Collaboration (Globalisation Award)



Multi Campus Research Collaboration (One UWI Award)

The Early Childhood Quality Initiative Project


A re-broadcast of the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence will air on UWItv’s cable channel on FLOW EVO on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. and on Sunday, November 29, 2020 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Caribbean).




Notes to the Editor:


Photos of the awardees are available via Flickr:


Related News: 12 recipients named for the 2020 UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence


About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit


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