News Releases

Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw is new Public Orator at UWI St. Augustine

For Release Upon Receipt - October 28, 2021

St. Augustine

The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago. Thursday October 28, 2021 — Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, Professor of French Literature and Creative Writing in the Faculty of Humanities and Education has been appointed the new Public Orator at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus. Her appointment, effective August 1, 2021 is for a period of three years. She succeeds Christine Carrington, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Virology, who served as Public Orator from 2017 to 2020.

Historically, the duties of the Orator are ‘to write addresses for presentation to the Sovereign and formal letters for presentation to other universities and institutions and to ‘present to the Chancellor and University persons on whom the titles of degrees are conferred honoris causa.’ The post acts as the voice of the university during public occasions. At The UWI, the Public Orator writes the citations for the Honorary Graduands and presents them to University Chancellor, Mr. Robert Bermudez at the St. Augustine graduation ceremonies. Each campus of The UWI has its own Public Orator who prepares and delivers citations at University functions such as graduation and awards ceremonies and convocations.

Professor Walcott-Hakshaw has written and co-edited eight books, including Border Crossings: A Trilingual Anthology of Caribbean Women WritersMethods in Caribbean Research: Literature, Discourse, CultureEchoes of the Haitian Revolution 1804-2004; and Reinterpreting the Haitian Revolution and its Cultural Aftershocks. Apart from her scholarly essays and articles, she has also published creative works. Four Taxis Facing North, her first collection of short stories, was considered one of the best works of 2007 by the Caribbean Review of Books. Her first novel, Mrs. B, was short-listed for “Best Book of Fiction” in the Guyana Prize for Literature in 2014. Her short stories have been widely translated and anthologized. Stick No Bills, her latest collection of short fiction was published in 2020. Her most recent publication is a biography on the writer Aimé Césaire.


About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global 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 its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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