News Releases

UWI announces winners of Vice Chancellorís 2010 Award for Excellence

For Release Upon Receipt - June 29, 2010

St. Augustine

Five members of the academic staff at the Cave Hill, Mona and St Augustine Campuses of The University of the West Indies, namely, Professor John Agard, Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Dr Dave Chadee, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan and Professor Clive Landis will receive the prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for the academic year 2009/2010 at a special ceremony to be held on October 21, 2010 at the Cave Hill Campus.  The Awards will be presented by the Vice Chancellor.

The recipients at the St Augustine Campus are: Professor John Agard, Professor of Tropical Island Ecology and Head, Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of  Science and Agriculture, for all-round performance in the combined areas of research accomplishments and contribution to public service; Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Education for contribution to public service; and Dr Dave Chadee, Senior Lecturer in Parasitology, Department of Life Sciences, for research accomplishments.

From the Mona Campus, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour, Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health, received the award for contribution to public service, while from the Cave Hill Campus, Professor Clive Landis, Professor in Cardiovascular Research, Chronic Disease Research Centre, received the award for research accomplishments. 

Professor John Agard has published over eight book chapters and 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals.  Professor Agard is recognised by the United Nations as an expert on climate change and Small Island Developing States; was a lead author of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 4th assessment report – Chapter 16, Small Islands – and as such, shared in the IPCC’s Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Professor Agard has been very effective in generating research funds and is considered an excellent supervisor of research graduate students.  His contribution to public service both locally and internationally has been extensive. He has served on several boards, including the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) of which he was Chairman. He was instrumental in getting several important pieces of legislation on environmental regulation approved in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr Kusha Haraksingh was appointed Commissioner and first Chairman of the CARICOM Competition Commission, an essential pillar of the Single Market and Economy (CSME).  His public service activities which included providing pro-bono advice to the West Indies Players’ Association, and representing them in arbitration proceedings before the Chief Justice of Barbados, have made a significant impact on the lives of many Caribbean citizens. Dr Haraksingh sits on various University Committees such as the Augmented Pensions Committee, the Standing Committee on Ordinances and Regulations, and serves as Chair of the St Augustine Examinations Committee and Chair of the University Archives and Records Management Committee.

Dr Dave Chadee is an accomplished researcher, who has published over 180 scientific papers, 10 book chapters and one book. In 2007 he was the lead author of a paper published in the esteemed journal, Science entitled, “Genetics:  a breakthrough for global public health”. He is currently on the Editorial Board of five international peer-reviewed journals, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Annals of Medical Entomology, European Journal of General Medicine, Open Public Health Journal and Journal of Parasitological Research. Dr Chadee’s work, which has gained international recognition, has had an undeniable impact on regional development. He was the recipient of two fellowship awards, the Wellcome Trust Scholar (1985-1987) and the Gorgas Memorial Institute Fellow (1998-1999).  He was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1999 by the University of Dundee in recognition of his research.  Dr Chadee has been very effective in generating research funds and has been considered an excellent supervisor of research graduate students.

Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan is considered an ambassador for the University in the area of child development and is a significant contributor to public service. She was on secondment to the Government of Jamaica for two years as Executive Chairman of the National Early Childhood Commission, a position she served with distinction. She has published two books entitled The Jamaican Pre-School Child: the Status of Early Childhood Development in Jamaica and Cognition, Educational Attainment and Behaviour in a cohort of Jamaican Children at age 11-12 years. These books have become reference texts used as policy guides in the Ministries of Health and Education in Jamaica.  Professor Samms-Vaughan has authored and published over 58 research papers and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals.  Her research has attracted significant amounts of grant funding to The University of the West Indies. The quality of her research accomplishments has been recognised internationally, demonstrated by her election as Editor or Consulting Editor of scholarly journals such as International Journal of Early Years Education, Children’s Issues Coalition Journal and Caribbean Journal of Psychology. Professor Samms-Vaughan’s contribution to non-governmental organisations has been diverse and extensive. She has been a consultant and an advisor to the Jamaica Attention Deficit Disorder Association since 1998 and has served as consultant advisor to UNICEF and PAHO.  Despite her hectic schedule, Professor Samms-Vaughan finds time to serve her community through her service on the Boards of Vaz Preparatory School, The Queen’s High School and Family Life Ministries. For her exemplary public service Professor Samms-Vaughan was in 2007 awarded the Jamaican National Honour, Commander of the Order of Distinction for service in the field of Early Childhood Development and Child Health. 

Professor Clive Landis has published 64 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In the past five years, Professor Landis has published 25 papers, 20 as first author or senior author and has gained international recognition. He has, on several occasions, been invited to present keynote lectures in the US, UK and Australia as an internationally acclaimed leader in the field of heart surgery, particularly as it relates to the dangerous systemic inflammatory response experienced by patients undergoing this procedure. Professor Landis received the Principal’s Award for Excellence, Cave Hill Campus, for the academic year 2008/2009.

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About the VC’s Award for Excellence

The annual Vice‐Chancellor’s Award for Excellence was initiated in 1993 by former Vice Chancellor, Sir Alister McIntyre, 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 one or other 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 four core areas. Each award is valued at US$5,000.  

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.