News Releases

Excellence in UWI Life Awards recognise student contributions

For Release Upon Receipt - February 16, 2012

St. Augustine

A mentorship programme for disadvantaged schoolgirls in Trinidad and Tobago, a coach and a fashion designer were among recipients of Excellence in UWI Life Awards presented on February 9, 2012 at the Daaga Auditorium, UWI St. Augustine.

The Awards, presented by the St. Augustine Corps of The UWI Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) Ambassadors, recognize student achievement across categories such as contribution to the UWI, Entrepreneurship, and Excellence in the Arts, Sports Development, and Youth Development.

Mr. Hillan Morean was honoured in the UWI contribution category for his launching of the Cadena Sports Management – a movement for sport and youth development. In the national contribution category, Shalimar UWI Motivated Mentors Outreach Network (S.U.M.M.O.N.) received recognition for its mentorship programme targeting disadvantaged young girls in primary and secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago and Mr. Taureef Mohammed was recognized for his humanitarian and voluntary work. The award for sport development was presented to Dominican, Mr. Nabi Wallace for his work as head coach of the track and field and netball teams at the St. Augustine Campus and the National Under 23 Dragon Boat Racing team, which comprised 17 UWI students and won four gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships in August 2011. In the Entrepreneurship category, Mr. Manov Everon received an award for his Power Hour Café initiative which provides drinks and pastries to UWI students, from 6pm-3am daily and employs six students. Miss Janelle Duke, whose fashion line of crochet accessories and beach wear, ‘Amber Kreed’ was recently featured in the Trinidad Guardian’s WomanWise magazine, was also recognized in the Entrepreneurship category. For the first time, a UWI STAT Award for Excellence was presented to the most outstanding Ambassador selected by his/her peers. This award was presented to Elizabeth Gunesslal.

That evening, 13 new Ambassadors to the STAT programme were inducted: Nailah Assing, Welete Wickham, Nigel Thomas, Danica Smith, Elizabeth Gunnesslal, Marlene Spencer, Jeanine Germain, Jeanine DeGannes, Steven Moore, Amanda Francis, Samantha Alexander, Jabari Gordon and Mary La Toya Johnson.

In his remarks, UWI Vice Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris highlighted the importance of the Ambassador Corps in promoting the UWI, engendering Pelican Pride across the student population, assisting with student recruitment and representing the regional institution both across the region and internationally. UWI STAT has been recognized by CARICOM as a partner in the execution of the CARICOM Relations portfolio.

Among those attending the event were Professor Clement Sankat, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, UWI St. Augustine, Professor Rhoda Reddock, Deputy Principal, UWI St. Augustine, Mrs. Celia Davidson-Francis, Director of Alumni Relations, responsible for the development of the regional Ambassador Corps, Ms. Prunella Mungroo, President, UWI STAT St Augustine Corps and Mr Jason Julien, General Manager, First Citizen Investment Services, who delivered the feature address.

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An initiative of the St. Augustine Corps, the Excellence in UWI Life Awards recognizes the pioneering contributions of students, alumni, student organizations, clubs and societies across categories such as contribution to the UWI, Entrepreneurship, and Excellence in the Arts, Sports Development, and Youth Development. Awards are decided by nominations and based on published criteria. The selection committee is made up of current and former UWI STAT Ambassadors and other invited members of the UWI community.


UWI STAT Ambassadors are the Vice Chancellor’s Student Representatives on all four UWI campuses. UWI STAT was developed in 2005 in order to increase regional ties between students and alumni and create student awareness of alumni relations and alumni involvement. Some of the group’s main objectives include to promote UWI, foster "Pelican Pride" and loyalty to Alma Mater, and to encourage Caribbean integration. 


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.)