December 2014

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The UWI is pleased to welcome Professor Julie Meeks Gardner as the new Deputy Principal of its Open Campus. Professor Meeks Gardner joins Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor V. Eudine Barriteau who was installed as the Open Campus Principal in August this year. Together, the two will oversee the University’s more than 46 Open Campus sites.

Julie Meeks Gardner, Professor of Child Development and Nutrition, has been on staff at The University of the West Indies for over 20 years. During that time, she trained at the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit at the Mona campus carrying out PhD work on the behavioural development of undernourished children. Her post-doctoral work at Cambridge University focused on cross-cultural assessments of child cognition at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit.

Professor Meeks Gardner has also spent her career equally dedicated to issues of child development. Among her pioneering work is research on children and violence, including the development of aggression and violence among children, interventions that reduce violence and aggression, children’s involvement in gangs and the effects of violence on children in the Caribbean. In 2004, she was appointed Head of the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC), then a part of The UWI’s School of Continuing Studies. When The University’s Open Campus was established in 2008, the Centre became a part of the Consortium for Social Development and Research (CSDR), and Meeks Gardner was appointed its first Director.

In another first, Professor Meeks Gardner became the first Campus Coordinator for Graduate Studies and Research of the Open Campus in 2012. She has led many research projects supported by international organisations, agencies, grant funders, and has been published widely in numerous international research journals.

Professor Meeks Gardner has authored and edited several books, book chapters, technical reports, and monographs. She currently serves The UWI in a number of capacities, including the Senate, the Open Campus Council and the Appointments Committee. She also represents The UWI at the regional level on the CARICOM Working Groups for Early Childhood and for Health and Family Life Education, and serves on many boards, agencies and committees in Jamaica.

Under her direction, the CCDC received the Principal’s Award for Best Performing Department in the Open Campus, 2012, and Meeks Gardner was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and Public Service, 2011.

Professor Meeks Gardner’s appointment took effect on October 1, 2014, succeeding Professor Vivienne Roberts, who has retired.