July 2010

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HONOUR ROLL: Five receive Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

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, Prof Nigel Harris.

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. He has served on several boards, including the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) of which he was Chairman.

Dr Kusha Haraksingh’s public service activities have been extensive. He was appointed Commissioner and first Chairman of the CARICOM Competition Commission, an essential pillar of the Single Market and Economy (CSME). He provided pro-bono advice to the West Indies Players’ Association, and represented them in arbitration proceedings before the Chief Justice of Barbados. 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. He was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1999 by the University of Dundee in recognition of his research. 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. He was recently appointed by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as a Lead Author for the Health and Climate Change section of the 5th Assessment Report on Climate Change, due in 2013.

“I would like to thank the previous and present St Augustine Campus Principals for their encouragement and for providing the opportunity and the environment to develop my research programme,” he said. “Most scientific breakthroughs are achieved due to advancing technology and the development and/or adoption of new methodologies. In my research I have combined classical biology with contemporary molecular biology approaches.”

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.

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. 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.