Mico retired educator honoured
One by one, some students and staff members at The Mico University College in the Corporate Area stood to pay tribute to retired college educator Nye Harris- Stubbs during a banquet organised by final-year students of Food Quantity Techniques, a course offered by the Department of Human Ecology at The Mico University College.
The fine-dining occasion was in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the course. According to Witcliffe Doyley, their lecturer, the students were expected "to plan, manage, and execute a formal function for at least 35 persons, with arrangements and entertainment", and serve good-quality food.
The students went further by electing Harris-Stubbs, who served the institution in various teaching capacities, the guest of honour. She taught tailoring techniques, cutwork techniques, marriage and family, housing and development, and home economics management.
According to Camilla Grant, who spoke on behalf of the students, Harris-Stubbs was selected because "she is a great lecturer".
After the glowing accolades, wining, dining, and entertainment, Arts and Education spoke with Harris-Stubbs about her journey in education and the state of the current students at The Mico. She started out by saying that the students "worked hard" and "did a good job", and that she was surprised at, but appreciative of, the idea to honour her.
Harris-Stubbs is a graduate of Mico. Upon completion of her studies, she taught in Brompton, St Elizabeth, and at Montego Bay High School in St James. She went to the United States, where she studied home economics. She also pursued a master's degree in supervision, curriculum, and instruction.
Harris-Stubbs returned to Jamaica and began working at Mico in 1980 until her retirement in 2000.
She said that she had seen the glory days, but she was "a little disappointed" with the current set of students.
"I felt that the current Mico students do not have the Mico spirit. For example, I came in March when they had their Founders Day Service right here (in the Gymnasium), and I was surprised. The attendance was so poor ... and while I was leaving, I saw students coming in through the gate ... I just wondered, I said, 'What is happening to Mico?'"
She dismissed the notion though, that what is happening at the institution is a reflection of the wider society, Harris-Stubbs said, "I think so." Miconians in the past, she said, "were community leaders, who were involved in many things".
On her part, retirement does not mean that Harris-Stubbs is sitting down on her laurels watching the sun set daily. The Seventh-Day Adventist teaches voluntarily and is involved with church work, including being a Sabbath School superintendent.
She is hopeful that things will change.
"And I'm just wondering if this crop of students will be leading in anything. That is what I fear. But after seeing the function that they have put on, I am feeling a little hopeful that some of them might have grasped something, and there's going to be some impact, somehow. I am trying to be positive," the veteran educator said.