Garfene Grandison, Gleaner Writer
Yendi Phillipps, first runner-up in the Miss Universe 2010 contest, did bachelor of fine arts (with a concentration in dance) and master's in recreation and leisure studies degrees at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport. Understandably, they are proud of their outstanding alumnus.
Jackie Davis in the dance department of the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences said she was an adviser to Yendi, because she worked closely with the Jamaican exchange students. "I'm not surprised that she took this route. She was such a hard worker, who was clear about her goals in life. Being very strong-minded she stayed on and did her master's degree in recreation and leisure studies, because she knew what she wanted to do back at home and realised that dancing wasn't enough," she said. Davis did not know that Phillipps was in the Miss Universe competition until a friend called and told her to turn on the television.
Dr Joel Frater, assistant provost for diversity at SUNY Brockport, served as Yendi's professor, master's degree academic and thesis adviser. He said "it is hard to identify a single memory of Yendi because there were so many, but her wit, humour and her ability to attract people to her are standouts." Frater said that he was extremely proud of Yendi, as the competition was stiff and her poise, grace and expertise were impressive.