Sun | Feb 5, 2023

University/college round-up

Published:Sunday | April 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

UTech Focus

  • UTech hosts first annual Health Professionals Conference

The College of Health Sciences, UTech, will host its first annual Health Professionals Conference at the university's Papine campus from July 10-11, under the theme 'New Trends in Health Care Research and Development'. This first Health Professionals Conference aims to bring together health professionals, academics, industry partners and students to exchange and share their experiences and research in all areas of health and medicine. The conference will also create a forum to highlight and exchange discourse about new advances in health research to spur improvement in the local, regional and international health-care systems and services.

Among the topics for discussion are developments in dental sciences in such areas as oral diseases, systematic effects of oral diseases and oral and maxillofacial pathology; developments in drug therapy; public health and health technology and medicine; allied health and nursing with respect to subject matters such as sports medicine, child and adolescent development and health education and promotion.

Submission of papers for presentation at the conference is currently open. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words and must be written in English. Accepted abstracts will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Arts Science and Technology. Papers are to be submitted in electronic format to Dr Cliff Riley at by April 30. Authors will be informed on decisions by May 14.

  • UTech building capacity in forensic science

In response to the high levels of unsolved crimes in the country and capitalising on its strength in the applied and health sciences, UTech is working on a major initiative to expand its capacity for education and training in forensic science. Forensic science is the application of scientific techniques and scientific data to resolving legal issues.

The university is partnering with Staffordshire University in Britain and the University of Mauritius in a joint project funded by the European Union for "developing education, skills and capacity in forensic awareness and forensic science". Staffordshire University is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for forensics and is leading the project.

The EU project is training two members of staff in forensic science through Staffordshire University and is providing laboratory equipment for forensic analysis. With part support from the project, the university has acquired a scanning electron microscope which will provide a range of analytic services for the university and other agencies and institutions.

UTech is closely collaborating with the Government Forensic Laboratory (GFL) and both institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding. GFL Director Dr Judith Mowatt has been appointed a UTech associate professor of forensic science and is playing an active and critical role in the development of the forensic science programme.

The university has already launched a BSc degree in analytic chemistry with a forensic science option available in the third and fourth years of the programme. A number of short, professional development courses, including DNA Identification, are being offered to practitioners. Plans are advanced for the addition of a master's degree in forensic science.

Under the forensics capacity building project, UTech is slated to host a major Caribbean regional conference in January 2011 which will bring forensics scholars and practitioners from across the region together for two days of sharing research findings and best practice.

At the end of the project, UTech will have trained staff, equipment and academic programmes which will contribute to the building up of forensic capability in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

UWI Notebook

  • Does the financial sector aid in growing the economy?

There is a widely held theory that once a country's financial sector is developing, the country will experience economic growth. The Jamaican experience does not seem to support this thinking as the country's economy did not grow even while the financial sector was expanding rapidly.

Anxious to understand the reasons for Jamaica's non-conformity with this theory, Dr David Tennant and Claremont Kirton examined the relationship between the operations of the financial sector and economic growth in Jamaica. Their article, 'The impact of foreign direct investment, financial crisis and organisational culture on managers' views as to the finance-growth nexus' received the Principal's Award for Best Research Publication in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Fully aware that there are a number of functions through which the financial sectors can aid in creating growth, the researchers identified three broad functions as most important. They are encouragement and pooling of savings; the allocation of those savings to the most productive uses and increasing the ease with which transactions are conducted.

The researchers analyzed the views of managers of financial institutions as to the practicality of these three functions. They also examined the constraints faced by the institutions when trying to carry out these functions. The analysis revealed considerable differences in the views of the managers. Important distinctions were discovered between local and foreign-owned financial institutions, institutions that were positively and adversely impacted by financial crisis and different types of financial institutions.

The researchers were able to provide some evidence that local financial institutions seemed more willing to support the allocation of resources to productive sectors than were foreign ones. Foreign institutions tended to blame their poor performance in this area on factors outside of their control compared with local institutions that were more likely to implement measures to correct the situation. It appears that foreign institutions are historically inclined to support the distributive trade.

Information has been provided that will be useful in fostering improved performance of the Jamaican financial sector, facilitating economic growth and enhancing understanding of practical aspects of the finance-growth debate.

David Tennant, the principal researcher, is a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Mona. His research interests include finance and economic development, microfinance, financial crises, macroeconomic policy, tax administration, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • 29th Annual Conference on West Indian Literature

The Department of Literatures in English invites you to attend the 29th Annual Conference on West Indian Literature, which will be held on the UWI, Mona campus from April 29-May 1.

This conference, an important forum for the discussion of West Indian literature, is hosted from year to year by different campuses of the UWI and other regional institutions. The theme of the 29th Conference is 'Caribbeanscapes: The Vistas of Caribbean Literature', and 60 panellists from regional and international institutions will present papers over the three days.

Highlights of the conference include:

  1. A literary reading, 'The Festival of the Word', which will take place at the Mona Visitors' Lodge and Conference Centre on Friday at 7 p.m. Three writers, Lorna Goodison, Shara McCallum and David Chariandy will headline this event. Co-sponsors for this event are Creative Production & Training Centre (CPTC) and Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism.
  2. Lunch-hour readings by various Caribbean writers.
  3. The plenary speakers (April 29 -30) are: Barbara Lalla, professor of Language and Literatures in the Department of Liberal Arts, UWI, St Augustine, Mona Visitors' Lodge - April 29, 9 a.m.; Lorna Goodison, internationally acclaimed poet and Lemuel A. Johnson Collegiate Professor of English and Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan, Mona Visitors' Lodge - April 30, 9 a.m.

All panels, discussions and performances are open to the public, free of cost. Conference programmes will cost $500.

For further information visit:

UCC Report

  • The award winners are ...

The Florida International University's (FIU) Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) Jamaica graduating class 2010 and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) wish to acknowledge Audrey Marks, Karl Hendrickson and the Shaggy 'Make a Difference Foundation'.

Audrey Marks is the founder and CEO of Paymaster (Jamaica) Limited. She is an entrepreneur at heart, having started several businesses before establishing Paymaster. She is the deputy chairman of the Urban Development Company (UDC); chairman of the Central Wastewater Treatment Company Limited (CWTC); director of the boards of the RBTT Securities Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Trade and Invest, National Health Fund and the Mona School of Business.

Audrey Patrice Marks is the Ambassador-designate to Washington, D.C. and is widely acknowledged for her pioneering work, entrepreneurial endeavours and commitment to social causes. The graduates select her as the business leader female 2010.

The importance of hard work, honesty and self-sufficiency are qualities that were learned by Karl Hendrickson during his formative years. He built the National Continental Corporation (NCC) Limited Group from his father's bakery to include companies which are involved in feed milling, chicken production and processing, packaging materials for industry, land development and the operation of several hotels and tourist attractions. He has been unwavering in his pursuit of innovative approaches to advancements in commerce and he has managed to make this affinity for entrepreneurialism truly a family affair.

Hendrickson is officially retired but his contribution continues. For his dedication, innovation and exemplary business leadership, the graduates name Karl Hendrickson the business leader male 2010.

The Shaggy 'Make a Difference Foundation' was founded by Orville 'Shaggy' Burrell to be a vehicle for facilitating donations of cash and kind from thoughtful sponsors for The Bustamante Hospital for Children. The recognition of the great need that exists at the hospital, the very real consequence of which is the loss of precious lives, led to the annual 'Shaggy & Friends Benefit Concert'.

In 2009, the concert was able to raise US$250,000 and in January of this year the foundation was able to make a gift of $30 million to the hospital. We wish to acknowledge the need that continues to exist, specifically the need for higher standards of care in our hospitals. For the exemplary humanitarian services to Jamaica, the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation is the recipient of the graduates' Humanitarian award 2010.

NCU Bulletin

  • Business conference presenters provide strategies to beat the recession

A delightful spread of business minds decorated Northern Caribbean University's Hyacinth Chen School of Nursing on Sunday, April 11, and the NCU Gymnatorium on Monday, April 12, for the university's Business and Hospitality Management Conference.

Undergraduate and graduate students, guest speakers, lecturers, members of faculty and staff, and intellectuals from across Jamaica sought answers to economic questions at the conference themed 'Current Trends and Issues: The Recession and Beyond'.

The conference provided an opportunity for the meeting of the minds to contemplate, deliberate, share and consolidate on an informed approach to tackling Jamaica's economic problems while creating wealth.

Guest presenter Sushil Kumar Jain, director of the University of the West Indies Hospital - Tony Thwaites Wing and Mayberry Investments Limited noted, "The Jamaican economy has been suffering from a global recession since late 2007 owing to inadequate capital in banks and improper loans to persons who many banks knew would be unable to repay."

He added, "As a result of the recession, Jamaica has had to deal with a high unemployment rate, high fiscal deficit, decrease in remittances and closure of bauxite plants among other things."

Jain posited, however, "That there are remedies that can be used to combat the challenges Jamaica face, these include reforming the regulatory framework, training persons in large numbers for jobs overseas, investing in health and sports tourism, seeking major investments from overseas and exploring and expanding the use of alternative energy."

Participants were fed with a variety of presentations from experts of varied backgrounds. Wayne Cummings, director of business processes and administration, Sandals Resorts International, presented on the 'Opportunities in Tourism and the Hotel Industry' and stressed the importance of the tourism industry to the Jamaican economy.

  • NCU adds medical technology students to the pool of well-trained health professionals

The Medical Technology (Med Tech) Class of 2010 at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) was recently presented to the public when 41 students were decorated at its pinning ceremony on the university's Mandeville campus.

Sonia Richards-Malcolm, an established medical technologist and lecturer at the University of Technology (UTech), delivered the main address under the theme 'Breaking barriers to success: building bridges to a brighter future'.

She encouraged the class to strive for integrity, to know their values and to operate with principles consistent with those values.

Richards-Malcolm, who is a past student of NCU, emphasised the importance of being a team player. "It does not matter how adept you are in the field or how strong your grade point average is - medical technologists cannot work in isolation." She further explained that in order for her to have succeeded, she had to work closely with persons in her field.

The pinning exercise signals that the medical technology students, now in the third-year of their programme, will be fully immersed in the practical element of their profession and are given the opportunity to serve as laboratory assistants.

It is also at this juncture that students are able to work with external agencies, community groups and professional associations. The Medical Technology Undergraduate Association is an entity that allows students to hone their leadership skills and participate in activities of the Caribbean Association of Medical Technologists.

Vandrene Paris, a third-year medical technology student, shared: "I feel a sense of accomplishment! Unlike other institutions, in NCU's Med Tech programme we have to earn our uniforms and our pins. I know I'm being prepared for a solid career!"