BANNER
The Monthly Newsletter of the University of Technology, Jamaica Vol. XV Issue 2-3 February - March2011

Pomp and Pageantry Mark Seaga’s Installation as UTech Chancellor

Inaugural Address:  The Most Hon. Edward Seaga, ON, PC delivers his inaugural address at his installation ceremony held on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, UTech Papine campus.  Seated at right are Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness.  Seated behind them are President of the Senate, the Hon. Oswald Harding, and Custos of St. Andrew, the Hon. Marigold Harding.

Former Prime Minister (1980 -89) the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, ON, P.C, LL.D (Hon.)  was installed as Chancellor of the University of Technology, Jamaica in a ceremony that was as memorable for its pomp and pageantry as it was for the capacity audience of members of government, the diplomatic corps, academia, the private sector,  sporting fraternity, family and friends that came to witness the historic occasion at the University’s Alfred Sangster auditorium on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

In formally welcoming Mr. Seaga who succeeded Lord Morris of Handsworth, OJ as Chancellor, President Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ said that, “as far as I am aware, there is no other University in the Region that has had the privilege of so embracing a former Prime Minister especially one who has given his entire adult life to education, culture and service.  For this we feel specially honoured, and we feel blessed.”
The ceremony began on cue at 4:30 pm with the arrival of Their Excellencies The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, & Her Excellency The Most Honourable Lady Allen which was followed by the Chancellor’s Procession comprising the Marshall, Deans, Public Orator, University Officers, University Registrar, Deputy President, Mace Bearer and President. 

The Chancellor’s inaugural address was preceded by the conferment of an honorary degree on him by President Morrison who then installed him as Chancellor, thereby fully immersing Mr. Seaga into the membership of the University of Technology, Jamaica.  The conferment was followed by the symbolic presentation of the University Act by Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness and the handing over of the Mace of Knowledge by President Morrison.  The Mace symbolizes “the power of knowledge as the path to progress and a weapon against ignorance” - which also formed the subtext of the newly installed Chancellor’s address.

President Morrison hands over the symbolic Mace of Knowledge to Chancellor Seaga. Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (left) presents Mr. Seaga with the instrument of office – the University Act.

Mr. Seaga told the gathering that he was “thrilled to have received my first honorary doctorate from a university in my own country.  It is an experience which is different from doctorates I have received from other universities abroad since it establishes that, unlike the proverbial prophet who had honour except in his native country, today I have closed that gap because I have been honoured in my own country.”

In his wide ranging address, Mr. Seaga reflected on his involvement in the building of Jamaican culture and his life in the political arena.  The former Prime Minister argued that the failed political system of the turbulent 1970s formed the foundation of “the creation of a failed state today.”  He lamented the failure to achieve meaningful economic growth for over 20 years; failure to control national indebtedness and failure to rectify a dysfunctional educational system.”  Mr. Seaga cited data indicating that 70% of those who enter primary schools cannot cope with primary education because of illiteracy.  60 % of those who enter secondary schools cannot cope with secondary education because of illiteracy and between 60 – 70% of those who leave secondary school cannot cope with the economy or the society because their education was impaired by illiteracy.  “We have made emphatically little gain although there has been much effort by education ministers and educational leaders to promote improvement in literacy,” he said.

Commending UTech for its continued growth and development, Mr. Seaga said that, “I am proud to be part of this dynamic institution at this time.”  He emphasized that education must be the most critical area of investment for growth, prosperity, social development and cultural well-being.  The new Chancellor closed his inaugural address to thunderous applause as he repeated his now well known mantra, “there is no educated country that is poor and no poor country that is educated.  If prosperity be the goal, higher skills are the tools and knowledge is the way.”

Entertainment was expertly provided by international gold award winning vocalist Samantha Strachan accompanied on violin by Nadje Leslie.  She performed three stirring pieces, The Prayer; I Look to You and My Hero which she ended with an embrace to a receptive Chancellor.  Lloyd Lovinder brought a special touch to the celebratory proceedings with his renditions of Pocomania Day and Wild Gilbert. A medley of songs were performed by the UTech Vocal Ensemble.

The festivities continued with a reception in the University’s beautifully decorated Caribbean Sculpture Park.  Among those in attendance were The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, & Her Excellency The Most Honourable Lady Allen,  Deputy Prime Minister,  The Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Leader of the Opposition, The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller and the Most Honourable Mr. Miller, Minister of Education,  the Honourable Andrew Holness,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnell Charles and other members of cabinet, President of the Senate, the Honourable Oswald Harding, Mayor of Kingston & St. Andrew, Desmond McKenzie  Custos of St Andrew, the Honourable Marigold Harding, Former Governor General of Jamaica, The Most Honourable Sir Kenneth Hall The Most Honourable Carla Seaga, Dr. Fay Whitbourne-Morrison, Heads of Universities and other Educational Institutions, Members of the University Council, Presidents Emeriti, Dr the Honourable Alfred Sangster and Dr the Honourable Rae Davis and Mrs. Davis, members of UTech’s faculty, staff, students and a host of other well wishers and friends.

 

Pictorial Highlights

Happy faces: A beaming Mr. Seaga is surrounded by members of the student body as they warmly welcome him as their new Chancellor. Governor General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen (right) congratulates Chancellor, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, ON, PC on his installation as Chancellor of the University of Technology, Jamaica following the installation ceremony held on March 16, 2011 at UTech’s Alfred Sangster auditorium.  Looking on is Mr. Seaga’s wife, Carla.
Warm congratulations:(from left), Mrs. Mercedes Deane, Senior Assistant Registrar – Academic Services, Mrs. Carla Seaga and daughter Gabrielle Seaga, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, Mrs Dianne Mitchell, Vice President, Administration and University Registrar. Chancellor Seaga (left) shares a hearty laugh with Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange and President Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ
Mr. Seaga is congratulated and embraced by Ambassador Madge Barrett (left) and former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller. Band Master Hird leads The Jamaica Military Band.
Lloyd Lovindeer delights the audience with his rendition of ‘Pocomania Day’ and ‘Wild Gilbert’. Nadje Leslie (on violin) and International gold award winner Samantha Strachan perform.
 

Students Honoured at 2nd Annual Students’ Award Ceremony

Outstanding students from the University’s five Faculties and two Colleges were on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 recognized for creditable performance in academics community service and sports at the second annual Students’ Awards Ceremony held at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium, UTech Papine campus.

Approximately 350 students were presented with awards sponsored by private individuals, private sector companies and government.  Over 100 students were admitted to the Dean’s List which recognizes students who have achieved academic distinction.  To be eligible, the student must attain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.45 and above and have passed all modules on the first attempt.

Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ, President  (at podium) welcomes the wide cross-section of faculty, staff, family and friends at the 2nd Annual Students’ Awards Ceremony held on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium, UTech, Papine campus.

In his welcome, President, Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ congratulated the students on achieving excellence.  He reminded the awardees that excellence is not an act, but a habit and encouraged them to keep persevering in achieving their dreams through sustained excellence and lifelong learning.

Mr. Christopher Reckord, Executive
Director, Innovative Corporate Solutions delivering the Keynote Address at the 2nd Annual Students’ Awards Ceremony.

Guest speaker, Mr. Christopher Reckord,Executive Director, Innovative Corporate Solutions who is a graduate of UTech, shared his personal experience in building his
life as a successful entrepreneur.  Reckord noted that while at the then CAST, (College of Arts, Science and Technology) he learnt the three most important lessons to success: prep work, teamwork and hard work.  He encouraged students to always be prepared, work in collaboration with others and to always complete tasks to the best of their ability.  He told the gathering that, “in the working world – much work, real work has to be done to translate opportunity to cash in the bank,” adding that, “you must have a clear idea of what you want to become, and    start the journey…when opportunity comes knocking you then must be ready to handle it, grab it and run with it,” he asserted.

The evening’s celebration was complemented by entertainment provided by the groups Nexus, Toisis and the UTech Vocal Ensemble.  A reception followed in the University’s Caribbean Sculpture Park.

 

PICTORIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Top GPA students:  A section of the group of outstanding students who were admitted to the Dean’s List process into the Alfred Sangster auditorium at the start of the  2nd Annual Students’ Awards ceremony.

 

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT


Michele-Anne Hamilton accepts the Red Stripe trophy for outstanding performance in Marketing  from Mr. Reginald Nugent, Head, School of Business Administration.
The School of Business Administration award for outstanding student in Production and Operations Management was copped by Gerron Thomas( left).  Mr. Reginald Nugent, Head, School of Business Administration  makes the presentation.
Mr. Christopher Bird proudly accepts the Baker’s Association award from Mrs. Marilyn Cornelius, Head, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management for Outstanding Student in Baking Technology – Full Time).
Dr. Neville Swaby (r), Head, UTech/JIM School of Advanced Management presents an elated Roy Reid, MBA student, with the award for Outstanding Student in Finance.
Mrs. Grace Briggs-Allen accepts the School of Advanced Management Award for Outstanding MBA Student in Agri-preneurship from Dr. Neville Swaby, Head, UTech/JIM School of Advanced Management.

 

COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES

 Multiple award winner Miss Melissa Layne proudly displays her awards received for Best Performance in Clinical Chemistry from Central Medical Laboratories, Best Performance in Haematology from RANDOX Laboratories, Best Performance in Immunohaematology and Most Outstanding 3rd Year Student from the Surgi-path and Cytology Laboratory.
Edna Tulloch Award for Leadership is accepted by Mr. Indinger Miller (l), Health Information Technology student.  Making the presentation is Mr. Greg-Louis Austin (r), Lecturer, College of Health Sciences.
Miss Carlene Lettman (l) is all smiles as she accepts the Facey Commodity Company Limited Award for Best Performance in Pharmacology from Mrs. Joyce Miller (r), Manager of the Pharmaceutical Division.
Dr. Eugenie Brown-Myrie, (right) Assoc. Professor/Dean of the College of Health Sciences presents the Dr. Eugenie Brown-Myrie Award for Outstanding Academic Performance in Dispensing (Year 3) to Miss Jillian Robinson.
Ms. Eleanor Mullings of Medimpex Jamaica Limited presents the company’s award for Most Outstanding Performance in Clinical Clerkship/Externship to a happy Ivor Carr.
 

 

FACULTY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

A beaming Kenneal Lee (l) proudly accepts the CSA Head of School Award for Best Academic Performance from Mr. L. Mark Taylor, Head, Caribbean School of Architecture.
Final year Urban and Regional Planning student, Deena Bent accepts the Jamaica Institute of Planners Award for Best Academic Performance at the Degree Level. Making the presentation is Mr. Martin Addington, President of the company.

 

FACULTY OF EDUCATION AND LIBERAL STUDIES

Mr. Ledon Tyrell (l) receives the Halston Limited Award for Excellence in Industrial Technology from Dr. Halden Morris (r), Manager of Halston Limited.
Mr. Granville Pitter, Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies presents the L.H. Facey Memorial Trophy for the Most Outstanding Student Teacher in Office Systems & Technology to a very pleased  Nicola Williams.
 

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND COMPUTING

Mr. Corey Martin accepts the WINDALCO Award for Best Electrical (Power) Degree Graduate from Mrs. Kayon Wallace-Headley, Senior Communications Officer, WINDALCO.
A beaming Miss Rachel Christian accepts the Best Performance in the BSc Computing in Information Technology from Mr. Arnette Campbell, Head of the School of Computing and Information Technology.

 

FACULTY OF LAW

Miss Paula-Sue Ferguson accepts her award for Most Outstanding Academic Performance Award for Criminal Law1, Criminal Law 2, Law of Contract 1 and Law of Contract 2 from, Associate Prof. Kent Pantry.
Mr. Alfred McPherson (r), Lecturer in the Faculty of Law presents an elated Mr. Junior Gonzales (l) with his award for the Most Outstanding Year 2 Full-time student.

 

FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND SPORT

Miss Whendy Leisa Marie Johnson, winner of multiple awards for academic excellence,  accepts the Most Outstanding Academic Performance in Science and Education from Associate Professor Dr. Colin Gyles, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Sport.
Dean’s List achiever, Vinston Mattocks (l) accepts the Statistics Award for the Most Outstanding Performance in Year 1 from Associate Professor Dr. Colin Gyles (r), Dean of the Faculty of Science and Sport.

  

 UNIVERSITY AWARDS

A happy Miss Kerri-Lee Chintersing, accepts the International Certificate for Distinguished Service and Learning Award from Mr. Seymour Riley, Director, Community Development and Service. The criteria for the award of the International Certificate for Distinguished Service and Learning are in accordance with those established by the International Partnership for Service and Learning Programme of which UTech is a partner.  The recipient is selected based on successful completion of the University’s Community Service Programme and the quality learning gained from the experience.
The University Award for Entrepreneurship was copped by Outstanding Student Entrepreneur Teddy Foster (left).  Mr. Sheldon Beckford, Managing Director of DECS Waste Management Services Limited, sponsor of the Award makes the presentation.
Special recognition awardees, the UTech Debaters pose with the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, ON, PC (2nd left), UTech Chancellor.   (L-r) Nyron McLaughlin, Carleston Spencer and Germaine Barrett. Missing from photo is Jerome Darnells.  The Debaters received the University’s special recognition award for their outstanding performance at the 31st staging of the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) held in December 2010 in Bostwana where they emerged with the coveted title of Top Debating Team in the Caribbean for 2011.
 
The NEXXUS choir delivering a spirited performance. Popular performing group Toisis entertains the audience with their socially conscious and thought- provoking renditions.

UTech/Papine Concert in the Park Builds Community Camaraderie

 

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) Community Service Secretariat hosted the Annual UTech/Papine “Concert in the Park” on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in the Papine Park, Papine Square.  The cultural exchange is a UTech community outreach initiative and brought together talent from schools, churches, community groups, individuals in the Papine and surrounding communities as well as participating agencies in the Community Service (CSP) 1001 programme, UTech students, members of faculty and staff. 

The cultural exposition provided an opportunity for community sharing and camaraderie among the UTech community and neighbouring communities.  Participants entertained the large gathering of members of the Papine and surrounding communities in song, dance and poetry.

Pictured are performances from the UTech/Papine Concert in the Park.

 

 

Faculty Booths on display at the annual UTech/Papine Concert in the Park

   

 


Faculty of Science and Sport Receives Grants to Research Endemic Jamaican Plants

 

Dr. Andrew Lamm, Lecturer in the Division of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Sport at work in the lab.

The Faculty of Science and Sport, through the efforts of Dr. Andrew S. Lamm, Lecturer in the Division of Chemistry, has obtained two research grants within his first 9 months of being hired. These grants have a combined value of approximately J$10 million and are designated to support research activities at UTech and in central Jamaica. They were obtained from the:

1. United Nations Development Programme-Global Environment Facility-Small Grants Programme (UNDP-GEF-SGP) = US$ 39,238.00 and the

2. Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) = JMD$ 5,537,800.00

Dr. Lamm and his collaborators recognised the fragile nature of our local ecosystems and set out to address the incumbent threats of global warming, deforestation and agricultural/mining encroachment. Once an approach had been formulated then suitable funding sources were sought. Both grants were obtained through very competitive, open application processes involving various rounds of proposal examination. Applicant interviews and proposal presentations were also required as components of the selection procedure. Dr. Lamm gratefully acknowledges the support and encouragement of Dr. Debbie-Ann Gordon-Smith and Prof. Colin Gyles at UTech and Prof. Paul Reese (UWI). These are the first international and local grants the Faculty of Science and Sport has received since its establishment in 2009.

Dr. Lamm’s research project is entitled: "Analyses and Preservation of Endemic Jamaican Plants in the Cockpit Country Region". This project seeks to create a repository of non-polar, intermediate and polar extracts from endemic Jamaican plants of the Cockpit Country region (an area rich in unique habitats and organisms). This work is of particular importance as many of these inimitable species are threatened to the point of extinction. Special precautions will be taken during the collection process to minimise the project’s impact on this precious national resource. The project also aims to identify, promote and preserve endemic plants. This will be achieved through exposure and awareness to various levels of students on how drugs are discovered from natural sources and conservation issues through a hands-on workshop/training laboratory experience.

Medicinal Benefits
The unexplored nature of the Cockpit country and its Karst topography increases the likelihood of finding novel compounds and materials which may be used in various applications. The project will sample a number of different endemic plant species in the Cockpit area, looking specifically for plant extracts which may be useful as anticancer, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, herbicidal, insecticidal or antifeedant agents. Hopefully, new uses and methods of disease treatment and improved agricultural practices will be discovered and thus directly benefit the average citizen. Undoubtedly, new knowledge about the chemistry of these plants will be uncovered which will also benefit the conservation efforts well underway in the region. Ordinary citizens will also benefit from the use of the information which will be passed on via workshops, seminars, conferences and print. Additionally, CAPE level students will be able to participate in some of the research work through hands on teaching programs designed to interest students in conservation, medicinal chemistry and the sciences as well as provide a greater understanding of how compounds move from forest to pharmacy.
The initial research work is expected to take two years to complete. During the first phase a natural products research laboratory will be established at UTech which will be headed by Dr. Lamm. The second phase will involve the collection, extraction and analysis of specimen while the final phase will see the dissemination of results to all stakeholders.
The project will also host UTech graduate and undergraduate students on project related activities from which the former will receive MSc or PhD degrees while the latter will receive training, practical experience and course credits.
This project seeks to create a repository of non-polar, intermediate and polar extracts from endemic Jamaican plants of the Cockpit Country region. In addition to providing critical source material needs for examination; phytochemical analysis of the extracts will also be undertaken using standard solvent extraction methods. Collections will be conducted in a conscientious fashion so as to not detrimentally harm the plants or adversely disturb the native ecology. Two advanced technologies will be employed to perform initial screens of the extracts, these are: 1) High Performance Liquid Chromatography [HPLC is a method of separating compounds using a specialized instrumentation] and 2) Mass Spectrometry [MS is an instrument based technique used to detect minute quantities of material and identify their mass]. The combined power of HPLC-MS will enable accurate and rapid assessment of the samples for metabolite profiling. Extracts will also be screened by various means with special emphasis on those which may show promise as new medicinal agent; agricultural or nutritional supplements or other value added potential.
Dr. Debbie-Ann Gordon-Smith is a partner on the project here at UTech along with the following external collaborators:

  1. Prof. Paul B. Reese, Head, Department of Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Mona
  2. Dr. Omar Christian, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, McNeese State University, USA
  3. Institute of Jamaica
  4. Ministry of Agriculture
  5. Scientific Research Council
  6. Natural Products Institute

Boys’ Town Youths Graduate from UTech Course

 

Prof. Winston Davidson, Head of the School of Public Health and Health Technology, College of Health Sciences, UTech speaking at the graduation ceremony for youths from Boys’ Town who participated in the School’s Homecare Assistance Programme.  At the head table from left are Mr. Trevor Spence, Chairman – PSC Boys’ Town 15-18 Youth Development Programme, Dr. Eugenie Brown-Myrie, Associate Professor and Dean, College of Health Sciences and Miss Ivy Limonius, Course Coordinator for the Homecare Assistance Programme and Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Health Technology.

Twenty-four (24) young people from a cohort of one hundred and sixty (160) attached to the multi-agency Boys Town 15-18 Youth Development Project received course completion certificates for their participation in the five-month intensive Homecare Assistance programme organised by the School of Public Health and Health Technology, College of Health Sciences, UTech.  The course was conducted by UTech faculty during the period July to November 2010 with at-risk youth from depressed communities within the vicinity of the UTech SPHHT Slipe Pen Road campus in West Kingston and South St. Andrew to promote social change through meaningful and positive educational life skills development and an awareness of healthy environmental practices. 

The course component included dealing with interpersonal relationships, communication skills, solving community-related issues, self awareness and appreciation, nutrition and proper environmental sanitation and community disaster response practices.   The ceremony for the presentation of certificates to participants of the programme was held on March 8, 2011 at the UTech School of Public Health and Health Technology, 21 Slipe Pen Road.

Head of the School of Public Health and Health Technology, Prof. Winston Davidson says that the Homecare Assistance programme is part of the School’s comprehensive community service outreach and training programme for renewal and transformation noting that the University is happy to be able to use its strength in research, teaching and training services for the upliftment of youth who would otherwise be disengaged, detached and likely to be involved in deviant activities such as crime and violence.  UTech is the only University currently conducting this kind of intervention and research programme in the area of environmental health in inner city communities.  Prof. Davidson told the group of 14 boys and 10 girls that though it was the first time that they are feeling the worth of some form of achievement, they should see it as only the beginning.  He noted with pride that all students came into the programme with no qualifications but now some have qualified to enter the HEART programme.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Dr. Eugenie Brown-Myrie commended the team led by Dr. Davidson for working to educate the young people of Boys’ Town.  She expressed hope that there would be many future phases of the community service initiative.  Boys’ Town stalwart, Mr. Junior Lincoln shared with the graduates, some advice once given to him by Boys’ Town founder, Father Hugh Sherlock who said that the success of life is not in material gain but in how many lives you have touched while passing through.

Keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony, UTech President, Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison OJ welcomed the graduates to the fold of “the most successful university in the world in track and field.”  The President applauded the College on the community service initiative, pointing out that UTech is built on the three pillars of Research, Teaching and Service.  He admonished the group of young attentive graduates to “dream big”, reminding them that learning is a lifelong process and encouraged them to seize all opportunities for further self development.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Miss Zanenette Thorne thanked UTech for providing them with the opportunity to learn and declared proudly that “there is greatness in all of us.”

The Boys’ Town Foundation – the civil society partner through which the Boys’ Town Youth Development Project is being implemented, has a significant history of mentoring youth and using social and life skills particularly in sport and culture to support personal development. UTech is among the eight partnership bodies engaged in the 5-year Development Plan.  The others are HEART Trust/NTA, the NYS, CIDA, Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Proud graduates of the UTech Home Assisting course pose with their certificates of participation.

 


College of Health Sciences to Host International Public Health Conference

The School of Public Health and Health Technology in the College of Health Sciences will host its 1st International Public Health Conference under the theme “Public Health: the Pillar of Sustainable Development” from May 27-29, 2011.   The conference will address issues such as child and adolescent health, environmental health, occuplational health and safety, sexual and re-productive health, lifestyle related conditions and social determinants of health, health policies and services and information technology in public health. 

For further information, interested persons may contact Dr. Debbie Carrington at dcarrington@utech.edu.jm .


Final Year Students Benefit from Career and Job Fair

 


 Potential employers conduct interviews with final year students at the UTech Career and Job Placement Fair, under the theme, “Advancing into the World of Work” held on March 18, 2011 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, UTech Papine campus.

Over  450 final year University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) students proved themselves job ready as they wowed and impressed potential employers from government, business and industry who participated in the annual Career and Job Placement Fair organised by the Division of Student Services on Friday, March 18, 2011 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, UTech Papine campus.  Over seventy one (71) companies and organisation participated in the day’s event designed to provide students with the opportunity for job placement and to practise their job interview skills in preparation for employment.

Acting VP Administration and University Registrar, Mrs. Mercedes Deane told the potential employers that UTech students will add value to any organisation.  Our students are “job ready and well balanced,” she noted, adding that UTech programmes are market-driven and developed in consultation with industry.  She encouraged students not to just look for a job but to be innovators who add value to an organisation.  Mrs. Deane thanked Career and Placement Officer, Mrs. Dorsett Gabbidon-Pottinger and her team for organising a successful Career and Job Fair.

Prof. Ashok Kulkarni, Deputy President, UTech in his welcome thanked all the organisations for their interest in UTech and assured them that they had “come to the right place in search of the brightest human capital” to fill job positions in their respective organisations.

CEO of the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF), Mrs. Brenda Cuthbert said that her association was proud to be involved in the UTech Career and Job Fair, pointing out that over 80% of the companies and organisations participating in the Fair are also members of the JEF.  President of the Human Resources Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ), UTech graduate, Mr. Michael Jones encouraged students to make their first job, the best job for the time that they are working in that position.  “Go beyond the call of duty and always seek to determine what else you can bring to the table,” he said.  He disclosed that companies have shifted their focus from what people can do to how people will behave in an organisation.  He noted that among the desired behavioural traits that will predict  one’s success in the world of work are,  flexibility, listening skills, the ability to build relationships, problem solving, good communication skills, team building and the ability to relate well across a diverse group of people.


UTech/CCCJ Sign Agreement for Programme Articulation

  

Mrs. Jeanette Grant-Woodham, OD, Chairman, Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) and Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ, President, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) sign a Memorandum of Understanding signalling the commitment by both institutions  to continue collaborative work for the provision of quality education.  The signing ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at UTech’s Papine campus. Looking on is Prof. Rosalea Hamilton, Vice President Development, UTech.

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) have forged a partnership to explore opportunities for the establishment and strengthening of academic collaborative programmes for national development.  The two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding at a special ceremony held on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at the institution’s Papine campus.

Under the agreement, UTech and the CCCJ will cooperate to enable the articulation of CCCJ’S accredited associate degrees into UTech’s undergraduate courses of study, whereby community college graduates with diplomas and associate degrees accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) will be considered for matriculation into UTech’s undergraduate courses of study. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 50% of the course of study credits as registered students of UTech to receive a University award. Sixty percent of this amount must be at the upper level. Transfer of credits will be done in accordance with UTech’s Transfer Credit and Exemption Policy.

Speaking at the ceremony, President, Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ, noted that tertiary institutions must focus on producing graduates for a global market.  He argued that our local tertiary institutions need to strengthen the “Jamaica Brand, encourage stakeholders to create programmes and form affiliations geared towards meeting the specific needs of the global graduate.”

Mrs. Jeanette Grant-Woodham, OD, Chairman, CCJ told the gathering that she welcomed the partnership with UTech and hoped that the MOU would further strengthen the development and implementation of new, vibrant and practical solutions which will contribute to the sustainable growth of the education sector in Jamaica.  “We must work collaboratively to protect ‘Education – Brand Jamaica’”, she said. 

Mr. Cebert Adamson, Executive Director of the CCCJ in his remarks also supported the call for local educational institutions to develop linkages to ensure the sustainable provision of quality education and training, particularly during these economically trying times.


UTech Assisting Students during Difficult Economic Times…
Earn and Study Programme Expanded

 

Student, Daneil Douglas at work in the Corporate Communications Unit.

 

The prevailing economic conditions have prompted the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) to implement strategies that can strengthen its commitment to provide every possible support to its students to complete their tertiary studies.  A part of this mandate is being carried out by UTech’s Financial Aid Office which has been providing financial support to its students through welfare grants, the Earn-and Study work programme, bursaries and scholarships.

Over the years, the number of students in need of part-time work has increased exponentially and the University in responding to this demand has implemented an Expanded Earn and Study Programme which runs concurrently with its traditional Earn and Study programme.  The Earn and Study progamme is administered on a rotational basis which allows one batch of students to work for Semesters 1 and 2 only and another batch during the summer.  

Under the expanded programme students will now be employed for the entire year and will be allowed to work for a maximum of eight hours per week. The initiative enables the University to provide further financial assistance to the student population and to provide practical work experience for students, while filling the gap for additional human resource to support the institution’s manpower needs.  All registered students are eligible for financial aid and are selected for the programme based on their availability to work for an extended period, as well as their competence level in the skills required in the area to which they are assigned.


Students’ Union President Leads UTech

 

President Temard sits comfortably in the chair of his senior counterpart, President Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ.

 

Students’ Union President, Temard Butterfield had his hands full for just under a week from February 22-25 when he took over the reins as UTech President while Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ was out of office on an overseas University business engagement.  President Morrison explains that the idea of allowing Temard to take over the running of the President’s office was to provide his younger counterpart with another dimension to his overall leadership experience.  The international student who hails from the island of Turks and Caicos is in the third year of his Bachelor of Education Degree programme majoring in computing and accounts. 

Supported by members of the University’s Management Team, Temard was fully immersed in his role as President, taking on a week’s worth of challenges on such matters as averting a student body protest, chairing and attending meetings and handling some incoming calls from internal and external stakeholders.  Temard recounted his challenging but very rewarding Presidential experience with the UTech Communicator.

UC:  What is your overall personal assessment of the week’s leadership experience?
TB:      Overwhelming!  I didn’t think the President was serious when he invited me to sit in his chair for a week.  I thought it was a joke, but I welcomed the opportunity.  It shows that the University respects me as a Student Leader.  I really appreciate that.  It was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t treated as a student at all. I totally forgot I was a student for that week. I was well guided by the Vice- Presidents especially Dr. Kofi Nkrumah-Young, Vice President, Planning and Operation Mrs. Ethlyn Norton-Cole, Legal Counsel and Compliance Officer and Mr. Deryke Smith, Chief Business and Finance Officer and Deputy President, Prof. Ashok Kulkarni. They were around me the entire time guiding me as it relates to any decision. So they made the experience lighter and easier for me and made it very comfortable.
 
UC:     What was a typical day in the President’s Chair like?
TB:      My day started at 8:30 am each day and went on until about 5:00 pm.  There were lots of meetings, impromptu situations to deal with and student issues to address.  It wasn’t about sitting down, drinking coffee and reading the newspapers. 
UC:     What were some of the student issues that you had to address?
TB:      Students of the Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA) were on the verge of an organised student protest to demonstrate their objection to the painting of their building in University colours (blue, gold).   The current colours on the building mean something very significant to the students...the colours are not arbitrary.  I think there was a lack of communication from the administration about the painting plans. We managed to find a compromise to stop the plans for the painting and to avert the protest.  Over 800 present and past students signed a petition to stop the painting.
UC:     What other activities did you undertake?
TB:      I chaired the Strategy, Planning and Development Committee meeting and attended several other meetings: Academic Leadership meeting, Audit and Finance committee meeting and a planning meeting for an upcoming university collaboration with Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) which I attended with Mrs. Ethlyn Norton-Coke.  Under the guidance of Mrs. Lorraine Watson, President’s Executive Assistant, I routed correspondence to the appropriate officers within the University.
UC:     What was the most challenging undertaking and how did you deal with it?
TB:      Well, during the period, many students faced being delisted. This was difficult for me to deal with as both Student President and University President. My first responsibility is to serve and represent students.   Working through the issues with the relevant Vice Presidents, I got a better appreciation of the many departments and areas of the University that are affected by enrolment.  Instead of re-opening registration, it was decided to deal directly with each affected student through their Faculties.
UC:     What would you like to share with the student body coming out of the experience?
TB:      Don’t wait until the last minute to complete your registration.  Be pro-active and the administration will be more accommodating of you. Take advantage of the various payment plans available.   Many students are in a very severe financial situation and to hear some of the stories of severe constraints really affects me.  I think that the University needs to put a policy in place to know the financial status of students and their ability to pay, before they are admitted as students. 
UC:     You demit office next month after serving two terms as Students’ Union President.  How was that overall experience and what’s next for you?
TB:      My dorm experience was very memorable.  I started off as a Religious Coordinator then to International Student Representative, 1st Vice President, Acting President and then President.  One very memorable moment was when I presented by manifesto to the student body and came under very heavy fire from students who believed that I wasn’t telling the full story about financial issues surrounding the office of my predecessor.  With encouragement from many others, I was able to overcome this.  Since then I have seen transformation and many improvements to the Students’ Union.  There have been big improvements in quality of leadership, financial organisations and student welfare activities.  The team is proud of our accomplishments.
I’ve been contemplating the options before me. After completing my degree I would like to go straight into doing a master’s in curriculum development.   I have always had an interest in that area developed from my previous work in the Turks and Caicos Education Department where I worked before coming to UTech.  However, I’m actually bonded by the Turks and Caicos Government to teach for three years.   My true calling is however in Theology. I can’t run from it.  I am an ordained Youth Minister and one day hope to pursue formal studies in that area as well.

Students’ Union Introduces Shuttle Bus Service

Concerned for the safety and well-being of students as they travel from various areas in the Kingston and Metropolitan area to the UTech Papine campuses, the Students’ Union has forged an arrangement with the JUTC for special shuttle buses to transport students.  The cost of operating the service is borne by the Drivers/Owners of the buses.  Students with a valid UTech identification card are charged a modest rate of between $70 and $150. President, Temard Butterfield says that the shuttle service is subsidized by the Students’ Union to ensure affordability.  The service is also available to UTech staff at the same rate.  The shuttle service operates from designated bus terminals approved by the Transport Authority and runs between 5:30 am and 9:10 pm daily.

Below is the full shuttle service schedule.  For further information contact Ronnie-Dane Renford at 436-7051


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Final Year Construction Engineering student is first recipient of George Blankson Memorial Scholarship

An elated Mr. Kelton Evans (4th left), final year Construction Engineering student is the first recipient of the George Blankson Memorial Scholarship.  The scholarship was presented at a special ceremony on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at the UTech Papine campus.  Joining in the happy occasion from left are Mrs. Pauline Madourie, Administrative Support, UTech Financial Aid Office, Dr. Carol Archer, Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment, Mr. Carlington Sinclair, representing the Blankson family, Mrs. Garcia Green-McLennon, Financial Aid Officer, Miss Esmie Grant, Administrative Support, School of Building and Land Management, Mrs. Cadien Murray-Stuart, Head of the School of Building and Land Management (Acting), UTech.  The presentation ceremony was held on.  The scholarship will cover his full tuition for the year and includes participating in a student’s exchange at the University of science and Technology, Ghana, Mr. Blankson’s Alma Mater.


Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies Hosts Successful Interfaith Day

 

Dr. Martin Schade, Senior Lecturer,  Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies addresses the large audience comprising members of faculty and staff, religious leaders and high school students from the corporate area who were in attendance at the Faculty’s annual Inter-faith Awareness Day  held on March 4, 2011 at the Caribbean Sculpture Park , UTech.

The Department of  Liberal Studies in the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, in collaboration with the Jamaica Council for Interfaith fellowship  on Thursday, March 3, 2011 hosted its annual Inter-faith Awareness Day in the Caribbean Sculpture Park , UTech Papine campus.   The Interfaith Day was held under the Patronage of the Most Honourable Sir Howard Cooke, former Governor General and was celebrated under the theme “One World, One Human Race, ONE GOD”.  The day’s activities included discussions, exhibitions and entertainment to bring together students, faculty and staff of different religions to promote understanding between different faiths and unity in diversity.

Scenes from Interfaith Day held on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at the Caribbean Sculpture Park, UTech.

 

 


UTECH PARTICIPATES IN “MEET JAMAICA 2012” INITIATIVE IN LONDON

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) was among the host of Jamaican institutions, organisations and brands that were on show at Jampro’s “Meet Jamaica 2012” initiative held in March 2011 to launch a special series of events  to ensure that Jamaica benefits from opportunities that will be available before, during and after the 2012 Olympics in London.

The UTech delegation to London was led by President, Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ who said that UTech is proud to be a part of the Jamaica brands on show in the United Kingdom in keeping with the institution’s position as “the most successful university in the world in track and field.”  UTech has produced outstanding sport ambassadors and more medalists at the Olympics and world Championships than any other University in the world. 

During the visit to London, the UTech delegation engaged with a number of stakeholders to support its fundraising campaign and to support the development of sports and other university development initiatives.  The team also promoted the University’s academic programmes.

The Meet Jamaica 2012 initiative is a public/private sector partnership that seeks to leverage Jamaica’s brand and capitalize on the global platform afforded by the 2012 London Olympics which will feature a programme of trade and investment missions in the British capital, London and Birmingham, the host city of the Jamaican Olympic team.  According to Jampro, these missions, along with participation in a number of cultural and consumer events, are aimed at promoting Jamaican goods, services and investment opportunities in the UK and wider markets in the months leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London.


Make the Telecoms Market More Competitive

Submitted by Dr. Paul Golding
Senior Lecturer
School of Computing and Information Technology
UTech

 

Dr. Paul Golding

On March 11, 2011 mobile provider Digicel Jamaica had signed an agreement with rival American Movil (trade name Claro) to acquire Claro Jamaica and in return Digicel would sell its businesses in El Salvador and Honduras to American Movil.

According to Wireless Intelligence figures, in El Salvador, the combination of the America Movil (Claro) and Digicel business will create a new market leader with 3.64 million subscribers, overtaking current number one Millicom, which has 2.73 million. In third place in the market is Telefonica’s Movistar which has 1.45 million subscribers.  In Honduras, America Movil will become a strengthened number two with 2.62 million subscribers, second to Millicom’s 4.45 million. The deal will have the greatest impact in the Jamaican market where Digicel subscriber base will move from 2.1 million to approximately 2.79 million compared to LIME which has 757,000 subscribers. 

The press release on the Claro, Digicel sale indicated that the sale is subject to the approval of regulators in each of the countries. In Jamaica bodies that would have regulatory oversight are the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR). This announcement preceded the AT&T US$39B purchase of T-Mobile in the USA. The US deal requires approval from both the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission and it is expected to face serious regulatory hurdles. Critics in Jamaica have lamented that no similar serious regulatory hurdles are expected from the OUR and the FTC.

As it relates to telecommunications, section 4 of the Telecommunications Act 2000 stipulates that the OUR shall regulate telecommunications in accordance with the ACT and for the purpose of the Office will, inter-alia (1) promote the interest of customers, while granting due regard for the interest of carriers and service providers; and (2) promote competition among carriers and service providers.
According to section 5 of the Telecommunications Act 2000, issues of substantial competitive significance that falls within the functions of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) under the Fair Competition Act shall be referred to the FTC.

Several newspaper articles and editorials have cautioned that the deal if approved will reduce competition, employment, and innovation. A March 25, 2011 editorial in the Gleaner stated that “The FTC is expected to be vigilant in ensuring that there is no abuse of Digicel’s dominant position and that there will be genuine competition. A similar but more conclusive view was expressed by the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators:  “We are concerned that the impending move by Digicel to take over Claro's operation in Jamaica will negatively affect competition and consumer choice in Jamaica's telecoms market. The deal means that there is "a real prospect of market failure and the re-emergence of monopolies.”

FTC CONSTRAINED
The FTC’s ability to act is constrained by the current competition laws in Jamaica. Section 19 of the FCA states that: “ For the purposes of this ACT an enterprise holds a dominant position in a market if by itself or together with an interconnected company, it occupies such a position of economic strength as it will enable it to operate in the market without effective constraints from its competitors or potential competitors.” Section 20 then lists six (6) activities that would constitute abuse of dominant position. This list does not include mergers, acquisitions and monopolies. To exacerbate the FTC’s position, the levels of fines established under section 47 of the FCA is not a deterrent to monopoly or cartel activities. The maximum fine which can be imposed on an entity is J$5M or approximately US$59,000. One night of Digicel Rising Starts should be able to pay for this.
Switching cost and network effects bind customers to vendors if products or networks are incompatible, locking customers in to early choices. Lock-in hinders customers from changing suppliers and give vendors lucrative ex-post market power. Digicel is using network effects and switching to cost and exploiting its dominant position to charge higher for cross-network calls. LIME and Claro each charges $12.00 for cross-network calls, while Digicel charges range between 15.80 and 17.70 for cross-network calls. Because customers are locked-in they don’t switch from Digicel, instead they purchase multiple phones, one for each network. In the summer of 2010 Digicel lost a long running legal fight over the regulatory control of interconnection/termination rates between mobile network operators. The company had tried to argue that the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) lacked the authority to regulate the termination rates, but lost an earlier case with the Jamaican Court of Appeal.
The portfolio minister responsible for telecommunications in Jamaica is the Prime minister (PM) and therefore will make the final decision on the deal. While this point may have no bearing on the decision, it is worth noting that the Digicel US$65M new headquarters is located in the PM’s constituency.

The PM’s main issue is how to continue to make the telecommunications sector competitive and at the same time encourage investment by current players while making the industry attractive for new investors. In short run the PM must allow the OUR to regulate termination rates. Regulators in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, and Israel intend to or have started to cut termination rates in their respective telecommunications industry to increase competition. Increased competition can also be achieved by requiring tower sharing. This has been used in India and other countries to increase competition, reduce cost and improve universal access. Claro’s current spectrum should be reallocated to a new entrant at a competitive rate along with the infrastructure. In the medium term there should be serious movements towards mobile number portability, along with changes to the Fair Competition Act (FCA). 


SPORTS NEWS

UTech Student-Athletes Recognised at Annual Sport Awards Ceremony

Mr. Anthony Davis, Director of Sport, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), speaking at the Annual Sport Award ceremony held on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, UTech Papine campus.

 

The Department of Sport, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) hosted its annual Sport Awards ceremony on Thursday, February 10, 2011 to recognise the outstanding performance of student athletes during the past season.  UTech posted fantastic results, winning eight (8) of the twelve (12) intercollegiate sports.

 

In his report, Director of Sport, Mr. Anthony Davis paid tribute to all who have contributed to one of the most successful years recorded by the Department.  He thanked coaches, administrative staff , facilities management staff and staff from the wider University community.  Special gratitude was also extended to the Sports Medicine Association, doctors in the Ministry of Health, Dr. D.K. Duncan and Dr. Howard Murray, National Associations, JNA, JCA, JTTA, JFF, JBA, a host of corporate sponsors and local and overseas alumni for their significant support.  He told the gathering of student athletes, members of the diplomatic corps, sporting fraternity, sponsors and UTech staff that the University strives to make the experience of representing the University a rewarding one.  “When student athletes join our programme, they are committing to making sacrifices, working hard and exhibiting self-discipline.  In return, UTech provides support,” he said.  Mr. Davis emphasised that the Department of Sport focuses equally on both the academic and athletic excellence of student athletes.   As such, all student athletes earning a GPA of over 3.0 received an award at the ceremony.

Upgrade of Sporting Facilities
Commenting on the state of the sports facilities, Mr. Davis noted that the Department continues to make some gains in improving all areas for the benefit of students and external community groups who rely heavily on their use.  He reported that the University has acquired on loan, a pair of professional basketball hoops from the Jamaica Amateur Basketball Association as well as the installation of a parquet floor.  The swimming pool has been branded with proper lane markers in blue and gold representing the University’s colours; the weights room has been expanded, with new equipment installed by the MVP Track and Field Club.  He further disclosed that the upgrade work on the running track is now at an advanced stage with construction proposed to begin by the end of April 2011.  The upgrade will involve resurfacing, installation of an irrigation system, proper throwing circles and long jump facilities.

 

Sportsman and Sports woman of the Year

 

   
Sportswoman of the Year, outstanding track and field athlete, Christine Day accepts her Sportswoman of the Year award from Deputy President, Prof. Ashok Kulkarni. Christine graduated in November 2010 with a Bachelor in Education degree in Business and Computer Studies.  Her outstanding record for the past season included 1st place  in the 4 x 400 m College Championship of America Penn Relays, 1st place at the 4 x 400 m at Gibsons Relays;  5th place in the women’s
 400 m National Trials and participated in the UTech
Track and Field International Invitational Classic held in 2010.
A beaming Sportsman of the Year, Nicholas Dussard (right) accepts his Sportsman of the Year award from President, Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ. Nicholas was recognised for his outstanding performance in Tae Kwondo.  He is a 2nd year student-athlete majoring in construction engineering.  His accomplishments over the season included 1st place – Sparring team – Vietnam, March 2010;   1st Place – National Sparring: TKD Open Champ – April 2010; 1st place – Sparring World Championship - Gold Cup – July 2010; 1st place – Sparring – North America and Caribbean TKD Championship NY; 2nd  place – sparring – International Gold Cup  - Ken., Jamaica, among other exemplary achievements.
   

WELCOME TO YOUR CAMPUS NEWSLETTER

Thank you for your tremendous and ongoing feedback on the UTech Communicator, your monthly campus newsletter. Do remember that this is your newsletter and should reflect your views. News and photographs on achievements, developments, upcoming and past events, and general interest articles are welcome from members of the university community.

We need you to help us improve the communication challenges at our dynamic institution and therefore crave your partnership in this regard. Let’s continue to keep the communication channels open and active.

 

Hector Wheeler
Director – Advancement
Development Division 
Tel: 970-5074
Fax:  977-9146
E-Mail: hwheeler@utech.edu.jm

Michelle Beckford
Corporate Communications Manager
Advancement Department
Development Division
Tel: 970-5299
Fax:  977-9146
E-Mail: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm