SGU White Coat Ceremony 2024: April Start Med Students Take Oath of Professionalism

St. George’s University recently welcomed its April class of medical students at the School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony, held on May 4 at Patrick F. Adams Hall. The future physicians were cheered on by family and friends as they donned their white coats, marking their entry into the medical profession.



After being coated—often by family members or mentors who have become doctors before them—the students then recited the Oath of Professionalism, where they pledged to honor the sacred trust and privilege society places on medical professionals while treating their patients.

Wondering what it’s like to be coated? Hear from four aspiring physicians on what it felt like to experience the momentous event.


“Getting this white coat marks a huge accomplishment for me. There’s been years of steps to get here, and I feel like this is a solidifying moment for me to actually have this coat. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do right out of high school. But I spent some time getting some experience as a nursing assistant. Since then, I fell in love with medicine and knew I wanted to be a physician.”

– Jonathan Koger
North Carolina


“I’m a first generation medical student and I feel like I really made my parents proud to be here today. Putting on my white coat, I feel like it’s a rite of passage to me becoming an amazing physician one day.”

– Duaa Anwar


“Being coated is definitely symbolic and means a lot to me. It signals that I’m ready to take on this journey. Previously, I had worked as a scribe and there I met several alumni that became my mentors and recommended I apply to SGU. These mentors helped me along my path and showed me what it really meant to put on the white coat. Just seeing those patient-physician encounters and seeing how helpful and how empathetic they were—I hope to be that type of doctor in the future.” 

– Derek Stubbs


“This is just the first step in a long road, but I know I can make it. Putting on this white coat means that I’m starting a profession that I believe in. I come from a large family of physicians and veterinarians. So, following this dream is what I’ve always aspired to do. It’s what I’ve seen my father do and what I’ve seen my grandfather do.”

– Rhiannon Gillett



   – Ray-Donna Peters

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SGU Recognizes Academic Excellence at 2nd Annual SAS Awards Ceremony

St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences continued to recognize excellence amongst its students, faculty, and staff at its second annual awards ceremony. From academics and campus involvement to teaching and student advising, more than 20 sets of awards were presented on April 17 during the event at Bourne Lecture Hall.

This year’s theme, “Celebrating Success, Forging on to New Frontiers,” was chosen to reward high-achieving SAS students for their academic success, professionalism, and exceptional work ethic, and to honor SAS faculty and staff who have shown remarkable service and commitment to the undergraduate school.

“We at the School of Arts and Sciences are proud to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Dr. Lucy Eugene, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “The purpose of the awards is to continue to recognize, support, and encourage those within SAS who demonstrate an overall commitment to going above and beyond, while exemplifying the core values of our institution.”

The School hosted its first ever awards ceremony in 2023 in order to recognize students for their superior academic achievement, and staff and faculty for their strong commitment to student success. The process of award selection is based on a rigorous system using quantitative and qualitative data, as well as guided by the SAS Awards Committee’s policies. This year’s ceremony incorporates many more categories of awards than were featured last year, including the Rising Star Award and the Student Service and Leadership Award.



This term’s awards are as follows:

Student Awards

Most Outstanding Student Award – Management (BSc) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by ACB Grenada Bank

Nancy Jones

Most Outstanding Student Award – Accounting (BSc) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Quin-Corp Management Solutions Ltd.

Makayla Seales

Most Outstanding Student Award – International Business (BSc) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Grenada Investment Development Corporation

Nikiah Noel

Most Outstanding Student Award – Sociology (BSc) 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Sandals Grenada

Aaliyah Bain

Most Outstanding Student Award – Psychology (BSc) 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Nexa Credit Union

Kerena Crowe

Most Outstanding Student Award – Information Technology (BSc) 

Department of Computers and Technology

Sponsored by Sonover Inc.

Shakira Lee

Most Outstanding Student Award – Biology (BSc) 

Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation

Sponsored by Olando Harvey or The Nature Conservancy

Renee Sandy

Most Outstanding Student Award – Marine, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (BSc) 

Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation

Sponsored by Century 21 Grenada

Quianna Watson

Most Outstanding Student Award – Nursing (BSN) 

Department of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Sponsored by Punj-Abi Restaurant

Latisha Jones

Most Outstanding Student Award – Clinical and Community Psychology (MA) 

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Jonas Browne and Hubbard G’da Ltd. 

Aine Brathwaite

Most Outstanding Student Award – International Business (MBA) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd.

Athea Dowden

Most Outstanding Student Award – Multi-Sector Health Management (MBA) 

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Grenada Development Bank

Neisha Ross

Student Service and Leadership Award

Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation

Sponsored by Terra Caribbean Grenada

Roz-Anna Baker

Faculty Awards

SAS Distinguished Teacher’s Award

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Michael Roberts

Dr. Damian E. Greaves

SAS Distinguished Faculty Service Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Leon Radix

Top Publication Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Dr. Patricia Rosa

Early Career Research Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Dr. Sharlene Beharry

Dean of Students Faculty Advisor Awards

Department of Computers and Technology

Sponsored by Coyaba Beach Resort

Dr. Aleksandr Myllari

Department of Biology, Ecology, & Conservation

Sponsored by Radisson Grenada Beach Resort

Dr. Stephen Nimrod

Department of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences

Sponsored by Spice Island Beach Resort

Salisha M. Frederick

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by Secret Harbour Boutique Hotel and Marina

Dr. Antonia MacDonald

Department of Business and Management Studies

Sponsored by Silversands Grenada

Dr. Helen Bhola-Paul

Staff Awards

Continuous Excellence Award

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Nikisha S. Thomas

Kandis Roberts

Rising Star Award 

Sponsored by St. George’s University

Krystal DaBreo

– Ray-Donna Peters

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Called to Serve: 76 Students Inducted at SAS Nursing Induction Ceremony

The newest class of nursing students eagerly listened to the remarks of keynote speaker, Darian Joseph, BSN ’23, while trying to contain their excitement, at the recent St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences Nursing Induction Ceremony.

As a recent graduate of SGU’s nursing program, Nurse Joseph was someone who had once been in their shoes. Now a passionate and dedicated registered nurse, she reminded students what she learned while at SGU.

“Nursing is not just the profession, it’s a calling, a passion to serve and profoundly impact the lives of others,” Nurse Joseph said during her remarks.


Nurse Joseph proudly looked on as 76 aspiring nurses gathered on March 15 at Louis and Marion Modica Hall on SGU’s True Blue campus to mark their entry into the field of nursing. Each student received The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s golden Mobius loop pin, which serves as a visual reminder that in order to deliver the best care to their patients, compassion and empathy must be the hallmark of their clinical practice.

Along with being presented with the pins, the future nurses recited the International Council of Nurses pledge during the ceremony.

Three SAS nursing students shared what it was like to join this honorable profession.


“I chose to become a nurse because I’ve always wanted to serve in the medical field and be able to work directly with patients on a one-on-one basis. I want to be able to offer them compassionate care and get to know them and to nurse them back to health. To me that’s so rewarding, and I look forward to being able to do that.”

– Deborah Charles 
Third-year nursing student


“Becoming a nurse is such a remarkable thing—being able to serve my country on a professional level and most of all giving back to my community. Also being a male nurse is exciting stuff. I get asked about it all the time. I guess it’s because it’s not as common.”

Kenneth St. Bernard
       First-year nursing student


“I have always wanted to be a nurse and my dream is finally coming true. I feel a huge sense of pride at being able to join such a noble profession. The Latin term for nurse is nutrire, which means to nourish and to care for. I have a very caring personality, so I feel that this profession is very befitting of who I am.”

– Narah James
Second-year nursing student


        – Ray-Donna Peters

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SGU Celebrates 25 Years of Excellence of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

The Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University School of Medicine is celebrating 25 years of offering a Master of Public Health to students and contributing to building a competent public health workforce globally.


The Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine is celebrating 25 years of offering a Master of Public Health to students and contributing to building a competent public health workforce globally.

The program, which opened its doors in the spring of 1999, has since matriculated more than 1,000 students specializing in health policy administration, environmental and occupational health, preventive medicine, veterinary medicine, global health, epidemiology, and other professional fields.

“On behalf of the St. George’s University community, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of our Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine,” said Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of the School of Medicine at St. George’s University.  “The department, with its focus on preparing students for the wide range of careers in the field of public health and preventive medicine, exemplifies SGU’s commitment to our mission of positive global impact and a truly international education.”

Early Beginnings

SGU’s public health program was the brainchild of Dr. Allen Pensick, former provost of the University. His desire to establish a public health program stemmed from the importance of equipping medical students with a holistic approach to medicine—allowing SGU-trained physicians to not only provide clinical care to patients but also have the knowledge to offer patients preventive education and tools as well. In the fall of 1999, the first students began courses in public health at SGU.

Over the years, the department has evolved to include not only School of Medicine students, but also those within SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences, who are interested in pursuing careers in public health. The program proudly hosts students and faculty from countries around the world, contributing to its diverse perspective on public health.

“For the past 25 years, SGU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has been at the forefront of promoting public health through education and practice,” according to Dr. Kerry Mitchell, assistant dean of students and chair of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. “In Grenada, the region, and even beyond, our students and faculty have tirelessly worked to raise awareness and address the social and environmental determinants impacting the health of our communities.”

Added Dr. Mitchell: “In addition, our alumni, many of whom are practicing physicians globally, hold pivotal roles in shaping public health policies and decisions. This solidifies the crucial role that St. George’s University and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine have played in shaping a healthier future for all.”



Recognized Globally

A significant achievement of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine is its success in gaining full accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2010. It is one of the few non-US based MPH programs recognized and accredited by the organization. The program continues to be accredited through 2030.

“With this accreditation, we are able to guarantee our students an approved public health master’s education as other CEPH-accredited schools internationally,” Dr. Mitchell said.

As the program has adapted to the changing needs of public health, it welcomed Collaborating Centers from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Environmental and Occupational Health in 2012 and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2013. These collaborations allow both faculty and students to carry out research and service activities in those respective fields.

The department has additional plans to keep up with the changing needs of students as well as the public health workforce.

“Our multidisciplinary team has collaborated closely with numerous local communities and global institutions to tailor and strengthen our public health training,” Dr. Mitchell said. “This adaptability is particularly evident in our reliance on guidance from our community advisory members and the international collaborating centers housed within our department. As a result, we have been able to tailor our educational approach to produce the public health practitioners our communities need.”

For example, despite the global challenges faced in recent years, the department has successfully navigated through various instructional methods, emerging as a leader in public health hybrid education.

SGU graduates with dual MD/MPH and DVM/MPH degrees are making a difference around the world.


Darren Cuthbert, MD, MPH

Darren Cuthbert, MD/MPH ’16
Emergency medicine physician
New Jersey

“SGU’s MPH program opened the door of opportunity for me. One of the things I love about medicine today is the increased emphasis placed on evidence-based medicine—public health is the backbone to this practice. Not only does having an MPH make you stick out as a leader amongst your peers, but it broadens your horizon of the world and medicine—eventually creating a better doctor and scientist.”


Alicia Persaud, MD, MPH '20

Alicia Persaud, MD, MPH ’20
Family medicine physician
Ontario, Canada

“I believe completing the MD/MPH dual degree program gave me an edge with residency programs simply by having an additional degree. It was reflective of my commitment to medicine and healthcare in general. Completing my MPH in Grenada gave me a unique insight into the global public health sector, and also gave me crucial research experience. I was able to apply both degrees to my research projects during residency.”


MPH Program Milestones - (1999-2023)


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SGU Student Receives Competitive Veterinary Medicine Research Scholarship 

Shelley Lownds, SVM student

Shelley Lownds, a School of Veterinary Medicine Term 3 student, was recently selected for the competitive Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar program.

A St. George’s University student’s passion for conservation and commitment to research has helped her secure a prestigious veterinary research scholarship. Shelley Lownds, a School of Veterinary Medicine Term 3 student, was recently selected for the competitive Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar program.   

I was very honored when I found out I received this scholarship. The Morris Animal Foundation is a reputable organization that does so much good work, and it was exciting to hear that they thought my research was as important as I do,” said Ms. Lownds, who is in the DVM/MSc dual degree program.   

With the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Sophie Moittié, an assistant professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Pathobiology, and other professors and researchers, Ms. Lownds is studying the prevalence of Chytrid Fungus and Ranavirus in the four species of amphibians that inhabit Grenada. These two pathogens have significantly contributed to amphibian extinctions and population declines worldwide.  

“There is still much to learn about Chytrid and Ranavirus, so the more knowledge we can acquire about their effect on different populations, the better we will be able to protect amphibian species worldwide,” Ms. Lownds said. She believes that researching in Grenada is especially important because of the startling presence of these pathogens and because it is home to the critically endangered Grenada frog.    

Ms. Lownds, Dr. Moittié, and other members of the project’s research committee have been traveling around the island collecting skin and mouth swabs from all four amphibian species. With these samples, Ms. Lownds will test for the pathogens and other factors that impact pathogen presence.   

“We hope this research will assist in conservation efforts of the Grenada frog and contribute to the greater research of Chytrid and Ranavirus,” Ms. Lownds said. 

According to Dr. Moittié, Ms. Lownds is making great progress with the fieldwork, having already sampled half of the targeted number of samples for the project.   

Grenadian frog

Ms. Lownds believes that researching in Grenada is especially important because of the startling presence of these pathogens and because it is home to the critically endangered Grenada frog.

About the Veterinary Scholar Program 

Securing a place as a Veterinary Student Scholar is no easy feat. Dr. Moittié emphasized the competitiveness of the scholarship saying that “each project proposal undergoes an exhaustive review process including evaluations by the foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, Research Oversight Committee, Board of Trustees, and Animal Welfare Advisory Board.”   

Ms. Lownds joined the most recent cohort of 24 scholars from all around the world and the roughly 600 students to have participated in the program since it began in 2015, according to Veterinary Practice News. Each recipient is awarded a stipend of up to $5,000 USD by the Morris Animal Foundation. In addition to the stipend provided by the foundation, SGU’s Office of Research matched Ms. Lownds’ scholarship via the Small Grants Research Initiative, which covers direct and indirect costs associated with the project.  

Ms. Lownds credited her mentors and SGU as being instrumental in helping her through the whole application and research process. When deciding on a research topic, she met with many professors who helped her narrow her focus and guide her in the right direction.  

She is especially grateful to Dr. Moittié who Ms. Lownds said, “always makes herself available, has been extremely helpful in guiding me through every step of the project, and has taught me so much.”   

Shelley Lownds (right), Dr. Sophie Moittie (left)

Ms. Lownds (right), Dr. Moittié (left), and other members of the project’s research committee have been traveling around the island collecting skin and mouth swabs from all four amphibian species. With these samples, Ms. Lownds will test for the pathogens and other factors that impact pathogen presence.

Looking ahead  

Guided by wanting to work with animals and in conservation, Ms. Lownds decided to pursue veterinary science at SGU. She said she was drawn to the DVM/MSc dual degree program’s greater emphasis on wildlife and conservation research. Ms. Lownds aims to be a board-certified specialist in zoological medicine with an interest in combatting illegal wildlife trade and, of course, staying involved in conservation-based research.  

There are not many vet schools where you can begin doing wildlife and conservation work [on] day one, so this was a large draw for me. Wildlife medicine is also a very competitive field to enter, so having an MSc upon graduation will be very valuable in setting me up for my future career,” she said.   

Additionally, this grant has allowed Ms. Lownds to get an early start in conservation-based veterinary research and to work with species she has less experience with. Given her lifelong passion for wildlife conservation, this scholarship is another way Ms. Lownds is helping contribute to a meaningful cause.  

Dr. Moittié added that Ms. Lownds’ accomplishment shows that motivated SGU students seeking to conduct impactful research can successfully find support from internal and external funding bodies. She sees a place for Ms. Lownds’ research in presentations at international conferences and peer-reviewed publications. Furthermore, Dr. Moittié is hopeful that the recognition by the Morris Animal Foundation and the significance of this research project will bring visibility to SGU’s research community.   

Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, commended Ms. Lownds on her efforts. “The School of Veterinary Medicine along with the larger SGU community are immensely proud of Ms. Lownds’ amazing accomplishment. We are eager to see where this new opportunity takes her and her contributions to the field of veterinary medicine,” he said.  




— Juliette Kimmins   



Related Reading:   

SGU Celebrates International Women’s Day on Campus

Caylee Cormier , SVM

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8. It is a day where women around the world join hands in solidarity to advocate for key issues like gender equality. It is a time where people reflect on the incredible achievements women and pay homage to the those who stood courageously to break down barriers and pave the way for women today.  

St. George’s University recognizes the significant role that women play in our global society and as leaders in their professional field of choice. For International Women’s Day, SGU News interviewed several students on campus to learn what this day means to them.



Natalie Thomas, SOM


“International Women’s Day is important to me because it is a celebration of women from all walks of life, coming together in their shared unity and strength to uplift each other.” – Natalie Thomas, School of Medicine 



Joann Phillip


“International Women’s Day really reminds me of the struggles of women and the advancements and achievements we’ve made. And now I’m studying at SGU, something that my great grandmother would have never thought she would have been able to do.” – Joann Phillip, School of Arts and Sciences  



“International Women’s Day is important to me because it recognizes women all over the world, the roles that we play, and we get to celebrate how far we’ve come.” – Valcina Stoute, School of Arts and Sciences 



“To me, International Women’s Day is a celebration of women past, present, and future. My advice for any woman pursuing a career in any field is do not give up.” – Mardhalia Charles, School of Arts and Sciences  


Caylee Cormier , SVM


“I believe women have a natural nurturing capability that I would like to display in my career as a future veterinarian. It allows me to celebrate and represent the hard working and beautiful women who have come before me and paved the way.” – Caylee Cormier, School of Veterinary Medicine 


— Istra Bell 


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SGU School of Arts and Sciences Unveils New House Emblems, Further Unites Student Community

SAS Sports Day 2023

Photo courtesy of SGU’s Student Government Association.

As the world grapples with the enduring effects of the pandemic, students on campuses around the world are figuring out how to re-establish a sense of community amongst their peers and faculty mentors.

At St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), this challenge has been met head on with innovation and enthusiasm, culminating in the creation of “Houses” and an annual Sports Day event in 2023 that bridged the gap between students and faculty.

The overwhelming success of the first SAS Sports Day left a lasting impression on the SAS community. With plans for this year’s event set for later in March, SAS students have taken this notion one step further by hosting a House emblem competition to further reignite the spirit of camaraderie during the event.

“Each ‘House’ represents an academic family that supports the wellness of students and fosters the academic, personal, and professional development of its membership,” said Dr. Lucy Clunes, SGU’s dean of students. “From the intricate complexities of computer coding to the timeless principles of evolutionary biology, the students did a wonderful job of visualizing the diversity of disciplines within SAS.”

Introducing the SAS House Emblems

Tasked with designing unique logos representing their respective departments, SAS students were challenged to create a design that encapsulates the meaning behind each House’s name. At the end of the competition, students from each of the six departments voted for their favorite designs.

And the winners are …

  • Python’s House (Blue) – Computers and Technology: Inspired by the dominant coding language in information technology, Python House embodies the innovation and adaptability of modern computing. (Student contributor: Faheem Jasat)
    SAS Python's House emblem
  • Darwin’s House (Green) – Biology, Ecology, and Conservation: Named in honor of Charles Darwin, this House celebrates the principles of evolution and the interconnectedness of all living organisms. (Student contributors: Roydon Gasglow and Sian Mark)
    SAS Darwin's House emblem
  • Diamond’s House (Orange) – Business and Management Studies: Paying homage to Michael Porter’s Diamond Theory of National Advantage, Diamond’s House symbolizes the multifaceted approach to success in the world of business. (Student contributor: Keanna Bourne)
    SAS Diamond's House emblem
  • Weber’s House (Yellow) – Humanities & Social Sciences: Named after Max Weber, a pioneer in modern social science, Weber’s House stands for the exploration of human behavior and societal structures. (Student contributor: Aaliyah Sam)
    SAS Weber's House emblem
  • Nightingale’s House (Maroon) – Nursing and Allied Health Sciences: Inspired by Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing, Nightingale’s House represents compassion, care, and dedication to healing. (Student contributor: Joliba Regis)
    SAS NIghtingale's House emblem
  • Vesalius’ House (Red) – Pre-Clinical Sciences: Named after Andrea Vesalius, the father of modern human anatomy, Vesalius House embodies the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the human body. (Student contributors: Jordaine Ramnarine and Hyungbin Park)

SAS Vesalius' House emblem

SAS Sports Day Leaves a Lasting Impression

Last spring, SAS representatives within the Student Government Association (SGA) organized the first SAS Sports Day. Modeled after the School of Medicine’s Olympics, the event invited students and faculty from all SAS departments to engage in friendly competition and share team-building experiences.

“SAS Sports was more than just a series of races and games; it was a platform for students to connect beyond their academic interests,” according to Jillaun Mitchell, SAS SGA president, and a Term 6 student. “From thrilling tug-of-war battles to the nostalgic charm of the lime and spoon race, students from diverse backgrounds came together to celebrate their collective identity as part of the SAS community.”

Added Dr. Clunes: “Beyond the thrill of competition, SAS Sports Day represents a commitment to fostering connections, nurturing talent, and cultivating a sense of belonging within the SAS family.”

The SGA hopes to further enhance its commitment to re-establishing the strong community spirit SAS is known for on the True Blue campus.

“We hope the bonds forged through SAS Sports will endure long after the games have ended, serving as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the SAS community,” Emilee Atkins, SGA executive president.


— Ashley Law, SAS student

Ms. Law is in her final semester within the School of Arts and Sciences Department of Business Management Studies.

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Grateful, Inspired, Motivated: Term 1 SOM Students Describe What It Means to Put on a White Coat

Dominique Assing, BS ’23, was no stranger to the lecture halls at St. George’s University. As a child her mother, Brigitte Assing, MBA ’12, would bring Dominque to SGU’s True Blue campus while she completed her graduate studies. Later, Ms. Assing would go on to complete her undergraduate degree at SGU before beginning her medical education in the School of Medicine.

At the recent SOM White Coat Ceremony, Ms. Assing was coated by her aunt Lisa Radix, MD ’95, who inspired her to follow her dreams of becoming a physician at SGU.

“I felt a mixture of emotions at the White Coat Ceremony—excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and most of all gratitude,” said Ms. Assing. “I’m grateful to my family and to my aunt who came to coat me. After having such a positive undergraduate experience here at SGU, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to study medicine. I really love being able to live in my home country, while also getting a truly international medical education.”


The occasion was monumental not only for Ms. Assing, but for her aunt as well.

“It was such a special feeling putting the white coat on the next generation,” said Dr. Radix. “Seeing Dominique grow from a toddler to a hard-working adult about to start her own medical career at SGU as I once did more than 30 years ago. In a way this was also my White Coat Ceremony, since I never had one because the tradition started the year after I graduated. Reciting the oath with my niece and her fellow students was doubly moving for me.”

On February 10, the Class of 2028 walked across the stage at Patrick F. Adams Hall during the milestone event that marks their entry into the field of medicine. After being coated—sometimes by family members or mentors who had become physicians before them, the students then recite the Oath of Professionalism—pledging to uphold the highest of ethical standards while treating their patients.



Hear from three other aspiring physicians on what it means to be able to wear a white coat.  


“I feel amazing after putting on my white coat. I’m excited and nervous at the same time but I also feel ready to take on this journey. It was such an honor being coated by my dad. He is the reason why I wanted to become a doctor. I was inspired by the work that he does and I’m happy to follow in his footsteps.”

– Abhigna Kandimalla 
Trinidad and Tobago


“I am super excited to have my white coat. It signifies that I’m clearly moving forward with my medical education. Previously, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for about 30 years, but I always wanted to become a doctor. I applied to SGU because it had a great matriculation rate and great success rate of students getting into the residencies of their choice. So, I knew it was the best place for me to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician.”

– Tanette Brown
North Carolina


“I can’t even describe the emotion I felt while being coated by my father, SGU Associate Dean Dr. Dolland Noel. It was like he was passing the torch on to me. Initially I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. But then my father really started to stand out to me. The way his work positively affected the people around him and all the gratitude surrounding him made me realize you can have a huge impact on your community and country as a physician. And just seeing the amazing doctor he became and knowing that he went to SGU definitely made me want to come here too.”

– Donan Noel



   – Ray-Donna Peters

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St. George’s University Mourns the Loss of Campus Visionary Architect, Andy Belford

Charlie Modica and Andy Belford

St. George’s University and its community mourns the loss of Andrew “Andy” J. Belford (right), the school’s very first director of admissions, who had a profound effect on the creation and development of SGU’s True Blue campus. Pictured here in 2018 with SGU Chancellor Charles Modica.

St. George’s University (SGU) and its community mourns the loss of Andrew “Andy” J. Belford, the school’s very first director of admissions, who had a profound effect on the creation and development of SGU’s True Blue campus.

Mr. Belford died peacefully on February 6, surrounded by family and friends. He was 75 years old.

“Andy’s indefatigable energy, spirit, intelligence, and integrity were greatly appreciated as he explained this new concept of a medical school to many prospective students in the 1970s and early 1980s,” according to Dr. Charles R. Modica, chancellor and co-founder of SGU. “His energy and dedication went far beyond the area of admissions—and his wisdom, quick intelligence, and dedication were indispensable to myself and the other founders in the launching and development of a new medical school in the country of Grenada.”

As the University grew its faculty, student body, and presence in the world of medical education, Mr. Belford set off in an entirely new direction, enrolling in Columbia School of Architecture, and designing and building homes and complexes, mainly in South Florida.

When the University began a dramatic expansion in the early 1990s, Mr. Belford returned to SGU’s True Blue campus where he designed and led a team of architects and builders in the creation of the magnificent campus that has come to embody the mission and spirit of SGU. Under his guidance and vision, the University erected more than 65 beautiful, functional buildings along the True Blue peninsula.

Today students, faculty, and administrators live and learn on his visionary, neo-Georgian campus built over the course of three decades.

Recognizing his contributions to SGU

SGU administrators at School of Medicine graduation

University architect Andrew Belford (4th from left) receives the Order of the Mace from members of the selection committee during the 2010 School of Medicine Commencement ceremony. June 13, 2010 – Lincoln Center – New York, NY.

In 2010, he was bestowed the prestigious Order of the Mace Award—the University’s highest honor—for his impact on SGU’s evolution and success. He joined Chancellor Modica, Sir Kenneth Stuart, and Provost Emeritus Allen Pensick as recipients.

In July 2018, SGU named one of its newer buildings after him. Today, the Andrew J. Belford Centre is a vibrant hub of campus life. A bronze plaque was placed in front of the building—outlining the foundation Mr. Belford built and his immeasurable impact—unveiled in front of SGU administrators, faculty, and staff, as well as family and friends, in attendance.

Remembering Andy Belford and his influence on SGU

SGU administrators at dedication ceremony for Andrew J. Belford Centre

In 2018, SGU dedicated a bronze plaque at Andrew J. Belford Centre in honor of Andrew Belford, the University’s first director of admissions and visionary architect of the True Blue Campus.

SGU administrators shared their condolences and remembrances of Mr. Belford.

Dr. Glen Jacobs, provost of SGU: “The campus would not have become what it is today without Andy’s magnificent vision. Andy was a genuine and kind man, and I was fortunate to experience the positive impact that he had on SGU.”

Dr. C.V. Rao, dean of university alumni affairs: “Having started my career in teaching at SGU in 1977, I have had the unique perspective of seeing the full spectrum of SGU’s evolution. He will be greatly missed and every time I walk by the Andrew J. Belford Centre, I will remember the visionary who had such a remarkable influence on SGU.”

Dr. Marios Loukas, dean of the School of Medicine: “Andy Belford and his contributions are a major part of the very DNA of SGU. Students and graduates throughout the past four decades have benefitted immeasurably from Andy Belford’s innovative and pioneering vision for our University.”

Dr. Daniel D. Ricciardi, executive vice president, clinical network development: “As part of SGU’s first graduating class in 1981, I can say emphatically that SGU would not be what it was today if it weren’t for the contributions of Andy Belford. He was an instrumental part of the foundation of SGU. God speed and rest in peace.”

Added Dr. Modica: “He will be missed by the entire St. George’s University community. He was my good friend, and I will miss him greatly.”

Mr. Belford is survived by his beloved partner, Charles Crawford; his brothers, Paul A. Belford (Patricia) and Michael K. Belford (Donamarie); his sister, Anne Ryan (Edward); and sister-in-law, Mary Susan Belford.

St. George’s University sends its deepest condolences to Mr. Belford’s family, friends, colleagues, and all those whose lives he touched. His invaluable impact on the growth and success of SGU will not be forgotten.



— Laurie Chartorynsky 


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SGU Celebrates Grenada’s 50th Anniversary of Independence

St. George’s University proudly joined with the rest of Grenada in kicking off a yearlong celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee of Independence.

With a theme of “One People, One Journey, One Future,” the event marks 50 years of Grenada’s independent statehood—one that the SGU community actively participated in and shared in its joyous celebration.

The close symbiotic partnership that SGU shares with its host nation has allowed the University to train thousands of leaders in the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, business, and more.

“Many years ago, we had the vision to bring people from many countries to this small, beautiful island nation,” said Dr. Charles Modica, SGU’s chancellor and co-founder. “I am most proud of the fact that the University has grown with everyone in this country, and we have grown together. The world is a smaller place now, and Grenada is right in the center.”



Celebration Activities at SGU

As a united community, SGU students, staff, and faculty came together to participate in the Independence celebrations. The festivities began with the transformation of the True Blue campus, symbolizing patriotism and solidarity with SGU’s home nation.

On National Colors Day, the campus community was encouraged to participate in a Spice Wear Competition, where participants were invited to show off their creativity by incorporating Grenada’s national colors of red, green, and gold into their outfits.

SGU faculty and staff also decorated their office space, showcasing a vibrant display of Grenadian pride for the Spice Up Your Office Décor Competition. And lastly, all were asked to join in a mini parade from Louis and Marion Modica Hall to Keith B. Taylor Hall, culminating in a street food fair to close out the celebrations with joy and camaraderie.

See National Colors Day winners listed below.

Best Spice Wear Individual Winners: 

1st Place (tie) – Leedia Lalgie, School of Arts and Sciences

1st Place (tie) – Dominic Gaspard, Centre for Academic Excellence

3rd Place – Kerri-Ann Baptiste, Human Resources Department

1st 1st 3rd


Best Spice Wear Team Winners:

Office of Institutional Advancement


Spice Up Your Office Décor Winners:

1st Place – Department of Clinical Skills


2nd Place – Department of Public Safety


3rd Place – Office of the Provost


According to Dr. Brendon La Grenade, vice provost for Institutional Advancement: “Whether it was volunteering to decorate and showcase our campus, individual teams decorating their offices and dressing up, or showcasing their culinary skills, SGU’s campus community went above and beyond to make our 50th celebration truly special.”

SGU will continue to honor Grenada’s history and celebrate throughout the year with more festivities planned.

– Ray-Donna Peters

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