St. George’s University School of Medicine and Northumbria University’ Welcome 2nd KBTGSP Class at White Coat Ceremony

sir kenneth stuartOn August 17, 2007 St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGUSOM) and Northumbria University’s School of Applied Sciences (NU) welcomed a new class of medical students into the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP).  This class has 119 students from 13 different countries, a significant increase from the 54 students in the January ‘07 charter class. The White Coat Ceremony marks the beginning of medical studies as the official entry into the profession of medicine.  Students don the white coat, a symbol of their chosen profession, and swear a professional oath, promising to act with integrity and in an ethical manner during their training and careers in medicine.

The Keynote Speaker was Professor Sir Kenneth Stuart, an accomplished academic who serves as a member of the Academic Board of SGU and the Board of Directors of the UK Trust for WINDREF.  A past Medical Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, Sir Kenneth Stuart also served as Professor and Dean of the Department of Medicine at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica; a consultant at University Hospital, Jamaica; and consultant advisor to the Wellcome Trust.  He served as Chairman of the Court of Governors of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and as a member of the Council of Governors of Guys’, Kings and St. Thomas’ Hospitals Medical School, London.  Sir Kenneth Stuart has published many articles in medical journals on hepatic and cardiovascular disorders.  He is also a patron of Doctors for Human Rights and trustee of London Lighthouse.

The Master of Ceremonies was SGU alumni Zahida S. Chaudry, MD, SGU’05.  She gave a realistic and yet impassioned view of the practice of medicine.  They were joined by SGU’s Chancellor Charles R. Modica and NU’s Vice Chancellor Kel Fidler who both welcomed the students to St. George’s, Northumbria University and Newcastle, and the profession of medicine.Sir Kenneth Stuart inspired this new class during his keynote address, as he praised the SGUSOM and NU partnership for its “wisdom and foresight.” During the opening of his speech, he stated that in addition to being a special occasion for each individual student, this was a public occasion as well.  “This (occasion) is a public mark of a partnership between SGUSOM and NU, which, I predict, will make it the largest and most important international centre for medical education for years to come.

”Sir Kenneth Stuart captured the essence of SGU’s foundation and future endeavors as he spoke of the powerful unifying effects of universities working together toward a “sense of shared humanity.”  He compared SGU’s thirty-year journey of academic growth and international expansion to the exciting journey each student was about to begin.  He urged the class to set goals that are both fulfilling and substantial.

Sir Kenneth Stuart expressed that one of medicine’s challenges is the collective responsibility to strengthen the health care system globally.  This, he stressed, is a privileged position for doctors, “an international guild or brotherhood, where members can take up their calling in any part of the world and find colleagues whose traditions, methods and objectives are identical with theirs.”

Read Prof. Sir Kenneth Stuart’s complete keynote address.

Published 9/1/2007

St. George’s University School of Medicine and Univ. of Northumbria at Newcastle School of applied Science Inaugural White Coat Ceremony 18 August 2007 Address by Professor Sir Kenneth Stuart

Professor Sir Kenneth Stuart, an accomplished academic who serves as a member of the Academic Board of SGU and the Board of Directors of the UK Trust for WINDREF, compares SGU’s thirty-year journey of academic growth and international expansion to the exciting journey each student is about to begin. 

Chancellor Dr. Modica, Vice Chancellor Professor Fidler, Lord Walton, Dr. Rodney Croft, Dr. Rao, Dr. Chaudry, Dr. Baruha, Dr. Cheryl Macpherson, invited guests and colleagues and, in particular, the undergraduates, because it is primarily you whom I address today, my first words must be of congratulations on the profession you have chosen and of welcome to this, the first staging-post on your way towards it.

I am deeply flattered to have been able to join the long and distinguished list of St. George’s white coat speakers. Some of you might recall George Bernard Shaw’s words:  “What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.” I am more than flattered by the invitation to deliver this address. I am deeply honoured.

This is both a personal and a pubic occasion. It is personal for you, the undergraduates, your families and your friends. You are embarking on the study of a profession that will inform your lives for years to come. It is also a public mark of a partnership between the St. George’s University School of Medicine and the University of Northumbria, which, I predict, will make it the largest and most important international centre for medical education for years to come.  I congratulate its architects for their wisdom and foresight.   There is an old African adage which says: “If you wish to go quickly, go alone; but if you wish to go far, go together.”  I am confident that the journey of this partnership will be long and fruitful.

International university collaboration

This partnership is characteristic of developments, already underway, that are hallmarks of the new world that globalization is calling into being. Universities working together towards shared interests and goals will have potentially powerful unifying effects for otherwise separate groups and for scattered communities.  They have special capabilities and provide special opportunities.  They can chart a path through different cultures and assist people of diverse backgrounds to work together towards a sense of a shared humanity. They can provide a much needed international educational outreach.

Achieving this is essential if we are to, in the words of Nelson Mandela, “make the world safe for diversity.” Never before have so many peoples and countries had so much in common; and yet never before have the issues that divide them been more numerous and threatening. I look to the time when there will be global networks of universities which will facilitate collaborative and educational exchanges worldwide.   There has been too much of a tendency for doctors and other health professionals to train and work in geographical, social and cultural isolation. We are now at a crossroads of international change – development, history, education and human spirit.  Vigorous initiatives towards exchanges between medical undergraduates and young graduates are now being catalyzed. Such exchanges are essential underpinnings for what is now being termed the ‘global village.’

It has been my privilege not only to witness but to participate in the unfolding excitement of the academic growth and international expansion of the St. George’s University School of Medicine for nearly 30 years. There are several reasons why I am confident that you, the new undergraduates, will find your own educational journey through the joint curriculum provided by the partnership between these two illustrious institutions exciting.

There aren’t many universities that would be able to offer part of their undergraduate training against a background of flowering frangipani, flaming poinsettias and the azure blue water of the Caribbean, a choice of undergraduate colleagues from more than 80 countries, a range of US and UK teaching hospitals for clinical studies, a selection of teachers and instructors from among the most highly qualified in the world and the best equipped undergraduate teaching laboratories to be found anywhere.

Undergraduate educational challenges

The period of training you are now embarking on will bring challenges and rewards for you yourselves as undergraduates and, yes, for your teachers as well. Teachers of medical undergraduates also have challenges.  My own most cherished and happiest memories, my greatest sense of challenge and achievement as a medical teacher dated back to November, 1954. The first class of young doctors from the University of the West Indies was about to graduate. Their graduation was, for all of us, their teachers and course instructors, a defining moment. For students and staff alike a wonderful experiment had now been accomplished. These young men and women will always hold a special place in my memories and affections. They had arrived five years before from Jamaica and several of the other West Indian islands as new undergraduates, like you today, at the recently established University of the West Indies. We, their teachers, had strived to train them to the highest standards and to inculcate them with the highest values of our profession.  They, the newest of our colleagues, were now, as you yourselves will be in a few short years, about to embark on their own careers.  In a life that later experienced many other professional rewards I still think of the graduation of that first medical class of the university of the West Indies as one of the highest points of my own professional career.

Let me early in my talk associate myself with the words of welcome and advice in Chancellor Modica’s message to you today: “As you begin your studies for this challenging career, you must weigh opportunity against responsibility.  St. George’s University will equip you with all the right tools for the job, but how much you take away will depend on how you approach the experience and how much effort you invest in it. I wish you every success”.

For success you will need special competences and skills. Their achievement can be summed up in one word: “work”. Professor William James, Harvard psychologist, had this message for young undergraduates: “Let none of you have any anxiety about the upshot of his education, whatever line it may be.  If he keeps busy each hour of the working day he may safely leave the final result to itself.  He can, with perfect certainty, count on waking up some fine morning to find himself one of the competent of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out.”  Students too often settle for a concept of education that is little more than instrumental, that contents itself with course work, with passing examinations.  But, although this may be a by-product, it can’t be a goal.  The goal must be something larger, more fulfilling, more substantial; something that will not only provide a context for what you do know, but will tell you how to use it; something that will chart a course for what you might become rather than merely validate what you have learned; something that will enable you not only to adapt to tomorrow’s changes, but to play leadership roles in effecting them.

Indeed a measure of the success of your education will be the capacity it will give you not only to adapt to change but to manage and direct it, to be aware of the gap between what can be done and what is being done, to be willing to challenge assumptions about the current reality, to shake things up, to persevere and to give leadership.

It is you, the younger people, who provide the vital links between a community’s aspirations and its achievements.  It is you who will have a significant influence on future medical orientations as you practice your professions.  It will be up to you to have the courage and self assurance to resist distractions from medicine’s highest ideals, the confidence to do things differently, the optimism that what you do can make a difference. It is at the undergraduate stage of your careers that first steps in this direction, the preparation for these roles, must be taken.

Medical professionalism

Let me take this opportunity to remind you of some of the obligations, responsibilities and commitments the practice of medicine will entail. In his message to you today Dean Weitzman urges you to “recognize that in entering the field of medicine, you join a community, wherein the team is as pivotal to success as individual effort.  To this end, you must strive for excellence in your pursuit of knowledge, for you can only give your best when you fulfill your potential.  As you don these white physician coats, you pledge an oath of professionalism and service. Professionalism is a commitment to integrity, altruism, competence and ethics in the service of others.”

A description of medical professionalism from London’s Royal College of Physicians sets out these values, behaviours and relationships at greater length: “Medicine is a vocation in which a doctor’s knowledge, clinical skills and judgment are put in the service of protecting and restoring human well-being.  This purpose is realized through a partnership between patient and doctor, one based on mutual respect, individual responsibility and appropriate accountability. These values, which underpin the science and practice of medicine, form the basis for a moral contract between the medical profession and society. Each party has a duty to work to strengthen the system of health care on which our collective human dignity depends.”

I must hasten to add, however, that the practice of medicine is more than the performance of a set of ritual medical duties, the meeting of formal codified historical obligations. For most of you, I predict, it will also prove, as it has for me, a privilege to be able to be of such personal and continuing service to others; a pleasure to have an opportunity on a daily base to share a common humanity with so many people; to give encouragement, to share confidences, to be of assistance when needed. Dr. Chaudry notes that “while the field of medicine is challenging, the rewards and personal satisfaction are immeasurable.”

Medicine: its global reach

I must refer briefly to medicine’s global reach.  In his 1983 commencement address to the graduating class of St. George’s University School of Medicine, the late Lord Pitt stressed that “Medicine is international.  The fight against disease and, more important, the securing of good health, cannot be confined within national boundaries.”

In sharing certain basic interests, values, educational standards and goals, medicine functions in a field that has no inherent barriers.  It is an international guild or brotherhood, where members can take up their calling in any part of the world and find colleagues whose traditions, methods and objectives are identical with theirs.

This privileged position for doctors as world citizens carries with it globally accepted understandings and accords that extend beyond national to international health concerns. The doctor’s role in the protection and promotion of health, his acceptance of standards of competence, professional ethics and responsibilities have a worldwide extension; remain the bed-rock of medical practice everywhere.

Some unresolved medical issues

You might also wish me to share with you some of my own perceptions about a number of anomalies and contradictions that litter today’s medical landscape and cloud the horizons against which you will work during your professional lives. Practices related to medical drug usage and disease prevention are examples.

The tactics of the international pharmaceutical industry has led to a global hypochondria about how disease should be approached – ‘a pill for every ill’. It must bear much of the responsibility for the intellectual astigmatism with which so many doctors and so much of the public currently views issues of health and disease; in Britain today half of the adult population and a third of children take some form of medication every day. Two centuries ago Philippe Pinel, French psychiatrist and physician, said: “It is an art of no little importance to administer medicines properly: but, it is an art of much greater and more difficult acquisition to know when to suspend or altogether to omit them.”

Disease prevention is also an aspect of health on which there is not likely to be much disagreement.  For most medical disorders prevention is clearly cheaper, more humane and more effective than intervention or treatment after they occur.  This observation is hardly new; but it gives us the opportunity to look back critically at the past and forward to opportunities for the future.

The diseases that kill most people worldwide – the so-called non-communicable diseases, diseases caused not by infection but by how people live their lives – could be avoided by preventive action, by modifications of lifestyle, by activities that would make individuals more effective custodians of their own health than they have been in the past; that would make them more self-reliant, less dependent on doctors and other specially trained health professionals. Progress will continue to be made by improvements in the treatment of diseases and by the provision of more and better facilities for health care; but the opportunities for improving health by the prevention of disease are even greater.

I invite  your reflection, even at this undergraduate stage of your medical careers, on why prevention has failed so far to engage more fully the attention of the medical profession, on why prevention has not become a more important element in the health expectations of the public; on the distinction between medicine as a social institution and medicine in its more limited role of caring for the sick; on how in its larger role medicine could come to grips with the wider issues that influence health; on the meaning of health and how this meaning might be made more central to the concerns of both medical education and medical practice.

Sir Ian Kennedy’s comment is relevant; “If we were to start all over again to design a model for modern medicine, most of us, I am sure, would opt for a design which concerned itself far more with the pursuit and preservation of health, of well being.  What we have instead is the very opposite, a system of medicine which reacts, which responds, which waits to pick up the broken pieces – a form of medicine, in short, concerned with illness, not health.  A moment’s thought demonstrates the folly of this.”

Concluding comments

Let me conclude, as I started, with advice especially for you, the undergraduates. I will quote for you a comment from Sir William Osler’s “Aequanimitas” – ‘Peace of mind’, which, I will add, each doctor should strive for.  Sir William was the best-known physician in the English-speaking world at the turn of the 20th century. He has been called the “most influential physician in history.” I recommend the reading of Osler to undergraduates and graduates alike.  He emphasized the need for a renewal of emphasis on human values.  “Medicine”, he pointed out, “is the only one of the great professions engaging, equally, head and heart and hand. To an inquisitive mind the study of medicine may become an absorbing passion full of fascinating problems, so many of which present a deep human interest.

”More than two thousand years earlier the Roman orator, Cicero, in his treatise, “De Senectute”, (On Old Age) gave advice to older people: “Remain interested and never stop learning.” This advice is as relevant for you and your generation as it has been for me and mine.

I should like to link for you Osler’s comments to Cicero’s advice. Together they mean that a good beginning for each of you might be, as a personal responsibility, to ensure, firstly, continuity of the medical education you will receive in the coming years and, secondly, that your continuing medical education, whatever form it takes, should have human values as a central objective.  Senior citizens like me can provide valuable experiences from the past and useful guidelines for the future.  Much of the responsibility, however, of meeting tomorrow’s challenges will rest on your shoulders; and many of these challenges will have not only scientific but highly significant human dimensions as well.  This is why the human perspectives of the period of training you are now about to embark on will be as important as the scientific – and not only for the success of your future practice as doctors but also for the quality of the benefits you will both bring to, and derive from, the communities and specialties in which you elect to work.

Published 9/1/2007

St. George’s University Makes an Impact at Annual American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) Meeting

table photo from 24th annual aacaAt the 24th Annual American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA) in Las Vegas, NV from June 17-June 20, 2007, SGU’s Department of Anatomical Sciences proved that strength in numbers has its exceptions.  While SGU sent 22 honor students from the Students Clinical Research Society (SCRS) to last year’s conference, this year’s smaller demonstrated enormous professionalism, knowledge and dedication.

Dr. Marios Loukas, Associate Professor of Anatomical Sciences and Dr. Robert Jordan, Professor and Department Chair of Anatomical Sciences, were joined by two PhD students, Cara Fisher and Candice Myers, one SGUSOM student, Christopher Kinsella and the Research Fellow from Turkey, Dr. Nihal Apaydin.  With the vast majority of SCRS students back in Grenada taking exams, this unified group of six represented their team honorably and successfully.

SCRS is a student driven organization established by Dr. Loukas which promotes communication and instills team work values critically beneficial to students involved in meaningful anatomical research.  Currently, SCRS students have co-authored 30 papers published in peer reviewed journals and 22 abstracts presented as oral or poster presentation in congresses.

Christopher Kinsela and Dr. Loukas presented a paper entitled “Anatomical research, a teaching method in career guidance.”  This was an educational study which demonstrates the intrinsic value of research for a student’s overall academic success.  The study found a direct correlation with student GPA’s and their participation in research.  Students involved in research had a higher GPA at the end of their Basic Sciences when compared with an identical group of GPA’s of non-research students.

Dr. Loukas, a longtime attendee to AACA meetings, said “….our example of blending quality teaching and research experience has been widely accepted as an ideal model for anatomy education. More and more US schools are following our example (SCRS model) regarding anatomy education. The Department of Anatomy at AlbertEinsteinCollege of Medicine has initiated a similar program. Their students are in direct communication with our SGU SCRS students in order to get all necessary details to set up their program.” Dr. Loukas and his team look forward to the presentation being published.

Published 7/30/2007

St. George’s University School of Medicine Student Captivates Panel at American College of Physicians (ACP) Conference

acp sgu logosAt the annual American College of Physicians (ACP) Conference in San Diego, CA, SGUSOM student Raymond Craciun received kudos for his case report on the revolutionary effects of Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections for refractory gastroparesis, a gastric disorder common in diabetics.  As a resident at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey, Raymond Craciun was assigned to a patient who was being treated with the toxin for this condition.

While Botox has gained notoriety for its use as cosmetic age-defying agent, it is a viable and effective treatment for many branches of medicine.  Raymond Craciun was not as familiar with its exact indications and overall benefit, and decided to research its use further, in part, to combat the many misconceptions of the toxin.

With the support of other residents in the program and Dr. Schuman, the overseeing Gastroenterologist, Craciun began to research the topic, compile information and prepare a case report.

With the encouragement of SGU’s Dean Weitzman and SGUSOM colleague and friend Greg Tiesi, himself a 2006 ACP finalist  and the first SGU student to present at the ACP Conference, Raymond Craciun submitted his report to the ACP for consideration.With 3,000 submissions, the ACP selected a total of 70 finalist presentations, divided equally in two categories including a medical research group and a clinical vignette group. Raymond Craciun’s case report was presented and evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges at the National ACP Conference in the category of clinical vignette group.  His effective and comprehensive presentation received an impressive response.  “Most importantly,” said Craciun, “I felt tremendous pride representing the SGUSOM community and hope that the overall exposure helped our school and all of its students to gain well-deserved recognition and praise.”

Craciun’s experience at the conference and with the ACP organization as a whole is one he will not soon forget.  The ACP is a valuable resource for all medical students as it provides mentoring programs, residency information, volunteering opportunities and a variety of educational programs.  Each state has a local chapter, and membership for medical students is free.  Raymond Craciun has met with Dr. Sara Wallach, ACP NJ Chapter Governor, and plans to approach and encourage more SGUSOM students to get involved.

Published on 5/30/07

2007 Commencement; Largest Graduating School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies Program Class in St. George’s University History

charles modica with 2007 sas sgp graduating classOn Saturday, May 12th, the School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies Program Commencement was held in the Bell Lecture Hall on the True Blue Campus.  While all graduations are momentous, this year’s commencement was particularly significant.

With a combined total of 170 graduates from both the undergraduate and graduate programs, the class of 2007 was the largest combined ceremony for the Schools of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate Studies Program in the University’s remarkable 30 year history.

Students and their families were honored by guest speaker The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian D. Saunders, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice who eloquently delivered the keynote address for the commencement ceremony.

As Mr. Justice Saunders reflected on his own law school graduation 30 years prior, he explained to his captive audience that while they may have closed their text books for good, “Learning is a lifelong imperative.”  He continued, “Your years spent in classrooms up to this point have merely provided you with a launching pad, a platform upon which you will begin yet another and an even more productive round of learning and preparation for life’s challenges.”

Mr.  Justice Saunders emphasized the importance of recognizing and seizing every opportunity presented to them, even though they may appear to be inconspicuous or subtle at the time.   This was illustrated through his personal life experiences.  He explained that his gift and passion for law could have gone untapped had his hand not been literally and figuratively forced to make an immediate course of study selection on a college application. Until then, the field of law was never a consideration.

Almost 20 years later, yet another life changing opportunity presented itself in an invitation for judicial appointment.  In his early 40’s and a senior partner in a successful private practice at the time, the opportunity to become a judge, albeit flattering, involved a significant reduction in income as well as uprooting his family.  With two boys to educate, a mortgage payment and a future to save for, the timing was about 10 years premature.   Nevertheless, Mr. Justice Saunders realized that this opportunity may not surface again.  With the blessing of his family, he accepted the position and never regretted the decision. “Life is never a smooth sailing continuum.  Very often you have to take chances.  You can’t expect to cover every contingency before making a decision.  Ultimately it is more important to love what you do than take up or remain in a position just because it pays more,” he said.

Justice Saunders has distinguished himself in the legal profession and has been instrumental in several judicial reformations throughout the Caribbean region.

He has also given profound service in educating others in the legal profession and in championing the cause of youth, especially in his home country of St. Vincent, where he served as President of the National Youth Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

His final message to the students was to find enjoyment from life, stay focused on fulfilling your dreams and be proud of the wonderful institution that is SGU.

The commencement ceremony illustrated SGU’s vital contribution to human development on a global scale.  As students from nearly 20 countries were honored by SGU faculty including Chancellor Charles R. Modica, Provost Allen Pensick, Dean Theodore Hollis and Dean Calum Macpherson, one could not help but reflect on the evolution of this extraordinary university.As the number of students applying to SGU continues to rise, so too does the diversity and size of the student body.  The additions of new majors and programs will continue to offer SGU students exceptional opportunities both as an undergraduate and a graduate.This year SGU graduated 14 students from the inaugural Master of International Business program (MIB).  Students with an MIB were globally represented by the US, Guyana, South Africa and Grenada.  First time graduates with an MSc in Economics were also represented.  SGU looks forward to the continued expansion of the university, as it plays an integral role in the success of its current and future graduates.

Rev. Tessica Hackshaw, Superintendent Grenada Methodist Church and friend of the university, opened and closed the ceremony with a beautiful invocation and benediction.At the conclusion of the program, Chancellor Modica welcomed graduates to a reception at the Caribbean House to continue the festivities.

Published 5/16/2007

Caribbean Bioethics Society Conducts First Forum

BSEC Executive Committee Left to rt front row - Derrick Aarons (Pres), Cheryl Macpherson (Vice Pres), Donald Simeon (Treasurer) back row- Anthony Frankson (Regional representative-north), Paul Ricketts (Regional representative- South-east), Eileen Boxhill (Regional representative- West), Ralph Robinson (Secy)

BSEC Executive Committee
Left to rt
front row – Derrick Aarons (Pres), Cheryl
Macpherson (Vice Pres), Donald Simeon (Treasurer)
back row- Anthony Frankson (Regional
representative-north), Paul Ricketts (Regional representative- South-east), Eileen Boxhill (Regional representative- West), Ralph Robinson (Secy)

On Saturday, May 5th approximately 25 members of the Bioethics Society of the English-Speaking Caribbean (BSEC) converged in Jamaica to discuss significant developments of ethical issues affecting the region.

This was the first forum conducted since the inception of the BSEC in May of 2006.  The event was publicized by local newspapers, radio stations and the internet, contributing to its overall success and scope. The Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) provided space, facilities, and support for BSEC’s Bioethics Forum.

Dr. Derrick Aarons, a successful and respected physician and bioethicist, is credited with its formation. “Dr. Aarons’ passion for the field, his vision and leadership are critical to the establishment and continued growth of the BSEC” said SGU’s Dr. Cheryl Macpherson.  The Society encompasses about 60 members who include physicians, medical educators, and public health specialists from many different Caribbean nations.

Residents of the Caribbean struggle each day with ethical issues, many of which have significant social and economic implications. The BSEC is positioning itself to offer guidance and support through discussions, consultations, publications, and workshops that address regional concerns regarding ethics and professionalism.   The Society’s goal is to encourage and enhance further development in public and professional arenas.

Dr. Cheryl Macpherson, a professor of bioethics and vice president of BSEC, was among four respected bioethicists who presented at the forum.  Dr. Macpherson provided an overview of professionalism in medicine and medical education.

Other speakers included founder Dr. Derrick Aarons, Professor Daniel Piedra Herrera, executive secretary of the Cuban National Bioethics Committee and Dr. Kenneth Goodman, director of the Bioethics Program, University of Miami, Florida. Respectively, they spoke about ethics in clinical medicine, ethics in health policy, and teaching bioethics. Additionally, the speakers participated in a panel discussion chaired by Dr Eileen Boxill (a lawyer and BSEC’s western representative) about the status and needs of research ethics in the region.

The Bioethics Society looks forward to its continued expansion.  The positive response to the Jamaica forum reinforces the value and need for an annual conference similar in format.  The BSEC is eager to increase its membership and to involve students.  Caribbean students have much to learn and to offer to the BSEC and the region. For more information, visit the BSEC online at

Published 5/10/2007

Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) Captures St. George’s University Knowledge Bowl Championship

knowledge bowl winners group photoThe Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) reigns champion of the second annual Knowledge Bowl.  GBSS and Presentation Brothers’ College (PBC) met face to face on Saturday, March 31 in an intense battle for the top spot, in the SGU/Grenada Cablevision –CC6 inter-secondary school quiz competition.

At the end of round one, PBC led the score by two points and by the second round a close finish was evident.  GBSS took the lead in the second round, but with several challenges made by both teams, it was still anybody’s match.  In the end, GBSS defeated PBC with a final score of 28 to 22.

The eight week competition, which began with 18 schools, came down to an all-boys challenge.  The final 6 schools which entered the quarter finals were Anglican High School (AHS), Bishop’s College, Boca Secondary School, Grenada Boys Secondary School, Presentation Brothers’ College, and St. Joseph’s Convent St. George’s (SJC).  In the semi-finals AHS met GBSS and PBC encountered SJC in fiercely contested matches.

Speaking at the Prize-Giving Ceremony, Minister of Communications & Works, the Honourable Clarice Modeste-Curwen said she was impressed by the overwhelming enthusiasm and zeal of the students and the corporate partners who have made the Knowledge Bowl a success.  Minister Modeste-Curwen, the Head of the Government Monitoring Committee for the University praised the institution and Grenada Cablevision – Community Channel 6 for providing the opportunity for continued learning.

Cable & Wireless Grenada and the Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd. again sponsored the broadcast knowledge bowl 2007and prizes for the quiz.  The Grenada Postal Corporation provided meals and snacks throughout the competition, while Del Prado from Huggins and Glenelg Spring Water were the official drinks.

The audience participation questions were a welcomed addition to this season’s competition, generating much interest and debate throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.The GBBS team members took home Certificates of Excellence, $500 Honey Bee starter accounts from Grenada Cooperative Bank, individual computers and 6 months free Internet service from Cable & Wireless, a Grand Prize of $10,000 for the school from St. George’s University and the Challenge Trophy.  The team’s two coaches each won a trip to Miami, New York or Jamaica compliments Grenada Cablevision Ltd.

PBC was awarded Certificates of Merit, $500 Honey Bee starter accounts and $5000 for the school from SGU.  Their coaches each won a two-night stay for two at La Sagesse Nature Centre from SGU, CC6 and La Sagesse Nature Centre.

The semi-finalists, AHS and SJC were presented with Certificates of Achievement, $250 dollar Honey Bee starter accounts and a computer system for each school, compliments SGU, CC6 and Kool Systems Ltd.  All other team members received Certificates of Participation and Honey Bee starter accounts.  Prizes were also presented to the audience participation winners who were present.

The second season of the SGU Knowledge Bowl was held against the backdrop of SGU’s 30th and Grenada Cablevision’s 15th anniversary year and the two corporate partners have hailed the Bowl as yet another symbol of their development and deepening responsibility to our youth and the wider society.

The entire season of the SGU Knowledge Bowl will be rebroadcast every Tuesday and Thursday on Community Channel 6 at 8:00 p.m.

Published on April 3, 2007

Annual St. George’s University Knowledge Bowl Finals Held on March 31st

sgu knowledge bowl stage 2007Continuing with last years overwhelming success of the first annual Knowledge Bowl, SGU will again host the final round of this dynamic, academic quiz competition. This year’s competition will feature traditional male rivals Presentation Brothers’ College and Grenada Boys Secondary School.

The final match will be held at Bell Lecture Hall on SGU’s True Blue Campus on March 31 at 2:00 p.m. The competition will be broadcast live on Grenada Cablevision Community Channel 6.

The Knowledge Bowl is designed to provide an arena for healthy academic exchange between fourth and fifth term students from Grenada’s secondary schools. This exciting contest will test the participants’ knowledge as they prepare for regional exams. This year’s competition began on February 3rd, when the first six competing schools faced each other for the preliminary round.

The competition was organized and sponsored by SGU and Grenada Cablevision Community Channel 6, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

The material for the quiz questions came from the Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC) syllabi in the areas of science, information technology, the arts, and humanities. Students also had to have general knowledge of geography, Spanish, food and nutrition, culture, sport, and current affairs. All fourth and fifth term students have to take an external exam as set forth by the CSEC at the end of the year. The quiz competition directly reflects what the students need to study and know for the exam so its purpose is two-fold. It helps not only the participants study for the exam, but also the students watching the competition.

Each team consists of five players, two back-ups, and a coach (teacher). The five team members of the winning team will be awarded a computer system and $500 (US) starter bank accounts, while their school will receive $10,000 (US). The second place team will also receive bank accounts, with a $5,000 (US) donation to their school.

Published 3/29/2007

“From the World to the World – 30 Years of Global Innovation”

30th Anniversary ParadeClear blue skies, a warm sun and a truly bright and picturesque day heralded the start of a beautiful celebration of St. George’s University’s Commencement 30 years ago. “From the World to the World – 30 Years of Global Innovation” is an apt theme for a year-long festival that will honour the unification of people, culture and ideals from across the globe. So much has been accomplished since the first day of classes on January, 17th 1977, and it was a fitting beginning for a year which marks the end of one era and heralds the dawn of a future filled with optimism.

The special day began with an Alumni Breakfast and Dedication Ceremony for “Charter Hall”, a new 735-seat facility that will serve as a symbol of the indomitable spirit of the University’s very first students. “Spice Infusion” – a grand campus party and concert for members of our SGU community, friends and alumni followed. It began with a parade of countries and what a spectacular sight it was to witness the carnival of colors as members of our SGU family gathered at the lower True Blue campus. They came out in their numbers sporting hats, waving flags and wearing the colours of 136 nations of the world. They represented the nationalities from which our faculty, staff and student body have hailed over the thirty years of the University’s existence. The parade ended with a global salute where each representative sounded-off their country’s name and planted their flag at the front of the 30th Anniversary stage.

While declaring Spice Infusion open Provost, Dr. Allen Pensick expressed his joy and pride with the course of the University’s development and the chart for the way forward. Chancellor Modica too expressed his overwhelming fulfillment in seeing his dream and that of the other Founders actualised. Emotions swelled during an unexpected presentation that evening by University Administrators. Witnessed by Grenada’s Governor General, Sir Daniel Williams, Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, parliamentarians, diplomats and other special guests, Chancellor Charles R. Modica became the first inductee to the Order of the Mace, a special award celebrating his phenomenal leadership of SGU from its inception.

It was the climax of an evening which paid homage to individuals and organisations under whose continued care the University flourishes.

Award Recipients:

  • Service Award
    Mr. Victor Benjamin
    Mr. Whitley Courtney
    Mr. Fred Mark
    Mr. Neville Mark
  • Diamond Service Award
    Mr. Christopher Belgrave
    Dr. David Brown
    Mr. Henry Edgar Moore
    Dr. C. V. Rao
    Mr. Carlyle Stafford
    Ms. Jane Sutter
  • Partnership Award
    The Government & People of Grenada
  • Good Neighbour Award
    Grenada Electricity Services
    The Royal Grenada Police
  • Community Service Award
    Fund for Orphans and Elderly
    Grenada Heart Foundation
    Mr. Alexander Paddy Ross
  • Student Humanism Award
    Mr. Ahmed Feras Al-Khalid
  • Research Award
    Dr. Calum Macpherson
  • Visionary Award
    Mr. Andy Belford
    Ms. Margaret Lambert
  • Founders Award
    Dr. Charles R. Modica
    Mr. Louis Modica
    Mr. Patrick Adams
    Mr. Edward McGowan

Colour, dance, food music and theatre from around the world all helped to create the perfect start for the SGU community to celebrate its internationalist growth over the last 30 years. And some say…it just keeps getting better. Stay tuned.

Published 1/29/2007

January 17th Marks the Beginning of The 30th Anniversary Celebration

30th Anniversary LogoThe stage is set, so to speak, for the highly anticipated opening day of the 30th anniversary celebration of SGU. January 17th will kick off a year-long celebration marking The University’s astonishing road to academic excellence and innovation.

The celebratory theme- From the World, to the World – 30 Years of Global Innovation – is infused throughout the day and years events, reinforcing SGU’s commitment to international medical education. The bell above the Bell Lecture Hall will ring 30 times to launch the festivities.

The day begins at 7am when respected alumni and faculty attending the event are welcomed at a breakfast hosted by the University. At 10AM a groundbreaking dedication ceremony for the 720-seat lecture hall at the Lower True Blue Campus will be named for SGU Alumni.

A festive parade full of cultural splendor will begin at 11AM with flags from all nations and students and faculty in their native dress being featured along the route. This impressive display of international unity is representative of the University’s foundation and future.

All participants are invited to attend an exhibition and concert immediately following the parade. Popular Latin music by well-known local bands from Grenada and St. Vincent will add to the festivities. An emotional rendition of “We Are The World” will befittingly end the afternoon.

The celebration continues that evening at 7PM with an Award Ceremony recognizing individuals whose efforts have contributed to the University’s unprecedented growth. Attendees will be honored for years of contribution, community service and external contribution, with an additional award bestowed to the founding members of the University.