2019 Resident “Can’t Imagine a More Supportive Environment”

Gaelle Antoine, MD ’19

“Why do my arms fold this way? How can I feel my heart, but not see it?”

Most children don’t quiz their parents about human anatomy. But Gaelle Antoine, a 2019 graduate of St. George’s University and future anesthesiologist, was fascinated with the workings of the human body from an early age.

“My mother is a nurse, so I spent a great deal of time in hospital wards growing up,” Dr. Antoine said. “I still remember how dedicated she was to her patients, and how thankful they were when they recovered under her care. That connection was inspiring to me—and drove my interest in a career in medicine.”

Earlier thismonth, Dr. Antoine began a yearlong preliminary program in internal medicine at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY. Next year, she’ll start an anesthesiology residency at Brown University, where she’ll be working at Rhode Island Hospital/Lifespan Health System.

Dr. Antoine’s childhood spanned North America. She was born in Brooklyn, but grew up in Haiti. However, the political instability there drove her family to move to Tampa, FL, in 2005. She eventually returned to New York for her senior year of high school. After graduating, Dr. Antoine enrolled at Brooklyn College for premedical training and Biological Sciences.

She applied to St. George’s University after receiving her college diploma. SGU appealed to Dr. Antoine for many reasons—paramount among them, a family connection.

“My brother actually went to SGU and had a great experience,” Dr. Antoine said. “It was easy for me to decide to attend. It basically runs in my family.”

Choosing a specialty proved more challenging. Pediatrics, OB/GYN, and several others interested her. But when she discovered anesthesiology during her clinical rotations, Dr. Antoine realized she had found her calling.

“Anesthesiology offers the perfect combination of the medical complexities of internal medicine with the procedural aspects of surgery,” she said. “Many of my classmates found the surgeries more interesting. But anesthesiology was more fascinating to me than operations.”

Securing an anesthesiology residency is difficult. But Dr. Antoine impressed her future colleagues at Brown.

“Brown put more weight on the quality of the individual student, and their dedication to learning,” she said. “That was attractive to me.”

Dr. Antoine also appreciated that Brown valued diversity, especially given that anesthesiology has historically been dominated by men.

“The residency program director takes the time to ask the women in our program how he can improve their individual experiences,” she said. “Being in a field that’s 80 percent male—that means so much to me. That’s when I realized Brown was where I wanted to train. I can’t imagine a more supportive community.”

Dr. Antoine attributes her success in part to SGU’s supportive community. “The resources provided in the Department of Educational Services were unparalleled,” she said. “The well-rounded curriculum at St. George’s was key to my success on both my USMLE and in matching into my residency.”

Our faculty pushed us to be our best—and it wasn’t the easiest at times,” she added. “But in the long run, if you put in the work and stay focused, it will pay off.”

Summer Academy Provides Students With Insight Into Medical and Veterinary Medical Careers

In its 17th year, the St. George’s University Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy continued to provide an insider’s view for college and high school students interested in exploring a career in medicine or veterinary medicine. This summer also marked the largest turnout since the program’s inception in 2002, with 133 aspiring physicians and veterinarians visiting the University’s True Blue campus in Grenada.

The high school student program ran for 10 days, while the Medical Leadership component of the college student program spanned 12 days. Qualified students are eligible for college credit through the School of Arts and Sciences.

“By coming here, students get the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not this career choice is right for them,” said Avi Bahadoor-Yetman, director of the Med/Vet Summer Leadership Academy. “This experience will either reinforce their passion to practice medicine or veterinary medicine or help them decide this is not the professional path for them.”

Hailing from the United States, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines and more than 10 other countries, the students were taught through a series of lectures, small-group problem solving sessions, hands-on training, and practical lab work. This year’s lectures ranged from cardiology and neurology to musculoskeletal and gastroenterology, and each is followed by sessions in the anatomy lab during which students work with human and animal cadavers.

However, the program isn’t all work. The academics are balanced out by watersports such as sailing, waterskiing, and snorkeling, as well as hiking through Grenada’s rainforests and other activities that highlight the culture and beauty of the island.

Nonetheless, fatigue is built into program and no matter the schedule, the 15-hour days are by design.

“Attending medical school or veterinary school is both rigorous and exhausting in nature,” said Ms. Bahadoor-Yetman. “Hence the program is designed to create an authentic experience successfully balancing a challenging academic program with extracurricular activities. They get a taste of curriculum, SGU, and Grenada. In addition, the quality of the professors and the organization of the staff help make this an invaluable experience that enhances students’ knowledge in the field of medicine or veterinary medicine, while also offering a tremendous opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.”

– Ray-Donna Peters

SGU Grad to News Anchor: Liver Donation to Sister is “Ultimate Altruistic Act”

FOX & Friends host Ed Henry announced on Sunday that he will soon donate part of his liver to his sister, Colleen, who requires a transplant to address a degenerative liver disease.

Mr. Henry and the FOX & Friends team were joined on set by transplant hepatologist and gastroenterologist Joseph Galati, MD ’87, who shed light on what to expect as he undergoes a major surgery to help his sister.

“Your donation is probably the ultimate altruistic act of selflessness,” Dr. Galati said. “The main thing is that, during this recovery, you may wake up in a day or two and feel absolutely awesome, but then four days later, not feel so good. In your recovery, you have to be able to deal with the ups and the downs and try to find a middle ground so that you have really good expectations. It’s going to be a process.”

Dr. Galati’s practice, Liver Specialists of Texas in Houston, treats patients suffering from both acute and chronic disease. He also serves as the medical director at the Center for Liver Disease and Heart Transplantation at Houston’s Methodist Hospital and is president of the Texas International Endoscopy Center.

From War Zones to Hospital Wards: A SGU Graduate’s Story of Survival and Success

Dustin Blodgett, MD ’19

Earlier this month, the members of the St. George’s University Class of 2019 walked across the stage at Lincoln Center to receive their diplomas.

One of those graduates was Dustin Blodgett, who will start a residency in psychiatry at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in July.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Blodgett, who hails from neighboring Tennessee. But since he left his hometown of Murfreesboro at the age of 19, he’s seen quite a bit of the world.

There were the years in Tennessee and Virginia. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Portugal. And most recently, in Grenada.

“I’m 32 years old—a bit older than your typical medical school student,” Blodgett said. “Medicine was always my ultimate goal, ever since a first-grade career fair. It just took me a little bit longer to get there.”

Blodgett enrolled at the University of Maryland after graduating high school. After one semester at Maryland, he enlisted in the Air Force, serving as a pararescue man with the US Special Forces. His unit was responsible for crossing enemy lines and transporting injured soldiers back to safety. He deployed to several countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, over a six-year period.

“Every time the siren rang, you knew you were putting yourself in harm’s way,” Blodgett said. “But if you did your job, you could save a lot of people.”

“It’s certainly not the safest career path that you can pursue. My wife wasn’t too thrilled with that,” he said.

Despite the risk, Blodgett excelled in his role. In 2011, he won Airman of the Year at his base in Portugal.

Not long after, he received devastating news. He had Stage 3 melanoma and needed immediate surgery. He and his wife left Portugal that same week—and moved stateside to Washington, DC, for an emergency operation at Walter Reed Hospital.

“I felt pretty invincible before that,” Blodgett admitted. “Getting that diagnosis was an absolute shock.”

Blodgett fought hard against the cancer. He had additional operations and received chemotherapy and biotherapy. For roughly a year, he suffered from side effects resembling flu-like symptoms.

In the midst of his treatment, he finished his undergraduate degree. He’d been taking online courses from the University of Maryland since completing his Air Force training. While hospitalized, he had to take a series of eight different exams to graduate.

Within a single year, Blodgett beat cancer, received his bachelor’s degree, and set his eyes on medical school.

“I’d gotten into US medical schools. But it was a very easy decision to go to St. George’s University,” he said. “I wanted to see the world. And having lived in Portugal, it wasn’t shocking at all to live in a foreign country.”

“Plus, my wife kind of liked the beach,” Blodgett said with a laugh.

So, what’s next for Blodgett? His residency in Kentucky will last five years. He may also pursue additional medical fellowships. His ultimate goal is to specialize in child psychiatry.

“I want to treat adolescents who are at risk of opioid addiction,” he said. “Growing up in Tennessee, I’ve seen the effect of the opioid crisis. Drug abuse starts in adolescence, and I want to be able to support the kids who are struggling.”

“You can help people just by having a single conversation with them,” Blodgett said. “The trust that patients have in their doctors is very unique and special. I want to have those conversations with young adults who struggle with mental health, as I did when I was a kid. I’m confident that my time at St. George’s has prepared me well to do just that.”

SGU Recognizes Graduate’s 20 Years of Service to Grenada

SGU alumnus Dr. Mark Lanzieri implants cardiac pacemakers in OR 1 at St. George’s General Hospital in St. George’s, Grenada.

He lives and works thousands of miles away from Grenada, yet interventional cardiologist Mark Lanzieri, MD ’85, has carved out time in his schedule, time and time again, to give back to the island. For 20 years, the St. George’s University graduate has provided cardiology services at no cost to the people of Grenada.

For his selfless contributions, St. George’s University awarded Dr. Lanzieri with a Doctorate of Humane Letters over commencement weekend in New York City.

“For many people, this is life changing, whether it is a single-chamber pacemaker, a stent, or simply something that allows them to go back to work or keeps them out of the hospital,” said Dr. Lanzieri, staff cardiologist, Steward Health Care in Massachusetts. “This work is important because there are immediate benefits conferred to patients who do not need to leave their family and social support networks. It is pure humanitarian medicine at its best and I love what I do.”

Dr. Lanzieri visits three times a year to treat Grenadians who in the past would have had to fly to other Caribbean islands or as far away as New York or Miami to have these procedures done. To date, he has implanted more than 100 pacemakers and performed 20 coronary angioplasty procedures, arguably adding a collective thousand or more years of life to Grenadians.

Since its inception in 2000, the Visiting Cardiology Program, under the sponsorship of St. George’s University School of Medicine, continues to provide much needed heart care for adult Grenadians free of cost to them. Dr. Lanzieri and his team, which includes his wife, Annie, an X-ray technologist and cardiovascular specialist, have seen a wide variety of patients since the program’s inception. The value of their time and the equipment donated has exceeded $1 million.

The visits are arranged through the SGU-Physician Humanitarian Network (SGU-PHuN), a program that Dr. Lanzieri was instrumental in creating.

“We at SGU are extremely grateful to Dr. Lanzieri and the vast network of friends and associates volunteering their time and expertise as we continue to work hand-in-hand towards the goal of top-notch healthcare delivery here in Grenada,” said Mr. Brendon La Grenade, Vice Provost for Institutional Advancement. “Dr. Lanzieri represents the spirit of the SGU Physician Humanitarian Network. Today, we’re seeing more patients in a month in this clinic than we probably saw in an entire year in the first few clinics that we ran.”

“The Ministry of Health is constantly looking for ways to bridge the shortfalls at the General Hospital and the medical community at large, because our aim is to improve the delivery of health care in Grenada,” said the Hon. Nickolas Steele, Minister for Health and Social Security, Grenada. “We congratulate Dr. Lanzieri on his 20 years of service to the Grenadian people. Even though you weren’t born here, you were educated here, you returned here, and you’ve cared for our people. As the Ministry of Health and the Government of Grenada seek to nurture the relationship forged with St. George’s University, future plans to build on his legacy will include increased collaboration in the areas of pediatric ophthalmology and intensive care training for staff at the General Hospital.”

Thirty-four years after he graduated, Dr. Lanzieri marvels at the exponential growth of a program that once hailed from the humble beginnings of a single room at the General Hospital. The clinic now has a dedicated center at Grand Anse with more and more St. George’s University alumni and friends of SGU signing on and dedicating their time and expertise for the monthly clinics, and new services, like angiography, are being introduced. According to Dr. Lanzieri, this work is critically dependent on humanitarian support from corporations including Medtronic, ZOLL, St. Jude Medical, Merit Medical, and Terumo that will hopefully always be available.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Ophthalmology Clinic Provides Transformative Eye Care Surgeries in Grenada

 

In what is considered the largest eye care event in Grenada’s history, the School of Medicine’s Division of Ophthalmology, in conjunction with the SGU-Physician Humanitarian Network (SGU-PHuN), recently performed a 14-day clinic with six visiting surgeons equipped with specialized ophthalmic micro-surgical instruments, and three highly-trained technicians—all committed to the goal of increasing the access and delivery of quality vision care at no cost to Grenadian citizens.

Spearheaded by the father-daughter duo of Orazio Giliberti, MD ’82, and Francesca Giliberti, MD ’10, the Division of Ophthalmology partnered in a first-time collaboration with Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International, a non-profit organization which treats a variety of sight-impairing conditions around the world, along with Grenada’s Ministry of Health to ensure its success.

“In an amazing outpouring of philanthropy, our team and SGU’s Division of Ophthalmology secured an additional operating scope, slit lamp, phaco machinery, and microinstruments, as well as, pharmaceutical donations to the SGU-PHuN clinic,” said Orazio Giliberti, MD ’82, FACS. “These machines and materials mimic a US-style operating room, which will allow future graduates, physicians, and SGU friends and guests to provide essential ophthalmic services.

“In its quest to provide much-needed aid to the Grenadian people, the SGU School of Medicine and Division of Ophthalmology continue to be ambassadors for medical education and vision,” added Dr. O. Giliberti.

Led by Dr. Francesca Giliberti, the team arrived in Grenada with more than $200,000 USD worth of equipment and medical supplies. During this two-week mission, the visiting ophthalmology teams evaluated approximately 250 patients and performed 49 surgical procedures, including cataract surgery. The overall donation amount, provided free of charge to the clinic, including airfare, shipping costs, patient visits, and ophthalmic surgeries, totaled over $750,000 USD.

“Overall, the clinic proved to be successful with a strong turnout and positive reviews from patients,” said Francesca Giliberti, MD ’10, JD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at SGU. “Our clinic patients benefited from expert medical advice, and in some instances, underwent vision-saving surgical procedures such as advanced cataract surgery. We were privileged to have an SGUSOM parent and experienced nine-time returning glaucoma and cataract surgeon, Dr. Philip M. Fiore, on this mission. The Division of Ophthalmology and the SGU-PHuN also provide a great resource of clinical material for students to learn.”

“Through the SGU-Physician Humanitarian Network, Dr. Giliberti and his team have performed dozens of surgeries free of cost to the Grenadian people,” said Mr. Brendon La Grenade, Vice Provost for Institutional Advancement. “In 2011, he and his daughter, Francesca launched an ophthalmology clinic in Grenada, which sponsored over 25 physician trips to the island. Since then, the program has attracted the interest of doctors from all over the United States and abroad, including other SGU alumni, who are willing to donate both their time and equipment to such a worthy cause.”

Today, Dr. Orazio Giliberti is the Associate Dean of US Clinical Studies, and the Director of Ophthalmology at St. George’s University, heading a department that boasts no fewer than 30 skilled ophthalmologists. He also owns and operates a private practice, Giliberti Eye and Laser Center, in Totowa, NJ. Giliberti Eye and Laser Center is comprised of three SGU graduates. Dr. Orazio Giliberti works with his daughter, Francesca, who credits her father as the major inspiration in her life, and Dominick I. Golio, MD ’98, who also is a practicing craniofacial and oculoplastic surgeon in New York City.

– Ray-Donna Peters

SGU alumni Orazio Giliberti, MD ’82, and his daughter, Francesca Giliberti, MD ’10

St. George’s University Grants Four Honorary Degrees, Service Awards During 2019 Commencement

St. George’s University honored a new class of medical school graduates from 38 countries and bestowed honorary doctorates and service awards on four individuals during its commencement ceremonies this past weekend.

“It is my pleasure to be here once again at one of these ceremonies to recognize your accomplishments,” said Dr. Charles Modica, Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Directors at St. George’s University, in his opening remarks.

Doctorates of Humane Letters were awarded to Dr. Mark Lanzieri, a Massachusetts cardiologist and 1985 St. George’s alumnus, and José Sánchez, President and CEO of Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago.

For 20 years, Dr. Lanzieri has returned to Grenada to provide cardiological care free of charge to Grenadians. He encouraged the Class of 2019 to stay connected to the St. George’s community. “We need your involvement more than ever,” he said. “I would encourage you that this is not your last interaction with SGU or Grenada, and that you become involved early with the alumni association.”

Dr. Sánchez has managed healthcare and hospital systems for more than three decades. He is a member of the Illinois State Board of Health and helps lead several other state boards, councils, and commissions.

Marty Lyons, a philanthropist and former defensive lineman for the New York Jets, and Congressman Max Rose received Distinguished Service Awards.

In 1982, Lyons founded the Marty Lyons Foundation, which has 11 chapters across the United States. The non-profit grants wishes for terminally ill children.

“Life is about making opportunities and choices,” Mr. Lyons said. “You’ve made one that started four years ago, when you started to chase a dream of helping other people, and making a difference in this world.”

Congressman Rose is a decorated war veteran who represents New York’s 11th congressional district, which includes Staten Island and South Brooklyn. Prior to his election to Congress, he was Chief of Staff for Brightpoint Health, a non-profit dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of New York City’s underserved populations.

SGU Veterinarians Urged to “Shoot for the Moon” at Annual Commencement Ceremony

Animals of all shapes and sizes gained caretakers and advocates on Saturday morning as St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine granted Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees to 83 new veterinarians in New York City.

By reaching this milestone, the Class of 2019 joins an alumni network of 1,670 veterinarians who built a foundation for their careers at SGU.

“One of the greatest honors I have each year is to be here at this ceremony honoring you, respecting you, and with family and friends in the room who have helped you get to where you are today, to tell you how proud we are of you,” said Dr. Charles Modica, chancellor of St. George’s University.

This year’s graduates hailed from six countries—the United States, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. Many new alums will go straight into practice while others have committed to residency programs across 22 United States in such fields ranging from small animal medicine and neurology to oncology and food animal ambulatory and production medicine.

Dr. Richard Liebowitz, vice chancellor of St. George’s University, noted that this year marked the 20-year anniversary of SGU’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Our graduates are recognized in the US, Caribbean, and around the world, and now you leave the university with the same clinical abilities as they did,” Dr. Liebowitz said. “The question is ‘where do you go from here?’ With the training you have received, my only advice is to follow your passion, put no barriers in front of you, and shoot for the moon. I congratulate you all. I know you all will be extremely satisfied and successful in your careers.”

St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine Commencement

Join us live as we celebrate St. George’s University’s School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2019!

Posted by St. George's University on Saturday, June 1, 2019

One of those charter class members was Tara Paterson, DVM ’03, who has gone on to become an associate professor of small animal medicine and surgery at her alma mater, while also serving as president of the School of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association.

“On behalf of SGU faculty, I want you to know that we are very proud of you all,” Dr. Paterson said. “I’m honored to welcome you to our fraternity of SGU alumni, and I’m proud to call you my colleagues.”

St. George’s University Provost Glen Jacobs emceed the ceremony, and implored the newest SGU alumni to pursue knowledge and training throughout their careers.

“This ceremony is a symbol of our confidence that you are now equipped for the world in which you are entering,” Dr. Jacobs said. “You are equipped with the basic skills necessary for your profession. You must continue learning to keep learning in order to keep pace with the changing world around us.”

Newest St. George’s University Physicians Celebrate Commencement at Lincoln Center

 

This summer, St. George’s University School of Medicine’s Class of 2019 will go their separate ways, joining residency programs throughout the United States, Canada, and the world. But before doing so, the newest class of physicians reconvened once more in New York City for SGU’s annual commencement ceremonies at Lincoln Center.

The atmosphere inside David Geffen Hall was festive as family and friends gathered to watch this year’s graduates join an alumni network of more than 17,000 physicians who have gone on to practice in all 50 United States and in over 50 countries worldwide.

In addressing the crowd, Dr. Charles Modica, chancellor of St. George’s University, marveled at the aptitude and commitment of this year’s graduates, also noting that approximately 100 members of the 2019 class had some kind of familial tie to an SGU alumnus. Among them was Tracey O’Brien, MD ’19, daughter of SGU charter class grad John O’Brien, MD ’81.

“Our charter class graduates faced the same trials and tribulations that you have had in studying medicine,” Dr. Modica said. “They didn’t have quite the same facilities that you had, but they had the same attitude, the same thirst of knowledge, and the same quest to succeed.”

On that quest was Henry McGee, MD ’19, who was excited to rejoin his colleagues at Lincoln Center just weeks prior to beginning a pediatrics residency at Case Western Reserve University’s MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. It was his top-choice program.

“I’m from northeastern Ohio, and it’s the community that I wanted to serve,” he said. “As a doctor, it’s all about the people that you’re taking care of, and for me, it was Ohio. I’m glad that I’m able to do what I always wanted to do.”

For his success, Dr. McGee credits the strong bond he made with fellow aspiring physicians, as well as the support of his family.

“Today is really exciting, to be honest,” he said. “This day is for us, but it’s also for my parents and all the people who helped us get to where we are. I can’t believe the person that I’ve become compared to where I was when I started medical school.”

Randolph DiLorenzo, MD ’19, followed in the footsteps of his father, Randolph, who graduated from SGU in 1988. He has gone on to become the medical director at Syosset Hospital on Long Island.

The newest DiLorenzo alum will begin his internal medicine residency at Staten Island University Hospital in New York. SIUH is part of Northwell Health, for which he had previously served as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and done bariatric surgery research.

“Every day I tried to set out to accomplish a goal, and all of those goals have added up to this one big goal—graduating from medical school,” he said. “Now that I’m here, there’s more to accomplish.”

St. George’s University also honored four special guests at the weekend’s festivities. Mark Lanzieri, MD ’85, a cardiologist at Central Maine Heart Associates, was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for providing visiting cardiological services at no charge to hundreds of Grenadian citizens through SGU’s Physician Humanitarian Network for 20 years. Jose Sanchez, president and chief executive officer at Chicago’s Norwegian American Hospital, was honored for his extensive contributions to improving healthcare in Chicago as well as New York, where as a senior executive with NYC Health + Hospitals, he helped establish its network of hospitals as a hub for St. George’s University clinical students.

SGU also presented distinguished service awards to Marty Lyons, former New York Jets defensive lineman and founder of the Marty Lyons Foundation, as well as Max Rose from New York’s 11th Congressional District. Congressman Rose has also received a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his service in the United States Army.

“Never in the history of this country have we asked more of doctors, and never have we needed primary care doctors more,” Congressman Rose said. “You’re going to be asked to do something over the course of your profession that doctors have never been asked to do. You will be asked to look beyond the four corners of your own office to analyze and treat every part of a human being. Elected officials, bureaucrats, and everyone in between are going to ask you of that. So I say to you today, as we peer as well, that I look forward to working with you. I look forward to being in the trenches with you. We have a lot of work to do.”

Commonwealth Conference Focuses on Student Success

 

More than 350 educators from Grenada and around the world descended on St. George’s University for the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) 2019 annual conference. Highlighting the presentations at the two-day event, titled “Students: Our Common Wealth – A Focus on Student Success,” was a keynote address by The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, the second secretary-general of the Commonwealth from the Caribbean and the first woman to hold the post.

“Students who are educated to think creatively will have a distinctive advantage,” Secretary-General Scotland said. “They will be equipped to master the new ideas and new areas of knowledge and will have truly portable, flexible, applicable skills for the future. They will be able to collaborate across cultural and disciplinary boundaries and thrive in enterprises that have not yet even been invented.”

To this end, she proposed four pillars for building a “common wealth” among Commonwealth students:

  • Learning for life – with readily available skills-based training and higher education programs that respond to market needs
  • Employment – as a focus for ensuring brighter prospects and widening opportunity within the global development agenda
  • Entrepreneurship – so that enterprise and innovation create employment and sustainable growth
  • Engagement – to encourage well-informed consultation and responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of all.

“This can only be achieved through education,” the Secretary-General said. “Through firm commitment always and everywhere to do our utmost to treasure and support students our common wealth.”

The 2019 conference marked the first time that the CEC’s annual event had been held in the Caribbean region.

“A conference of this nature does one thing—it inspires,” said Samantha Antoine-Purcell, Principal, Westmorland Secondary School. “It inspires you to think beyond the usual. It inspires you to try new things, new approaches, and new perspectives so that at the end of the day, the student wins. Judging from the high caliber of presenters, which included educators, principals, students and others in the industry, we were able to have a really rich discourse because the perspectives were so varied. I believe the biggest takeaway for me and my fellow educators is to make sure that what we learn here today, we adapt, and we follow through.”

“We were honored to host the first-ever CEC annual conference in the Caribbean,” said Dr. Glen Jacobs, Provost, St. George’s University. “SGU’s faculty and students represent over 140 countries across the globe, including more than 20 percent of our students who hail from Commonwealth countries. This conference provided the kind of association and diversity we value on our campus. We were delighted to welcome international and local representatives from throughout the commonwealth to share their ideas on addressing how educational institutions can make a difference and ensure students get the most out of their studies and be successful.”

Currently celebrating its 60th anniversary, this year’s Council for Education in the Commonwealth conference was designed to explore the main challenges facing education provision across the 53 member states. In addition to the CEC annual conference being held for the first time ever in the Caribbean, it was also the second-ever held outside of the United Kingdom. The Council’s 2021 conference will be held in Kenya.

– Ray-Donna Peters