SAS Student Balances Parenthood and Pursuit of Business Degrees

Gillian Francis, SAS student

Currently pursuing a double major in business management and tourism and hospitality management at St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences, Gillian Francis, BSc ’22 (expected), performs the balancing act between motherhood and academia daily.  Although the journey to graduation has presented its share of challenges, she hopes to inspire other parents who are eager to advance their education, but are concerned about being able to manage parenthood, university life, and everything that comes along with it.

SGU News reached out to Ms. Francis to learn how she spends a typical day as a mom and student, the advice she would offer to other parents, and how she manages it all.

St. George’s University: Why did you decide to pursue your studies at SGU?

Gillian Francis: SGU offered the perfect blend of what I needed in terms of locale, financial affordability, and academic programs. I never have to leave my family to pursue my studies as the University is right here at home. The 90 percent scholarship offered to all Grenadian citizens also piqued my interest as I was able to further my education in the area I most desired, particularly tourism and hospitality management.

SGU: What does a typical day look like for you as a mom/student?

Francis: Now that classes are virtual, a typical day for me is extremely busy, as I have to attend my classes, ensure that my son attends his classes (online as well), prepare meals in between classes, and fit my assignments—and his—into my schedule. I don’t have much spare time so planning is very crucial for me in order to get things done.

SGU: How are you able to balance parenthood and academia amidst a pandemic?

Francis: My way of balancing both worlds is through daily and weekly planning of all the things I must get done. That includes classes and assignments, household chores, and simply being a mom. As part of my self-care routine, I watch a little television, listen to music, go to the beach, or exercise at least once a week.

SGU: What has your favorite class been so far and why?

Francis: I must say that I really enjoyed and learned a lot from Destination Marketing and Quality Customer Service. It gave me a bird’s eye view of the many things involved in marketing a destination, and the wider concept of service and its importance. Both courses offered theoretical and practical experience of what goes into marketing a destination and in the service industry.

SGU: Have you taken advantage of any other services offered by the University?

Francis: Yes, I often utilize the peer learning group sessions which can be found at the Department of Educational Services, as I find it a great form of revision and a means of clearing up misconceptions. Also, as the newly elected secretary for the Business Students Association for the second time in a row, I am able to provide assistance to fellow business students and contribute to their overall development.

SGU: What advice would you give to a parent interested in attending SGU?

Francis: It is worth it—just take everything one step at a time. Do not take on more courses than you can handle, plan consistently, and ensure to make time for yourself and your family.

 

– Tornia Charles

 

WINDREF Provides In-Depth Fisheries Training Through UN Grant

Fishers from Carriacou celebrate earning their captain’s permit through a 12-week training program facilitated by WINDREF. Photos from Roland Baldeo

To strengthen a region that relies heavily on the fisheries sector for its food safety and livelihood, the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) recently led a rigorous 12-week training course that resulted in more than 300 men and women earning a fishing vessel captain’s permit, demonstrating their expertise in rules and safety on the seas.

WINDREF, which is based on the St. George’s University campus, carried out the project through funding from a $370,000EC grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) project in the Eastern Caribbean. Permits were bestowed to fishers from Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique.

“This project provided a unique public-private partnership opportunity despite COVID-19 restrictions for services by WINDREF towards regional implementation of climate change adaptation,” said Trevor P. Noël, PhD ’17, MPH ’04, deputy director of WINDREF. “The success of this program is evidenced in the fact that both the United Nations (FAO) and Grenada Government Ministries have requested further dialogue with us for future UN projects that are due to come on stream this fall. It is an exciting time for WINDREF and, by extension, St. George’s University.”

The training was set up in 12 one-week modules covering rules of the sea, safety at sea, search and rescue, seamanship and boat handling, global positioning systems (GPS), navigation, first aid, conflict resolution, fishery laws and regulations, marine protected areas, engine repair and maintenance, and marine radio operating procedures. Each fisher was required to attend all 12 sessions to obtain their permit.

“This project is an embodiment of ‘being thy neighbor’s keeper’ by improving safety at sea for Grenadian fishers,” Dr. Noël said. “In addition, the importance of food security and the linkage to climate resilience and health is foremost in our mind.”

– Brett Mauser

From Politics to Academia

When Dr. Damian Greaves changed course in his career, switching from politics to academic, he had always intended to return. But more than 15 years into his time as an educator at St. George’s University, he has reveled in the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to future leaders in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean. 

“When I teach, I am on top of the world because it is not just a job, it is a vocation—to inspire and mold minds,” said Dr. Greaves, a professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

He came to St. George’s University in 2006 after spending five years as the Minister of Health in St. Lucia, first serving as a part-time lecturer while working on a Master of Public Health (MPH) from SGU, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Walden University.  

“Leveraging on various experiences gives a broader view on what is happening, and therefore translates to a more panoramic and rigorous analysis of matters that may come to my attention,” said Dr. Greaves. “It also gives you a more global prospective.”

Roles Run the Gamut

Even with all of his roles at SGU, he traveled to St. Lucia monthly to attend parliamentary sessions. All told, the former Minister served 15 years in politics, including three as senator, for which he led the opposition in the House. Dr. Greaves was also Minister for Culture and Community Development. His passion for culture led him to write songs, own a Carnival band, and participate in calypso competitions.  

Nevertheless, Dr. Greaves remained at SGU as an instructor, teaching Social Sciences and Medicine to premedical and preveterinary students, as well as sociology courses such as Race, Class and Gender; Caribbean Social Structure; Caribbean Government and Politics; and Introduction to Political Science. 

When you are teaching, you have to be well read. One of your toolkits is to continue to research and read, particularly in this ever-evolving technical age.” Dr. Greaves said. “If you’re a sociologist and you don’t have a working knowledge of economics, political science, other areas of social sciences and even outside of those, your analysis will be the limited because you must engage other subject matters that impact what you’re interrogating.” 

He also leads a very active campus life, serving as president of the School of Arts and Sciences Senate as well as the University Senate. He is also a member of various committees such as the Graduate and Undergraduate Committees, Accreditation Committee, and SGU IRB; a body with a mandate to review the content of research studies. 

Outside of SGU, Dr. Greaves is the director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, sits on the National Advisory Board for National Health Insurance, and is chair of the Grenada National Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases, a position he has held since 2017Dr. Greaves is also writing his first book, which focuses on health management in the Caribbean.   

– Tornia Charles

SAS Spotlight: Adel Hagley Ollivierre 

When Adel Hagley Ollivierre boiled down her career aspirations, two necessities became clear to her—to be in a position that she enjoys while also making a difference in the lives of others. As the current assistant administrator for the Office of the Dean at St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences, she feels she has accomplished just that. 

A Master of Business Administration helped equip her with all the tools for success in that role. The 2018 SGU alumna explained why pursuing an MBA was one of the best career decisions she made, and why she would recommend it to entrepreneurs. 

St. George’s University: Why did you choose to pursue an MBA at SGU? 

Adel Hagley Ollivierre: I envisioned my decision to pursue an MBA would allow me to enhance my knowledge and hone critical competencies across several managerial disciplines, which I felt would create opportunities for career advancement. It was also ideal because of its online mode of delivery, as I could complete my program while at the same time balancing family life and a full-time job. 

SGU: How has this MBA made a difference in your life? 

Hagley Ollivierre: It has brought immediate value to me as an individual. It has proved useful in giving me the confidence to make a major career change. I often felt that I had greater potential and could be more impactful in my career. Acquiring new knowledge tends to change your perspective and initiate other interests. Additionally, it served as an avenue that fostered enduring friendships with colleagues of my graduating class and the exemplary faculty and staff of our program, who provided the requisite knowledge and guidance. 

SGU: You previously worked in the Grenada Public Service. Why did you make such a major career change? 

Hagley Ollivierre: The decision to transition from the public sector to the private sector was a fairly easy one. My time with the Grenada Public Service allowed me to work with brilliant colleagues and develop the skill set and competencies that today serve as the foundation for future growth and development. Naturally, I felt I was at a stage in my career where I wanted to make a difference and simply enjoy what I did for a living. 

Joining the team in the Office of the Dean was the answer to my prayers. I finally had the opportunity to apply my theoretical knowledge and years of experience to a real-life situation. Here, my productive capabilities are demonstrated. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I execute my duties and navigate this dynamic and often unpredictable environment. 

I am fortunate to have a terrific manager who appreciates my contributions and provides the necessary support and guidance. I enjoy going to work and collaborating with our competent faculty and staff. It gives me a great sense of pride knowing that our collective efforts contribute to the success of our students and organization. 

SGU: Going back to your time as a student, how would you describe campus life for an MBA student? 

Hagley Ollivierre: My on-campus experiences generally involved attending residencies, or studying at the library or study spaces on weekends. St. George’s University is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Grenada—it’s simply the gold standard in my book. I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced its scenic ocean view, the refreshing environment, and the well equipped and comfortable facilities. 

SGU: Would you recommend SGU’s MBA program to entrepreneurs? 

Hagley Ollivierre: The MBA-IB program is designed with an international perspective and is especially beneficial in terms of providing very practical case analyses. It culminates with the defense of a business-related capstone project. This component I believe is particularly useful for aspiring entrepreneurs, as it helps develop appropriate business acumen and provides practical experience. I would highly recommend it. 

– Tornia Charles

SAS grad: Don’t miss out on “the entire experience” at SGU

2020 graduate Dominic Gaspard has used his degree to earn a teaching position at Anglican High School in St. George’s.

From his time as a student at St. George’s University, Dominic Gaspard values the people he met and the adventures he went on as much as foundation it provided for his career

“If you come to SGU with the mindset of obtaining a degree as fast as possible, you would have missed the entire experience,” said the 2020 School of Arts and Sciences alum who earned degrees in international business as well as accounting and finance.

Currently a teacher at the Anglican High School in Grenada, Mr. Gaspard is also a full-time entrepreneur involved in two business ventures, one of which started as a project for the SAS Principles of Marketing course in which they were tasked with creating a marketing plan for a new product. Their product of choice: insect repellent candles.

SAS grad Dominic Gaspard encourages students to take advantage of the “entire experience” at SGU

After receiving positive reviews, he encouraged his classmates to join him in pursuing the concept further. They later took the idea to the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation’s Young Innovators Challenge where similar sentiments were echoed.

“Most of my time at SGU was actually spent with the SGU community and forming relationships. I’ve learned so much more outside the classroom thanks to the network I’ve built,” said Mr. Gaspard. “The level of student support and student engagement greatly enhanced my studies, especially given the additional responsibilities at home with my mom.”

The highlight of his time was the opportunity to participate in the 2018 Global X-Culture Conference and Symposium held at the University of Macerata in Italy. There he competed among 140 students from 29 countries, and he and his team captured one of only four company challenge trophies. In addition, the international experience provided him with the opportunity to learn about various cultures, interact with different nationalities and understand the importance of global perspectives.

“To SGU, I would say thank you—it’s the most enlightening experience I have ever had is my university experience,” he said. “That slogan ‘Think Beyond’ is something that has been branded into me and I don’t see the world the same way as I used to. I’m always looking at the bigger picture.”

It was not only a reward for him and his colleagues, but when he was faced with personal challenges leading up the Symposium—prompting him to second-guess his participation—he was instead buoyed by the enormous outpouring of support from his fellow classmates, as well as faculty and staff alike.

“I have been involved with another universities, and when I assess the level of student support systems SGU has in place, I can tell there is a conscious effort to take care of both students and staff,” he said.

During his time at SGU, Mr. Gaspard was also named president of the Business Students Association and served as a key member of the orientation team.  For those who aspire to pursue any number of careers locally, regionally, or around the world, he would implore them weigh all their options but also to know that “being a product of St. George’s University, including the quality of the education, the level of student support, and the extensive ability to network, prepares you for life.”

– Tornia Charles

Then a student, Dominic Gaspard (left), aided by his team of international students, was presented with one of the four company challenge trophies at the 2018 Global X-Culture Conference and Symposium held in Italy.

4 Generations of Nurses: The Solomon Legacy Continues at SGU

Nursing student Molly Solomon (left) with her mother, Dr. Jennifer Solomon, who are part of a long line of nurses in the family.

On Jennifer Solomon’s bookshelf sits “The Complete System of Nursing”, a book passed down from through the generations of nurses in her family. The book’s inside front cover includes handwritten notes from her now deceased mother and grandmother, pearls of wisdom and inspiration that she holds dear.

Dr. Solomon, the chair of nursing and allied health science at St. George’s University, beams with pride when talking about her predecessors in the field, and especially so when discussing the fourth-generation nurse to be—her daughter, now a first-term student at SGU this fall.

“It’s such a proud feeling to be part of this family of nurses as I’ve gained all the principles passed on through the years,” according to Dr. Solomon.

As a soon-to-be nurse herself, her daughter, Molly, feels she has benefitted immensely from the values passed down through the generations. “I feel that being a fourth-generation nurse has given me a chance to pass on and learn the amazing and life changing skills nurses have,” she said. “It has helped me as a nursing student by seeing the bigger picture, how my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother have impacted their world, and the fact that I have a chance to help and change my generation as a nurse pushes me to be the best I can.”

 

 

“Nursing teaches you communication skills, critical thinking, people management, cultural nuances, and other life skills that you need,” Dr. Solomon added. “You are there at people’s most vulnerable moments. It is such an honor and privilege to be there when someone needs you.”

Although she was never “urged” to enter nursing, Dr. Solomon recalls aspiring to be like her mom, who was well respected in the community and worked long hours, yet still managed to attend all her extracurricular activities. Her grandmother attended nursing school in the late 1950s in Manchester, England, a time when there was little psychological support to nurses experiencing trauma from patient ordeals.

Dr. Solomon, too, studied nursing in England, a certification that has allowed her to travel extensively while working, and opened the door to a new life in Grenada. She and her husband visited the island while sailing throughout the Caribbean from England, and enjoyed it so much that they decided to make it their home.

Although the first three generations of nurses were trained in England, her daughter, Molly, will learn in a vastly different environment—Grenada. Nurse Solomon praises St. George’s University’s nursing program as it equips students with the tools and support needed to manage any traumatic experiences had while training.

 

“You are there at people’s most vulnerable moments. It is such an honor and privilege to be there when someone needs you.”

 

“I had the opportunity to send my daughter to the UK to study nursing, but I honestly believe in this program,” said Doctor Solomon.

The three-year nursing program leads to graduates being eligible to sit the Regional Exam for Nursing Registration (RENR) exam which, upon successful completion, allows students to for acquire licensure to work as registered nurses in the CARICOM member states.

“As a first-year nursing student, I am excited and intrigued as to what the nursing program can offer for me,” said Molly Solomon. “Thus far, looking at the courses I will be taking, I am ready for the challenge.”

For more information on the St. George’s University degree in General Nursing, please visit the website or register for a virtual information session delivered by the School of Arts and Sciences where your most important questions will be answered.

– Tornia Charles

SGU Partners with San Jose State University for Virtual Nursing Experience

Traditionally, 15 to 30 nursing students from San Jose State University (SJSU) would have spent the summer honing their public health skills at St. George’s University in Grenada as part of a more than seven-year partnership between the institutions. This year, however, with a global pandemic bringing much of normal activity to a halt, meeting in person was impossible.

However, with the support of leadership from both universities, the first-ever virtual service-learning placement was created, while still ensuring quality and parity were achieved.

“I thought long and hard about this decision,” said Deborah Nelson, a nursing lecturer at the College of Health and Human Services, SJSU. “I felt a commitment to all the students, both universities, and the Grenadian community. We wanted to be sure to explore any and all possible solutions to maintaining this partnership before cancelling. Therefore, the online version had to not only meet the courses’ and programs’ learning outcomes but it had to be meaningful to all involved.”

According to Ms. Nelson, this is one of the first programs of its kind in the US to offer credits towards a major global senior nursing practicum, while also granting the SJSU students the opportunity to graduate a semester earlier. Spearheaded by Dr. Tamara McKinnon, a lecturer in community health and research at the Valley Foundation School of Nursing at SJSU, she also played an integral part as one of the three faculty members involved in both the creation and execution of the new venture.

Though virtual this year, the course’s main objectives still remained the same—including using evidence-based nursing to promote health, analyzing the influence of health policies on individuals, delivering education that impacts health literacy, and conducting environmental assessments. All classes and lectures were held jointly via Zoom, while coursework was integrated and joint projects evenly balanced with SGU and SJSU students partnering.

“COVID-19 continues to have an adverse impact on many,” stated Ms. Nelson, “However, it is an amazing feeling to be able to say that all involved made it possible for these nursing students to not only participate in an intercultural learning experience but to stay on track for their graduation. This allows them to soon be able to join the global nursing workforce when they are most needed.”

Among those who participated in the program was Chelsea Moreno, a part-time float nurse currently completing her final semester in the RN to BSN program at San Jose State. Ms. Moreno, who decided to pursue a career in nursing after witnessing her brother go through his first surgery as an infant, chose to participate in the virtual service-learning placement because it gave her the opportunity to both graduate a semester earlier and be a part of a group to do something different.

“Even with such short notice and a hurried transition to go from a physical faculty-led program to a virtual course, I definitely believe this class was a success,” commented Ms. Moreno. “I learned about cultural awareness in a new way and I was a part of something never done before at SJSU. I was able to bond with nursing students from across the globe and was truly sad during our last meeting. We even started a group phone chat in hopes to one day meet in person and further deepen our understanding of each other and our different cultures.”

Also attending the virtual course was Marci Yaeger, she too completing her final year in the BSN program at SJSU. After spending eight years in the field as a medical assistant, she was inspired by the nurses she worked with, whose knowledge and skills in medicine motivated her to do more.

“One of the main objectives of the program was to be able to communicate effectively in a cross-cultural setting,” stated Ms. Yaeger. “By having small group discussions with the students from Grenada, I learned that what is natural for me—such as language, slang, or mannerisms—may be confusing to someone from a different culture. This really gave me a new perspective as to how I present myself to peers and to patients who may not share my culture, values, and experiences.”

“As course directors, we had to be strategic in designing this virtual course,” said Dr. Jennifer Solomon, chair and director of the Nursing Department at SGU. “We looked at how we could offer a course that met the objectives, while utilizing innovative teaching that would allow the students the opportunity to gain the experience and credits they needed without losing time.”

As to be expected, having classes via Zoom included minor technical difficulties and the balancing of two different time zones between California and Grenada. Nevertheless, both students and faculty touted the virtual service-learning placement as a success.

“For me, the design and collaboration with my SJSU colleagues has been an extremely empowering and positive experience and showcases what can be achieved,” added Dr. Solomon. “It may have been easier to cancel, but I am incredibly proud that we did not.”

 

— Ray-Donna Peters

Newest Class of Nursing Students Encouraged to Communicate and Collaborate

SGU's newest class of nursing students

It had been three years since St. George’s University alumnus and keynote speaker, Tahira Adams, BSN ’19, attended her own spring nursing induction ceremony, signifying her entrance into the nursing profession. Three years since she had sat in those very same seats at Bourne Lecture Hall and felt the excitement of being one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse. Yet, she remembers the words of her mentor Dr. Jennifer Solomon, chair and director of the Nursing Department, as if it were yesterday: “Stay on the train. Do not allow it to leave without you.”

Nurse Adams took those words to heart. As the semesters passed by, the workload got heavier and more challenging, some passengers got off the train. But for those who stayed on, they became each other’s keeper. They learned how to take care of each other and, by extension, how to take care of their patients.

“There are days when the train ride will feel overwhelming and endless, and you’ll feel like getting off,” shared Nurse Adams. “There will be days when the train itself malfunctions, but through good communication and collaboration, you will overcome these adversities.”

Quoting author Corrie ten Boom, “when the train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit there and trust the engineer,” Nurse Adams urged the incoming class to trust their engineers—the remarkable faculty at SGU—their greatest resource. She encouraged the future nurses to use them, for they will help them reach their full potential, just as they had done for her and her cohort.

“Our journey had not only prepared us academically for the world of work,” said Nurse Adams. “It molded us into strong, mature, efficient, independent, confident, young women. Therefore, please do enjoy your ride. Have a little fun but let self-discipline be your guide, perseverance your compass, and a strong support network to keep you motivated.”

A highlight of the evening’s ceremony was the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award to Ann Hopkin, OBE by St. George’s University President Dr. G. Richard Olds. The award recognizes people who contribute to and shape nursing education and inspire others to promote health wherever they go. Mrs. Hopkin, a tireless advocate of health, had built a 62-year career in health professions, a career so highly regarded that she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in June 2014.

“She is a woman of substance, one who strives to empower patients and their healthcare workers, taking great pride in the next generation of nurses who will care for the nation,” praised Dr. Olds. “It is an honor to present Mrs. Ann Hopkin with this award.”

Graciously accepting her award at the podium, Mrs. Hopkin implored the new nursing inductees to be compassionate, have integrity, follow instructions, and to not just be an “okay” nurse but to be an excellent nurse.

Upon being presented with lamps, a symbol of the care and devotion administered by nurses, and reciting the International Council of Nurses Pledge along with the practicing nurses in the audience, Dr. Solomon left the future nurses with a few last words of wisdom.

“We have witnessed the transfer of nursing education to universities,” said Dr. Solomon. “We have seen nurses extend and expand in their role to meet the challenges in delivery of healthcare in a continuously changing world.

“In 1881 Florence Nightingale wrote, ‘let us value our training, not that it makes us cleverer or superior to others but insomuch as it enables us to be more useful and helpful to our fellow creatures—the sick, those who need us most. Let it be our ambition, good nurses, and let us never feel ashamed of the name nurse.’”

St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences Nursing Program features many aspects of interdisciplinary learning and teaching. Uniquely structured, it allows the students to be taught by professors from both the Schools of Medicine and Arts and Sciences, as well as visiting professors from outside of Grenada. Their training experience will include working at the General Hospital, lab work at SGU’s Simulation Center, and community work. At the end of their training and with the completion of their regional and international licensing exams, the students will become fully fledged Registered Nurses as approved by the Caribbean Nursing Council.

–Ray-Donna Peters

SGU Year in Review: A Look Back at the New Stories that Defined Us in 2019

2019 was a monumental year for students, faculty, and alumni of St. George’s University. SGU became the second-largest source of doctors for the entire US workforce. We placed 979 graduates into US and Canadian residencies—our highest number to date.

But that’s not all.

The School of Veterinary Medicine received full accreditation by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), and is now one of the few schools in the world that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association in the United States and RCVS in the UK. The School of Arts and Sciences welcomed its first Caribbean national as dean.

SGU profiled many graduates who are making waves in human and animal healthcare industries—showcasing the diversity and reach of our global alumni—and how becoming a doctor (or veterinarian) has changed their lives and the lives of their patients.

These are the stories that underscore SGU’s strengths and define us as a University as we aim to enhance student success and grow the number of healthcare professionals around the world. Read on to see the top news stories of 2019 on SGU.edu.

Match Day 2019

On Match Day 2019, hundreds of SGU students secured first-year residency positions in the United States. Students matched into highly competitive positions in fields such as anesthesiology, child neurology, diagnostic radiology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, internal medicine/emergency medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, surgery, urology, vascular surgery. They joined residency programs in 42 US states and the District of Columbia over the summer.

In addition, SGU students and graduates obtained first-year residency positions through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS).

Profound Impact: SGU Educated Second-Most Licensed Physicians in US In 2018

For more than 40 years, St. George’s University has provided highly qualified physicians to the United States, and never before has its impact been more evident. According to a report published in the Journal of Medical Regulation, SGU educated the second-most licensed physicians in the United States in 2018.

SGU Commencement 2019

In June, the School of Medicine’s newest class of physicians convened together one last time in New York City for SGU’s annual commencement ceremonies. Family and friends gathered at Lincoln Center to watch the 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 addition, animals of all shapes and sizes gained caretakers and advocates when the SGU School of Veterinary Medicine granted Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees to 83 new veterinarians in New York City. New veterinarians joined an alumni network of 1,670 veterinarians who built a foundation for their careers at SGU.

In Grenada, graduates from 31 countries were among the 2019 class that included more than 230 students from the School of Arts and Sciences, and 110 from the School of Graduate Studies, with one PhD graduate in attendance.

DVM Program Gains Full Accreditation from Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Adding to its growing list of achievements, the St. George’s University’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program received full accreditation from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the organization that sets the standards of veterinary care in the United Kingdom, through 2024.

Grenada-Born SGU Alum Returns Home to Care for His Nation’s Heart

As a practicing cardiologist, Diego Humphrey, MD ’84, a native Grenadian, serves the retired men and women of the US Armed Forces at the Jack C. Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Muskogee, OK. Yet Dr. Humphrey, who never forgot his roots, returns each year to donate his time and expertise to the SGU-Physician Humanitarian Network.

Commonwealth Conference Focuses On Student Success

More than 350 educators from Grenada and around the world descended on SGU for the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) 2019 annual conference. The 2019 conference marked the first time that the CEC’s annual event had been held in the Caribbean region.

Mother’s Cancer Battle Motivates SGU Grad to Become Breast Surgeon

Joseph Di Como, MD '14

A doctor delivered the news—cancer, an aggressive form. Joseph Di Como’s mother, a cornerstone of the family, would have to undergo surgery and many months of treatment. Her struggle changed the course of his life forever. More than 15 years later, now a doctor, Joseph Di Como, MD ’14, is providing important care and instilling hope in patients as a breast surgical oncology fellow at Brown University, Women and Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island.

Major Canadian Hospital Joins SGU’s Burgeoning Clinical Network

Adding to more than 70 clinical training locations across North America and the United Kingdom, St. George’s University finalized an agreement with Pembroke Regional Hospital in Ontario, Canada that will offer fourth-year students a range of disciplines to choose from for their clinical electives.

Eugene Becomes First Caribbean National to Lead SAS

As the new Dean of St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Dr. Lucy Eugene is deeply committed to its growth. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she is the first Caribbean national to become the school’s dean.

Equine Veterinarian Shares Path to Horse Country

When S. Heath Soignier, DVM ’12, CVMST, isn’t visiting his equine patients, one can usually find him practicing new holistic veterinary medicine techniques on his quarter horse, Margarita.

“To me horses and dogs are two of the best animals: if you trust them completely, they are most willing to reciprocate that trust. Not a lot of animals are like that,” Dr. Soignier said. “I love that I get to work with horses all day long.”

—Laurie Chartorynsky

Career Day Helps Students Choose Path Toward Successful Future

For more than a decade, St. George’s University and Rotaract Club of Grenada Career Day has been important not only for the future of Grenadian citizens but for the island as a whole.

This month, the True Blue campus welcomed hundreds of secondary school students and young adults from across the nation to explore a diverse range of career opportunities and the educational tools to help them reach their goals. It allowed attendees to mix with Grenada’s industry leaders and other respected professionals in smaller group settings to evaluate how they can develop themselves, their families, and their country.

“St. George’s University provides an ideal setting to offer this kind of guidance to students in answering the oft-difficult question of what career to choose, given this constantly evolving and competitive global marketplace,” said Colin Dowe, associate dean of admissions at SGU. “It is critical that we encourage our young Grenadians to explore non-traditional and emerging disciplines, which can foster both personal and national development.”

The SGU/Rotaract Club Career Day experience featured dozens of presentations utilizing its Career Track System, as well as interactive sessions led by current St. George’s University students. Eight different career tracks, ranging from agri-business and fashion to communications and meteorology, were set up in each of the major halls on campus. In addition to presentations for the students, the event featured the popular and informative Parents Session led by Mr. Dowe. The special session covered a range of topics—from financing your education to responding to the challenges faced by today’s students.

“I’m elated that SGU offered a special Parents Session at Career Day,” said Camme Roberts McIntosh, a Cherry Hill resident and mother of three. “I found the discussion on letting go and allowing your child to make their own decisions most helpful. It’s easier said than done when dealing with my eldest son, but I’m learning how to step back, release the reins a little bit, and trust him.”

“This is our second time coming to the Parents Session,” stated Petal Duncan from Laborie, St. Paul’s. “My husband and I were here last year when our daughter attended Career Day. We thought it was informative then and found it even more valuable this time around. There’s something very comforting about knowing you’re doing all you can to help prepare your child for university life and their future career. We thought it was important to be here and our daughter felt so too—in fact, every parent should be here.”

By holding Career Day, SGU’s goal is to assist students and parents in making informed career choices and motivating them along their journey towards educational and career fulfillment. As the largest private employer in Grenada, the University makes a point to fulfill its mandate as a good corporate citizen, embracing the opportunity to equip students with the tools to build a successful career path.

– Ray-Donna Peters