St. George’s University’s veterinary medical students made the grade once more on the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE), posting a 95 percent pass rate on the exam in 2017-2018 according to the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA).
A student’s passing grade on the 360 multiple-choice-question test is required for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in the United States and Canada. Since 2000, ICVA has used the exam and other assessment tools “to protect the public, and animal health and welfare.”
“Our students’ success on the NAVLE is a testament to their commitment to their studies and to their future as veterinarians,” said Dr. Neil Olson, Dean of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. “Throughout their basic science and clinical years, they must endure a rigorous course load and absorb a wealth of information, and we’re pleased that the curriculum has adequately prepared them to meet the highest of practicing standards.”
SGU’s pass rate on the NAVLE compares favorably with other veterinary medical schools around the world. The pass rate for all criterion group examinees in the November/December 2017 and April 2018 periods was approximately 95 percent. To be an accredited college of veterinary medicine in good standing, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) requires that at least 80 percent of students who take the exam will have passed at the time of graduation.
SGU students have a proven track record of success on the NAVLE, including a 94 percent pass rate among test takers in 2016-2017.
“We congratulate our students for demonstrating that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to have long and successful careers in veterinary medicine,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “We also salute our faculty and staff for helping to build a sturdy foundation for not only these students but for all of our graduates who are currently in practice.”
St. George’s University has produced more than 1,600 veterinarians since opening its doors in 1999. The SVM obtained full AVMA accreditation in 2011, and its graduates have gone on to practice in 49 US states and in 16 countries worldwide.
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Walter Bakun, MD SGU ’83, had once traversed the stage as a medical student himself. Three years ago, his eldest son, Zachary, followed in his footsteps, and is now a third-year student doing his clinical rotations. This fall, his second son, Walter II, joined the SGU community by taking part in the Fall 2018 White Coat Ceremony at Patrick F. Adams Hall.
Having enjoyed a long and fruitful career as an internist in New Jersey, Dr. Bakun looks back fondly on his time in Grenada, and is overjoyed to see both his sons take the same path.
“I wouldn’t have traded my SGU experience for anything else,” said Dr. Bakun. “I’m very happy with what SGU gave to me and equally pleased with what it’s continuing to give to the community and the world over with the doctors that it’s producing. Today was a great personal honor for me to coat my son because I feel that he will continue the work that I’ve been doing after I’m gone.”
Dr. Bakun wasn’t the only alumnus coming back to SGU to coat his son. All together, this fall’s incoming SOM and SVM class welcomed backed 11 SGU graduates, including members of the Class of 1983 and 1991 to join in the special privilege of coating their children. The 2022 Grenada SOM class joined their fellow students from the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program, who began their journey two weeks before at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. The Grenada ceremonies helped make up the University’s bi-annual Beyond Spice Family Weekend.
Another familiar face returning to SGU was the evening’s master of ceremonies, Corey Schwartz, MD SGU ’98, a hematologist and oncologist specializing in sarcoma and breast cancer at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Dr. Schwartz is also a member of the inaugural combined MD/MSc class, and knew exactly how this new class of aspiring physicians felt, as he embarked on the same journey almost a quarter of a century ago.
“For me, what SGU meant was opportunity. I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the first Master’s/MD program offered by the University,” stated Dr. Schwartz. “Another amazing thing about SGU is that it allows you to achieve your dreams. Yes, there are challenges along the way, but the school gives you all the support that you need to make this happen and it does a fantastic job of that. The USMLE scores speak for themselves.
“It’s very easy to get caught up in the treadmill of one task after another trying to become a doctor and forgetting why you started in the first place,” added Dr. Schwartz. “So, I would encourage you right now to ask yourself ‘what does medicine mean to me?’ and ‘why am I here?’ Your answers are really unique to you, and it’s important that you carry them in your heart and your mind throughout your career if you want to stay on track and make sure your dreams come true. Abraham Lincoln said, “discipline is choosing between what you want right now and what you want the most.” I urge you all to work for what you want the most.”
Also returning to SGU to deliver his second keynote speech was John J. Cush, MD SGU ’82, a practitioner, educator and leader in the field of rheumatology, and a member of the second graduating class of St. George’s University School of Medicine. Dr. Cush had previously delivered the keynote address at the August 2007 White Coat Ceremony and was excited to share a few excerpts from a letter by Dr. Adam Cifu from the Journal of the American Medical Association on advice for students starting medical school.
“Lesson number 1: Often the most important service we provide for a patient is not what we think. For instance, there’s a lot more than knowledge to becoming a doctor. Your time, interest, curiosity, are all fabulous ideals that are very important to your patients.
“Lesson number 2: Much of what you are taught is wrong. For example, getting too close to patients is a dangerous thing and to never except a gift from a patient. Patients want to thank you and accepting their gifts is a lot like accepting their compliments. You have to be careful. Don’t shun them. Don’t minimize them. Be gracious, admit that the gift means a lot to you, and thank them.
“Lesson 3: Keep a sunshine folder. In it you can stash your notes from patients, your pictures, great letters of recommendation, and other small accolades of things you’ve done for your patients. On good days, they’ll be very important to you and you’ll be able to add to them. On bad days, you’ll come to look at that sunshine folder and realize that life is not so bad. That sunshine folder is there to lift your spirits when you need it most.”
In closing, Dr. Cush left the students with a final few words of inspiration.
“Today as we put the white coat on you, our hands on your shoulders means that we have confidence in you and great expectations of you and we expect to hear your success story a few years from now.”
– Ray-Donna Peters
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The longstanding partnership between St. George’s University, Grenada, and Northumbria University, UK, was strengthened again as 72 students joined the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program (KBTGSP). The relationship between the two institutions, now in its eleventh year, enables SGU students to take the first year of their MD degree—basic sciences—at Northumbria University, before returning to Grenada to continue their studies.
The occasion was marked by a traditional White Coat Ceremony, where the students were ‘robed’ in their white coats, a symbol of the medical profession, before taking an oath of commitment to use their training for the benefit of others. A key focus of the KBTGSP is to encourage medical students to devote at least a portion of their professional lives to the service of developing countries, underserved regions of the world, or international NGOs.
Leading the occasion was Master of Ceremonies, Gordon Bourne, MD SGU ’17, a graduate and faculty member of the KBTGSP at Northumbria, where he serves as a clinical tutor. As the grandson of SGU’s first Vice Chancellor, Dr. Geoffrey Bourne, and nephew of its third Vice Chancellor, Dr. Peter Bourne, his family has a long history with SGU. A former Royal Marine, Dr. Bourne spent seven years working and traveling in Sub-Saharan Africa, principally working with anti-poaching units in Tanzania. “Learning how to adapt and how to survive” is as useful in medical school as in the marines or the bush, he told the students.
Dr. Bourne introduced Baroness Howells of St. Davids, the only Grenadian in the UK’s House of Lords and president of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF)—SGU’s research arm. Baroness Howells welcomed the students, and remarked, “You will enjoy your time at this splendid university before continuing your studies at SGU in Grenada, where you can bask in the land of perpetual sun”.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. In his speech, Dr. Olds told three personal stories from his medical career that shaped him into the doctor he is today. “I hope to leave you with something you remember for longer than you are in this room”, he said. Dr. Olds emphasized, in all three cases, “always do what’s best for your patients, ahead of all other considerations.”
Having been robed in their white coats, the students joined their friends and families at a reception, before taking their first steps into a career in medicine.
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Education can not only empower students but change entire communities. Dr. Stuart Noble-Goodman has witnessed it firsthand, having spent the last quarter century as an administrator and faculty member at universities across the United States. His students have built a foundation of skills and knowledge, putting them into a position to serve as the “economic engine” for the cities and towns in which they go on to work.
Named the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at St. George’s University this month, Dr. Noble-Goodman brings a wealth of experience and ideas that can help prepare students to become leaders in their professions and in turn enhance businesses in Grenada and throughout the surrounding islands.
“I am looking forward to serving the Grenadian and Eastern Caribbean community by creating pathways for students to earn degrees and advance professionally,” Dr. Noble-Goodman said. “This work is extraordinarily attractive to me and aligns with my deeply held belief in the transformative power of education for the individual, and of the value of education to the community as a whole.”
Dr. Noble-Goodman’s academic experience has included stops at Benedictine University, North Carolina State University, the University of Redlands, and Marylhurst University. In addition to working with tertiary level students, he has successfully built and developed online degree programs and adult education programs, as well as integrated liberal arts into business training.
“We are delighted to have Dr. Noble-Goodman join St. George’s University as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences,” said Dr. Glen Jacobs, Interim Provost, SGU. “Throughout his impressive career, he has exhibited a commitment and dedication to both educating and elevating students in the arts and sciences to reach new heights. We look forward to welcoming him on campus and to the continued growth and success of our students in the SAS.”
The School’s service to the people of the island heavily influenced Dr. Noble-Goodman to accept the position, and will also be the impetus for his efforts as dean.
“We need to focus on allowing people to really generate an economic engine and energy that’s centered specifically on Grenadians and the people of the Eastern Caribbean. I want to start by meeting the educational needs of Grenadians, but I also want to attract students from across the EC and then internationally,” said Dr. Noble-Goodman. “Looking forward, I believe that with what I would call Grenada’s brand—the original Spice Island with world-class education, incredible beaches, and a culture of safety, friendliness, and respect—that we should aspire to become the premiere university in the Caribbean for all tertiary education. That is what I’m aiming for.”
At SGU, he will focus on maintaining the already strong programs available to students but also on expanding these opportunities.
“I would like to broaden and enhance the School of Arts and Sciences signature programs in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, business, and nursing, but I also want to create new programs to give our students access to professions in areas such as hospitality management, construction management, and social entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Noble-Goodman. “It is very important to me that Grenadians benefit directly from the development of these industries on the island. I want to prepare our graduates for management and leadership positions in those industries.”
Currently, the School of Arts and Sciences is heavily staffed by Caribbean professionals. SGU has pointedly stacked the faculty role with professors who are from the region to educate the region. According to Dr. Noble-Goodman, comparatively to the other Schools within SGU, the SAS is the most endemic. He believes one of the strengths of the School is creating capacity within the region while also pulling from that same capacity to help build the next generation.
“We certainly encourage the students we educate here as undergraduates, or even in our graduate programs, to continue their education elsewhere if that is their goal,” stated Dr. Noble-Goodman. “Yet, we also hope that these individuals come back to the island and establish themselves in whatever field, contributing to the island’s economy, resilience, and culture. This is an issue every island faces—after we educate our citizens, where are they going to work? Will they stay here or are they going to have to go abroad? By effectively preparing our students to work in Grenada’s expanding range of professional fields, we are creating opportunities for them to stay right here, with their families, and help us grow this economy.”
Dr. Noble-Goodman earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at UC-Berkeley and a Doctor of Philosophy in American Literature at Duke University. Among his academic roles prior to SGU was a 16-year tenure at the University of Redlands, the majority of time spent as Dean of the School of Business, a stint that included creating a successful industry mentorship program and International MBA program with students from India and China. He also served as the Dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Redlands. While in his most recent position as the Director of the School of Business at Marylhurst, Dr. Noble-Goodman was instrumental in helping launch a new bachelor’s degree program in hospitality management, the first of its kind in the Portland metro region.
In addition, Dr. Noble-Goodman’s past research efforts have focused on a broad range of sustainability issues facing humanity and the planet. As the former Chair of Environmental Studies at Redlands and a professed nature lover, he looks forward to exploring the forests and reefs in Grenada, and is eager to help with the conservation efforts on the island.
– Ray-Donna Peters
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St. George’s University graduate Jennifer Favre started as a bookkeeper at East End Pediatrics when she was just a college student. Twelve years later, with a medical degree to her credit, Dr. Favre has rejoined the practice, working alongside her mentor who helped her begin working toward her dream of becoming a physician.
“Gail has always advised all of her patients that this is their medical home,” Dr. Favre said of the practice owner, Dr. Gail Schonfeld. “You come into the practice, we will take care of you. If you have a question, you get one of four physicians on the phone within a matter of minutes, 24 hours a day. When we’re not here at night, somebody still calls them back. . . . That’s something you can’t find everywhere. And that’s the kind of medicine I want to practice.”
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Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University (left), and Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of Health Education England, sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow SGU graduates to undertake postgraduate training in England through the NHS’ Widening Access to Specialty Training program.
At a ceremony in Grenada, leaders of Health Education England (HEE), part of the National Health Service (NHS), and St. George’s University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable SGU School of Medicine graduates to undertake postgraduate training in England, with the first intake expected in the autumn of 2018. SGU School of Medicine is the only Caribbean medical school in a direct agreement with Health Education England for the first 18-month program to provide graduates for postgraduate training. The agreement is expected to facilitate 50-100 trainees annually from SGU School of Medicine entering the NHS in England.
This agreement establishes a pathway for a significant number of SGU School of Medicine graduates to join the Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) Program, an initiative within NHS that recruits overseas postgraduate doctors, with a focus on ensuring they are able to enter general practice and psychiatry training programs, the expansion of both specialties being a key priority for the NHS. Sixteen SGU graduates will begin WAST in the next seven months, with many more in the application process.
Graduates will undertake one or two postgraduate foundation years, depending on prior experience, followed by entry into specialty training. This postgraduate training is recognized for licensure and given credit in the UK, the European Union, and Commonwealth countries.
“Our role is to ensure the health workforce in England can meet the challenges faced by the NHS, which includes the provision of services in underserved areas,” said Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of Health Education England. “We are very impressed that graduates provided by SGU are of the high standard demanded by the NHS; I look forward to the first intake arriving in 2018.”
St. George’s University has graduated more than 16,000 physicians who have gone on to practice medicine throughout the world.
HEE Director of Global Engagement Ged Byrne added, “St. George’s students are well qualified and talented. We anticipate they will have great success in our postgraduate training programs and in practice in the UK afterwards.”
“This agreement highlights the increasingly important role played by SGU as an international institution in global health care,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “Our extensive network of partner universities and teaching hospitals around the world, including in England, ensures our students receive a comprehensive education in a range of clinical environments. This is reflected in the fact that we are the only Caribbean medical school to enter into an agreement with HEE, enabling our graduates to apply for the WAST program. England has one of the most stringent regulatory frameworks in the world, and that our graduates now have this opportunity is reflective of their caliber. We are delighted that this major development has taken place in the 70th anniversary year of the NHS.”
With intakes in February and August each year, most successful applicants will join a one-year postgraduate foundation clinical course in England, where they will improve the skills and competencies required for admission to specialty training. The program will typically consist of six months of psychiatry training followed by six months in an acute hospital setting. Upon completing the program, graduates will be eligible to apply for an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competencies, after which they can apply for a three-year program of specialty training in England.
Commenting on the importance of the agreement for SGU in the UK, Rodney Croft, Dean of Clinical Studies, UK, said, “I am delighted that St. George’s medical graduates, some of whom have received clinical training in our 17 NHS affiliated hospitals in England, will now have the opportunity to return to England to practice—thereby helping to offset the numerical and specialty shortage of doctors we are presently experiencing.”
The location of training for those on the WAST program will be assigned by HEE, with most programs focusing on areas of acute shortage, predominantly in the Midlands, East, North and South West of England, Yorkshire, and the Humber. Successful applicants will be offered their highest available location preference.
“One of our central aims is to find ways to train doctors in the areas they are needed most,” said Dr. Olds. “The global shortage of medical professionals is exacerbated by maldistribution, both by geography and specialty. This agreement, which will encourage our graduates to train in family medicine and psychiatry in areas of England with the greatest need, is one example of how we are making a significant positive impact around the world.”
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No mission had quite an impact like the first one.
Jessica Willett, MD SGU ’13, fresh out of residency and eager to experience international medicine, joined the Flying Doctors of America team on a trip to Al-Mafraq, Jordan. There she helped to operate a pediatric clinic for Syrian refugees who were forced to travel south to escape their war-torn homeland. Many of their patients had experienced unthinkable trauma.
“The issues we heard about blew me away. They had physical scars as well as emotional scars,” she recalled. “We did as much as we could for them, even though we knew the trauma would affect them for the rest of their lives. Going into it, I didn’t really think about the impact that it might have, but I’m thankful that I went.”
While the experience might have shell-shocked some, it only fueled Dr. Willett’s passion for such work. Through the Idaho-based not-for-profit, which provides treatment to the most impoverished countries and communities around the world, she has since treated patients in remote portions of Fiji, in villages deep in the Amazon rainforest in Guyana, and at Palmasola Prison in Bolivia, where she and her colleagues provided correctional care for criminals and their families, all of whom live on the premises. She even coordinated a mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, providing much needed care just to Grenada’s north.
The experiences have changed her not only as a doctor but as a person.
“The more you know, the greater your perspective you have,” said Dr. Willett, an emergency physician at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, CA. “Being an ER physician, I had a little of that to start with; when you get a flat tire, I can say that it’s been worse and I’ve seen worse. But when you bear witness to these people’s lives and their stories, that feeling is emphasized.”
Her work with Flying Doctors feeds into Dr. Willett’s thirst for world travel. She has traveled to more than 40 countries, and like in life, her journey to medicine from tiny Rumney, NH, was very much a scenic route. As an undergraduate student at Ithaca College, she had designs on becoming a music teacher, but shifted paths to another passion of hers—health and physical education—two years in. Studying human anatomy opened the door to medicine, and after fulfilling her prerequisite courses, she applied to and enrolled at St. George’s University.
Her involvement in Flying Doctors started as a curiosity—“I figured I would try it and see how it goes.” In two short years, she has not only provided care around the world but also joined the Flying Doctors inner circle, having been named to its 10-person executive board. In her new role, she has helped plan future missions to places like Ethiopia, Peru, and Tanzania, as well as return trips to Jordan and St. Vincent. Dr. Willett estimated that each trip cost around $2,000 for Flying Doctor volunteers, enough to cover costs ranging from transportation and food to lodging and supplies. They customarily bookend the missions with a day or two to plan and/or debrief, as well as relax.
Flying Doctors operates under the “Mother Teresa Principle,” seeking out and setting up in the world’s most impoverished communities. Its slogan: “Bringing hope and healing to the poorest of the poor.” In its 28-year history, the organization has embarked on more than 200 missions and treated over 185,000 patients.
“They are difficult trips,” she said. “In America, we have all the fancy machines, but on these trips, it’s almost like going back in time. Instead of focusing on technology and electronic technology, which take away a little bit from the practice of medicine, it’s really all about that connection—talking to people, examining them, learning about all these different social factors, and different types of medicine. Doing more with less and coming back to the states with that experience has improved our practice here.”
Dr. Willett has taken the reins of Flying Doctors’ return trip to St. Vincent, which she calls a “little known gem in the Caribbean.” In the inaugural visit in March, her team included two internal medicine doctors, an ophthalmologist, two dentists, and two dental assistants, all of whom collaborated with local health workers to provide medical and dental checkups, administer basic vaccines, and treat a wide variety of eye issues—by far the most abundant medical condition on the islands.
“It was great to be able to come back and use my knowledge of the Caribbean to help people in St. Vincent and on the adjacent islands,” she said. “Because of their exposure to the sunlight and dry heat, everybody had vision problems, but none of them wore eyeglasses or sunglasses despite them being so common and accessible. It’s amazing how powerful and life-changing they can be.”
“We want to see patients, but we also want to leave a community better than when we found it by connecting with people and fostering a little more ownership there,” she added. “If we continue to do that, if we empower the people in these communities, we can get to a point where they no longer need us.”
Until then, however, the Flying Doctors of America are prepared to provide care wherever it’s needed most.
“Some of these people are in places where they’ve been told or feel that they don’t matter, that they don’t deserve health care,” Dr. Willett said. “For us to come and tell them otherwise is really encouraging and overwhelming to them. We let them know that somebody cares. Somebody wants to hear their story.”
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From left to right, Mr. Phee Na Lamphun, Student Recruitment Manager for Thailand, St. George University; Dr. G. Richard Olds SGU President; Dr. Sarayut Nathaphan, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research, MUIC, Mahidol University; and Mr. Pete Fiaschi, Director of International Recruitment for Asia, St. George’s University
St. George’s University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mahidol University International College (MUIC), Thailand, establishing a new medical foundation year at MUIC which is equivalent to the first year of the 5-year MD program taught at SGU in Grenada. Mahidol students who successfully complete this premedical year of study will be eligible to enroll in SGU’s MD degree program.
SGU has committed to award five partial-tuition scholarships per year, over a five-year period, to Mahidol students for admission onto SGU’s MD degree program.
“This Memorandum of Understanding builds on an already fruitful relationship with Mahidol University International College,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University. “We know from experience that their students are dedicated and talented, and find studying at SGU an enriching experience. I am delighted that we have opened a new pathway for students to join our world-leading MD degree program, many of whom will do so with tuition scholarships.”
Dr. Phitaya Charupoonphol, Dean of Mahidol University International College, said: “Four years after the signing of our first agreement, our partnership with SGU continues to go from strength to strength. In choosing to offer scholarships to our students, the quality of our teaching has been recognized by one of the world’s leading international medical education. We look forward to many years of close collaboration”.
“We are excited about this opportunity where students in Asia can now begin their studies at a world class university with a pathway to an MD degree at SGU,” added Dr. Calum Macpherson, Vice Provost for International Program Development and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “In addition to a world class medical education, the clinical training opportunities available in the United States and UK provide SGU students with valuable exposure to a variety of healthcare systems.”
Pete Fiaschi, Director of Recruitment Asia, commented, “This is an extremely exciting 1+4 partnership which will enable Asia-based students to study the first year of a five-year MD program at a world-class University in Asia. We are delighted to offer this to students in Asia who would prefer a localized program in Thailand before embarking on their future in Grenada and then the US and UK for clinical training.”
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St. George’s University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. The MOU “recognizes the benefits of mutual cooperation, and both institutions will now explore potential educational collaboration in medical related studies.” As part of the agreement, SGU will be listed on the Government of Fujairah’s website as a recognized education provider, meaning that SGU can now accept students from the Emirate of Fujairah.
The agreement, which is now in effect, expresses the commitment of both parties to increase access for the Government of Fujairah’s students to a US postsecondary education through SGU. The MOU further strengthens SGU’s relationship with the UAE, following last year’s announcement that the Ministry of Education had recognized the university’s MD degree program.
“I am pleased that students in Fujairah will now have the option of studying at St. George’s University in Grenada where they will receive a top international medical education,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “The University will also benefit, increasing the diversity and breadth of experience of our student body.”
Adding his remarks, Mohamed Khalifa Alzyoudi, Employee Affairs Director, Government of Fujairah, said: “SGU is a world-leading institution, and I am very happy that our students will now have the opportunity to study medicine at their campus in Grenada. This MOU marks the beginning of a fruitful relationship, and I look forward to working with SGU to further our collaboration in the near future.”
St. George’s University’s School of Medicine draws students and faculty from 140 countries. Key to its success has been developing enthusiasm in students to practice medicine in their home countries, often in areas where physician numbers are low. Approximately 1 percent of all practicing doctors in the United States are graduates of St. George’s University, with that figure rising to around 15 percent of the physician population in Trinidad and Tobago, and 20 percent in Botswana.
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Face your fears and press on with courage. That was the advice of Dr. Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and keynote speaker at St. George’s University’s 2018 Grenada commencement.
Serving the Government of Grenada for 22 years, 14 of which as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Governor Antoine’s advice to the graduating class on how to become valuable contributors to their community by serving humanity rang true even more so because of the life he has led. Having received The Order of Grenada Gold Award for Excellence in recognition of his outstanding service to Grenada, Governor Antoine’s life serves as a shining example of just that.
“Graduands, I charge you today to become people of value. So how does one become a person of value?” asked Governor Antoine. “First, focus on service by making it one of your top life values. Second, develop a flexible skillset to stay relevant. You must keep learning. Remember, you cannot lead if you do not read. Third, face your fears. Consider this question: what would you do if you were not afraid? May God guide and bless you on your journey to make a difference and help change our region and our world.”
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Grenada and to St. George’s University through his service on the Monitoring Committee, the University also conferred Governor Antoine with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Echoing the keynote speaker’s message about fearlessness in her valedictory address, Haley Noel, BSc ’18, reminded her fellow students that although today signaled the start of a new journey in their lives, they were well prepared to go out into the world and apply the skills and toolsets they acquired at SGU.
“Fellow graduands, we can do anything. We are not afraid of the challenges that are to come. We are part of a generation that is changing the course of history,” stated Ms. Noel. “I challenge you to push yourselves harder and always aim higher because in doing so you will be successful. So, Class of 2018, let us commit ourselves to the belief that we can accomplish anything and work every day to do so.”
St. George’s University also recognized Dr. Theodore Hollis with its highest award for service to the University, The Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Hollis first came to St. George’s University as a Visiting Professor in Physiology in 1979, while serving with great distinction for a quarter of a century as Professor of Physiology at Penn State University. He then joined SGU full time in 1995 as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies. He served as the Dean of Graduate Studies until 2003 and as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences until 2017, making numerous important contributions to the University during his tenure.
“I came to Grenada 25 years ago, and this country embraced me and I it. Soon, I realized that the beauty of Grenada is not just the beauty of the country but the beauty of the people,” said Dr. Hollis. “My SGU family has made me feel at home here—it has been a pleasure working with you, for you, and sometimes helping you. I really believe that my change in career to come here might have actually prolonged my life. So, I accept this medal with great humility and thank all of you very much.”
https://www.sgu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/SAS-Commencement-2018.jpg500845bpmauserhttps://www.sgu.edu/sgu-main-website/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/SGU-Signature-Horizontal-SPOT-300x55.pngbpmauser2018-05-18 20:38:282018-05-22 14:05:00Class of 2018 Encouraged to be Fearless in Pursuit of Greatness