Professor Janet Hemingway CBE receives the 2019 Mike Fisher Memorial Award

The Mike Fisher Memorial Award has been given to Professor Janet Hemingway CBE, Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The announcement was made at a Dinner in the House of Lords, UK, in aid of the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF)—the research arm of St. George’s University. Professor Hemingway was recognized for her work, over many decades, in a variety of areas affecting human and animal health.

The Mike Fisher Memorial Award—given annually since 2006—acknowledges the work of the late Mike Fisher, whose original research led to the discovery of the drug Ivermectin. Today as a result of the discovery, over 35 million people no longer live under the threat of blindness from onchocerciasis (river blindness), millions more have been spared the gross disfigurement from lymphatic filariasis, and countless animals live healthier lives because of ivermectin.

Hemingway is Professor of Insect Molecular Biology and Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with over 450 staff based in Liverpool, Malawi, and several other tropical locations. She is a Senior Technical Advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and has 38 years’ experience working on the biochemistry and molecular biology of specific enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic resistance.

In 2012, Professor Hemingway was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to the Control of Tropical Disease Vectors, and this year she was conferred as an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Commenting on her achievement, Professor Hemingway said, “I was delighted and honored to receive the Mike Fischer award recognizing my contributions to the control of infectious diseases in the tropics for two reasons. First, the link with Mike himself and his role in the discovery of Ivermectin, which is still used today in combination with a number of the interventions I have pioneered for insect vector control. Second, the link with Grenada and the Caribbean islands, where I have worked on dengue for many years.”

MIKE FISHER AWARD RECIPIENTS
2006: Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior
2007: Dr. Keith B. Taylor
2008: Lord May of Oxford
2009: Dr. John David
2010: Lord John Walton
2011: Professor Ade Lucas
2012: Dr. Donald Hopkins
2013: Professor R. C. Andrew Thompson
2014: Professor Alan Fenwick
2016: Sir Gordon Conway
2017: Dr. Charles Modica
2018: Dr. Sarah Cleaveland
2019: Dr. Janet Hemingway

Robert Alig Named New Vice President of Alumni Affairs

In November, St. George’s University named Robert Alig as its new vice president of alumni affairs, a role for which he looks forward to connecting with the more than 20,000 graduates across the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Arts and Sciences, and Graduate Studies. We sat down with Mr. Alig to discuss his background and the goals that he has for SGU and its alumni.

St. George’s University: What elements of your background sets you up to take the reins of alumni affairs at SGU?

Bob Alig: I was the assistant vice president of alumni relations at the University of Pennsylvania for seven years, overseeing alumni programming and engagement for its four undergraduate schools and all graduate programs. Prior to that, I was the director of MBA admissions and financial aid at the Wharton School, for which I was able to travel to 35 countries and share the message of a place that, as an alum, meant a great deal to me. I saw firsthand the energy, commitment, and enthusiasm of Penn’s alumni, not only to give back in terms of philanthropy, but also their time, talent and enthusiasm.

Collectively, I saw what we could accomplish when working in partnership, and what the advocacy of Penn alumni meant for the momentum of the university, anchored in strengthening its reputation and expanding its international footprint. I think this experience dovetails beautifully with what I’ve observed and learned during my brief tenure here.   SGU is on a remarkable trajectory and it has so much to be proud of. I am committed to an alumni relations effort that reflects the momentum and the diversity of the University.

SGU: What do you hope to accomplish in the first few months?

BA: I think it’s vital to connect with alumni to understand their own paths to SGU and what made it a special place for them. Listening and learning now, and agreeing on a plan that leverages our unique strengths will position us for success and continued momentum.   

It’s also important to help alumni understand how SGU can support them in their careers, in their continuing education, and at the same time, for them to advocate for SGU. In years past, education was thought of as an episodic period of time—you’re a student for four years and you get your degree. Now, I think it’s much more about a lifetime of learning and engagement. SGU can and should be the intellectual home of its alumni.

Sometimes I think about my role as helping several thousand current SGU students to feel like alumni, and helping 16,000 SGU alumni feel like students, reconnecting them with their experiences and what’s currently happening on our True Blue campus.

SGU: What do you view as the biggest challenge that faces alumni affairs here and in general?

BA: I think getting my arms around alumni data here is very similar to the challenge I faced when I started at Penn. Every higher education institution struggles with capturing data and using it effectively.

SGU: How can staying connected with SGU help our alumni in their careers?

BA: It makes perfect sense that we could keep our alumni engaged so that they can learn from each other and tap into each other’s networks and experiences. The pace of change in our work and personal lives has escalated significantly. The practice of radiology—or any field—has evolved dramatically in the last 15 years, so it’s important that our graduates not only stay current, but set the standard for the future through continuing education and engagement with their alma mater.

SGU: In what ways are you looking to connect with SGU alumni?

BA: There is nothing better than meeting SGU alumni in person, ideally on the True Blue campus, but I’ve also connected with alumni via social media, phone, and email, and want to continue to do so. I want to quickly figure out how we can connect and make it easy for them to stay in touch with me, their fellow alumni, and SGU.

American Veterinary Medical Association Renews Full Accreditation for St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine Through 2025

On November 5, Dr. Neil Olson, Dean of St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, announced to students, faculty, and staff that the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE) has re-accredited the school through the year 2025—the maximum seven-year term for accreditation.

The AVMA COE first accredited St. George’s University in 2011. It is currently one of 19 AVMA-accredited schools outside the United States, and one of just two in the Caribbean.

“The AVMA is the gold standard of veterinary education globally, so to be fully accredited puts us right at the top in terms of the quality of training that we provide to our students,” said Dr. Olson. “We are right on the front edge of all vet schools in the Caribbean and on par with any vet school in the United States.”

AVMA accreditation means that SGU graduates can continue to sit for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in the United States or Canada without first completing a foreign graduate examination. It was recently reported that SGU graduates had posted a 95 percent pass rate on the 2017-18 North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).

In addition, US veterinary students may apply for lower-interest federal loans and in-school deferments through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

“This is a major feather in our cap for the future recruitment of the best and brightest students from around the world,” Dr. Olson said. “It’s very important that students attend an accredited school, not only to ensure that they receive quality training but it also for the ability to fund their education.”

Dr. Olson joined SGU in August 2017 and continued the school’s preparation for the AVMA visit in April. In SGU’s self study, Dr. Olson assembled groups of faculty and staff that examined the 11 standards by which the AVMA measures schools—organization, finances, physical facilities and equipment, clinical resources, information resources, students, admission, faculty, curriculum, research programs, and outcomes assessment.

Dr. Neil Olson, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at St. George’s University

In addition, Dr. Olson, who served as Dean at the University of Missouri and Associate Dean at North Carolina State University prior to joining SGU, welcomed two colleagues to True Blue to perform a mock site visit in January.

“It’s important that our students have a strong foundation of knowledge skills underneath them when they set off for their careers as veterinarians,” Dr. Olson said. “We believe that we provide that foundation here at St. George’s University, and the backing of accrediting bodies such as the AVMA supports that belief.”

Since opening in 1999, St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine has produced close to 1,600 veterinarians who have gone on to practice in 49 United States and 16 countries worldwide. The School maintains partnerships with 29 universities and clinical facilities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Grenada, Ireland, and Australia where fourth-year students spend a year of clinical training at an affiliated veterinary school.

St. George’s Awards $12 Million in Scholarships to Class of 2022

Today, St. George’s University announced that it has awarded over $12 million in scholarships to 276 students who started at its School of Medicine this fall.

“We are proud to help students of all backgrounds achieve their dreams of pursuing careers in medicine,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University. “Our scholarship recipients have demonstrated excellence academically and professionally, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to SGU’s diverse campus community.”

St. George’s awarded 159 students Humanitarian Scholarships in recognition of their compassion and commitment to humanitarian causes. Launched in October 2017, the $10 million Humanitarian Scholarship fund provides financial awards to help offset the cost of medical education.

Twenty-nine students received the Chancellor’s Circle Legacy of Excellence scholarship, which provides scholarships to applicants with particularly high levels of academic achievement. Students with an overall undergraduate GPA exceeding 3.7, a science GPA above 3.5, and an MCAT score of more than 506 are eligible.

Eighty-eight students received the Legacy of Excellence scholarship, which recognizes applicants with high levels of academic achievement. St. George’s has awarded these grants for over 10 years.

“We believe that financial barriers should not prevent talented, passionate, committed individuals from becoming doctors,” Dr. Olds said. “We look forward to seeing all the great things that these scholarship winners will accomplish in their medical careers.”

This year’s scholarship class includes students from 34 US states and nine countries. In total, St. George’s University has provided scholarships totaling more than $100 million to more than 5,000 students.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center Joins St. George’s University’s CityDoctors Scholarship Program

This week, St. George’s University announced Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center as its newest hospital partner in the CityDoctors Scholarship Program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jersey Shore University Medical Center to the CityDoctors Scholarship family,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University. “CityDoctors has helped dozens of aspiring doctors from New York and New Jersey launch their careers in medicine. Now, Jersey Shore University Medical Center will have the opportunity to hand-pick some of the next crop of distinguished CityDoctors.”

Beginning in 2019, Jersey Shore University Medical Center will be able to select one student for a full, four-year scholarship—amounting to about $250,000—or several students for partial scholarships.

Priority consideration will be given to applicants who are from Monmouth or Ocean Counties or affiliated with Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Veterans, those with demonstrated financial need, and those from groups underrepresented in medicine will also receive priority.

Founded in 2012, the CityDoctors program provides partial- and full-tuition scholarships to St. George’s University medical students with a demonstrated interest in practicing medicine in the New York metropolitan area. Additional partners in the program include NYC Health + Hospitals.

“This new scholarship program allows us to grow our academic programs and help area residents, perhaps even the children of our team members, pursue their dreams of becoming doctors,” said Dr. David Kountz, vice president for Academic Affairs at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and co-chief academic officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “Although there is no commitment for these students to return to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for their residency, we are hopeful they will want to return ‘home’ when they complete their studies.”

Student Health at the Heart of New Belford Centre Fitness Center

 

The health of a student’s mind, body, and soul is crucial to his or her academic success, which is why St. George’s University demonstrated its commitment to such achievement, building a state-of-the-art multi-purpose gym and fitness center within the brand new Andrew J. Belford Centre.

The facility overlooks the Caribbean Sea and features a wide array of weight-training and cardio equipment.

“The Belford Centre is a tremendous addition to the campus experience at St. George’s University,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “Pursuing a tertiary degree is an enormous challenge, which is why we encourage students to carve out time for themselves so that they’re in the best state physically and mentally to take on that challenge.”

The Belford Centre gym features:

  • An 8,400 square foot gym that houses 66 cardio machines, such as treadmills, stairmasters, arc trainers, rowing machines, and exercise bikes, as well as 60 weight training machines and a full complement of free weights and other equipment.
  • A 940 square-foot yoga/multi-purpose room designed for martial arts, dance, yoga, and fitness classes, as well as TRX systems for suspension weight training programs.
  • A 600 square-foot spin room with 22 spin bikes.
  • An 800 square-foot space that includes locker rooms and bathrooms complete with shower stalls.

In addition to the Belford Centre facilities, an outdoor exercise area is expected to be completed by October 2018. The area will feature a beach volleyball court, two basketball courts, a CrossFit rig and training area, and bouldering wall. An irrigation system has been installed under the re-engineered playing field, allowing for activities such as soccer, softball, and more.

SGU broke ground on the Belford Centre construction in June 2017. Chris Parke, the University’s Assistant to the Director of Athletics since 2008, said that the gym facility has been a welcome addition to the True Blue landscape.

“The ambience is different from the old gym,” he said. “With much more equipment and space to work with, students and staff can come in and relieve their stress. It’s a much more conducive environment for working out, in addition to being more convenient.”

The Belford Centre gym is open to students, staff, and faculty from 6 am – 12 am seven days a week.

St. George’s University Welcomes Dr. Richard Liebowitz as New Vice Chancellor

Today, St. George’s University announced that Dr. Richard Liebowitz will assume the role of Vice Chancellor effective September 17.

As Vice Chancellor, Liebowitz will be the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. George’s University, with responsibility for all academic affairs at the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Graduate Studies, and Arts and Sciences. He will work closely with faculty and staff as well as members of the senior leadership team to promote student success, faculty development, and academic excellence.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Liebowitz to the St. George’s University community,” said Charles Modica, Chancellor and Co-Founder of St. George’s University. “We’re fortunate to be able to add someone with his depth of experience in academic medicine, clinical training, and strategic development to our leadership team.”

“St. George’s University has produced thousands of graduates who have distinguished themselves as leaders in medicine, veterinary science, and other fields,” Liebowitz said. “I look forward to advancing the work of St. George’s University, upholding the highest standards of academic excellence, and preparing our students for lives of service and leadership.”

Liebowitz most recently served as president of NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Before taking the helm, he also served as senior vice president and chief medical officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Center, one of the leading academic medical centers in the world.

Previously, Liebowitz served as medical director of strategic initiatives and network business development at Duke University Health System; section chief of general medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine; and medical director of the Massachusetts-based Fallon Clinic. He has been deputy editor of the Archives of Internal Medicine and is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

“Our students will benefit enormously from the insight that Dr. Liebowitz has gleaned from his decades of experience leading major hospital systems,” St. George’s University President Dr. G. Richard Olds said. “He’s the ideal person to help our students prepare for successful careers in medicine and the sciences, and I am eager to begin working with him.”

Dr. Stuart Noble-Goodman Appointed Dean of School of Arts and Sciences

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

St. George’s University and Cardiff University Create New Student Exchange Program

An agreement has been made between St. George’s University and Cardiff University in Wales that will provide opportunities for students to participate in exchange programs to bolster their training and further develop international partnerships between leading healthcare institutions.

The new five-year agreement, signed between SGU and Cardiff University’s School of Healthcare Sciences, will pave the way for students studying nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, radiotherapy, and operating department practice to spend three weeks studying at the partner university, gaining international experience and new professional connections.

Under the agreement, exchange students will continue to pay tuition fees to their home university, with the host university waiving their tuition fees for the duration of study. They will be fully registered members of the host university, and have the same access to all academic, support, and recreational services as the resident student body. They will also receive a Statement of Attendance for their period of study at their host institution.

“We’re delighted to have struck this new agreement with Cardiff University,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of SGU. “It is a testament to the growing prominence of SGU as a highly regarded international center of healthcare education, and a strong endorsement of both our programs and our students—recognized around the world for their quality.”

This new exchange program with Cardiff University will allow SGU students to benefit from studying with one of the top-ranked research departments in the UK. In turn, Cardiff students will have the chance to further their education at our beautiful True Blue campus in Grenada, alongside their contemporaries from more than 140 countries around the world.

“Our school in Cardiff University is committed to enhancing global networking. This MOU allows healthcare students an opportunity to experience healthcare education and practice in a different cultural context,” said Professor Dianne Watkins, Cardiff University Deputy Head of School, International and Engagement. “The first exchange of nursing students is underway and they are very excited to be part of this collaboration. We hope our partnership with St. George’s University will develop further and encompass opportunities for teacher exchange and joint research in the future.”

The partnership compliments SGU’s existing UK presence, with all MD students already offered the opportunity to undertake the first year of their program at Northumbria University in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, as part of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program—now in its 12th year. SGU students can also take advantage of third year core placements at 16 NHS affiliated UK hospitals.

SGU recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Health Education England (HEE), which is expected to enable 50 to 100 SGU graduates every year to undertake postgraduate training in England. Under this agreement, SGU School of Medicine graduates will join the Widening Access to Specialty Training (WAST) Program, an initiative within the NHS to recruit overseas postgraduate doctors into underserved specialisms, including General Practice and Psychiatry.

St. George’s University and Felician University Announce Medical and Veterinary Educational Partnership

St. George’s University and Felician University have launched a program that will allow qualified applicants to Felician to receive early admission to the medical or veterinary schools at St. George’s.

“We are excited to welcome Felician University’s best and brightest to our campus in Grenada,” Dr. G. Richard Olds, President of St. George’s University, said. “This partnership will allow aspiring doctors and veterinarians to focus on their studies at Felician, secure in the knowledge that they’ll have a spot reserved for them in our medical or veterinary school.”

Students who wish to pursue one of the combined degree programs apply to Felician. St. George’s will consult with Felician on their applications and conduct interviews with qualified candidates. The universities will jointly makes offers for the combined program.

According to Dr. Anne Prisco, President of Felician University, “Several Felician students have attended St. George’s University. This partnership expands our relationship to a new level and provides our incoming students who qualify for this program the peace of mind they need to focus their efforts on preparing for their professional studies.”

In order to proceed to the St. George’s University School of Medicine, Felician students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 and an MCAT score within three points of the previous term’s average score at St. George’s. To be eligible to continue onto the St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, Felician students must have a grade point average of at least 3.1 and a GRE score of at least 300. A letter of recommendation from the appropriate Felician University faculty is also required.

Medical students will complete their first two years of medical study in Grenada and then undertake two years of clinical training at hospitals affiliated with St. George’s in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Students pursuing degrees in veterinary medicine will study in Grenada for three years and spend their final clinical year at affiliated universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, or Australia.

Felician University joins a network of dozens of institutes of higher learning in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom that have teamed up with St. George’s to offer students an accelerated path to a career as a doctor or veterinarian.

“It’s a privilege to educate the next generation of doctors and veterinarians,” Dr. Olds said. “These future graduates of Felician and St. George’s will play a critical role in addressing the world’s most pressing health challenges.”