St. George’s University Provost Feels Right at Home

The new Provost at St. George’s University, Dr. Joseph Childers has received a warm Grenadian welcome upon his arrival. Although he is new to the island, the feeling he has is a familiar one.

childers-joseph“This has been very much like coming home for me,” Dr. Childers said. “Grenadian culture is, in many ways, similar to the Southern culture I grew up in. There is a certain friendliness, courtesy, and slight formality that everyone possesses. Grenadians also have an incredible joyousness – they love to laugh. I’ve found them to be upbeat, resilient, and proud, traits I very much recognize and respect.”

Appointed Provost in October 2016, Dr. Childers will oversee the University’s academic units, academic centers and initiatives, and student services, providing leadership for the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of all academic programs, policies, and supporting infrastructure for the Grenada campus. He assumed the Provost role from Allen Pensick, who has spent more than 30 years at SGU, including as Provost from 2004 to 2016. Dr. Pensick has stayed on as Provost Emeritus, assisting Dr. Childers with his transition.

“Dr. Pensick has been an invaluable resource,” Dr. Childers said. “He’s so well liked, so well respected, and is such a major part of the University’s history. In addition to being a gracious mentor, he’s a great person. I couldn’t have asked for better.”

Dr. Childers came to SGU after serving as Dean of the Graduate Division at University of California, Riverside (UCR) for eight years. During that time, UCR witnessed increases in graduate student diversity and student success, garnering national attention as an institutional model and for best practices.

“Having purview over an entire campus was instrumental in helping me get a sense of the specific issues facing different departments and disciplines,” Dr. Childers said. “Also, because I have taught at all levels, from freshmen to advanced graduate students and even faculty, I have learned to be mindful about how to present and to ensure that people come away with an understanding of the material. It is paramount that the audience feels the environment is safe for asking questions and communicating.”

At UCR, he worked alongside G. Richard Olds, then the Founding Dean of its School of Medicine and the current President and Chief Executive Officer at SGU. Together they helped create one of the US’s most diverse campuses, a trait it shares with SGU, which has drawn students from more than 140 countries.

“You cannot over value the importance of diversity on any campus,” Dr. Childers said. “If you’re always seeing and dealing with people just like yourself, you’re effectively living in a cocoon. It’s important to be able to deal with difference, to see the world from alternate perspectives, and to respect other cultures, especially if you’re going into a profession that demands that kind of open-mindedness and curiosity.”

The oldest of five children, Dr. Childers was born in north central Indiana but as an infant moved with his family to Bentonville, Arkansas, a farming community on the Missouri and Oklahoma border. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Arkansas, and went on to obtain his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia University.

He then joined UCR as a Professor of English, a position he held for more than 25 years. Dr. Childers has also authored two books, co-edited two others, and published numerous articles and essays on a wide variety of topics. In addition to bringing his expertise and leadership to SGU, he is joined by his wife, Dr. Karen Pyke, a well known sociologist who is a visiting professor in the School of Arts and Sciences and who is consulting on the formation of an ombuds office for the campus.

In a short time, Dr. Childers has settled in at SGU, and he looks forward to using his background as an administrator and educator to create policies, procedures, and efficiencies that contribute to its development, both regionally and worldwide.

“Before it came on the radar for me as potential opportunity, I knew it was well respected for its medical education, but I didn’t know just how large of a role it has in the Caribbean,” Dr. Childers said. “St. George’s University is in position to become a comprehensive and truly premier international university. We are moving in that direction, and I’m tremendously excited to be a part of the University’s advancement.”

Published on 11/14/16

St. George’s University Remembers Paul Slinger, OBE

St. George’s University mourns the loss of Paul John Vere Slinger, OBE, who passed away at the age of 82 after a long illness on Friday, October 21, 2016, surrounded by his family at his home in St. Paul’s.

A true patriot, Mr. Slinger served in the Grenadian government as the Minister of Tourism, and his profound love and passion for Grenada combined with his unfailingly hospitable and gentle manner earned him much praise and affection from everyone he encountered. Over the course of the past 40 years, Mr. Slinger introduced to Grenada the Carenage-to-Grand Anse Cross-Harbour swim race, the Hash House Harriers, and the Grenada Triathlon. And in 2010, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire OBE by Her Majesty the Queen of England. For Mr. Slinger, there was no place on earth quite like Grenada.

As a young man, Mr. Slinger served as an officer in the British Guiana Volunteer Force. He then worked as a senior executive of American Life throughout the Caribbean before returning to his beloved island home to raise his family. Mr. Slinger was a devoted husband and father to his three daughters, one of whom, Ann Marie, is a graduate of the School of Medicine at SGU. He was also a wonderful uncle to his nephew, Dr. Peter Slinger, an educator in the Department of Educational Services, as well as a much-loved brother, friend, coach, and mentor to many.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Victoria; his younger brother and sister, Nigel and Sonya; his three daughters, Isabelle, Anne-Marie, and Sarah; their mother, Mary-Ann; and his grandchildren, Nerine, Laya, and Max. He will be sorely missed by all his family and friends.

Published on 10/24/16

St. George’s University Mourns Dr. Linnea Veinotte

The entire St. George’s University family mourns the loss of Dr. Linnea Veinotte, a Learning Strategist in the University’s Department of Educational Services (DES) who died tragically last week.

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Dr. Veinotte joined the DES as a Learning Strategist in January 2014 and very quickly become a valued member of the teamShe was incredibly gifted as an educator, a counselor, a collaborator, and she was well loved by the students with whom she worked. Her intellect, willingness to listen, and great desire to contribute to students’ success stood out among her qualities as well.

“Linnea was extraordinarily accommodating for her students,” Dr. Glen Jacobs, Vice Provost of Educational Services and Professor and Chair of the DES, told CTV News. “She was extremely soft spoken, helpful, intellectual and very bright.” Dr. Jacobs said that DES was ecstatic that she returned to be a valuable member of the learning strategies team after a year’s hiatus, and the whole department – and her students – deeply mourn her loss.

“Linnea was a joy to work with because she always approached every task from the perspective of what could be done and not from what couldn’t,” added Joanne Buckland, DES Learning Strategist. “She never said no, never complained, and always had a positive attitude toward collaboration. She thought things through before she spoke and always had insightful additions to any conversation. Linnea cannot be replaced and will be sorely missed as a valued team member and friend.”

Dr. Veinotte was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada, and lived in Nova Scotia later in life. She earned a Bachelor of Sciences with Honors in biology from Acadia University in 2001, and then a Doctor of Philosophy in genetics from the University of British Columbia. She continued on the academic path, serving as a postdoctorate research fellow at Dalhousie University, where she went on to earn her Certificate in University Teaching and Learning.

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Dr. Veinotte taught in the biology departments at Acadia as well as Mount Saint Vincent University, as well as the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie. She carried that passion for educating others into her role with the Department of Educational Services.

“In the four short months that I got to know and work with Linnea, her ingenuity, warmth, and humility touched me the most,” added Dr. Nana Yaa Baffour-Awuah, also a Learning Strategist in the DES. “I will miss her dearly, and I wish I had been given more time to become better friends with her.”

Students expressed their sympathies and gratitude for Dr. Veinotte upon learning of her loss. Dr. Veinotte built a tremendous rapport with those who she counseled. She helped students become more effective learners by presenting helpful information and resources for their studies, and suggesting way to improve their study habits and time management. The results showed on their exams.

“After mid-terms, I was not satisfied with my grades,” said one student. “After meeting with Dr. Veinotte, my grades increased significantly during round three of tests and quizzes.”

“Following a learning strategies appointment, she would often send an email with additional helpful resources that she had come across in her research,” added another. “She always extended herself beyond the walls of the office to help in any way she could.”

“Dr. Veinotte was one of the nicest, most encouraging people I have met at SGU,” said one SOM student. “When I really needed it, she encouraged me to keep trying my hardest in Anatomy, and she would email me asking how I was doing and if she could help me in any way. This was always appreciated. My heart goes out to those who were closest to her.”

Dr. Veinotte’s influence on the Department of Educational Services, the University and its faculty and staff will carry on through the years. She is survived by her husband, Matthew, and two sons, Lucas and Isaac, of whom she was always very proud.

“I remember seeing Linnea, Matt, and the boys pull up to the Grenada Yacht Club dock after a day out on the water. They were all smiles, tanned and laughing,” recalled Dr. Peter Slinger, Coordinator of the Professional Supplemental Learning Program. “Linnea was seeing that the boys got all their gear together, gently shepherding them to the car, telling me their story of being caught in a rainstorm on the way over. They looked like true island adventurers, loving Grenada, and enjoying each other’s company. We will miss her in DES so much. Her gentle demeanor and simple grace will resonate with us for a long time.”

“Linnea was someone who, although very quiet and unassuming, always managed to fit right into every social and professional situation,” said Dr. Debbi Johnson, Associate Professor and Specialized English Language Program Coordinator. “She was warm and friendly, and very engaging on a personal level. Most notable for me was the fact that her children and family were such a priority for her. The first time I met Linnea, she thanked me for the fact that my children were making the transition to Grenada for her children so much easier. This was Linnea. She always managed to make connections with people in the most simple ways, and for us, it was our children. This continued throughout the time I knew her, and I was so grateful for her warmth towards my own family and for the fact that she always recognized the good things that we all contributed to each others’ lives.”

St. George’s University sends its deepest condolences to Dr. Veinotte’s family, friends, colleagues, and students whose lives she touched. A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held in her honor on Sunday, December 20, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The University will organize a memorial ceremony for Dr. Veinotte in 2016, open for all those from the SGU and Grenadian communities to attend.

SGU Professor Creates Negotiators’ Guidelines Manual on Climate Change for Small Island Developing States Worldwide

Next month’s Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris has been called “the last chance” to curb the rise in global temperature, and Dr. Hugh Sealy, a Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University, will be on the front lines to usher in that change.

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Under the “Capacity Building for SIDS Climate Change Negotiators Initiative”, funded by the government of Australia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appointed Dr. Sealy as a consultant and asked that he create a guidance manual that provides climate change negotiators in small island developing states (SIDS) with the information and tools needed to adequately represent their constituencies during international negotiations and ensure the viability of their countries. At the 12-day conference in Paris, SIDS representatives as well as those from 196 countries hope to reach a legally binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions that would cap global warming at less than 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

“I go to Paris with a great deal of resolve,” Dr. Sealy said. “We cannot afford to leave Paris with an agreement that does not guarantee our countries as viable human settlements. That, to me, is my bottom line. Within the UN system, it is one country, one vote. We are powerful as small islands. We can affect what happens in Paris, and we have to get it right for the sakes of generations to come.”

His manual, which was published on the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and UN websites, is divided into six modules and covers topics ranging from the science of climate change and geopolitical factors, to the specific objectives of the Alliance. Dr. Sealy and AOSIS representatives plan to lobby to decrease greenhouse gases worldwide so that temperatures increase by no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. He states that the world is on pace to increase in temperature by at least 3 degrees by that time, and that even a 2 degree increase would lead to drought, famine, crop failure, volatile weather, and rising sea levels.

“For a number of small islands, it isn’t an economic issue; it’s an existential issue,” Dr. Sealy said. “We are negotiating for the existence of our countries.”

In addition, AOSIS hopes to secure financing to mitigate emissions and to adapt to climate change through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Agreed upon at the 2009 COP in Copenhagen, the fund promised that developed nations would provide developing countries with $100 billion in aid annually by 2020. However, according to Dr. Sealy, the GCF has only been allotted $10 billion total for the years 2015 to 2018. In addition, he hopes to have a section on support for ”Loss and Damage” in the Paris Agreement, in the event of irreparable damage to a country’s economy, the prospects of which increase with projected warmer climates worldwide.

“I feel my whole life, my whole career to date, has led to this one moment in time,” Dr. Sealy said. “I pray that we will be successful in Paris and that I can look my daughter in the eye and say that I played a minor part.”

 

Historic Campus Building Renamed in Honor of University’s First Faculty Member

St. George’s University held a memorial ceremony on its True Blue Campus for the University’s first-ever faculty member, Dr. David Brown, Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and the Associate Dean of Clinical Studies for the United States who had recently passed away in Stuart, Florida.

dr brown

As a tribute to the memory of Dr. Brown, who joined the School of Medicine in 1977, the University’s Alumni Hall was renamed Dr. David Brown Hall. The building was one of the first to be constructed on True Blue’s upper campus, as part of a 20-year building expansion campaign, culminating in over 65 buildings to create an international symbol of architectural and academic excellence.

Dr. Brown’s family was joined at the ceremony by Grenada’s Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica, representatives from the performing arts community, as well as retired and current SGU faculty and staff.

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“Dave already had a doctorate to his name and was a sought-after professor before he decided to put his plans to sail across the world on hold and instead accept a post with a newly formed medical school,” said Dr. Modica, as he shared heartfelt remarks about Dr. Brown’s tenure at SGU. “He knew very little about Grenada when he first embarked on this journey, and now over 35 years later, he was one of its most cherished members. We are grateful for his years of service at St. George’s.”

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, at age 16 Dr. Brown entered the University of Utah as one of the first group of Ford Foundation scholars and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, followed by a BS in psychology a year later. While attending Princeton University on a National Science Foundation scholarship, he graduated in 1964 with a Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics and psychology.

After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Brown taught psychology at Columbia University, neurophysiology and statistics at Queens College of the City University of New York, and conducted neuroscience research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. It wasn’t until moving to Grenada and teaching in the SOM program that Dr. Brown lastly added the MD to his PhD, completing the Doctor of Medicine program at SGU.

Dr. Brown is survived by brothers, Lee Brown and Carl Brown, and sister, Gayle Brown-Campbell, along with nieces and nephews. His 38-year impact, as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and patron of the arts, will continue to be felt at SGU long after his passing.

Dr. G. Richard Olds Appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University

UCR Portrait

An educator, physician, and administrator during a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. G. Richard Olds today was named President and Chief Executive Officer of St. George’s University. Dr. Olds brings a breadth of experience to this new role. His appointment will enable St. George’s to continue its nearly 40-year tradition of academic excellence and further advance the institution’s mission of providing high-quality medical education for students from the United States, Canada, and around the world.

Dr. Olds was most recently the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Founding Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). In 2010, Dr. Olds joined UCR to lead the creation of a new school of medicine – the first LCME-accredited medical school in California in more than four decades – which was intended to address the severe doctor shortage in Inland Southern California. His vision, creativity, and drive led to a school with the unique mission of bringing more diversity into the medical profession while helping to improve the health and quality of life of medically underserved communities.

Charles R. Modica, Chancellor, Chairman of the Board and co-founder of St. George’s University said, “We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Olds as President and CEO. Dr. Olds has dedicated his career to the same ideals that have made St. George’s an important contributor to the delivery of health care in the US and around the world – a passion for providing high-quality education and a commitment to helping talented students from diverse backgrounds become excellent physicians. The fact that Dr. Olds has received outstanding teaching awards at every institution he has served is a testament to his dedication to educating and mentoring students. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Olds in the coming years to ensure the continued success of our students and graduates from the Schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Arts and Sciences, as well as our Graduate Studies Program.”

“I am thrilled to be joining St. George’s University, an outstanding education-focused institution that has been committed to excellent student outcomes since its founding almost 40 years ago,” said Dr. Olds. “Today, graduates of St. George’s, many of whom serve critical roles as primary care doctors in disadvantaged or medically underserved communities, are helping to address the shortfall of physicians in the United States. As the school that has placed more doctors into US residency training than any other medical school over the past five years, I believe St. George’s is extremely well-positioned to become a leader in medical education as it continues to help communities meet their health care and physician workforce needs over the coming decades. The presence of strong programs in veterinary medicine, public health, business, and other professions will allow St. George’s to contribute significantly to global health initiatives.”

Dr. Olds is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was an infectious disease fellow and one of the nation’s first geographic medicine fellows at University Hospitals of Cleveland, where he also served as medical chief resident and faculty member. He served as full professor of medicine, pediatrics, molecular, cell and development biology at Brown University, and professor and chairman of medicine at the MetroHealth Campus of Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining UCR, Dr. Olds was professor and chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Olds is a tropical disease specialist with extensive experience working in Asia and Africa. He has served on the World Health Organization expert committee on schistosomiasis and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reviews, primarily focused on international health issues.

Rodney Croft Will Raise Tower Bridge as City of London Re-Enacts “Momentous” Churchill State Funeral

churchills final farewell cover

On January 30, 1965, the world mourned as Sir Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England who led Allied Forces to victory over Axis powers in World War II, was laid to rest. His State Funeral was then considered the largest in world history, with representatives from 112 countries on hand and more than 350 million people worldwide watching on television.

Among them was Mr. Rodney Croft, then a medical student reading Basic Sciences at Cambridge University. Now fifty years later as St. George’s University’s Dean of Clinical Studies for the United Kingdom and author of the newly released book Churchill’s Final Farewell: The State and Private Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, Rodney Croft will play a significant role in part of the ceremony’s re-enactment on January 30. In view of his book and the fact he is a Liveryman and a Freeman of The City of London, Mr. Croft was selected by the Corporation of London to clear traffic on Tower Bridge and then pull the lever in the bridge’s control room to lift the two 1,100-ton bascules that will allow MV Havengore, the very vessel that carried Churchill’s body up the Thames River in 1965, to once again pass upstream with the great salute Tower Bridge and The Port of London can bestow.

“I feel an enormous sense of honor, pride and excitement,” Mr. Croft said. “I will never forget it for the rest of my life.”

Churchill suffered a major stroke on January 15, 1965, and died nine days later at his home in London, 70 years to the day after his father’s death which Churchill had earlier prophesied. Churchill’s final journey on water came on the Thames January 30, as MV Havengore carried him from Tower Pier to Festival Pier and then by motor hearse to Waterloo Station and then by train to his resting place in the family plot at St. Martin’s Church in Bladon, Oxfordshire, in view of Blenheim Palace where he was born 90 years before.

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“Without him, the world would be a completely different place,” Mr. Croft said. “At his funeral, half a million people lined the route from Westminster Hall to St. Paul’s Cathedral, and there were hundreds of thousands along the Thames, standing in total silence in respect for this incredible man who had saved western democracy from Nazi tyranny. There were wonderful tributes transmitted on television from Sir Robert Menzies as he was carried from St. Paul’s to Tower Pier and then by Dwight Eisenhower as his coffin was born upstream on The Thames.”
Since he was a boy, Mr. Croft has felt “an incredible bond” with Churchill, who, like he, was born six weeks premature. That connection only grew as he learned more and more about the former Prime Minister and his role as Britain’s wartime leader in the first half of the 20th century. Mr. Croft had penned many medical and surgical articles throughout his nearly 50 years in medicine, but on this occasion turned his hand at history with Churchill’s Final Farewell.

In addition to countless hours of research at places such as Arundel Castle Archives, Churchill College Archives Cambridge, the National Archives, and the College of Arms in London, Mr. Croft conducted many interviews for the book, which was published in October 2014. Among them was Churchill’s living heir, great grandson Randolph, and his mother, Minnie Churchill; the 11th Duke of Marlborough, who per Mr. Croft regarded the funeral as “the most momentous occasion he had ever witnessed in his life or ever shall”; the Countess of Avon, Churchill’s niece and wife of Sir Anthony Eden, who succeeded Churchill as Prime Minister in 1955; Peter Morehen, then the Police Sergeant at Scotland Yard who typed the Police plans for the State Funeral; and Angela Nichols, one of Churchill’s nurses.

The current Dean has been associated with SGU for more than three decades; first as a Consultant Surgeon in 1980 at North Middlesex University Hospital. He went on to serve as the hospital’s St. George’s University School of Medicine Clerkship Director for Surgery and then as Director of Medical Education. He was then appointed Professor and UK Chair of Surgery at St. George’s and then Dean of Clinical Studies UK in 2003.

With Churchill’s Final Farewell, he adds the title of historical author to the list. When he was notified of the role he will play at the re-enactment of Churchill’s Thames river journey last month, he remarked,

“A shiver went down my spine. I was just bowled over and completely overwhelmed. I expect that it will be quite a moving experience.”

Four Awarded SGU’s Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship

Abidemi Idowu of Nigeria, Ramit Relan of India, Marina Nimrod of Trinidad and Tobago, and Juliet Enow of Cameroon are the newest recipients of St. George’s University’s Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship, a scholarship which will cover the students’ full tuition for the duration of their programs at SGU.

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These four students, who began studies at SGU in Fall 2014, were selected from a pool of hundreds of applications primarily based on their academic excellence and strong commitment to their chosen disciplines. Ms. Idowu and Mr. Relan will be doing the four-year Medical Doctor (MD) program, while Ms. Nimrod will pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Ms. Enow a Master in Public Health (MPH).

The scholarship seeks to nurture and encourage students of superior academic caliber to strike out and impact the development of industry and healthcare in their home country. It recognizes students, typically from developing nations or small states, who are highly motivated and academically curious with a strong commitment to return to their countries as professionals in their areas of study.

“ Receiving the Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship means being able to realize yet another dream along my career path,” said Ms. Nimrod, an aspiring management consultant and entrepreneur. “I would like to use the skills and competencies I acquire at SGU to support efforts in my home country to develop entrepreneurs, especially in disadvantaged communities.

news commonwealth jubilee scholarship main“Receiving the Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship is first an achievement, and also an honor,” said Ms. Idowu. “It validates my choice to become a doctor and is a source of motivation; to whom much is given, much more is expected and this scholarship has given me another reason to work hard.”

After graduating from SGU, she hopes to specialize in surgery or emergency medicine. “A lot of places in my home country have limited access to proper health care, especially emergency medical care,” she said. “I plan to start up something that will also benefit the rural areas, not just the developed towns, in my home country.”

SGU launched the Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship program in 2013 to help academically gifted students with limited resources reach their potential. The four new scholarship awardees bring the number of Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarships already awarded to 19. St. George’s University will grant a total of 60 Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarships in commemoration of the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee, which was celebrated in 2012. The occasion marked her 60th year as Head of the Commonwealth of Nations.

St. George’s University USMLE Step 1 First-Time Test Takers Achieve 98% Pass Rate in 2013

St. George’s University students’ USMLE Step 1 pass rate continues to rise. In 2013, SGU students taking the examination for the first time in 2013 achieved a 98 percent pass rate, a mark achieved by students from 37 countries. First-time test takers posted an impressive mean score of 227, with a mean score of 233 registered by SGU’s Canadian students.

“This achievement illustrates the overall ability and dedication of the SGU student body,” Chancellor Charles R. Modica said. “We applaud these students’ performance on their step exams as well as during their clinical training, and look forward to watching them prosper as practicing physicians.”

US and Canadian schools’ pass rate for 2013 is still unavailable. St. George’s University’s 2013 pass rate marked the fifth consecutive year that the University’s overall first-time pass rate on the exam surpassed 90 percent. This year’s mark was an improvement on the outstanding results from 2012, a year in which its first-time test takers achieved a pass rate of 97 percent overall.

Designed to measure basic science knowledge, the USMLE Step 1 is comprised of more than 300 multiple-choice questions on topics ranging from the biology of cells and human development to the central nervous, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems, among others. A passing score on all three parts of the USMLE is required to practice medicine in the US.

Celebrating 30 Years of Democracy

For the past 30 years, Grenadians have observed October 25 as their national day of thanksgiving. It marks the anniversary of the United States military operation to help Grenada restore freedom and democracy and bring an end to a period of civil unrest.

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Each year, St. George’s University holds a special ceremony to honor the 19 United States servicemen who lost their lives on their mission to rescue US students attending the University at the time, and usher in the peace and stability which now reigns in the nation. The sacrifice of these men, immortalized by a monument bearing their names at the University’s True Blue campus, was not in vain. The warm tri-island paradise, home to some of the most friendly and peace-loving people, has advanced through the years, cherishing and nurturing democracy to this day.

“This is the first time regular citizens have ever walked up to me and thanked me for what my country has done for them,” said General John Kelly, Commander of the US Southern Command. “Thanks for your thanks, people of Grenada, but you do not need to offer it. It is what we do in the US military and we are proud to do it. We do it around the world and we’ve done it throughout our history.”

The University was honored to host 32 family members of the fallen soldiers. The family members and those SGU faculty who personally experienced the events of 1983 read the soldiers’ names aloud, and a moment of silence was observed for each soldier.

The moving occasion was cheered by notes of gratitude, healing and hope for the future shared by Dr. The Right Honorable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.

“This ceremony is an important and remarkable event because it goes to the heart of the healing process of our nation,” he said. “The message of unification is one with which I have implored this nation since assuming the Office of the Prime Minister in 1995 and again in 2013.

“It is my view that no matter our political, moral, or social beliefs, and how far these may differ from each other, we have a responsibility under God to work towards the advancement of our society and international community and to secure a better future for our generations,” Dr. Mitchell continued. “After all, we are bound by shared history. Today, 30 years later, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief for the adversities that we have overcome and for the stability and peace that this land now enjoys. Let us be guided by the lessons we have learned as we work together to build the beautiful land that God has given us.”

In his address, Dr. Charles R. Modica, Chancellor of St. George’s University, recalled visiting President Ronald Reagan at the White House one year after Operation Urgent Fury and the President’s subsequent visit to the monument to lay a wreath in 1986.

“President Reagan recognized the sacrifice made by 19 men on that day,” Chancellor Modica said. “For the family members here today, your loved ones did not die in vain. They liberated a country and they demonstrated to the world that the United States of America could come in with the mightiest force to restore order, liberty, peace, and democracy to a nation that needs its help.”