Climate Change, Water, and Sanitation in the Caribbean

environmental conference panel

On Monday, June 23rd, Taylor Hall opened its doors to a unique three-fold conference. For five consecutive days, the critical environmental issues of the Caribbean, including climate change, water and sanitation, were addressed.  The 4th Biennial Caribbean Environmental Forum (CEF) and Exhibition, 14th Annual Wider Caribbean Waste Management Conference and the First Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum provided essential information and solutions to a regional and international audience which included a cross-section of influential representatives from the government sector.

Distinguished guest speakers representing the Austrian and German governments shared their expertise with regard to the Conference’s theme: Climate Change, Water and Sanitation: A Shared Responsibility.  His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Ernest Martens of Germany, pointed out that Germany is a key player in the movement towards sustainable development and alternative energy sources such as wind, hydro-electric power and bio-energy. In fact, 10% of Germany’s electricity and 5% of their energy are from these alternative sources.

Her Excellency Ambassador Magister Marianne Feldmann, Austrian Embassy for Venezuela and the Caribbean, Venezuela, disclosed that Austria also is one of the world’s leaders in hydroelectric power. Ninety percent of their electricity comes from hydroelectric power and as such, they have much to offer the region (Caribbean) both in terms of technical and financial support as the region actively seeks to harness their natural resources for renewable energy.

In delivering the keynote address, Dr. the Rt. Honorable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, highlighting collective responsibility that Grenadians and indeed all peoples of the region must share, said, “We cannot be mere passengers to solutions.” He notes that it is important to take stock of what is happening with our supply of food, water and energy; that harnessing the sun’s energy needs to be more actively pursued as a viable option and as an alternative source of energy; and that waste as a potential resource needs to be more closely examined. This point was further emphasized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) representative, who noted that the most serious cause of marine pollution is still that of untreated waste water. The sad reality is 85% of waste water continues to enter our oceans untreated.

Senator Ann David Antoine, an honorary member of the Caribbean Environmental Forum (CEF) also noted that as this year is the International Year of Sanitation, it is an apt time for such focus.  She highlighted the fact that we cannot ignore the basic needs of sanitation and a good, clean water supply, since they speak to the very dignity of people.  “ The Grenadian public must be sensitized to the challenges we face and also to workable solutions.”

Distinguished members of the audience included: Sen. Elizabeth Thompson of Barbados, Ambassador Angus Friday and representatives from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile, the Caribbean, Canada, the United States, Austria and Germany — a truly international cross section. Chair of the Grenada National Solid Waste Management Authority Ms. Aine Brathwaite, who worked assiduously to ensure that Grenada hosted the conference, thanked all for the level of interest that the conference drew. She emphasized that in the matter of waste management, “imperative need for action has never been more urgent” and the “need to sensitize our people of what is at stake.” She points to public awareness, education and the implementation of laws as positive steps in the right direction.

Dr. Denis Paul, Vice Provost for Institutional Advancement on behalf of Chancellor Charles Modica, and Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost; welcomed the conference participants, stating that “SGU is proud to be a collaborator.” He encouraged them to take some time off from their packed schedule to enjoy the ambience of the campus and wished all a successful conference. Topics addressed at the conference included: Integrated Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate, New Challenges and Approaches to Human Health and Sanitation, Waste Management, including Solid, Liquid and Hazardous wastes, Bio-medical and Technological Waste, and Energy Management including Renewable Energy. It was clear that at the end of the conference there was much food for thought and the challenge now lies in maximizing the information gleaned to the benefit of the countries of the respective participants.

It seemed appropriate that this year’s CEF-4 Conference be the inaugural conference held at St. George’s Taylor Hall.   The Late Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Keith Breden Taylor, DM, FRCP (1924-2006), for whom the facility is named, worked tirelessly to implement his vision that St. George’s University should grow into an international university.  He achieved that by creating a Panel on Research and Scholarly Activity in 1992; founding a research institute in the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) in 1994 which allowed the development of a graduate studies program; and by instituting the School of Arts and Sciences in 1996 which broadened the academic opportunities for students in the region. The international scope of the Environmental Conference is consistent with his hope and plan for SGU.

In addition to providing the venue, as a major co-sponsor St. George’s University also provided logistical support, accommodations, transportation and technical support.

Published on 7/3/08

St. George’s University Hosts Inaugural Parents’ Weekend, August 22, 2008 – August 24, 2008

sgu parents weekend august 2008St. George’s University will be conducting its inaugural Parents’ Weekend from August 22, 2008 through August 24, 2008. The “Beyond Spice” Parents’ Weekend (Grenada is also known as the “Spice of the Caribbean”) will allow parents and families to experience the full educational program, with its emphasis on student services and commitment to student well-being, as they enjoy the elegant beauty of its breathtaking campus and surroundings.

SGU’s Robert Ryan, Associate Dean of Enrolment Planning and member of the “Beyond Spice” Parents’ Weekend Committee, explained that selecting the date for the event was the first step toward maximizing its effectiveness for both parents and students. “Inviting the parents of our medical and veterinary medical students to Grenada the weekend after classes start has several benefits,” said Dean Ryan. “We (the committee) believe that having parents join their children a week after classes begin will give the students an opportunity to assess and request any additional items needed to make their stay in Grenada most productive and comfortable.  In addition, the campus and its students will have settled nicely into a routine, allowing parents to experience SGU’s impressive facilities in a less frenzied environment.”  Dean Ryan also mentioned the resulting benefit of opening up a minimum of 300 coveted airline seats on an already limited flight schedule to Grenada.

Dean Ryan explained that more and more parents were arriving with their students in Grenada at the beginning of term.  “The University is thrilled to see this level of care on the part of families, and we have become extremely frustrated that we are unable to marshal the necessary University resources to pay full attention to them since we are settling in the students who have just arrived.”  The University is committed to focusing on the parents’ needs and has dedicated a full weekend to do so.

The “Beyond Spice” Parents’ Weekend will include tours of the campus and its state-of-the-art facilities including labs, library, lecture halls and dorm rooms.  The faculty and staff of the University recognize the importance of familiarizing both the parents and their children with not just the University’s True Blue campus, but the Island and its people.  Therefore, tours have been arranged so visitors can experience the Island’s pristine surroundings.

A Question and Answer Session with the top administration as well as informative presentations from the Department of Educational Services, Professors, Counselors, Student Government Association, Housing and Clinical have been carefully planned to assure parents that in addition to providing an internationally recognized academic program, their children’s well being is the University’s utmost priority.  Several exciting cultural events are also included in the festivities.

The weekend’s activities will close with the School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony to be held at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.  After inspirational speakers, students take an Oath to the Profession of Medicine.  A reception for students and families will follow.  The School of Veterinary Medicine White Coat Ceremony will be held the Tuesday prior, and all SVM parents are invited to come early to attend the event and stay to enjoy the weekend festivities.

St. George’s University has planned a similar event in the United Kingdom with our Northumbria University (NU) partner, welcoming parents of the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program students during the weekend of August 15th.   Due to a smaller class size of approximately 150 students, SGU and NU are confident that holding Parents’ Weekend during the start of classes will not interfere with its similarly scheduled events.

The University looks forward to Parents’ Weekend becoming a new tradition on both the True Blue campus as well as its Northumbria University campus.

If you are interested in attending, please contact us at

21st Century Caribbean Literati Celebrated

dr merle collinsIt was an exciting week at True Blue, one that celebrated the cross-cultural impact of Caribbean women’s literature throughout the 21st century. From May 19 through May 23, St. George’s University hosted the 11th Conference of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars (ACWWS).  The conference theme was Traditions and Legacies, Revisions and Interventions: Caribbean Women Writings in the 21st Century. 

With over 70 presenters, which included Grenadian poet and novelist, keynote speaker Dr. Merle Collins, the Conference provided an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in Caribbean folk culture, oral histories, and creative and critical writing celebrating the artistry of women writers across the Caribbean, South America, Central America, North America and Europe.

Commenting on the impact of this conference on both the University and Grenada, Dr. Antonia MacDonald–Smythe, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Conference Chair, said: “Such a conference, in showcasing the University and in particular the School of Arts and Sciences, can lead to future collaborative efforts with other universities such as work–study programs, student exchange and faculty exchange programs. Students preparing for regional examinations such as CXC and CAPE have read about many of these writers. Here is an opportunity to not only meet them but to engage in discourse. Additionally, conferences such as this one can be an event on the cultural calendar of Grenada.”

On Tuesday, May 20, Dr. Merle Collins’ presentation took the form of a public lecture at Bell Lecture Hall.  Dr. Collins, a prolific writer and Professor of English and Caribbean Literature at the University of Maryland spoke about “Caribbean Women Writing in the 21st Century: Visions to Recover, Creations to Re-Create.” The feature address traced the unwritten histories of Grenadian and Caribbean women whose acts of rebellion shaped the future of the Caribbean.  Their interventions provide writers and scholars with the fertile ground on which to cultivate a Caribbean literary tradition.

Another conference highlight was its plenary sessions, which were well attended by high school students and by students of the community college.  The first plenary of Caribbean women writers focused on Caribbean writers and the factors that shape their writing and publishing lives, while the plenary on scholars explored the ways in which Caribbean writers are manipulating  form and genre in the articulation of the thematics of community.

On Thursday, May 22 various authors including Dr. Dessima Williams of Brandeis University and Dr. Merle Collins  presented on “Remembering the Grenada Revolution from 11:15 am to 1:00 pm.  Topics included “The Storm That Never Ended: How the Grenada Revolution Stays Alive,” “The Legacy of the Grenada Revolution in Literature,” “Hurricane Histories:  Landscapes and Languages of Revolutionary Memory,” and “Say It In Performance:  The Story That is Still Difficult to Speak.”  This session was followed by a presentation of Dr. Collins’ video documentary entitled “Caribbean Nation: Saraka and Nation in Grenada and Carriacou” from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.

Other featured presentations included “Mémoires et Traumatismes” (Memories and Traumatism) by novelist, poet and journalist Evelyne Trouillot on Wednesday, May 21 at 4:45 pm; “Del Alma al Sol, del sol al alma: Intervenciones Personales de una Artista Dominican-York, en Estos Tiempos Glocales” (Soul to Sun, Back and Forth and All in Between: Interventions of the Self by a Dominican-York Artist) by actress, writer and theater director Josefina Baez on Thursday, May 22nd at 11:15 am; and “Departure and Arrival, Alienation and Familiarity” by Dutch writer Ellen Louise Ombre on Friday, May 23rd at 11:15 am.  All presentations were held at the Bourne Lecture Hall.  A special Open Mike Night at Coconut Beach Restaurant featured the work of

Oonya Kempadoo and members of the Writers’ Association of Grenada (WAG).   
Oonya Kempadoo is a writer who was born in Sussex, England, in 1966 of Guyanese parents.  She was brought up in Guyana and has since lived in Europe and various islands in the Caribbean, and now resides in Grenada.  Her first novel, Buxton Spice, was published to great acclaim in 1998, and was nominated for the 2000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She was named a Great Talent for the Twenty-First Century by the Orange Prize judges and is a winner of the Casa de las Américas Prize.

Dr. Meredith Gadsby, President of ACWWS, thanked Committee Chair Dr. Antonia MacDonald-Smythe for a magnificent job in hosting the event.  “St. George’s University has opened its doors to us, graciously hosting our organization.  We are forever grateful to the administration and staff of the University, especially Dr. Michelene Adams (Committee Chair), Ms. Shivaughn Hem-Lee-Forsyth (Director of Accommodation) and Mr. Kiernan Rooney (Activities Liaison).”
The general public was invited to attend the public lecture and presentations to engage with the producers of Caribbean Literature.

Grenada Embraces Public Health Week

public health climate changeMonday, April 7th marks the beginning of the 2008 National Public Health Week (NPHW) which this year focuses on Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance.  April 7th this year was also World Health Day which honors the establishment of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Constitution on April 7, 1948.

The University lauds Grenada’s efforts to raise awareness of individual responsibility in a global world.  In an effort to raise awareness of the numerous hazards which range from extreme weather events to changes in the dynamics of infectious diseases, SGU’s Public Health Students Association, the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine along with its Associate Professor and Environment Scientist, Dr. Hugh Sealy, have developed a series of week-long events designed to educate and empower both students and community members.

Public health organizations and agencies worldwide are observing this week to highlight the adverse effects that climate change has on the health of populations, and SGU is a part of this world wide effort.  It is incumbent upon all public health institutions to educate people to the very real consequences of climate change on health, but according to the WHO, the health effects are diverse and global in nature.

The World Health Organization states that the health impacts of climate change will be difficult to reverse in a few years or decades. However, if we make certain environmental, behavioral and policy changes, many of these possible impacts can be avoided or controlled. Additionally, many of the steps needed to prevent climate change will have overall positive health benefits.  St. George’s University is eager to communicate the connection between the way we lead our lives, our impact on the planet and the planet’s impact on our health.

The following are activities scheduled for this week: 

Monday, April 7 at 12:00 PM – Tree Planting Ceremony (location: between the gazebos in front of SD4 and SD6)

Wednesday, April 9, at 7:30 PM – Movie: An Inconvenient Truth, followed by a discussion and Q&A session (location: DES Car Park/Courtyard) (refreshments will be sold)

Wednesday, April 9, at 8:00 PM –You Decide Program Television Program featuring Dr. Hugh Sealy (Community Channel 6 – Live broadcast).  Dr. Sealy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine & a Member of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Thursday, April 10 – Campus Poster and Slogan Campaign (led by PHSA, public health students will erect slogans and poster related to the theme around campus.

Friday, April 11 – Visit to the Anglican High School by the PHSA and other public health students to engage them in an Interactive health education session on the impact of climate change on health.

Friday, April 11 – PHSA Fundraising Party
Funds from the movie and the party will be donated to charity for the prevention of malaria.

<!–For more information…–>

Published on 4/11/08

The Battle Begins

The third season of the SGU Knowledge Bowl began on Tuesday, February 19th with a match between Presentation Brothers’ College, last year’s 2nd place team, and St. Joseph’s Convent, Grenville.  After a head-to-head competition in the first two rounds, Presentation Brothers’ took the lead in the General Knowledge round and won by four points, with a total score of 26.

The SGU Knowledge Bowl is widely recognized as the premier academic quiz competition in Grenada.  The event is collaboration between St. George’s University, Grenada Cablevision – Community Channel 6 and the Ministry of Education, and was designed to encourage and facilitate a healthy academic exchange between 19 of Grenada’s 22 secondary schools.  The academic competition features teams of third, fourth and fifth form students.

The material for the quiz questions came from the Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC) syllabi in the areas of science, information technology, the arts and humanities.  Students’ awareness of geography, local food and culture, sports, and current affairs will also be tested in a third round buzzer competition on General Knowledge.  This year’s competition will also challenge the viewing audience to participate, testing their knowledge as they too compete for prizes.

As with last year’s competition, the team emerging victorious as SGU Knowledge Bowl Champion will take away a challenge trophy and $10,000 in prize money, while the 2nd place team will be awarded $5,000 in prize money. Individual team members and coaches of the teams in the finals will also receive special prizes.

Cable & Wireless Grenada Ltd. and the Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd. (Coop) are major sponsors of the event for the third consecutive year. The companies will again fund the broadcast of the quiz and individual prizes for participating students.  The Grenada Postal Corporation will provide refreshments.  Glenelg Spring Water and Geo. F. Huggins have also recommitted their support for the third time, providing drinks for participants. The five corporate sponsors have a history of initiating community development projects and CC6 and SGU are honored to partner with them on this venture for a third year.

The competition is aired on CC6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. with repeats on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00 a.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.  The SGU Knowledge Bowl finals will be held on Saturday, April 19th.

Published on 3/17/08

St. George’s University’s Voice Electrifies the Airwaves

sgu 1075 fmOn October 1, 2007, the much-anticipated University radio station electrified the airwaves of St. George’s University and the neighboring Grenadian communities.

While SGU 107.5 FM is in its fledgling stages, its inaugural air date made an important connection between the community and the University. As the University continues to expand, radio is an appropriate and dynamic vehicle for communicating SGU’s educational mission.

SGU 107.5 FM is a non-commercial radio station run by the Office of University Communications (OUC).  Broadcasting from the True Blue campus to a relay station at Grand Etang, the signal reaches approximately half of the Island.  The station is committed to balanced, non-partisan, non-denominational, community-oriented programs designed to educate, entertain and attract the widest possible audience as it serves the interests of SGU’s internal and external communities.

According to Terry Williams (T.W.), a seasoned radio personality and the station’s talented technical operator, “SGU 107.5 FM is not just a radio station, it is an education.”  T.W. has worked with Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) and other radio stations across the Island and has been involved in SGU 107.5 FM from its inception. With new equipment, an actual studio and its broadcasting license, SGU 107.5 FM is well on its way to achieving its goal.

Over the next year, the focus of the station is to expand the programming beyond music. Prudence Greenidge, the Radio Station Director, explains: “As a community radio station we have a responsibility to our listeners to create an interactive educational environment which is also entertaining. There is a dynamic team working on making SGU 107.5 FM great radio and we are grateful for them and for our listeners. We continue to remind listeners that it is important for them to tell us what they want to hear. None of it will happen overnight, but we are satisfied that we have made a good start and have devised a plan to take us through this academic year.”

In an effort to serve the community at large, the radio station will be linked closely with the University’s disaster preparedness and response initiatives, providing critical and accurate information in the event of an emergency.

Over the next year, the station will also work closely with the various Schools of the University to provide an interesting and interactive medium of communication between SGU and the public.  SGU 107.5 FM programming will expand to include interactive shows, community service announcements and talk time.  New announcers and personalities are expected to join the broadcast team by next semester.

Published on 11/29/07

Who Really Has the Best Pictures? St. George’s University’s Show Us Your Stuff Photo Contest

focus sgu photo contestOne of the more ubiquitous pastimes of the SGU community members is the constant showing of our favorite pictures. Whenever someone shows another someone a picture of, say, sunset over the Black Sand Beach, one receives basilisk stares and a whole lot of pictures of Black Sand Beach in return. We all think we have the best shot of this very picturesque place.

Well, we now have a forum to strut those pictures in front of everyone! The University invites all students, alumni, faculty, administration, staff and family members of the SGU community to participate in the Annual Show Us Your Stuff Photo Contest. Submissions can be made in the following categories: Campus, Student Life, The World is Our Campus, Mentors and Motivators, and The Spirit of Grenada.

Judging criteria will be based on artistic interpretation, creativity and technique. Winners will be selected on November 15th 2008 by a committee of SGU staff. Three winning photographs will be selected in each category (1st, 2nd and 3rd prize). There will also be one photograph selected for the best photograph overall.

Winners and honorable mentions will be featured in the next issue of the Mace and Chronicle, as well as an enlarged display featured after the contest in a public area on campus (TBD). If appropriate, selected photos may be added to the rotation of the homepage of the SGU website.

Please visit Focus: An SGU Perspective for details.

Published on 11/16/07

St. George’s University Mourns the Loss of Dr. Paul Cutler

Dr. Paul Cutler, Dean Emeritus, and longtime faculty member and administrator, died on June 16, 2006. Dr. Cutler was an esteemed colleague who was known as a tremendous teacher and a skilled physician. He began teaching at SGU as a visiting professor in the late 1970s and became a full time faculty member and Dean of the University in 1985.

“He was one of the most inspirational faculty members that we have ever had,” Chancellor Charles R. Modica said. “His teaching style provoked fear in students before the start of class but always resulted in some of the most meaningful educational experiences they had in medical school.”

Dr Paul Cutler Graduation Portrait“The thousands of students that had the opportunity to attend his lectures will most certainly remember him as an important part of their development as physicians,” the Chancellor said. “He also became an effective administrator when he assumed the role of Dean at SGU.”

Dr. John Cush was a student at SGU in the late 1970s and recalled the early years when Dr. Cutler taught him. “Dr. Cutler taught pulmonary and internal medicine to our class in 1979 as a visiting professor,” Dr. Cush said. “He was asked to come down and teach for a short segment but ended up staying a few weeks longer. He filled in with amazing ease and expertise. In the classroom he was known for his attention to detail and for requiring very high standards from his students and peers.”

“He was demanding but fair, pedantic but supportive,” Dr. Cush continued. “He was a guy you feared and a guy you wanted to be recognized by. He was an icon to us back then and an important part of SGU’s early success.”

Dr Paul Cutler Black and White PortraitIn addition to his role as Professor of Medicine and Dean of the University, Dr. Cutler served SGU as Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs in 1995 and assumed the role of Dean Emeritus in 1997.

Dr. Cutler earned numerous awards for his teaching abilities at SGU as well as in US medical schools. He frequently won the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Cutler wrote a thought-provoking textbook entitled Problem Solving in Clinical Medicine, which became a major textbook for most US schools and SGU. He was also author to several other papers and presentations.

Prior to his full-time deanship at SGU, Dr. Cutler taught at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio for more than 15 years and served as associate dean. He was also an honorary clinical professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. In the mid 1960s Dr. Cutler taught medicine in Afghanistan at the University of Kabul and at the University of Nangrahar. He was in private practice in internal medicine and diagnostics in Atlantic City, NJ, from 1949 to 1965 and served in the military from 1946 to 1948. Dr. Cutler received an MD from Jefferson Medical College in 1944 and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940.

He was husband of Janie Walters Cutler and the late Helene Cutler and father of the late Marjorie Ann and Kenneth. He is survived by two granddaughters, Rachel W. and Ariane R.

Published on 07/13/2006


Chancellor Modica Named Ambassador-at-Large for Grenada

Charles R. Modica, the Chancellor of St. George’s University, has been named the Ambassador-At-Large for Grenada, an honor given to him by the Government of Grenada. In a ceremony held in December 2005, Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. The Right Honorable Keith C. Mitchell, officially welcomed Chancellor Modica to his new post.

“I am proud of the exposure and support brought to Grenada because of the success of the University,” Prime Minister Mitchell said. “I look forward to its contribution in the further expansion of the tourist industry.”

As Ambassador-At-Large, Chancellor Modica will continue to work through the University to promote tourism, trade, and investment activities for Grenada. He will work with the Government of Grenada in the ongoing development of the country. Among his goals is to encourage airline companies to see that Grenada is an attractive tourist destination.

Chancellor Modica expressed his thanks to Prime Minister Mitchell on behalf of the government of Grenada for this honor. “We started this University almost 30 years ago in 1976. In this short time the University has undergone rapid expansion, most of which took place under this government. The government has fostered and supported our work, ensuring that we have the climate favorable for growth and expansion,” Chancellor Modica said.

Chancellor Modica has been working with the people and government of Grenada since the University began as a medical school in 1976. Today SGU is an international center of learning with more that 5,500 graduates working and practicing all over the globe. More than 1,000 new students are enrolled each year in the various academic programs. The tremendous growth of the University would not have been possible if the island of Grenada had not embraced SGU and fostered its development.

Chancellor Modica also expressed his thanks and gratitude for the University community. “I can only accept this honor on behalf of all the people who are here tonight. You are the key people in this University and none of this would have been possible were it not for your hard work, dedication, and commitment.”

Dr. Allen Pensick, Provost of the University, commented that this is a proud occasion for the Chancellor and for the University. “The University has a great leader and you have led us to this day and you will lead us beyond.” he said.

Published on 01/31/2006

University Administration Expands to Fulfill Goals of the 21st Century

Three new top University posts have been created and filled, culminating a decade of enormous expansion and growth for St. George’s. These appointments signal the University’s commitment to developing an increasing number of programs, educational opportunities, and academic partnerships in the region and the world. They will allow the University to effectively and positively further its goals of international academic excellence in the 21st century.

The creation of the Office of the Provost is of major significance as it clearly manifests the exciting expansion of the University and its need for University unity and coherent direction with its many schools and programs. Allen H. Pensick, PhD has been named as University Provost, effective July 2004. “This realignment and restructuring of academic administration at the University makes it much easier for external people and institutions to understand us and work with us – an important factor in our development as a global institution,” Dr. Pensick said. “The new structure is also a big benefit internally as the Provost has more authority to implement University initiatives quickly, facilitating rapid and smooth transitions as the University continues to grow.”

As Provost Dr. Pensick is the chief academic point person for the University both externally and internally, responsible for faculty, academic staff, and academic programs. All academic negotiations and initiations by outside institutions, governments, and people will work through this new office. Dr. Pensick, who has been a member of the faculty at St. George’s University since 1984, is among the large number of dynamic faculty and administrators who actively seek connections with programs, scholars, and educational and research institutions in the region and around the world.

Dr. Pensick’s vision for the future is that the University will continue to grow and expand in areas that will meet the needs of the local and regional communities and will continue to be an international university with a diverse population of excellent students and faculty from around the world.

The University’s creation of the Office of Institutional Advancement is another signal to the academic world that St. George’s is serious about the development of its educational and research programs within the academic world and the implementation of its mission to aid in regional educational excellence. Denis Paul, PhD, noted educator, has been named as the first Director of this office, effective July 1, 2004. “The creation of this office and my assignment as Director of Institutional Advancement gives me the opportunity to examine the future of the University,” Dr. Paul said. “I’ll be looking for opportunities for growth and expansion by understanding where we’ve been successful in the past and where we can be successful in the future.”

In his new role, Dr. Paul directs the University’s efforts in external funding for University development and quality assurance for educational and research programs. He is working on building and strengthening external relationships between the University and the Government of Grenada, international and regional institutions, donor and development agencies, and professional associations, and is working with the Alumni Association to facilitate their role in fostering the University’s relationship with the international network of alumni in all schools of the University.

“St. George’s University is a strong institution and has enjoyed much success for the past 25 years,” he said. “We need to take a constant look at where we we’re going and where we can expand to ensure that we’re keeping up with the changing times.”

The re-institution of the title Dean of the School of Medicine reflects both the maturation of the SOM and the growth of the University administrative levels which will allow the SOM administration to focus on the exciting developments in the school necessary for medicine in the 21st century. Stephen Weitzman, MD, long time Dean of Clinical Studies at St. George’s, has been appointed Dean of the School of Medicine, effective July 1, 2004. Dr. Weitzman will continue to build on the University’s commitment to excellence and its tradition of attracting dedicated students from all over the world. “Our commitment to excellence is not only about academics. It is about developing ethical principles and a certain altruism among our students and faculty,” Dr. Weitzman said. “We want to not only teach medicine but professionalism as well.”

In his new position, he hopes to instill in the SGU students a sense that medicine is about safety in caring for patients and that the mission of a physician is to help people and treat diseases. In cooperation with the basic science administration, he will pursue a thorough integration of education in ethics and professionalism throughout the entire medical curriculum, from basic to clinical sciences.

This appointment brings Dr. Weitzman into the University Council of Deans (UCD) which meets each month with the Chancellor in attendance to discuss University-wide and inter-School matters. It will be a benefit to the UCD to have Dr. Weitzman’s years of clinical program experience in the University discussions. Dr. Weitzman will continue his work in the clinical program at the University in addition to his new deanship position. “The University functions very well as a team,” Dr. Weitzman said, “With talented and committed deans working so well together for so many years, it has developed into a collective leadership body, enabling me to continue to guide the program and take on new responsibilities.”

Published on 10/06/2004