Livonne Charles, BA

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

“I’m responsible for doing real estate valuations of commercial properties such as hotels, office and retail buildings, marinas, as well as residential dwellings and land valuations. It’s a very difficult job but I love it. As one of if not the most qualified valuation managers with over 10 years of experience in real estate in Grenada, I have to be completely unbiased in my assessment of the property I’m reviewing. I enjoy both aspects of my job, which first starts with trying to foster a good relationship with my clients, while working with my staff on data collection, property inspections, and creating valuation reports detailing a properties’ worth. The other aspect involves offering other real estate advisory services such as rental reviews, highest and best use, and market studies. I analyze the data, going through various scientific methodologies to provide informed assessments for my clients.”

How would you describe your SGU experience?

“My experience at SGU was amazing. It was the perfect blend of education and socialization. SGU’s diversity makes it stand out, and the relationships I’ve built with my colleagues while there is one of my biggest achievements and something that I will always cherish. Our professors were an incredible mix of local, regional, and international faculty, so you didn’t just get taught what was on the curriculum. They also shared their global experiences. I also had the added benefit of working while attending the University, which really helped me to put what I learnt at SGU into the practical field much sooner.”

How did you get into your field?

“When I started at SGU, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was headed but I did know that my two interests were computer science and business. However, after speaking with Colin Dowe, Associate Dean of Enrollment Planning, he encouraged me to sign up for the Management and Information Systems (MIS) program – advice I am forever grateful for. MIS is one of the best programs, as it provided just the right combination of my interests and allowed me to diversify myself in both my professional and personal life.”

What’s your next step?

“I’m in the process of attaining full qualification in the area of valuations under the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS). While I already have several certifications under the RICS, obtaining full qualification and membership will allow me to continuously produce the best service to my clients and also allow me to work anywhere in the world that the RICS is accepted. Additionally, during my fourth year at SGU, I started a company called SpiceVibes. It’s a media and technology company that offers services in social media management, photography, videography, web design, database design, and even provides services in other islands. After a successful seven years, I then got the opportunity to start a vacation rentals and concierge company, Summer Direct, along with some other incredible partners. With the success of both companies, and the experience I’ve attained, I’ve decided to start another company with plans to surpass the ones before. My favorite quote is ‘Go Beyond’. It’s similar to the SGU motto ‘Think Beyond’. I chose it because now that I am in the real world I have to ‘Go Beyond’”.

Quasi Williams, BSc

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology at St. George’s University before applying to the School of Veterinary Medicine turned out to be one of the best decisions Quasi Williams, BSc SGU ’13, ever made. For although he loved working with animals, it was during his time at SGU that he found his passion for apiculture—or as it’s more commonly known, beekeeping.

Mr. Williams has spent more than 10 years with within Grenada’s Veterinary and Livestock Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment. He now serves as the Livestock Extension Assistant responsible for apiculture.

“My job requires providing technical assistance to all the beekeepers of our tri-island state, including workshops and training for said beekeepers,” stated Mr. Williams. “In addition to overseeing and conducting research in the field of apiculture on behalf of the Ministry, I also provide technical support to senior staff within the Veterinary division.”

While at SGU, Mr. Williams was asked to oversee and work with the School of Veterinary Medicine’s East Caribbean Bee Research Extension Centre (ECBREC), as the Ministry’s technical officer. ECBREC currently carries out internationally recognized research in bee diseases, parasites, pests, husbandry, and pollination, to enhance the knowledge of agriculture and livestock sustainability, ecology, behavior, and conservation, and provides technical training for local and regional beekeepers. It was this invaluable opportunity that Mr. Williams now credits with his entry into the field of apiculture.

“My experiences at SGU were an eye opener that I would enjoy sharing with my kids in the future. My interactions with people from many different cultures, and the friends and professors that helped me throughout my time at the University would all be cherished,” said Mr. Williams. “My decision to attend SGU has impacted my life greatly. I didn’t know what to expect, but by the end of my time there, I had a clear path of my future, career-wise, which was uncertain during the initial stages of my academic journey.”

In addition to academics, during his time at SGU, Mr. Williams also had an active athletic career. An avid footballer, he was a member of the University’s varsity football/soccer team as well as the inter-sector netball team. Currently, he coaches SGU’s female varsity football team under the guidance of Mr. Chris Park, Assistant to the Director of Athletics, SGU, which now has an all-female intramurals competition every semester. As part of SGU’s athletics team, Mr. Williams continues to raise the profile of sports and expand the number of opportunities offered to students in various sporting disciplines, exercise sciences, and physical education.

Aside from beekeeping, Mr. Williams loves working with animals both farm and domestic, presently providing care as an aspiring veterinary technician within the Ministry. In the future, he plans to specialize in veterinary public health and epidemiology, beginning with a master’s degree and then on to a PhD.

– Ray-Donna Peters

Nicole Cambridge, BSc, MBA

The road to academic success for Nicole Cambridge, MBA SGU ’15, BSc SGU ’11, has been a winding one, complete with pit stops, twists, and turns throughout. Nevertheless, she persevered, and went on to a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance and a Master of Business Administration, specializing in international business, at St. George’s University.

She earned them both—and maintained a high GPA—all while juggling jobs and taking care of her family. Ms. Cambridge now serves as the Business Development and Research Officer at Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

“Although it took me 10 years and I faced many obstacles, I also had many triumphs, including having my three beautiful daughters along the way,” Ms. Cambridge said.

At the GCIC, Ms. Cambridge supports the organization’s work across a range of areas, including research, policy advice, revenue generation, engagement, and capacity building. She is responsible for collecting and analyzing socioeconomic data and trade statistics, and developing the necessary policy papers to meet the changing needs of the members and stakeholders of the Chamber.

“I wear two caps while working at the GCIC. Some days I work on the business development side of things, drafting contracts, and helping to organize training sessions for local businesses,” stated Ms. Cambridge. “Other days I’m doing research. All of my research skills I acquired through my MBA at SGU, including collecting and analyzing data and reporting, in laymen’s terms, to the average reader. I love what I do. These skills in research methodology and accounting are utilized daily and push me to strive even further in developing my career in finance.”

Ms. Cambridge began as a business studies major at SGU, but altered her course to focus on economics and finance. She was so successful academically that she went on to teach a course in microeconomics in the Department of Educational Services (DES).

Ms. Cambridge hopes to bolster her credentials by achieving certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1, a professional designation given by the CFA Institute that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Additionally, she plans on taking an online Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate course that introduces market concepts such as economic indicators, currencies (foreign exchange), fixed income (bonds) and equity markets. Her hope is to one day have a career as a portfolio manager, research analyst, or corporate financial analyst.

“To other students thinking about embarking on their own academic journey, although the road may be rough at times, what really matters in the end is getting there successfully,” encouraged Ms. Cambridge. “I would tell them ‘Never give up, and if I can do it, you can do it too.’”

Afia Joseph, BA, MBA

For Afia Joseph and many other young Grenadians, St. George’s University provided an opportunity for personal and professional growth and development, while also allowing them to study close to home.

Just over a decade since she started her journey, Ms. Joseph is equipped with both a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from SGU. She is now the Managing Director at Glenelg Spring Water Inc., a position that unites her two passions.

“What attracted me to SGU were the opportunities it offered to us, the young people of Grenada—those of us who could not afford to travel to attend a university abroad or didn’t possess the necessary qualifications to enter our already limited job market,” said Ms. Joseph. “For Grenadians, SGU allows us to follow our dreams by presenting a chance to afford an excellent university education and obtain a college degree or higher, which opens doors that would’ve remained closed had you not had a degree. SGU makes dreams possible.”

As a visionary leader and innovative executive, Ms. Joseph has been with Glenelg for more than 10 years, working her way up from Financial Manager/Accountant to Marketing and Development Manager to finally serving as Managing Director for the past two years.

“While at Glenelg, I have spearheaded strategic change and structural adjustments, which have led to the sustainability and survival of the business within a very competitive industry,” said Ms. Joseph. “With my proven track record in the management of financial resources, especially cash flow management, I have been able to steer our team in the direction of the vision for the company while keeping on task to meet all goals within the next five years.”

Exhibiting leadership skills from an early age, Ms. Joseph credits the Grenada Junior Achievers, a youth leadership program for high school students, with kindling the flame of her leadership instincts, and St. George’s University with fueling the fire. During the seven years she spent at SGU, Ms. Joseph was also the President of the Business Students Association, a role she feels undoubtedly assisted in the development of her leadership skills.

“Through SGU, I started my growth path to leadership. When you have learned organizational skills and how to respect deadlines at school, this carries over into the workplace,” added Ms. Joseph. “Also, while my primary interest is in business development and management, I am a firm believer in entrepreneurship. One of my goals is to help our young entrepreneurs navigate the challenges in achieving successful businesses in Grenada.”

Mondel George, MD, BSc

At a young age—just 17—Mondel George set off on his journey to become a physician. Born and raised in Grenada, he didn’t have to travel far to attend his dream school.

“St. George’s University was then, and still is, the most prestigious institution in the Caribbean, so there was nowhere else I would have rather attended,” said Dr. George, a 2015 School of Medicine graduate.

In addition to being a general practitioner on the island, Dr. George pays it forward at his alma mater by working as a learning strategist in the Department of Educational Services, providing medical students with the tools and tips to succeed both in their studies and in their careers.

His contribution is part of a network of support that helps the entire student body, just as it did for him through his undergraduate and medical studies at SGU.

“One thing that really sets SGU apart from other institutions is the amount of support that is offered to its students,” stated Dr. George. “There are numerous avenues for helping students, from the Psychological Services Center to University Health Services, including the Department of Educational Services and faculty open office hours. As a student, if you’re ever in need, there is someone here to help you at SGU.”

While pursuing his Bachelor of Science within the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Dr. George was also a member of the Undergraduate Student Government Association and the Caribbean Students Association, while also serving as a teaching assistant and a volunteer at the SGU radio station. After completing his bachelor’s degree in three-and-a-half years, he took the summer off to work in Grenada’s Ministry of Agriculture.

In the past, he had volunteered with the Sickle Cell Association of Grenada, with mental health organizations, and at his local church. With a desire to help those in need, he applied to SGU’s School of Medicine program and received a scholarship to attend.

“When I started medical school, I felt like the foundation I had in SAS was incomparable to those students who did not previously attend SGU,” added Dr. George. “I was not only familiar with the campus but also with the professors, the test-taking formats, and the different resources I could go to for help. I never once felt like I was left alone in the wilderness. I feel like the lecturers here at SGU do an excellent job in terms of guiding you toward having a successful career.”

Dr. George greatly appreciates the foundation that SGU has created, which he is building upon to this day. He is a Charter Class member of SGU’s Master of Education program, with a graduation date of May 2018. Dr. George encourages others to follow a similar path to achieve their own goals.

“As an international university that is well respected, the diversity that SGU offers in unlike any other,” he said. “The connections that I made in undergrad are still present in my life today. The hands-on support that the University offered prepared me well to enter such a noble profession.”

Jeannine Sylvester-Gill, BSc

Studying psychology in the 1990s wasn’t a popular choice in Grenada, a stigma attached to the field due to its close link to psychiatry and mental health. Yet Jeannine Sylvester-Gill followed her passion, and as a result, individuals and families in her home country have benefited from her leadership.

Ms. Sylvester-Gill graduated with a Bachelor of Science in social sciences from St. George’s University in 2000. Now the Executive Director of Grenada Planned Parenthood Association (GPPA), she oversees the programming and administration of its two clinics, as well as its programs in sexual reproductive health and rights.

“My work at Planned Parenthood has taken me into many different realms. I work on addressing women’s issues, human rights, sexual reproductive health, rights for people who have HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and others from the most at-risk populations,” said Ms. Sylvester-Gill. “My focus is on ensuring that everybody has a better quality of life, and that sexual and reproductive health services are available to all.”

In 1997, while working as a secretary within the newly established School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Ms. Sylvester-Gill started off as a part-time psychology student in SAS before making the move from staff to full-time student. Later, as more programs within SAS were instituted, she switched to a degree in social sciences with a major in social work.

“SGU presented an opportunity for many Grenadians that didn’t exist for us before. It gave us the option to attend a university in our homeland instead of having to travel abroad,” said Ms. Sylvester-Gill. “SGU took into consideration the financial aspect and the commitment that was needed. It gave locals the chance to stay in Grenada while furthering their academic career and having their family’s support close by. This was an opportunity that many Grenadians didn’t have before.”

After graduating from SGU, Ms. Sylvester-Gill utilized her skills in psychology and human behavior while working as a social worker for 12 years before joining GPPA in 2012. In addition to her current role, Ms. Sylvester-Gill recently submitted her master’s thesis for approval to the University of the Southern Caribbean, where she will earn her Master of Science in counseling psychology, with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy.

SGU provided the building blocks for a long and successful career, as well as relationships that have stood the test of time.

“With SAS being a new school, there were a few challenges but there was also a lot of support,” she added. “That experience taught us to be flexible and adapt to different circumstances a lot better. It allowed us to mingle with the medical students as well as other international students from the Caribbean and around the world, and we formed lifelong friendships and networks. SAS presented us with numerous opportunities for development that weren’t available to us before.”

Wayne Smart, BSc

In a short time, St. George’s University graduate Wayne Smart, BSc SGU ’14, has seen his career take flight since enrolling in the marine, wildlife, and conservation biology program at SGU. He now hopes his efforts can brighten the futures of the species and ecosystems that he is studying.

Mr. Smart is a graduate teaching assistant at Arkansas State University (ASU), where he is concurrently pursuing at Master of Science in Environmental Sciences. He’s in the final stages of researching the nesting performance of seabirds in the Grenadines—to assess whether invasive predators and human harvesting of seabird eggs, chicks, and adults have any effect on the trends in their nesting performance on the islands.

After graduating from high school and community college, Mr. Smart was left to wonder which direction to go next in his career. That all changed once he enrolled in the marine and wildlife conservation program at SGU. He quickly developed an interest in avian species and marine ecosystem protection and conservation, and went on to graduate cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biology.

“SGU played a pivotal role in terms of my growth,” said Mr. Smart. “It really did open my eyes to numerous possibilities.”

During his time at SGU, Mr. Smart joined several student organizations, including the Education, Conservation, and Outreach Student Organization (ECO) and the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), serving as President and Vice President respectively. He also jumped on an opportunity to complete a senior internship under SGU Visiting Professor Jack Kirkley, during which they studied birds of prey in Yellowstone National Park and Beaverhead County in Montana. Upon graduating, Mr. Smart worked with the non-governmental organization, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC). After serving as a field researcher, EPIC granted him permission to use the data from its program to his current research work at ASU.

Mr. Smart credits SGU with helping him cultivate the academic discipline needed to succeed by utilizing all the resources that the University had to offer, including taking extra classes when necessary. Upon completing his master’s degree, he would welcome the chance to return to his home country to enhance conservation efforts.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in Grenada in terms of research and building science infrastructure, and I think right now is a good time to be a part of that movement,” said Mr. Smart. “After graduating, I would love to come back and partner with SGU. I love what I’m doing right now and I’m definitely good at it, so I’m sticking to it.”

Kerricia Hobson, BSc

Even from a young age, Kerricia Hobson, BSc SGU ’08, has been passionate about and fascinated by the ocean and its inhabitants. So, it seemed only natural when she decided to study marine biology at St. George’s University, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in life sciences.

Ms. Hobson kept her passion alive as she now serves as Project Manager for the Coastal Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) Project in Grenada’s Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, and the Environment. The project is designed to reinforce deteriorating reef structures in Grenada and Carriacou through the creation and maintenance of the island’s first-ever coral nurseries, a task that will have many long-term environmental and sociological benefits for Grenada and other Caribbean islands.

“SGU was really the foundation for everything. Much of what I studied at the University is integral to what I do now,” said Ms. Hobson. “While I work more in the management aspect of various projects and initiatives, it helps that I have that technical background from SGU because I am able to understand the jargon used in the field, which is very useful in my position.”

During Prince Harry’s 2016 visit to Grenada, Ms. Hobson explained how the reef restoration project will help fuel the island’s tourism and fisheries industries.

“To restore [these reefs], coastal ecosystems have proven to be less costly to implement and a better fit than hard infrastructures such as seawalls,” Ms. Hobson said.

After working as a science teacher, she enrolled in SGU’s School of Arts and Sciences in 2005. In addition to her studies, she served on the Public Lecturer Committee and was instrumental in developing the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), serving two years as its President and making it more reflective of the student body it represented and being more involved in the lives of the students.

“Beyond being an institution where I could receive my bachelor’s degree, some of the most supportive and encouraging people I’ve ever met have come from SGU,” said Ms. Hobson. “The lecturers in SAS have always been ready and willing to do whatever was necessary to help me advance, and I can never be too grateful for that. I am still very much tied to SGU now, as a member of the Alumni Association and I will always be thankful for the opportunities that I have been afforded through being a part of the SGU family.”

Jody Daniel, BSc

St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences graduate Jody Daniel was recently awarded the coveted Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) to the University of Waterloo, an institution ranked first in Canada as its most innovative university for the past 24 years running. Unbeknownst to her, Ms. Daniel was nominated for the prestigious scholarship by a Waterloo faculty member. The OTS, which serves as a significant recruitment initiative to attract the best qualified international students to Ontario for PhD studies will also provide her with full funding for the four years as she pursues her degree in biology, beginning this September.

For Ms. Daniel, becoming a marine and wildlife conservationist was not a lifelong dream but rather a growing passion ignited by her time spent obtaining her bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biology, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC) at St. George’s University. Guided by Dr. Andrea Easter-Pilcher, Senior Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Daniel attributes the outstanding SGU faculty in the BEC department, along with her involvement in the student group Education Conservation Outreach (ECO), with awakening her desire to be of service to the conservation effort locally.

“My time at SGU while I was involved in ECO really helped me to embrace the culture of conservation, which we currently don’t have here in Grenada, since the concept is relatively new to our small island state,” said Ms. Daniel. “I think we will eventually get there and the fact that ECO recognizes these gaps is what really attracted me to conservation research in particular.”

Ms. Daniel credits Dr. Easter-Pilcher, who noticed her love for the sciences and the outdoors and steered her to SGU’s Marine and Wildlife program. Additionally, she tributes Dr. Eric Dyreson, a visiting professor from the University of Montana Western with sparking her interest in Wildlife Ecology Management. Ms. Daniel later went on to do an online internship with Dr. Dyreson—a research project focusing on the population dynamics of the Grenada hook-billed kite.

“Dr. Dyreson taught us about population ecology and research modeling, which everyone in the class thought was boring except for me,” shared Ms. Daniel. “I learned to do programming and to estimate and monitor change over time, which I found fascinating. My subject preferences are physics and math, and when I realized this program had a strong quantitative background ,that cemented by aspiration into conservation research.”

In 2014, after completing her degree at SGU, Ms. Daniel left her hometown of Grand Anse in Grenada and pursued a master’s degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. She received full funding after being awarded the National Science and Engineering Council Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship and focused on natural resource management while completing her degree in conservation ecology in 2015.

Since graduating, Ms. Daniel continues to give back to her homeland, returning to her alma mater where she has worked both part-time and full-time as a teacher in the BEC department at SGU. Her strong interest in research models and gathering quantitative evidence to be used in management decisions has also driven her volunteer work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries and the Woburn Woodlands Development Organization.

“Many of my colleagues are currently working in the Fisheries division and doing some very informative campaigns in regards to educating the public on conservation,” praised Ms. Daniel. “However, I would like to tackle this topic from the scientific research side, which I believe will go hand in hand with the educational campaigns already being done.”