Dominic Gaspard, BSc

From his time as a student at St. George’s University, Dominic Gaspard values the people he met and the adventures he went on as much as foundation it provided for his career

“If you come to SGU with the mindset of obtaining a degree as fast as possible, you would have missed the entire experience,” said the 2020 School of Arts and Sciences alum who earned degrees in international business as well as accounting and finance.

Currently a teacher at the Anglican High School in Grenada, Mr. Gaspard is also a full-time entrepreneur involved in two business ventures, one of which started as a project for the SAS Principles of Marketing course in which they were tasked with creating a marketing plan for a new product. Their product of choice: insect repellent candles.

After receiving positive reviews, he encouraged his classmates to join him in pursuing the concept further. They later took the idea to the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation’s Young Innovators Challenge where similar sentiments were echoed.

2020 graduate Dominic Gaspard has used his degree to earn a teaching position at Anglican High School in St. George’s.

“Most of my time at SGU was actually spent with the SGU community and forming relationships. I’ve learned so much more outside the classroom thanks to the network I’ve built,” said Mr. Gaspard. “The level of student support and student engagement greatly enhanced my studies, especially given the additional responsibilities at home with my mom.”

The highlight of his time was the opportunity to participate in the 2018 Global X-Culture Conference and Symposium held at the University of Macerata in Italy. There he competed among 140 students from 29 countries, and he and his team captured one of only four company challenge trophies. In addition, the international experience provided him with the opportunity to learn about various cultures, interact with different nationalities and understand the importance of global perspectives.

“To SGU, I would say thank you—it’s the most enlightening experience I have ever had is my university experience,” he said. “That slogan ‘Think Beyond’ is something that has been branded into me and I don’t see the world the same way as I used to. I’m always looking at the bigger picture.”

It was not only a reward for him and his colleagues, but when he was faced with personal challenges leading up the Symposium—prompting him to second-guess his participation—he was instead buoyed by the enormous outpouring of support from his fellow classmates, as well as faculty and staff alike.

“I have been involved with another universities, and when I assess the level of student support systems SGU has in place, I can tell there is a conscious effort to take care of both students and staff,” he said.

During his time at SGU, Mr. Gaspard was also named president of the Business Students Association and served as a key member of the orientation team.  For those who aspire to pursue any number of careers locally, regionally, or around the world, he would implore them weigh all their options but also to know that “being a product of St. George’s University, including the quality of the education, the level of student support, and the extensive ability to network, prepares you for life.”

Published December 2020

Then a student, Dominic Gaspard (left), aided by his team of international students, was presented with one of the four company challenge trophies at the 2018 Global X-Culture Conference and Symposium held in Italy.

Damian Greaves, MPH

When Dr. Damian Greaves changed course in his career, switching from politics to academic, he had always intended to return. But more than 15 years into his time as an educator at St. George’s University, he has reveled in the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to future leaders in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean. 

“When I teach, I am on top of the world because it is not just a job, it is a vocation—to inspire and mold minds,” said Dr. Greaves, a professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

He came to St. George’s University in 2006 after spending five years as the Minister of Health in St. Lucia, first serving as a part-time lecturer while working on a Master of Public Health (MPH) from SGU, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Walden University.  

“Leveraging on various experiences gives a broader view on what is happening, and therefore translates to a more panoramic and rigorous analysis of matters that may come to my attention,” said Dr. Greaves. “It also gives you a more global prospective.”

Roles Run the Gamut

Even with all of his roles at SGU, he traveled to St. Lucia monthly to attend parliamentary sessions. All told, the former Minister served 15 years in politics, including three as senator, for which he led the opposition in the House. Dr. Greaves was also Minister for Culture and Community Development. His passion for culture led him to write songs, own a Carnival band, and participate in calypso competitions.  

Nevertheless, Dr. Greaves remained at SGU as an instructor, teaching Social Sciences and Medicine to premedical and preveterinary students, as well as sociology courses such as Race, Class and Gender; Caribbean Social Structure; Caribbean Government and Politics; and Introduction to Political Science. 

When you are teaching, you have to be well read. One of your toolkits is to continue to research and read, particularly in this ever-evolving technical age.” Dr. Greaves said. “If you’re a sociologist and you don’t have a working knowledge of economics, political science, other areas of social sciences and even outside of those, your analysis will be the limited because you must engage other subject matters that impact what you’re interrogating.” 

He also leads a very active campus life, serving as president of the School of Arts and Sciences Senate as well as the University Senate. He is also a member of various committees such as the Graduate and Undergraduate Committees, Accreditation Committee, and SGU IRB; a body with a mandate to review the content of research studies. 

Outside of SGU, Dr. Greaves is the director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, sits on the National Advisory Board for National Health Insurance, and is chair of the Grenada National Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases, a position he has held since 2017Dr. Greaves is also writing his first book, which focuses on health management in the Caribbean.   

Published February 2021

Adel Hagley Ollivierre, MBA

When Adel Hagley Ollivierre boiled down her career aspirations, two necessities became clear to her—to be in a position that she enjoys while also making a difference in the lives of others. As the current assistant administrator for the Office of the Dean at St. George’s University’s School of Arts and Sciences, she feels she has accomplished just that. 

A Master of Business Administration helped equip her with all the tools for success in that role. The 2018 SGU alumna explained why pursuing an MBA was one of the best career decisions she made, and why she would recommend it to entrepreneurs. 

St. George’s University: Why did you choose to pursue an MBA at SGU? 

Adel Hagley Ollivierre: I envisioned my decision to pursue an MBA would allow me to enhance my knowledge and hone critical competencies across several managerial disciplines, which I felt would create opportunities for career advancement. It was also ideal because of its online mode of delivery, as I could complete my program while at the same time balancing family life and a full-time job. 

SGU: How has this MBA made a difference in your life? 

Hagley Ollivierre: It has brought immediate value to me as an individual. It has proved useful in giving me the confidence to make a major career change. I often felt that I had greater potential and could be more impactful in my career. Acquiring new knowledge tends to change your perspective and initiate other interests. Additionally, it served as an avenue that fostered enduring friendships with colleagues of my graduating class and the exemplary faculty and staff of our program, who provided the requisite knowledge and guidance. 

SGU: You previously worked in the Grenada Public Service. Why did you make such a major career change? 

Hagley Ollivierre: The decision to transition from the public sector to the private sector was a fairly easy one. My time with the Grenada Public Service allowed me to work with brilliant colleagues and develop the skill set and competencies that today serve as the foundation for future growth and development. Naturally, I felt I was at a stage in my career where I wanted to make a difference and simply enjoy what I did for a living. 

Joining the team in the Office of the Dean was the answer to my prayers. I finally had the opportunity to apply my theoretical knowledge and years of experience to a real-life situation. Here, my productive capabilities are demonstrated. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I execute my duties and navigate this dynamic and often unpredictable environment. 

I am fortunate to have a terrific manager who appreciates my contributions and provides the necessary support and guidance. I enjoy going to work and collaborating with our competent faculty and staff. It gives me a great sense of pride knowing that our collective efforts contribute to the success of our students and organization. 

SGU: Going back to your time as a student, how would you describe campus life for an MBA student? 

Hagley Ollivierre: My on-campus experiences generally involved attending residencies, or studying at the library or study spaces on weekends. St. George’s University is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Grenada—it’s simply the gold standard in my book. I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced its scenic ocean view, the refreshing environment, and the well equipped and comfortable facilities. 

SGU: Would you recommend SGU’s MBA program to entrepreneurs? 

Hagley Ollivierre: The MBA-IB program is designed with an international perspective and is especially beneficial in terms of providing very practical case analyses. It culminates with the defense of a business-related capstone project. This component I believe is particularly useful for aspiring entrepreneurs, as it helps develop appropriate business acumen and provides practical experience. I would highly recommend it. 

Published January 2021

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’.”

 

Published August 2018

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 working at 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.

 

Published February 2018

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.’”

 

Published January 2018 

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.”

 

Published October 2017

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.”

 

Published October 2017

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.”

 

Published May 2017

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.”

 

Published April 2017