UWI St Augustine Campus names six Honorary Graduands
June 12, 2013:
The 2013 graduation ceremonies at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine will see the conferral of six honorary doctorates on the following persons in recognition of their stellar contributions to the development of Trinidad & Tobago and the wider Caribbean:
• Rt Rev Clive Abdulah, Former Bishop, Trinidad & Tobago LLD
• Dr Theodosius Ming Whi Poon-King – Researcher/Scientist, Trinidad & Tobago DSc
• Dr Lakshmi Persaud – Novelist/Writer/Literary Commentator, London DLitt
• M. Ian Randle – Publisher/Entrepreneur, Jamaica LLD
• Ms Marina Salandy-Brown – Journalist, Trinidad & Tobago DLitt
• Dr Elisha Tikasingh – Scientist, Trinidad & Tobago DSc
A total of 19 Honorary Graduands have been named by the regional University. The degrees will be conferred by UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne at graduation exercises, beginning with the Open Campus ceremony in Grenada on October 12; the Cave Hill Campus ceremony in Barbados on October 19; the St. Augustine Campus ceremony in Trinidad & Tobago from October 24 to 26; and the Mona Campus ceremony in Jamaica, October 31 to November 2.
As is customary, honorary graduands will address audiences at various graduation ceremonies.
About the Honorary Graduands
Rt Rev Clive Abdulah – LLD
The Rt Rev Clive Abdulah BA, STM, FCP, DMIN, DD, has the distinction of bearing many ‘firsts’. He was the first national to be elected Bishop of Trinidad & Tobago − a position in which he served for 23 years (1970-1993). He is a founding member of the Inter-Religious Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago and its second President. He is still the first and only Bishop to have served as a member of the University Council of The UWI from 1971-1975 and is the first West Indian Bishop to serve on the Board of Directors of the Anglican Centre in Rome (1992-1995).
Bishop Abdulah has gained international recognition for his meritorious contributions to theology. He played an instrumental role in having the Anglican Consultative Council meet for the first time in the Caribbean in 1976; and in 1987 initiated the visit by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa to Trinidad and Tobago.
For his sterling contributions, he was the recipient of the Hummingbird Gold Medal in the 2010 National Honours List of Trinidad and Tobago and, in 2013, received the Cadet Corps Commanding Officer’s Award. Bishop Abdulah continues to serve in the Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago.
Dr Theodosius Ming Whi Poon-King - DSc
An acclaimed medical researcher, Dr Theodosius Poon-King MD, BSc, FRCP Edin FACP has made tremendous and invaluable contributions to medical research in areas such as diabetes, acute rheumatic fever, paraquat poisoning and scorpion sting mycocarditis. He was the first to report on a link between scorpion stings and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), and published the report in the British Medical Journal. He is also credited with undertaking the first nationwide survey of diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago in 1961. He presented this study at the International Congress of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden in 1967, and in 1968, it was published in The Lancet, one of the most respected medical journals in the world.
Dr Poon-King founded the Streptococcal Disease Unit at the San Fernando General Hospital in 1966 to investigate and control the recurrent epidemics of acute nephritis and high incidence of acute rheumatic fever in South Trinidad, and in collaborative research with scientists from the USA and UK discovered four new nephritogenic streptococci in Trinidad and Tobago. Resulting from the research, the recurrent epidemics of nephritis were brought under control and both acute rheumatic fever and post streptococcal nephritis have been virtually eradicated in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1974, Dr Poon-King began research on paraquat poisoning with Dr Rasheed Rahaman and designed a treatment which he later modified in collaboration with Dr Edward Adoo. Their treatment is known internationally as the Adoo–Poon-King regime and was published in The Lancet and the Journal of Clinical Toxicology.
Dr Poon-King is a member of the World Heart Federation, the Caribbean Cardiac Society and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the American College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine. For his unparalleled scholarship, Dr Poon-King received the Trinidad & Tobago Chaconia Gold Medal for contributions to medicine in 1975, The Papal Medal (from His Holiness Pope John Paul II) for services to medicine in 1983 and the Commonwealth Caribbean Medal Research Council Award in 1995 for distinguished medical research in the Caribbean.
Dr Lakshmi Persaud - DLitt
Dr Lakshmi Persaud has gained international eminence for her literary works. After completing her BA (Hons) and her PhD at Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland, and Postgraduate Diploma in Education at Reading University, UK, Dr Persaud returned to the Caribbean where she taught at the secondary school level in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Barbados. Further to this, she once again travelled to the United Kingdom where she began her illustrious writing career as a novelist, short-story writer and literary commentator. Dr Persaud has authored five books, one of which, ‘Butterfly in the Wind’ was a ‘best book’ selection by the London Library Association.
Dr Persaud’s work has been lauded by respected Caribbean academics such as Professor Kenneth Ramchand and Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie, and is used at universities in North America, the UK and at all campuses of The UWI. In recognition of her work, Dr Persaud is the recipient of a number of awards and honours: a Research Fellowship in her name was established by the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies at Warwick University, UK. Her significant contribution to the development of Trinidad & Tobago’s Literature was recognized when she was conferred a Life Time Literary Award by the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) as part of the 50th Anniversary Independence Celebrations.
Mr Ian Randle – LLD
A pioneer in the field of Caribbean Publishing, in 1990 Mr Ian Randle founded the first commercial scholarly publishing company in the Anglophone Caribbean, Ian Randle Publishers Limited (IRP). Mr Randle began his publishing career as the Caribbean Editor for Collins Educational Publishers, UK in 1970 until 1974, after which he was Managing Director of Heinemann Publishers Caribbean Limited from 1975 to 1990. In 1996, he founded the Caribbean Law Publishing Company which has now merged with IRP.
Mr Randle is the holder of a BA with special honours from UWI Mona, an MSc in International Studies, University of Southampton, UK and a Diploma in Publishing from the University of Denver. Among his professional appointments, Mr Randle is a founding member and Vice President of the Caribbean Publishers Network (CAPNET); a Board member of the Edna Manley Foundation in Jamaica and also served as a member of the CARICOM Task Force on Culture from 2009 to 2011. He has been honoured with a number of awards for services to publishing, among them the Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, the Order of Distinction, Officer Class (OD) and the Prince Claus Laureate Award in 2012.
Ms Marina Salandy-Brown - DLitt
Ms Marina Salandy-Brown BA, PG Dip, DLitt, FRSA, has had a distinguished career in media, the arts and literature. An international prize-winning programme maker, she has made extensive contributions to the cultural landscapes of both Trinidad & Tobago and the United Kingdom. She was a former editor of the Melrose Press in London, a Governor of the University of Westminster and a Former Trustee of the Koestler Awards to support and fund Arts in prisons in the UK. Ms Salandy-Brown served as a senior executive with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where she was critical to strategic policy making and the conception and production of radio programmes.
Since her return to Trinidad & Tobago, Ms Salandy-Brown has contributed a weekly column to the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, is a consultant to the Trinidad & Tobago Film Company and works across the Caribbean as a media consultant. Her crowning achievement and contribution to the cultural life of the Caribbean is the Bocas Lit Fest, first held in 2011. Ms Salandy-Brown is the founder and director of this annual literary festival which has established itself as a major national, regional and international festival of Caribbean literature and has attracted outstanding writers from the Caribbean and abroad − both established authors and emerging or aspiring writers.
Ms Salandy-Brown has received a number of awards for her exceptional work over the course of her career, including the Programme of the Year award in 1990 from the UK Television and Radio Industries Club; Radio Journalist of the Year in 1994 (UK) and the Sony Gold Award for Best News Programme in 2000 (UK) for her work with BBC Radio.
Dr Elisha Tikasingh – DSc
Dr Elisha Tikasingh has made sterling contributions to scientific research in the Caribbean region and is internationally renowned for his work in entomology, parasitology and virology. Upon completion of his academic qualifications, he joined the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory (TRVL) UWI, St Augustine in 1960 as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. He was appointed to the post of Lecturer in Microbiology at UWI and in 1971 was promoted to Senior Lecturer. When the TRVL became the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) as part of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tikasingh became an international civil servant as a scientist with PAHO.
During his 25-year career, he established the Parasitology Unit at CAREC which subsequently served as a reference centre to laboratories in 19 countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean, and authored over 100 research articles which have been featured in international peer-reviewed journals. Dr Tikasingh is internationally known for the development of a technique to produce hyper-immune ascetic fluids in mice, which is used today as the gold standard and forms the basis for arbovirus immunological studies.
In recognition of his stellar service to science, Dr Tikasingh has received a number of awards including the Distinguished Service Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Public Health from the Caribbean Public Health Association (1994) and the award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements in Entomology, Parasitology and Virology from the Caribbean Health Research Council (2005).