By Lesroy W. Williams
(Frigate Bay, Basseterre)- Nine employees of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine received university degrees from DeVry University for the very first time at their graduate recognition ceremony at the Royal St. Kitts Resort, Frigate Bay, on June 14.
In attendance for the occasion were staff of Ross University and family and friends of the graduates.
Of the nine employees, six graduated with Master’s Degrees and three with Bachelor’s Degrees.
Those who graduated with Master’s Degrees include: Cyndie P. Demming, Masters of Human Resource Management (distinction); Charles Wentworth Pemberton, Masters of Project Management; Julienne Hannele, Master of Accounting and Financial Management; Floyd D. Revan, Master of Human Resource Management; Alison Stewart, Masters of Business Administration w. Concentration in Accounting; Collin Williams, Masters of Information Systems.
Those who graduated with Bachelors Degrees include: Cheryl Cumberbatch, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology; Cyndie P. Demming, Bachelor of Science Technical Management (Magna Cum Laude); Petronella Avonelle Fahie, Bachelor of Science in Technical Management; Iona Halliday-Simmonds, Bachelor of Business Administration w. Concentration in Health Services Management (Honors).
The graduates were awarded the privilege of undertaking their studies online from DeVry University through a special arrangement between DeVry University and R.U.S.V.M. for employees of Ross University and their families.
The program began in 2006 and at present there are 52 employees and their families who are enrolled. To date, an estimated EC$5 million have been spent in tuition on those who have enrolled, according to Dr.
David Young, Dean of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Books are paid for by the students. Students are not bonded to the RUSVM upon completion of their programs.
“Education is paramount in the development of the individual and society. You are pioneers,” Dr. Young told the students.
The Honourable Sam Condor, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education gave the keynote address.
“We take pride and satisfaction in the fact that St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be a favoured destination for quality offshore education,” Mr. Condor stated.
“There obviously are stories of triumph and delight in this hall tonight. Stories of individuals, who have discovered themselves, and the fact that they are capable of so much more than they thought; those who have received amazing support from employers, partners, relatives, friends and colleagues and who are immensely grateful,” Mr. Condor said.
One such student is Cyndie Demming, who graduated with a Masters of Human Resource Management (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Science Technical Management (magna Cum Laude).
“I had to give up some extra-curricular activities. It’s not easy when you are working, studying and looking after a family,” Cyndie remarked.
“I am grateful for the opportunity because I would not have been able to afford having a University degree on my own. I was in the right place at the right time,” Cyndie said.
Continuing his address, Minister Condor said “This graduation then, is a celebration of your many stories and a recognition of the journey that each of you had to walk to be here tonight. It is also recognition of the sacrifices; the tears and disappointments; accomplishment, friendships and camaraderie. It is a celebration that signifies obstacles overcome; goals attained and personal, institutional and national growth.”
“It is clearer today than ever before, that employers and societal expectations more generally, will favour those who can demonstrate intellectual flexibility, innovation, and a commitment to continued personal growth. In this modern world that is constantly changing, it behooves us to build capacity in analyses, logic and professional skills, which are essential to developing potential to confront new and emerging challenges,” Mr. Condor said.
Mr. Condor thanked RUSVM for their continued support to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis and also said that the University has the support of his Government.
Mr. Charles Pemberton, a Masters of Project Management spoke on behalf of the graduates.
“In this age of the global marketplace, the importance of continued education can be underestimated. It is very important that while you are in the workplace that you continue to re-educate and upgrade your education. In this way you will be better able to make a better contribution to your workplace,” Mr. Pemberton urged the graduates.
“I want to say to my fellow graduates that this is not the end of the road. This is just the beginning. I expect each of us to find some way within our workplace to make some contribution.”
The ceremony ended with the vote of thanks from Michael Chapman, Human Resource Manager at Ross University. A reception followed after.