The school of Theology and Religion held its sixth, Theological Inter-denominational Symposium. The three-day symposium under the theme was held from Jan 23-26, 2019. The symposium’s objectives included but was not limited to ‘The establishment of biblical, theological and historical foundations of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as a major doctrine of the church’,’To give witness to the doctrine of the Trinity as espoused by the Seventh-day Adventist church to other religious faiths’ and to ‘Make an academic contribution to theological scholarship as an Adventist tertiary institution.’
Over two hundred persons were in attendance at the event which concluded with a panel discussion on Sabbath afternoon. The two main presenters were Mr Matthew L. Tinkham and Dr Thomas Shepherd, Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Programme Director both of the Andrews Univesity Theological Seminary.
Several abstracts for the Plenary sessions were presented including ‘Where is the Trinity in the New Testament? An overview’ and ‘The Divinity of Jesus Christ’ under the patron of Dr Sheppard. ‘Talking about God: Preliminary Hermeneutical and Methodological Considerations for studying the doctrine of the Triune God’ were part of the six sessions done by Mark Tinkham’.
Participants included several Adventist ministers from across the Caribbean Union who commented positively on the enjoyable, informative and engaging sessions particularly by Dr Shepherd who punctuated his presentations with many humorous anecdotes. The success of this year’s symposium is credited to the hard work and the team of the school which is affectionately referred to as “The School of the Prophets”.
In a digital age, there’s a somewhat invisible line between what is real and what is fake.
The term fake news, almost oxymoronic in nature plagues the airwaves, and if you are in possession of a smart device (Phone, Laptop, Tablet etc.) you would have probably been the victim of fake news at least once.
The University of the Southern Caribbean recently held a two-day conference entitled, “Freedom, Facts and Fake News” under the patronage of the British High Commissioner to The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Tim Stew. The lead facilitator for this event was BBC Broadcast Journalist, Mr Neil Nunes who featured alongside several highly esteemed media practitioners throughout the two-day course. In his address, His Excellency Tim Stew highlighted some keynotes; the increase in the number of journalists being murdered over the years, the need for a greater defence for free media and the cause of the downfall of various media- corruption. He shared that the British government is working assiduously to ensure that there is freedom in media and all efforts are being made to counter the dissemination of fake news.
The keynote speaker on day one was the Minister of National Security and Minister of Communications the Honourable Stuart Young. “Media practitioners must recognize their responsibility and take charge”, one of the first hard-hitting comments made by the minister. He shared three major issues in media; secrecy, the procurement process and incompetence on a large scale.
BBC Broadcast Journalist, Mr Neil Nunes’ presentation delved into the phenomenon of fake news and why it is easier to accept distorted reality when it doesn’t fit into one’s agenda. To combat fake news in Trinidad and Tobago we must change the culture of being “know it alls” and accept feedback and to develop policies to guide journalists with relation to the audience. Fake news gives light to falsehood. It has brought out transparency and engagement to uncover the truth.
Panel for Day 1: L-R Dr Loverne Jacobs-Browne, Dr Hilary Bowman, Min The Honourable Stuart Young, His Excellency Tim Stew, Dr Kern Tobias, Dr Leon Wilson, Mr Neil Nunes
Carded speakers and presenters included the Managing Editor of Guardian Media Limited, Julian Rogers, Head of Multimedia Business Unit of One Caribbean Media Group, Anthony Wilson, Senior Journalist at Trinidad Express Newspapers, Dr. Sheila Rampersad, Head of News and Current Affairs at Power 102 fm Andrew Johnson, Regional Lifestyle Editor at Trend Media, Laura Dowrich- Phillips, High Court Judge, Justice Kathy Ann Waterman- Latchoo, Founder and CEO of Tova Music Group Limited- Josh Rudder, Executive Editorial Consultant with Daily News Limited- Jones P Madeira, Editor-in-Chief of Newsday- Judy Raymond, President of the Public Relations Association of Trinidad and Tobago- Nicole Duke- Westfield, Researcher and Scholar- Dr Leon C. Wilson, Content Manager of Loop Trinidad and Tobago- Ceola Belix, Digital Marketing and Sales Professional- LaShaun Ramdin and Dean of the School of Distance Education at the University of the Southern Caribbean- Dr. LeRoy Hill.
On Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 USC saw 4 nominations for awards in various categories at the Ceremony and saw victory in one category.
USC Current Students/Alumni nominated were:
Lenova Ramella (Student) – Young Artiste of the year
Renee Lawrence (Student) – Undiscovered Artiste of the year
Shurnelle Spencer (Alumnus) – Collaboration of the year/Breakout Artiste of the year
USC Choir – Choir of the year
The nominees were up against many other artistes across the nation and found themselves qualified through both public voting and technical examination from the GMATT body and on the USC Choir/UCO won their category of Choir of the Year.
Receiving the award was Mr Kerron Hislop, Director of the UCO and Head of the Music Department at USC.
USC has a rich heritage of being an active participant to the national and international gospel world, and with the reviving of the Music Department under the leadership of Mr Kerron Hislop, it has begun to regain momentum and recognition in the spheres of music both nationally and internationally, competing and excelling in several competitions locally.
The Gospel Music Awards of Trinidad and Tobago is an oppportunity to celebrate the achievements of local and regional gospel music artistes and industry influencers and to reward the outstanding work of the various sectors within gospel music.
This ‘premium gospel event’ is an initiative taken on by the Celian International Group which is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) geared towards youth, with the aim of being triumphant through Sport and Culture.
Over 200 units of nursing equipment and supplies are being shipped to the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) due to the efforts of the USC Alumni Association, North America Chapter, and coordinators of the USC Nursing Supplies Project, Claire Hosten and Lorna DeLancy. The officers are grateful for all the alumni and friends who supported this project.
Extraordinary contributions were made by Myrtle Arthur, R.N. J., Angela Latchman Aleme, D.C., Ron Brathwaite M.D., Walter Douglas, Ph.D., Wayne Greaves, M.D., Amryl Greaves, Lois Kum, R.N., Laurence Weekes, M.D., Linda Tigner Weekes, M.D. and the Florida Adventist Hospital.
It is the hope of the Alumni Association, N.A., coordinators of the project and donors, that the equipment and supplies will enhance the educational experience of USC’s nursing students and upon graduation, they will continue the tradition of being loyal and supportive alumni of USC.
International recording artiste, Stellar award nominee and BET’s Sunday Best finalist, Maurice Griffin, welcomed the holidays at the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) when he headlined – “The Greatest Story Ever Told”; a concert hosted by USC Music in collaboration with the Durey and Lesli Foundation. The event took place in the University Auditorium on December 1, 2018.
Also featured at the event were many other international and local artistes including Grammy-nominated producer, Mr Roger Ryan.
Sharing the stage with Maurice Griffin was USC alumna, Shurnelle Spencer. Their harmonious performance of “Little Drummer Boy” captivated the audience of over 800 who attended what has now been dubbed as the USC Music “event-of the-year.” Well loved Christmas carols such as: Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Away in A Manger, O Holy Night and Christ is Born were delivered by Griffin, all backed by The University Choir and Orchestra (UCO).
Led by Mr. Kerron Hislop, the UCO and its two ensembles, the University Symphony Orchestra and the University Concert Band performed a variety of pieces. The Greatest Story ever told would be incomplete if the St. Hillaire Brothers were not in attendance. They sang Christmas Time Again, Holy Medley, You Are My All In All and Canon in D Medley. The brothers were also accompanied by the UCO.
Other performers of the night included The Ladies Trio, The University Singers led by Dr. Boyd Gibson, The Women’s Chorus, The University Ringers, HIS LUV, The Sax Quartet and The Maracas SDA Primary School.
The Greatest Story Ever Told was the hallmark of this year’s on-campus music activities.
As the year draws to a close, USC Music will continue their “on-the-road” trips which aim at drawing others closer to Christ and uplifting spirits through melodies.
The complete gallery of the event can be found here.
The Digicel Foundation selected the Occupational Therapy (OT) Department at the University of the Southern Caribbean as one of the beneficiaries in its “Digicel Foundation’s Centres of Excellence” programme. The Occupational Therapy Department was awarded a grant of TT$130,000.00 to be used towards the “Digicel Foundation Occupational Therapy Simulation and Resource Lab” to be located at the USC main campus, Maracas, St. Joseph.
Established in 2012, the Digicel Foundation focuses on building awareness, providing therapy and supporting opportunities for capacity building and promotion of inclusion for persons with special needs. Continuing its support for persons dedicated to working with people with special needs, the occupational therapy lab will house specialized equipment to educate the OT masters students as well as an adaptive mini-apartment in which the students will be able to practice hands-on therapeutic techniques. The grant will also be used to purposely retrofit bathrooms and outdoor access to the occupational therapy department thereby creating a truly accessible environment for this innovative programme.
The signing of the contract sealing the partnership took place on October 31st at USC’s main campus in Maracas, St. Joseph. On behalf of USC, the director of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy programme, Dr Lesley Garcia thanked Digicel Foundation Project Manager, Ms Natalie de Silva, “We are grateful and excited to collaborate with the Digicel Foundation. It is heartwarming to have corporate support for a profession that is so needed like ours. Thank you for your vision and support.”
The Ladies’ Residence Hall hosted a Career Development Workshop on October 28, 2018. The theme of the workshop was, “Winning Ways to Career Success” and its objectives were to satisfy the need for career development training and influence the learning of residence hall students. Participants comprised of 30 students from both the Ladies’ Residence Hall and Timothy Greaves Hall, with the majority being senior students working toward graduation in 2019.
This interactive and thought-provoking workshop covered topics such as, Resume Writing and Critiquing, Networking, Dressing for Success, Online Job Search and Mock Interviews. Facilitator, Ms. Mulcare, a Marketing and Communication Director with over 15 years’ experience in Corporate Communication and Strategic Marketing encouraged the participants to set high career goals. Her timely advice was appreciated by all present and her flamboyant personality added to the presentation.
The second facilitator, Mrs. Garth Francis is the Business Development Manager at Caribbeanjobs.com. He presented on the do’s and don’ts of the online job search and the benefits of registering with Caribbeanjobs.com. His advice on how individuals should present self on social media and the impact that it can have on securing a job was warmly received.
The participants described the workshop as interactive, informative and practical. They further expressed the impact it had by commenting, “I feel more prepared to engage myself in job seeking.”; “This workshop has given me a better perspective on career development.”; “I am better prepared and more confident for the world of work.” And, “An eye opener…very informative.”
The desired outcome of the workshop is that students will demonstrate the ability to utilize the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their career path after leaving USC.
The University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) hosted it’s annual Week of Prayer/Week of Spiritual Emphasis which run from October 26 – November 5, 2018 in the Social Sciences Auditorium. The speaker for the week’s sessions was Pastor Anthony Hall and his messages were under the themes: “Joseph: Positioned for Purpose” and “Elijah: Just Like Us”.
Pastor Hall was very profound in his deliveries throughout the week and students/staff who attended were deeply moved and encouraged to understand their purpose and to surrender their all to Jesus.
At the end of the week-long event, 15 persons gave their lives over to Christ through baptism.
Photographic highlights of the event
16th Annual George Carlington Simmons Lecture Series
On October 22nd 2018 the conference room of the Hilton Hotel was the scene of the 16th Annual George Carlington Simmons Lecture Series. In attendance was the one who made the series a continual event, Professor (emeritus) George C. Simmons. The 97-year-old Simmons took to the podium to greet the listening audience.
A graduate of the class of 1945, Dr Simmons has for over two decades contributed to the knowledge base at the institution through a book collection in his name. Over the years, the collection has grown and boasts of over 6000 books on philosophy, Greek and English literature, English history and culture, psychology and the arts.
He boasted about the two institutions that impacted his life, Maracas and North Western. He said “Maracas taught me how to read and how to aim high, just how to aim high not low, not mediocre but to aim high. North Western gave me a certain confidence, a certain pride coupled with humility. These two institutions made me what I am and I praise Him(God) day and night that I am still around and that I still have a desire to serve, to serve humanity. I have no other ambition in life now at the age of 97, but to do something good and right and lasting. Still speaking firmly, he continued, “I want to leave a library, a new building in Maracas valley for the beauty of the soul.”
Dr Simmons, with his wit and humour, introduced the individuals seated on the platform to the attending patrons. However, his main task was to introduce the main speaker Dr.Sarah Pritchard, Dean of Libraries, Northwestern University. Dr Simmons was pleased to note that Dr Pritchard achieved a Phi, Beta, Kappa, which is the highest academic honour a student can receive at the university level.
Dr Pritchard’s lecture, titled “Libraries and the Persistence of Knowledge”, brought new insight and answered many questions shifting about the mind of her attentive listeners. She highlighted that libraries today are still important. “University administrators or the parents of our students, the person almost always says to me, Do we even need libraries anymore, isn’t everything on the internet? The short answer is yes and yes! That is, there is a lot on the Internet and yes we still need libraries because not everything is on the Internet, and even though it is, we need libraries and librarians to curate and evaluate information to help navigate and integrate the proliferation of pathways, to find information and customize information for many diverse needs in society.” She remarked.
She then gave a brief history as to why libraries were set up, stating that “Libraries were typically set up,I need to say this, not for the public good. Back in the original creation of libraries, they were set up by rulers, by governments, by wealthy elites, by major religious institutions. These were the people that controlled the society’s resources, policies and actions. With that role came a desire to control knowledge.” Dr. Pritchard continued to give a succinct history of libraries and their growth and value to society.
In her closing words, Dr.Prichard summed up her speech saying “Libraries will endure in whatever is the relevant format of a given time in history because libraries are about preserving and sharing the records of human culture making a path for the future.” After which, she thanked the audience.
Other noteworthy speakers were the President of The University of The Southern Caribbean
Dr Hillary Bowman, Ms Stacey-Ann Quintero (Librarian USC), Mr AJ. Jagelski (Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy to Trinidad and Tobago), Mr. Thomas Isaac (Lecturer, School of Social Sciences USC) Dr Vernon Andrews (Past President-1983-1990), Dr. Kern Tobias (Chairman, Board of Trustees USC) and Mrs. Petronetta Pierre- Robertson (Documentalist /Librarian, University of the West Indies).
The curtains have closed on the 16th Annual George Carlington Simmons Lecture Series and the patrons look forward to the next installment of this intriguing Series.