Prepared by Dr. Susan Chand, Director, Office of Research & Innovation
Visit usc.edu.tt/researchday for more!
Research Day is an annual event that showcases the scholarly work of the faculty, staff and students at the University of the Southern Caribbean through oral presentations, poster exhibitions and round table discussions. As we continue to be in the pandemic times, the presentations will be focusing on the dimensionalities and disparities encountered by the people locally and across the globe. Theme of the Research Day 2022 is: “Human Dimensionalities and Disparities: The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical, Social, Economic, Emotional and Spiritual Well Being”.
COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal way of life for people world-wide. Rapid changes to adapt to the ‘new normal’ has created a competitive environment that has challenged access to health, resources, food, jobs by many individuals leading to disparities in human dimensions. Human dimension encompasses a wide range of human behaviours, relationships, and dynamics. Countries and regions continue to face threats directed toward exploitation of persons from low socio-economic status, minority groups, women, and migrant populations. This situation under COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to exacerbating rather than alleviating the plights of the vulnerable groups globally as well in the Caribbean region (United Nations Policy Brief COVID LAC, 2020).
The USC Research Day 2022 will address the issues of human dimensionalities and disparities in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the objectives will be to:
1. Address the issues of disparities across human dimensions globally and regionally.
2. Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the physical, social, economic, emotional, and spiritual well-being of people globally and in the context of the Caribbean region.
3. Discuss the disparities faced by the vulnerable populations globally and in the Caribbean region.
4. Provide innovative solutions/interventions to address human problems and disparities under COVID-19 pandemic.
PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES
Research Day will begin with the Public Lecture Series – VII on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 6:00 – 7:30 pm AST.
Public Lectures are held to address issues that are current and relevant to the University and the wider community. In the past, the topics of these Lectures have ranged from crime prevention, domestic violence, and child authority act, rising trends in diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago, climate change and mental health, education during COVID-19 pandemic, and public science – learning without walls. Public Lectures commenced at USC since 2019. These events are hosted from the Office of Research and Innovation.
This prestigious lecture will be delivered by Dr. Wayne L. Greaves, Distinguished Scientist in the biopharmaceutical field, physician and a specialist in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, USA. His primary focus is on research and development of drugs for infectious diseases. Dr. Greaves is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the author of numerous scientific articles.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic much of his time has been devoted to addressing myths about the Covid vaccines and separating fact from fiction.
USC RESEARCH DAY ONE – MARCH 9, 2022: OPENING CEREMONY
Research Day Opening Ceremony will commence on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 from 8:30 am – 9:45 am.
The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Dillon Alleyne, Deputy Director, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub regional Headquarters for the Caribbean, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Topic: “The impact of the Covid19 on the Economic and Social Sectors and peoples of the Caribbean and Opportunities for Resilience Building”
Session – 1: Featured Panel Presentations: 9:55 – 11:00 am
Overarching Theme: “Evidential and Collaborative Approaches for Addressing Health Disparities and Equity”
Presenter # 1: Noel Brathwaite, PhD, MSPH, Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Maryland Department of Health, Baltimore, USA.
Topic: Data Driven policy Formulation and Implementation
Presenter # 2: David A. Mann, MD, PhD, Epidemiologist, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Maryland Department of Health, Baltimore, USA
Topic: COVID-19: A Causal Model Approach to Health Equity Data
Presenter # 3: Arif J. Vega, PhD, Director of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion – Engagement and Outreach, LUNGevity Foundation, Washington, USA
Topic: Priority Intervention Models
Presenter # 4: Diane Walker, MDH, Executive Assistant, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Maryland Department of Health, Baltimore, USA
Topic: Funding, Capacity Building and Drivers of Sustainability
Session – 2: USC Students’ Oral Presentations – 11:00 – 11:40 am
Session – 3: USC Faculty Featured Presentations – 11:45 am – 12:25 pm
Presenter # 1: Ms. Fayola St. Bernard, Chair, Department of Computing, Mathematics and Technology School of Sciences, Technology and Allied Health, University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago.
Topic: “The Impact of Gamification on Student Engagement and Performance”
Presenter # 2: Dr. Gersha Pierre, Director, Quality Assurance, University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago.
Topic: “Using the Mixed Method Research Design for Scale Development and Inferential Analysis of Student Satisfaction in Higher Education”
Session – 4: USC Students’ Oral Presentations – 12:25 – 1:00 pm
Session – 5: ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION – 4:45 – 6:00 pm
Topic: “Three years in and counting: Navigating the interdisciplinary implications of Covid 19″.
Moderator – Dr. Amanda Thomas, Research Assistant Professor, School of Graduate Studies and Research, USC
1. Dr. Cerise Hunt: Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Director for the Center for Public Health Practice, Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at Colorado School of Public Health University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
2. Dr. Apryl Alexander: Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver (DU).
3. Dr. Godfrey St. Bernard: Senior Fellow, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
4. Dr. Lois George: Programme Coordinator for Undergraduate and Graduate Mathematics Education programmes and co-chairperson for the SOE Academic Quality Assurance Committee (SOEAQAC).
5. Dr. Claudette Mitchell: Chair, Department of Consumer Sciences, School of Science, Technology and Allied Health, USC
Session – 6: USC Faculty & Students’ Oral Presentations – 6:00 – 7:30 pm
USC RESEARCH DAY TWO – MARCH 10, 2022
Session – 1 – Featured Presentation – 8:30 – 9:10 am
Featured Speaker: Mr. Charles D. Jean-Pierre Collier, President, T&T Association of Psychologists
Topic: “When the Proposal Pleases the Whole Group – Participatory Action Research”
Session – 2 – USC Faculty and Students’ Presentations – 9:10 – 9:50 am
Session – 3: Featured Presentation – 9:50 – 10:30 am
Presenter: Dr. Walter Murray, Managing Director/Founder – Strategic Business Analysts, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Topic: “Human Dimensionality, Covid19 and Opportunities to Implement Genesis Leadership Principles”
Session – 3 – USC Faculty and Students’ Presentations – 10:30 – 11:15 am
SESSION – 4: ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION – 11:20 AM – 12:30 PM
MODERATOR: Mr. Paul Richards, Independent Senator, Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Adjunct Faculty, USC
Overarching Theme: “Human Dimensionalities and Disparities: Inter-regional perspectives and solutions”
Presenter # 1: Kenneth P Swansi, MBA, MPhil, PhD, Chair, Business Department Associate Dean, Graduate School Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies [AIIAS], Philippines
Focus area: “Economic disparities on account of COVID-19 globally and in the Asian context”
Presenter # 2: Lía Rodríguez de la Vega, PhD, Teacher/Researcher at the National University of Lomas de Zamora/University of Palermo, Argentina & Director of the Diploma of Asian Studies (UNCAUS, Argentina)
Focus area: “Latin American perspective on disparity issues during COVID-19 pandemic (including gender issues)”
Presenter # 3: Amy Paul-Ward, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Former Director, Nursing PhD Program Florida International University, USA & Visiting Faculty, Department of Occupational Therapy, USC
Focus area: “Disparities with special reference to disabilities: A health anthropological perspective in the context North America”
Presenter # 4: Donald T Simeon, PhD, Director, Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, Professor of Biostatistics and Public Health Research, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad
Focus area: “The Critical Role of the Researcher in addressing the COVID-driven challenges to Human Dimensionalities and Disparities”
Presenter # 5: Dr. Wanda Chesney, Provost, University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad
Focus area: “Online Teaching and Learning Challenges and Resilience at a Tertiary Institution – Actions for closing the Disparity gaps”
CLOSING CEREMONY – 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Keynote Speaker: Professor Sunil Khanna, Professor and Robert & Sara Rothschild Endowed Chair in Global Health, Oregon State University, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon, USA
Topic: Exploring Dimensions of Health Inequities: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author: Susan Chand, PhD – Director, Office of Research & Innovation
President’s Brown Bag Series was launched by the former President, Dr. Trevor Gardner after USC was awarded a university status by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago in 2006. Brown Bag Series was envisioned to be a platform for intellectual discourse and discussion for faculty at USC. The first lecture was delivered by an erudite Professor of Sociology, late Dr. Letroy Cummings from the School of Social Sciences. Dr. Cummings’s lecture drew from his extensive research based on content analysis of newspaper articles on intimate partner violence in Guyana. His work was published in the USC Journal of Research Volume II (2011) entitled “Incidents and Explanations of Romantic Homicides in Guyana”. This was the only series that was launched.
In 2015, Academic Forum was launched along the same objectives as the President’s Brown Bag Series. Academic Forum was conceptualized by the then Dean of Distance Education, Dr. Sylvan Lashley to offer engaging and constructive discussion around the presentations of scholarly work by faculty, staff or students. Two Academic Forums were held each semester.
The first Academic Forum was launched by the President, Dr. Clinton Valley on September 2, 2015, with Dr. Lashley and Ms. Colleen Letlow presenting their findings on their study, “Entrepreneurial teams at work: concepts and practices – live case. Since then, the Office of Research and Innovation has been hosting Academic Forums till the academic year 2020.
President’s Brown Bag Series Relaunch
The President’s Brown Bag Series was relaunched by our newly appointed 29th USC President, Dr. Colwick Wilson on November 10, 2021, via the zoom platform. This event featured Dr. Amanda Thomas, PhD, Research Methods and Statistics, Office of Research and Innovation, School of Graduate Studies and Research, USC. Her presentation was based on her doctoral thesis, “Differences in Academic Achievement between African American and African Caribbean Students studying in the United States: A Meta-Analysis”. This relaunch attracted over 40 attendees from USC community, members of the academic from the tertiary institutions of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean, and the United States.
President’s Brown Bag Series – 2 – A Phenomenal Lecture by Dr. Hansel M. Fletcher
On January 26, 2022, Dr. Hansel M. Fletcher, an accomplished scientist and professor of molecular genetics/biochemistry of microbial diseases with focus on oral bacterial pathogens delivered a seminal lecture on “Overcoming Environmental Stress: Survival skills and the impact of the oral microbiome on the host”. Dr. Fletcher is currently an Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Affairs and Professor of Microbiology and Genetics in the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University, California.
The Office of the President and the Office of Research and Innovation jointly hosted this event. The session commenced with an opening prayer by Dr. Llyod Jacott, Chaplain at USC. Dr. Susan Chand, Director of Research and Innovation, extended a warm welcome to all the attendees, and presented an overview of the President’s Brown Bag Series at USC. Dr. Colwick Wilson welcomed Dr. Fletcher and formally acknowledged the presence of all the attendees including Dr. Sanjay Ramnanan, President of the Dental Association of Trinidad and Tobago and Dr. Rahul Naidu, Professor of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine. The attendees included faculty, staff and students at the University of the Southern Caribbean, faculty and students from the School of Dentistry and the Department of Microbiology, UWI, members from the Dental Association of Trinidad and Tobago and Dentists and Medical Doctors from the Caribbean and the United States. Also among the attendees were Dr. Wayne Greaves, Executive Director, Infectious Diseases, Merck Research Laboratories, New Jersey, USA and Dr. Walter Murray, Managing Director, Leadership Training LLC, USA. Over 46 attendees were present at this event. Dr. Sanjay Ramnanan rendered his greetings and presented an overview of the Dental Association of Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Edward Clarke, Dean, School of Social Sciences and Interim Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research introduced Dr. Fletcher. Dr. Angelle Bullard-Roberts responded to Dr. Fletcher’s lecture and mentioned that the diverse socio-cultural practices of the people of Trinidad impact their oral hygiene need to be addressed while making strides in oral health and overall well-being. She also iterated the need for collaborative research with the Loma Linda University, Dental Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the School of Dentistry. This was also expressed earlier by Dr. Ramnanan and later in his speech by Dr. Naidu. Dr. Rahul Naidu also responded to Dr. Fletcher’s lecture and asked a question ————(need to view the video for his question to Dr. Fletcher). Dr. Wanda Chesney accorded a vote of thanks to all contributing parties of the event, Dr. Fletcher, and the invitees. Dr. Kenneth Niles brought a close to the invigorating afternoon by a word of prayer.
Highlights of Dr. Fletcher’s Lecture:
Dr. Fletcher elucidated oral diseases as global health challenge affecting over 3.5 billion people globally. These chronic clinical conditions range from dental caries (tooth decay), periodontal (gum) disease, and cancer. He emphasized the relevancy of physical, social and psychosocial functioning as core elements for oral health and overall well-being. Dr. Fletcher highlighted the periodontal disease as an interaction of multiple factors leading to inflammation and bone loss. He further illustrated the host-microbe interaction that cause inflammation and bone loss. It was an astounding revelation that unhealthy teeth can be a causative factor for Alzheimer disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and insulin resistance, adverse pregnancy outcomes, respiratory tract infection and bacterial pneumonia. Towards the end of his lecture, Dr. Fletcher acknowledged his past and present research team and their landmark research on Filifactor alocis’ virulent attributes and interactions with periodontal pathogens, namely Pophyromonas gingivalis. His future project involves integrating current and novel techniques to modulate Dysbiotic Oralome.
On March 9-10, 2022 the Department of Research and Innovation will host the USC International Research Conference under the theme: Human Dimensionalities and Disparities: The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical, Social, Economic, Emotional and Spiritual Well Being.
The USC International Research Conference 2022 will address the issues of human dimensionalities and disparities in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the objectives of the Conference will be to:
- Address the issues of disparities across human dimensions globally and regionally
- Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the physical, social, economic, emotional, and spiritual well-being of people globally and in the context of the Caribbean region
- Discuss the disparities faced by the vulnerable populations globally and in the Caribbean region
- Provide innovative solutions/interventions to address human problems and disparities under COVID-19 pandemic
The Department of Research and Innovation invites submission of an abstract of 250 words on the conference theme: Human Dimensionalities and Disparities: The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical, Social, Economic, Emotional and Spiritual Well Being.
The abstract should include:
- Aim/Objectives of the study
- Methodology – research design, target population, data collection methods and analysis
- Major Findings
- Keywords: 4-5 key words
For suggested sub-themes and submission instructions, kindly visit usc.edu.tt/irc
Abstract submission deadline: January 31, 2022
Early 2021, India was hit by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Many precious lives were lost leaving behind bereaved families. In response to this situation, Independent Ministries of Seventh-day Adventists in India formed a support network to provide medical, social, emotional, and spiritual care to persons suffering from COVID-19 and families who lost their loved ones to COVID-19. Dr. Austin Navis, medical doctor, and director of Abundant Lifestyle (Kolkata, India) spearheaded the initiative. Also, being the secretary of the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN) India, Dr. Austin brought together medical professionals, Bible workers and lay volunteers in the field. The international ministries with centres in India like the Amazing Facts, Adventist World Radio 360, Hope Channel, LIGHT, AMEN, Restoration Health, Wisdom Tooth Technologies, 24/7 United Prayer, also came out to support this initiative. The support network was named as “Adventist COVID Care” ministry. Dr. Austin and another prominent member of the AMEN, India ministry, Dr. Samuel George Hansdak (Head, Medicine IV Unit, Christian Medical College and Hospital, India) held a series of meetings with the volunteers and laid down the guidelines and structure for ACC.
This ministry needed a team to provide social and emotional care to the affected persons requesting for help. Dr. Austin was in touch with Dr. Susan Chand, Director of Research and Innovation at USC through another project they were working on. He requested Dr. Chand’s assistance in forming a team for Social and Emotional Support. Dr. Chand, in collaboration with Dr. Edward Clarke, Dean of the School of Social Sciences identified faculty members to be part of this team. The members of the team are Dr. Glenda Hinkson, Dr. Kenneth Niles, Dr. Chanchal Gayen and Dr. Clarke. Dr. Chand led out as the coordinator for the group and a liaison between ACC and USC.
ACC was launched on the virtual platform by the Director for Health Ministries of the Southern Asia Division, Dr. Edison Samraj on June 10, 2021. Dr. Clarke, Dr. Niles and Dr. Chand attended the launch.
Between May 19 to June 30, 2021, USC’s Social and Emotional Support team through ACC conducted five training sessions for the medical professions, Bible Workers, and lay volunteers from the Seventh-day Adventist communities in India on the zoom platform. Each training sessions had over 40 participants including the interns in the Counseling Psychology programmes at USC.
Under the auspices of USC’s Charter Week 2021 which commemorates fifteen years of University Status, the Department of Research and Innovation presents its 15th Annual Research Day. For the first time, USC’s Research Day will be hosted virtually under the theme: Education in Transition: Moving Beyond a Pandemic Response.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational landscape has dramatically transitioned from the traditional face to face teaching and learning experiences to remote mode on a digital platform.
Presentations will focus on the challenges, opportunities, innovative approaches in the diverse disciplines of study – health and medical care, management strategies, promoting student-centric culture, entrepreneurship, unemployment issues, online education and counselling, teacher-student attitudes and beliefs, home-schooling, national security issues and food consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 10 & 11, 2021 presenters from Africa, Asia, the USA, South America and the Caribbean will participate in auspicious event inaugurated by The Honourable Minister Dr. Nyan Gadsy-Dolly, Minister of Education, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
USC’s 15th Annual Research Day will conclude with a lively Round Table Discussion facilitated by Sen. Paul Richards, Independent Senator in the Parliament, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Panelists from various Adventist Universities will focus on theme: Moving Beyond a Pandemic Response. Panelists will highlight their success stories and effective strategies undertaken during the pandemic.
As a pre-cursor, USC’s 5th Annual Public Lecture Series will see a feature presentation by Dr. Leslie N. Pollard, President of the Oakwood University. Dr. Pollard’s presentation will also reflect on the theme: Education in Transition: Moving Beyond a Pandemic Response.
For more information and to view a full schedule of activity: https://usc.edu.tt/researchday/