The Caribbean Union Family Life, Health, and Women, Children and Adolescents Ministries departments, the University of the Southern Caribbean, Loma Linda University, Johns Hopkins University and Oakwood University have teamed up to conduct the Caribbean Union Health and Well-being Study (CHWBS). This is a ground-breaking study of the adult Seventh-day Adventist population in the Caribbean Union focusing majorly on mental health, family, and women issues.
A section of the study focuses specifically on Pastors. The findings from the study will be used to provide data driven ministry initiatives to improve the health and well-being of our members in the Caribbean Union and provide invaluable information on the experiences related to the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19). The study is fully endorsed and supported by the Caribbean Union Conference Executive Committee.
By Simone Augustus, Corporate Communications Officer
The longstanding relationship President Colwick Wilson holds with Oakwood University (OU) has proved invaluable to USC’s department of Integrated Marketing & Communications (IMC).
During USC’s graduation activities for the Class of 2022, the IMC team greatly benefited from the assistance, expertise and training provided by Dr. Dwyane Cheddar. Dr. Dwyane Cheddar is the Director of the Oakwood University Broadcasting Network (OUBN), and an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Oakwood University.
Coming out of this visit Dr. Cheddar has committed to work with USC to develop a certificate programme in media production to be offered in 2023.
As USC’s relationship with OU continues to grow, the IMC team has further benefited through the donation of media production equipment. Oakwood University has gifted computer and camera equipment valued at over USD$8,500. This invaluable contribution includes:
- 1 Mac Pro Computer
- 1 Canon XA55 Video Camera
Oakwood has changed out their video cameras at their campus and has confirmed a further contribution to IMC of additional seven video cameras they once used. These cameras are great condition and are currently being services in the US, after which they will be shipped to USC.
Contributed By: Le-Roy Pierre, Director, Sport & Physical Education Department (SPED)
Cricket, lovely cricket! It was a great match.
Captain Coppin won the toss and put Maracas Cricketing Legends in to bat. They had a poor start to their innings as the President’s XI bowlers maintained a steady line and length with wickets falling at regular intervals. At the end of the allotted seven overs, the Legends were able to muster a competitive total of 56 runs for the loss of 4 wickets giving the President’s XI 57 to win.
In comes the President’s XI and in just the second over lost their first wicket. However, sensible barring from Robert Solomon who made 28 not out steady the batting. As the President’s XI got closer to the score of wickets began to fall including that of the President who was run out forcing a run.
At the end of the 7 overs scores were tied at 56 forcing a super over. The President’s XI had the first go at the crease with captain Coppin and Victor Timothy taking the crease. To the dismay of Maracas Legends, Captain Coppin sent the first two deliveries for mighty sixes followed up by a single. In the 4th ball Timothy was out for a duck. Carl Solomon came in and made a single leaving the Legends a competitive score of 15 runs to win.
The over was entrusted to the elder of the Solomon’s brothers – Carl. He did not disappoint. He restricted the scoring effort of the legends to two runs for the loss two wickets. The Legends conceded defeat. President’s XI over 50 cricket team taking home the challenge trophy with the man of the match trophy going to Carl Solomon.
Both trophies were donated by Dr. Colwick M. Wilson.
By Simone Augustus, Corporate Communications Officer
Ms. Ebony Williams, Accounting major and member of the USC Netball Team, represented Trinidad & Tobago in under-23 netball at the inaugural Caribbean Games held from June 29 – July 3, 2022 in Guadeloupe.
Given the role of Vice Captain for the competition, Ms. Williams led the Trinidad and Tobago under-23 Netball team to fourth place. Ms. Williams has also represented USC at TSATT’s intervarsity leagues and the Courts Allsectors National competition.
The SPED and USC would like to take this opportunity to spotlight this outstanding student.
We raise our hats to Ms. Ebony Williams as she continues USC’s legacy of excellence!
Dr. Kern Tobias returns as CARU President and Chairman of the USC Board of Trustees for a third term￼
At around 8:00pm on Thursday 21st July 2022), the nominating committee at the Seventeenth Quinquennial Session of the Caribbean Union Conference, returned to the USC Auditorium with its first partial report of the session. A President of the CARU was nominated. It was the incumbent, Dr. Kern Tobias. The secretary of the nominating committee, Chaplain Rachel Sealy, under the watchful eyes of Inter-American Division President Dr. Elie Henry, read the recommendation of the committee for the approval of the plenary meeting of delegates. The recommendation was voted and Dr. Tobias and his wife Mrs. Linda Tobias were invited to the podium for presentation and acceptance.
In his brief and sober response, Dr. Tobias shared that he and his wife were both born in the little village of Mason Hall Tobago and were prepared for service by Christian education because their parents believed in it. He further shared that between his wife and himself, are eighty-eight years of denominational service in the teaching and pastoral ministries respectively. He said that his passion is to serve God and His people.
Counter-balancing his elation at the privilege of another opportunity to serve, Dr. Tobias candidly exposed his future plans for valediction by serving notice that if he is called upon to serve another term beyond this new quinquennium, his answer would be no, “I know when I should say goodbye” he said.
Hailing the workers of the CARU as “exceptional, talented, professional and proficient”, Dr. Tobias accepts this new call to lead the union with excitement. He promises to give his best, his all to the Master.
In a second partial report later in the evening, the nominating committee recommended incumbents Pastors Johnson Frederick and Bertie Henry to again serve in the positions of Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the CARU respectively. These recommendations were also voted by the plenary meeting of delegates.
You can follow the public activities of the Seventeenth Quinquennial Session of the Caribbean Union Conference on the CARU YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=caribbean+union+conference+live+stream
On the afternoon into the evening of Wednesday 20th July, 2022, the constituency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Caribbean commenced the Seventeenth Quinquennial Session of the Caribbean Union Conference (CARU). The session – delayed for one year by the most trenchant phases of the pandemic – was convened as an in-person gathering of denominational leaders, delegates, members, specially invited guests and friends of the church. It returned to a familiar place, the main campus of the University of the Southern Caribbean. This time however, the new, fully completed University Auditorium is the well-appointed epicenter of the important business meetings and worship experiences of the session.
The President of the University of the Southern Caribbean Dr. Colwick Wilson was at hand to welcome all attendees to the campus. The attendees represent a significant cross-section of the leaders and influentials of the church in the meso-hemispheric field. The President of the Inter-American Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), Dr. Elie Henry and other members of the IAD leadership team, that would supervise the session; leaders of other union fields of the IAD as observers, leaders and workers of all of the conferences and missions of the CARU and its institutions – many of them as delegates – are the key participants of the three days of business meetings that will end on Friday.
The opening ceremony which began at 3:30 in the afternoon, secured as its feature speaker, the first citizen of the host country, Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes ORTT, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In her address Her Excellency commended the work of the church, particularly noting the ways in which it has made progress in re-orienting its approaches to serving humanity in the face of the pandemic with the attendant disruptions and miseries it has visited upon us. She observed that the church, like many other organizations had to quickly find “new ways of doing old business.” Her Excellency advanced the view that, “in the midst of disaster, people tend to look to the church for guidance reassurance and support” and “for some, the church was the sole source of comfort and direction when all seemed lost.” She further described the church as a “pillar of strength in society” that shapes and transforms lives through its outreach and fellowship and as “a touchstone for social and moral values” that is “called to lead by example.” “The church (Her Excellency said), must stand ready, willing and able to serve tirelessly, diligently and sincerely no matter the circumstances.” She concluded by wishing the Caribbean Union constituency a “fruitful, powerful and transformative meeting”.
Her Excellency’s address perfectly anticipated the sermon that IAD President Dr. Elie Henry presented when his turn at the podium came. Basing his sermon on Psalm 100, the power idea of his appeal was for the church, its institutions and its members to serve the Lord with gladness. He warned against the hubris of truth-possession and enjoined that “we have to open ourselves to others in humility and love. Quoting from the pen of inspiration, Dr. Henry encouraged his congregation that we should let our daily prayer be: “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.” (Ellen G White Steps to Christ p.70).
Dr. Henry shared, and briefly but helpfully explained the three pillars of the IAD’s current strategic plan as evangelism, education and service to community and made the case that passionately and lovingly seeking the interests of others, and sharing truth with love is what serving the Lord with gladness should looks like. Describing service as a synonym of life, Dr Henry layered-on that the way we praise God must be manifest in the how we serve Him and the “least of these” that our God so readily identifies himself with.
Harvard University professor, Dr. David Williams, an illustrious alumnus in whom USC is well pleased, will be the main devotional speaker at this union session. The public activities of the Seventeenth Quinquennial Session of the Caribbean Union Conference can be followed on the Caribbean Union Conference’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=caribbean+union+conference
Author: Ms. Shelley Lyons, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Language & Communication
From your first encounter, you are bound to be enamored by her quiet and genteel goodwill, and his wit, passion and humour.
Drs. Sandy and Jean Kissoon-Singh are a son and daughter of the Trinbago soil, who have decided to give back to their birth country, as they believe their birth place has given much to them. Dr. Jean, as she may be affectionately called, to distinguish her from her similarly doctored spouse, resides in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Sandy, lives with his wife, in their residence. The couple has decided to give generously to the University of the Southern Caribbean, but only after earnest prayer.
Noteworthy, is the fact that the winsome couple, have no direct links to USC, and no apparent S.D.A. ties. Yet, they have been inspired to munificently donate, firstly one sum and then a second, to the School of Education and Humanities. Education for them requires excellence, and they would like all prospective teachers to be well trained and come to believe that all children can learn.
To them, USC owes gratitude for their freewill gifts and furthermore their willingness to assist in sharing their wealth of experience and training to advance the university’s vision.
When you think about the sport of cycling, Tour de France is usually less than one mental pedal stroke away. That it is an annual men’s multiple stage event, perhaps confirms that there is still a lot of difficult terrain to cover before consumer preferences for marquee sports achieve gender equity. But that is a complicated conversation for another day.
Here in Trinidad and Tobago, on May 29th 2022, the day before the Indian Arrival Day public holiday, 121 cyclists of both genders, varying ages, skill and fitness levels; saddled on varying types of road-worthy bicycles, participated in the first annual Tour de Toco cycling event. This leisure event was organized by Peddlers Cycling Club. The route of this epic endurance ride was from the carpark of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mount Hope to the lighthouse at Galera Point, Toco.
The University of the Southern Caribbean was happy to join the list of corporate sponsors for Tour de Toco 2022. Our university found common ground with the core values and raison d’être of the Peddlers Cycling Club which according to its president, USC alumnus Mr. Brian Scotland, centres around the pursuit of wellness trough the enjoyment of the outdoors and the benefits of non-competitive exercise.
Formed in April of 2020 early in the throes of the first COVID-19 lockdown in Trinidad and Tobago, the club that was some time in planning had to abandon great plans for an official launch in Tobago opting instead – without fanfare to begin a weekly schedule of Sunday morning rides. With most other cycling clubs on the country favouring Saturday morning rides, Scotland, a Seventh-day Adventist, found it difficult to pursue his hobby with existing clubs. He and a few other like-minded cyclists – many of whom had some connection to the University of the Southern Caribbean as alumni, current and former faculty or staff – founded Peddlers Cycling Club.
As a leisure and fitness oriented organization, the club continues to attract a diverse membership, committed to non-competitive self-improvement and achieving health and fitness goals in a morally uplifting environment. The growth of in the influence of the club in the local cycling fraternity is evidenced by the growth in subscription to its events. The first major tour event of the club, a Mount Hope to Mayaro Ride was held in November of 2021. It attracted 53 participants. Tour de Toco, held just over a week ago attracted 121 participants – a growth of almost 130 percent. The club is now a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation and the President of the federation, Ms. Rowena Williams, was on hand on May 29th to bring greetings and declare the start of the first annual Tour de Toco.
In its short life to date, the club has also impacted the national and regional community through it charity work which has included offering material relief to victims of natural disasters including floods in Trinidad and Tobago and catastrophic volcanic ash falls in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are future plans for more and greater proactive community involvement.
Cyclists can look forward to the 2022 edition of the Mount Hope to Mayaro Ride later this year and a ‘Ridecation’ in Dominica in 2023. The itinerary of the latter will include two rides around the nature island of the Caribbean and targeted community activities aimed at improving the quality of life of disadvantaged children and the elderly.
Peddlers Cycling Club can be followed on Facebook and Instagram.
Authored By: Hayden McKenna, University Writer
It is with apposite sadness that the administration, faculty and staff, students and alumni of the University of the Southern Caribbean join in the community of the bereaved occasioned by the recent passing of two truly outstanding former members of faculty in the persons of Ms. Bernice Eileen James and Dr. Ernest Wright. Their immaculate service records as faculty are but impressive understatements of the enriching value they added to the lives of their colleagues, students and neighbours as friends, mentors, motivators, disciplinarians and models of professional and Christian excellence. We extend our deepest condolences to the surviving siblings of Ms. James: Roland, Kathleen and Dr. Hollis James and to her many other relatives and close friends. Our sympathies are also with Mrs. Nora Margery Wright, Dr. Wright’s spouse of 47 years their daughters Manda and Michelle, and their circle of relatives and friends.
Born in south Trinidad on April 06, 1941, young Bernice James entered denominational service as a teacher with the South Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1960. This was the beginning of s long, fruitful and influential tour of duty as an educator that clutched years from five decades. Ms. James taught at the Southern Academy of Seventh-day Adventists and at both the secondary and tertiary divisions of Caribbean Union College (CUC) now the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC). She also briefly served as Dean of Women at CUC in the final four months of 1980. Perhaps most prominently, Ms. James is remembered as an inspiring teacher of English Language, Literatures in English and Sociology.
Ms. James was a graduate of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus who also pursued post-graduate studies at Andrews University in what she found to be the unbearable weather of Berrien Springs, Michigan in the USA.
According to retired teacher, Mrs. Dawn Smith, who Ms. James taught and mentored both at secondary school and at CUC/USC “Miss James (nicknamed BJ) was my big Sister. She was what she wanted her students to be. She had command over any topic… She engaged her students in conversations about life… She was a teacher inside and outside of the classroom.” In reflecting on the life led by Ms. James, Mr. Ian Green, her former colleague at CUC/USC remembers her as a person of “impeccable integrity with good Christian values…a role model”.
Also among the many CUC/USC alumni, gratified to have received by the positive influence of Ms. Bernice James is Pastor Easton Marks, the current Director of Sabbath School Ministries in the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in the USA. According to Pastor Marks, Bernice James was:
a great model of what I call middle of the road spirituality. I remember her one of the smartest, friendliest, and at the same time, predictably candid persons I interacted with at Caribbean Union College. If you over-pitched a ball to Ms. James, to use a cricketing analogy, it was going to the boundary. Complementing that was her unchanged countenance. You never sensed that she was celebrating her shot. She would be quite professional and wait for the next bad delivery. I really admired that about her. As a teacher, she was always prepared for her class. She encouraged students who were struggling academically, financially, and otherwise. She was that older sister you had on campus… I will be forever grateful she was a part of the village that raised me.
Ms. Bernice James was called to rest April 24, 2022.
Dr. Ernest Wright was born in the village of Moriah on the island of Tobago on December 17, 1936. In 1955, as a student of the Harmon School of Seventh-day Adventist, he attained the enviable academic distinction of Grade I at the external Senior Cambridge Examinations. He then studied at Caribbean Union College to qualify for entry into pastoral ministry and there attained 14th Grade certification in Theology in 1963. He later completed a Bachelor of Theology Degree at Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) in 1968. Ernest Wright served the Adventist Church as a ministerial intern and licensed minister and in his pastoral career, was privileged to be one of the 63 ministerial workers who labored for the baptism of a record 812 souls in the 11-week evangelistic campaign – the so called “Trinidad Triumph” -conducted by African American evangelist E.E. Cleveland in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1966.
Ernest Wright would again yield to his academic passions earning a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in History from Howard University in Washington D.C. USA in 1972 and 1976 respectively. Following a stint as Teacher and Head of the History Department at Antillian College (now Antillian Adventist University) in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Dr. Wright returned to his alma mater, Caribbean Union College in July of 1980 as a teacher. Here he played an invaluable role in the development of the Bachelor of History programme and became Head of the History Department in 1983.
As a member of faculty at Caribbean Union College and Head of the History Department, Dr. Wright consistently carried a no-nonsense professional bearing. It is perhaps this idiosyncrasy combined with his association with history that earned him the austere nickname ‘El Draco’. This seriousness was also inspiring. CUC/USC alumnus and former principal and retired supervisor of schools, Mr. Aaron Smith, in reflecting on Dr. Wright says that “his objective for excellence inspired me. He stimulated his students to excellence and to become something… He was well acquainted with his content… He was generally very outstanding in his presentations.”
Another alumnus Mrs. Dawn Smith remembers Dr. Wright particularly for the rich way in which he included on-spot investigation in his instructional method. He organized local and foreign field trips for his students. Mrs. Smith particularly recalls two foreign trips, one to North America and another to at least seven countries of Europe. For these ambitious outings History Department became the “envy of the school” according to Mrs. Smith.
In 1988 Dr. Wright accepted a call to serve in the North Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which brought to an end his impactful sojourn at CUC/USC.
Dr. Wright was called to rest on April 30, 2022.
Author: Anastasia Mulraine-Campbell, Associate Librarian
The Forde Library has enjoyed a rich tradition of receiving donated books and resources from benefactors and scholars, to build our collection at the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC). This year was no different, where in February 2022, the Library Director received two sets of donations, from Professor Emeritus Ramesh Deosaran, ORTT, and Pastor Dough Venn, Director of the Global Mission Urban Center at General Conference of SDA.
Professor Deosaran is a key figure in the Caribbean literacy landscape, having authored numerous titles and contributed to the intellectual halls of knowledge in fields, such as but not limited to crime, politics, justice, racism, social psychology, law, colonialism, and Caribbean history. The Forde Library graciously extends gratitude to Professor Deosaran for his contribution and we assure him, that the books will be integrated into our West Indian Collection, where the USC community can benefit and glean much from these titles, empowering this and the next generation of thinkers and leaders.
In relation to Mr. Dough Venn, who donated 9 titles out of the Global Mission Urban Center, we pray for the Center’s continued success and reach, whilst simultaneously, relaying our gratitude for their continued support and advancement of the mission of the USC. These titles focus on urban mission and ministry, at a time where we are all called to be missionaries and champions of God in our spheres of influence. In addition, they will be incorporated into our Open Stacks Collection, where patrons can borrow them and gain a deeper understanding of their calling, regardless of their majors.
All the best to our benefactors and noble supporters of the Forde Library, USC! Together, through literacy and education, can agree with Jim Rohn, when he says, “Reading is essential for those who want to rise above the ordinary!”