High level UG team back from successful Renaissance Weekend in New York

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG) Professor Ivelaw Griffith led a high level team to New York from September 1-6, 2016. This visit was in response to an invitation from the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc. (GCA) to fund and friend-raise at the Association’s 2016 Labor Day Weekend events. As part of the UG Renaissance, the UG presence was constituted by a team from Guyana and UG Ambassadors and supporters in the New York Tri-State area and others who traveled to New York to aid the presence.

One of the bold objectives of this Renaissance project was to facilitate tangible Diaspora Support Engagement in four critical academic areas: Technology (Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Optometry, Medical Technology) , Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics), and Law. The visit to Medgar Evers College was particularly rewarding. The UG team toured the state-of-the art laboratories and met with the President and faculty from the College and discussed areas that could be further explored for future collaboration. At all the other engagements with members of the Diaspora, both the New York-New Jersey and the Guyana teams agreed at the meetings to forge new links by co-ordinating joint activities.

The Renaissance Weekend was able to cultivate additional goodwill for UG in the New York Tri-State area by inducting new UG Ambassadors and it provided an opportunity for Guyanese (and others) in the Diaspora who desire to aid the rebuilding of The University of Guyana, to be able to do so.The main fund raising events were the Vice-Chancellor’s New York Area Support Group Fund Raising Reception on Thursday, September 1, and the Guyana Cultural Association Folk Festival Family Fun Day on Sunday, September 4. Copies of the Vice-Chancellor’s inaugural newsletter, Renaissance, and UG t-shirts were sold during the fund-raising reception and at the Folk Festival.

The final event of the Renaissance Weekend programme was held at a Hindu temple in Queens, the Shri Trimurti Bhavan. It was sponsored by UG Ambassador Dr Dhanpaul Narine, who also is a member of the Vice Chancellor’s New York Area Support Group. Further discussions were held on ways in which persons from the Diaspora could contribute to the university. Monies received from the ‘A Dollar for UG’ campaign that was launched in Queens NY by Dr Narine, and t-shirts with the slogan 'I love UG’ donated by Dr Dhanpaul Narine and his family were presented to the Vice-Chancellor. All monetary contributions and the proceeds from the sale were donated to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund for Strategic Initiatives.

According to Vice-Chancellor Griffith, “the Renaissance Weekend in New York has set the stage for considerable financial, human capital, and technical assistance to our university by providing structure to Guyanese and other nationals in the Diaspora to support critical areas of need.” The Vice-Chancellor also highlighted some important tangential benefits of the visit. For, example, he noted, “While attending the Guyana Cultural Association Kwe Kwe I was introduced by UG Ambassador Dr Frank Denbow to Mr Paul Ronald Reece, owner of Fly Jamaica.” The VC continued, “As a result, the following week, the Fly Jamaica senior management met with me and other senior university leaders and we agreed to a menu of partnership engagements. We expect to sign a Memorandum of Engagement before too long.”

The university team comprised a student government executive, academic leaders, and university administrators, namely: Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Vice-Chancellor and Principal; Mr Calvin Bernard, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences; Dr Emanuel Cummings, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; Mr Dustin Roache, Vive-President, The University of Guyana Students' Society; Dr Nigel Gravesande, Registrar; Dr Paloma Mohamed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Designate for Philanthropy, Alumni, and Civic Engagement; Ms Paulette Paul, Public Relations Officer; Dr Elizabeth Ramlal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Planning & Development; Dr Michael Scott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Designate for Academic Engagement; Mr Ronald Singh, Head, Department of Law; Ms Elena Trim, Dean, Faculty of Technology; Mr Jeffrey Walcott, Personnel Officer; and Ms Karen Wishart, Chief of Staff Designate.

Vital organisational endeavors in the New York Tri-State area were led by: UG Ambassador Dr Terrence Blackman, General Coordinator and Convener of the Engagement on Natural Sciences; UG Ambassador Dr Candace Cummings, Convener of the Health Sciences Engagement; UG Ambassador Mr Nigel Killikelly who was responsible for the Newsletter and T-shirts; UG Ambassadors Mr Edward Mertins-George and Mr. Vivian Williams, Conveners of the Engagement on Law; UG Ambassador Dr Dhanpaul Narine; UG Ambassadors Mr Desmond Prass and Mr. Murtland Yaw, who managed transportation logistics; UG Ambassador Mr Bernard Rollins, who aided hospitality; UG Ambassador Ms Allison Skeete, General Coordinator and lead organizer of the New Jersey reception; UG Ambassador Mr Egar Stewart, lead organizer of the New Jersey Reception and Convener of the Engagement on Technology; and UG Ambassador Ms Karen Wharton, Guyana Family Day Coordinator.

NOTES

  • Contributions of cash, scholarships and pledges totaling overUS$70,000 dollars or 14.5 million Guyana dollars were among the major outcomes of the first University of Guyana Education Resource Ambassadors Conference, which concluded successfully at the Guyana Marriott Hotel on Saturday, June 25. The three-day conference was held under the theme “Dreaming Resources, Doing Resources”.  Participants made a considerable tangible display of passion and concern with their support. That level of fund-raising was expected to continue with several local and international initiatives as part of the strategic resourcing for the University.
  • The Conference helped stakeholders to identify immediate, short, and long-term contributions and the realities facing the institution.
  • The conference also highlighted the importance of identifying tangible ways for various parties to resource the university, such as providing technical support by way of policy, programme and protocol development to strengthen the governance and accountability systems in the University.
  • The title of Education Resource Ambassador was conferred on each conference delegate, with an instrument of appointment signed by the Vice-Chancellor and bearing the university seal.
  • The first conference of Education Resource Ambassadors facilitated the cultivation of a sense of collective ownership in the welfare of The University of Guyana by those stakeholders and it demonstrated the willingness of persons to contribute to the restoration of the institution’s academic credibility and financial stability.

With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, UG has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 with one campus, at Turkeyen, The University of Guyana (UG) expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 60 under-graduate and post-graduate programmes including Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education. UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

Public Relations Division
September 16, 2016

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UG News Release -NEW YORK PLUS Sept 16 2016.docx65.78 KB