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Bulletin Board for May 7, 2009

University Community Encouraged to Attend Tribute Events Honoring Dr. Ragster

The University Community is encouraged to attend upcoming tribute events for UVI President LaVerne E. Ragster. The first is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, at the St. Peter Mountain Great House on St. Thomas. Tickets to the dinner dance are $125 per person. This event will be followed on Sunday, May 17, by a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the North West Wing on UVI's St. Croix campus. Tickets for the luncheon are $85 per person. Proceeds from these events will be used to establish the LaVerne E. Ragster Scholarship Fund.

Gifting Circles for individual contributions have also been established. Information on purchasing tickets and donating to the Gifting Circles is available from the Spotlight button on the home page of the UVI web site -

www.uvi.edu - and from this direct link.

UVI Honors Best and Brightest Students at Academic Awards

The University of the Virgin Islands honored its best and brightest students with Academic Awards Ceremonies on the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses in April. The ceremonies recognize students with the highest grade point averages (GPAs), those who excel in each academic division and scholarship recipients, among others.

On the St. Thomas campus students with the highest GPAs received the Barnett Frank Class Awards. Those recipients were:

  • Senior Male - Javan Cooper
  • Senior Female - April Glasgow
  • Junior Male - Gary Helders
  • Junior Female - Mahogany Ambrose
  • Sophomore Male - Idrees A. Tariq
  • Sophomore Female - Denelle G. Baptiste
  • Freshman Male - Jared Ramkellowan
  • Freshman Female - Shermel A. Richardson

On the St. Croix campus students with the highest GPAs received the Fields Group Awards. Those recipients were:

  • Senior - Renako Wells
  • Junior - Neysha Jagrup
  • Sophomore - Carice Glasgow
  • Freshman - Wyndi Ambrose

A complete list of academic award recipients is available in a news release from the UVI web site - www.uvi.edu - and from this direct link.

Final Exams Week Continues Through May 9

Final exams for the 2009 Spring Semester at the University of the Virgin Islands are being held through Saturday, May 9. The final day of the semester for students is May 9.

2009 Faculty Institute Scheduled for May 13

UVI's 2009 Faculty Institute will take place on Wednesday, May 13, 2009. This event will be transmitted by video conference in rooms B101 and B110 (Chase Auditorium) on the St. Thomas campus and room EC 401 on the St. Croix campus. Activities are to start by 9 a.m. An agenda and other material for the Faculty Institute will be distributed later on.

Comments, questions or concerns can be directed to the Office of the Provost.

UVI Poets to Participate in International Programs Featuring the Spoken Word May 15-16

The Writers Block, a UVI student poets organization, and the Microphone Messenjahs of Tortola, BVI, will host cultural and educational programs highlighting the spoken word on Friday, May 15, on St. Thomas, and on Saturday, May 16 on Tortola. Performers from Barbados, Trinidad and the United States, along with members of the Rock Collective Poets, The Writers Block and Callaloo Poets of Tortola, BVI, among others will present positive words, creative expression, African dance and drumming. A cultural wear showcase featuring local My Day Discount Store models will also be featured. The St. Thomas event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Administrative and Conference Center on UVI's St. Thomas campus. The Tortola event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College auditorium. For more information, call (340) 473-6659 on St. Thomas or (284) 441-8422 on Tortola.

First Annual Reef Fest Set Sunday, May 17, at Smith Bay Park

St. Thomas' first annual Reef Fest will be held at Smith Bay Park (Lindquist Beach) from noon to sunset on Sunday, May 17. Reef Fest is designed - as part of the International Year of the Reef observance - to encourage the Virgin Islands community to spur efforts to protect the territory's reefs and to augment awareness of the importance of all marine resources. Donations and proceeds raised at the event will go to help support coral reef community and education programs on St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island. UVI's CMES Marine Outreach Program, which has promoted environmental education for more than 20 years, will lead the effort.

Reef Fest will include interactive marine educational games and activities for all ages. Expert guest speakers will discuss the interdependence of coral reefs and fisheries. Some 20 environmental exhibits and activity booths will be presented by various University, government and community organizations. Entertainment will include performances by local and student artists. A student, "Reef Rap" contest is also planned. Music will be provided by the JDPP Jammers, Jamesie P. and Top Notch Band.

For more information, contact Noori via email at lnoori@uvi.edu or call (340) 693-1392. A news release is available from the UVI web site - www.uvi.edu - and from this direct link.

Other Current Items ...

Nicolas Drayton Hired as VI EPSCoR Program Coordinator

Nicolas Drayton, one of the key players in the establishment of the East End Marine Park on St. Croix, has joined the University of the Virgin Islands as a program coordinator for VI EPSCoR. VI EPSCoR is the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a territorial program housed at UVI, which builds the territory's capacity for scientific research and education.

As program coordinator Drayton will facilitate VI EPSCoR incubator grants for start-up research, from assisting with the selection of proposals through the tracking of funds. He will also work closely on the major VI EPSCoR initiative of strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics in kindergarten through 12th grade in the territory through collaborations with the Virgin Islands Education Department and UVI's departments of Education and Science and Mathematics. Drayton will also produce the quarterly VI EPSCoR newsletter. A news release is available from the UVI web site - www.uvi.edu - and from this direct link.

WTJX to Broadcast Coverage of World Food Day's Youth Super Chef Competition

Television coverage of the Youth Super Chef competition, held as part of World Food Day last October on UVI's St. Croix campus, will be featured on WTJX TV's "School Days, Happy Days" program at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 10. Clarice Clarke, of UVI's Cooperative Extension Service, said teams of four to six students from four junior high schools and three senior high schools on St. Croix participated. World Food Day activities were sponsored by the UVI Cooperative Extension Service in partnership with the V.I. Department of Agriculture and UVI's Agricultural Experiment Station. For more information, call Clarke at (340) 692-4060.

UVI Offers Financial Assistance to Summer Session Students

Individuals who are registered or planning to register for 2009 Summer Session classes at the University of the Virgin Islands are invited to visit the University's Financial Aid Offices to determine if they are eligible for financial aid or direct loans. Prospective students can visit the Financial Aid Offices - in the Administration and Conference Center on St. Thomas and in the Evans Center on St. Croix - to begin processing aid requests from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 12. More information is available from the Current Students/Financial Aid section of the UVI web site - www.uvi.edu - or from this Money for Summer Direct link. Loan applications are also available at the offices on both campuses. For details, contact the St. Croix campus Financial Aid Office at 692-4193. On St. Thomas, the Financial Aid Office is available at 693-1090.

Student Internships Available for NOAA-UVI Summer Marine Research Project on St. John

A limited number of internships are being offered to Virgin Islands students interested in participating in a NOAA-UVI Marine Research Project tracking fish at Lameshur Bay on St. John this summer. The project is in need of students who could be available for a minimum of two assignments a month for up to two days at a time. Overnight accommodation and food will be provided at the Virgin Island Environmental Research Station. There may be opportunities for pay to a selected student worker. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is funding the research, which is being conducted in collaboration with UVI scientists and the National Park Service on St. John. The internship involves tagging and tracking of coral reef fish species.

For more information, call UVI Professor Dr. Simon Pittman at 693-1179 or send email to simon.pittman@noaa.gov. Interested students should send a brief summary of why they are interested in the internship, what makes them a good candidate for the position and their availability during the summer. Contact information and phone numbers must be included.

GERS Retirement Workshop Schedule Provided to UVI Employees

The 2009 Government Employees Retirement System (GERS) retirement workshop schedule has been released to UVI employees via email by Veda Richards, UVI Director of Employee Benefits and Immigration Services. The workshops are held at the GERS offices on St. Thomas, at 3438 Kronprindsens Gade GERS Complex-STE 1, and on St. Croix at #3005 Orange Grove, Lot 5 in Christiansted. One workshop will be held on St. John, on June 19, at The Battery. Individuals must pre-register for the workshops by calling (340) 779-7703 ext. 4202 on St. Thomas or (340) 773-5480 ext. 5480 on St. Croix. For more information, contact Richards at 693-1429.

Ongoing Items ...

UVI Registration for Summer Sessions, Fall Semester Continuing

  • Registration for UVI's 2009 Summer Sessions I & II is continuing. UVI's 2009 Summer Session class schedule is available from the Academics section of the UVI web - www.uvi.edu. It is also available from this direct link. Dates: Summer Session I: Registration is set for May 20, classes run from May 21 through June 24, 2009; Summer Session II: Registration is set for June 25 and classes run from June 26 through July 31.
  • Registration for the 2009 Fall Semester is available now through August 7, 2009. Returning students will be able to register online and in person for the fall 2009 semester. Students are reminded that they must confer with advisors to receive information on their academic plan and to obtain pin numbers that provide access to registration. Fall Semester Class schedules are available from the Academics/Class Schedules link on the UVI home page: www.uvi.edu - or from this direct link. Advisement and registration for new students for the Fall Semester are scheduled for August 12. Advisement and late registration are set for August 13 and 14. Fall Semester classes will begin on August 17.

    For more information, contact UVI Access and Enrollment Services at 693-1160.

UVI's Eastern Caribbean Center Conducting 2009 V.I. Community Survey

The Eastern Caribbean Center of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) will conduct the 2009 Virgin Islands Community Survey (VICS) during the months of April through July. This scientific survey of a sample of households is a follow-up to the one conducted in 2008 that collected information similar to that gathered in the census of 2000. VICS data for 2009 will be gathered on two topics - population and housing. A news release and photo are available on the UVI home page - www.uvi.edu - or from this direct link.

SBDC Notes ...

SBDC Schedules Creative Solutions for Small Businesses Expo

UVI's Small Business Development Center, in collaboration with Tutu Park Mall will conduct a business expo designed to provide creative solutions for small businesses from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, at Tutu Park Mall. The expo is for businesses that provide products or services to other businesses, start-up businesses, and for businesses with small or non-existent advertising budget. To register for the Creative Solutions for Small Businesses Expo, contact the SBDC at 776-3206. The registration deadline is 4 p.m. on May 5.

VIUCEDD Notes ...

VIUCEDD to Promote Wellness for Women with Disabilities - May 10 to 16

A health fair for women with disabilities will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15, at Tutu Park Mall on St. Thomas. The fair will be sponsored by the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD). It is designed to disseminate information about health and wellness to women and young girls with disabilities, and to their caregivers. Agencies, healthcare providers and females with disabilities are encouraged to participate. The fair is part of a week long effort to promote the health of women with disabilities. The week, which runs from May 10 to 16, has the theme "A Healthier You - Helping Women and Young Girls with Disabilities Live Healthy Lifestyles." It will include discussions on various local radio and TV programs, some featuring guests from UVI. Programs include: the "Afternoon Mix" program, from 4 to 5 p.m. on May 11; the Mario Moorehead Show, from 2 to 3 p.m. on May 12; and the Face To Face program on WTJX TV, from 8 to 9 p.m. on May 13. For more information contact Rashida Francis at the VIUCEDD at 693-1185 or 693-1322.

VIUCEDD to Present Latest in Assistive Technology on St. Croix on May 7

The public is invited to an open house featuring the latest in assistive technology available in the Virgin Islands from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, at #1 Golden Grove on St. Croix. The open house is offered by UVI's Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD). Assistive technology devices that will be demonstrated include learning systems, closed-caption TV, fully accessible computers for the visually impaired, hands-free devices, reading devices, and independent living items. It is designed for educators, employers and anyone who works with people with disabilities. For more information contact Roméo Cuellar 692-1919 or rcuella@uvi.edu.

Open House on Assistive Technology Slated for May 9 on St. Thomas

The annual Assistive Technology Open House, hosted by the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) and Virgin Islands Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities, is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. on May 9, at the UVI Administration and Conference Center on St. Thomas.

The open house is designed for individuals seeking the latest technology to help persons with disabilities to live independently. Included will be demonstrations of the newest assistive technology for education, community, employment and information technology. Local venders from the St. Thomas community will participate. The event is free, but registration is required. Please contact Dawn Fox at 693-1188 or Maritza Swan at 776-9200 x2334 to register.

Training on Americans with Disabilities Act Scheduled for St. Thomas, St. Croix

Training for individuals responsible for evaluating accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be held on May 11 on St. Thomas and on May 13 on St. Croix. The program is free and limited to 50 participants.

This program will provide attendees with an overview of the new revised ADA/ABA Accessibility Guidelines and its harmonization with model codes as they relate to accessibility requirements. This full day training will include lecture, multi-media and materials. Anyone charged with determining if the built environment complies with ADA Accessibility requirements should attend this event.

  • St. Thomas: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 11; Location: TBA
  • St. Croix: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 13; Location: The Great Hall on UVI's St. Croix campus

This training is offered by Cornell University's DBTAC - Northeast ADA Center in partnership with United Spinal Association and the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD). For registration and information on disability accommodations call Program Coordinator Shammi Carr at 693-1173 or send email to scarr@uvi.edu.

Taking Action: How to be an Effective Self-Advocate Upcoming Training - May 14

Programs offering training in self-advocacy for individuals with disabilities are scheduled for May 12 on St. Thomas and May 14 on St. Croix. Participants will get an overview of the "do's and don'ts" of self-advocacy, as well as a review of the "Five Steps of Self Advocacy." Sample Advocacy letters will be provided and self-advocacy in relation to the legislative process will be reviewed. Helpful tips for communicating with legislators will also be offered. Individuals with disabilities, Advocates and any interested parties are encouraged to attend this training. The programs are free and limited to 50 participants each.

  • St. Thomas: 9 a.m. to noon on May 12; Location: The Administration and Conference Center on UVI's St. Thomas campus
  • St. Croix: 9 a.m. to noon on May 14; Location: The Great Hall on UVI's St. Croix campus

The training programs are sponsored by Cornell University's DBTAC - Northeast ADA Center in partnership with United Spinal Association and the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD). For registration and information on disability accommodations call Program Coordinator Shammi Carr at 693-1173 or send email to scarr@uvi.edu.