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Update from the Director of Alumni Relations - April 24, 2020

Update from the Director of Alumni Relations - April 24, 2020

I am again reaching out to check in on you during this unprecedented time. I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. The UWI is committed, as you know, to supporting and guiding students during these uncertain times. Students are an important part of the UWI Family and are our future alumni.

Many of us may have children, nieces, nephews, god-children or grandchildren who are struggling to adapt to this “new normal” and so I am sharing a link below with information which you might find useful to help them manage anxiety at this time: https://gozen.com/coronavirus-anxiety

In case you haven’t seen this – just sharing - so that you may note with Pelican Pride that your Alma Mater remains highly ranked – link follows:

I do hope that you are keeping safe or recovering, if you were unfortunate enough to have been exposed. This disease is inevitably going to touch many of us closer than we would wish.  Two of my relatives, one in the USA and one in the UK have both thankfully recovered, but for one, the progress continues to be slow. The UWI family has also recently lost a beloved Professor of Chemistry, Prof Tara Dasgupta as a result of complications from COVID19. See story here: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20200421/covid-claims-uwi-professor

I am sure that you will join me thanking and congratulating your fellow Pelicans who are medical professionals, many of whom are on the front lines of this global challenge. I am sure that you, like me, salute them for the work they are doing and wish for them continued safety. In fact, dozens of medical students enrolled at The UWI Cave Hill Campus are lending critical support to Barbados’ fight against the coronavirus pandemic as authorities gear for a possible surge in the number of COVID-19 cases across the nation: https://cavehill.uwi.edu/News-Events/News/?release_id=21034

UWI medical alumna Dr Renee Boyce, who is from Barbados, gave a very informative Soft and Life Skills Series session entitled Conversations on Corona (flyer below) and I attach her presentation below – I think you will find it enlightening and useful and encourage you to view it.


Highlighting the relevance of your University, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley has called on experts from The UWI to join a Cabinet-appointed ‘Post COVID-19 Road Map to Recovery’ team.  The team’s sole responsibility is to compile a draft national post COVID-19 road map by April 30 and submit a complete proposal by May 31. More details here: https://sta.uwi.edu/news/releases/release.asp?id=22080

I am happy to point out that newly elected Guild President at The UWI Five Islands Campus of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Caleb Gardiner, has been added to the The UWI Covid-19 Task Force to represent the youth and student voice: https://open.uwi.edu/clinical-and-ethics-experts-join-uwi-covid-19-task-force

The regional UWI STAT Ambassadorial Corps, which is a part of our student alumni programming, has been working with their respective Student Guilds, Student societies and classmates to promote safety guidelines amongst our Caribbean populations - the flyer below is an example from the Mona Corps.


As I close, I wish to acknowledge that these are indeed scary times in many ways for all of us. The impact that Covid-19 has had on our economies, lifestyles and plans has been staggering and the uncertainty of when we will revert to normalcy is a constant concern. Rather than getting mired in fear and uncertainty however I would like to share some tips that have been sent to me so that we can all prepare for better times ahead.

Update your LinkedIn Profile: Update your summary and/or profile photo, create a more descriptive headline and add points to your current or most recent position. 

Keep in touch with your professional network: Networking is building relationships --so reach out to your professional contacts to say you are hoping that they are healthy and safe during this time and keep the lines of communication open.  Don’t forget to reach out to your personal networks too!

Take an online class to build your skills: Many online courses are being offered for free or low cost during this time. Always wanted to learn to code, a new language or to master Photoshop or Excel? Now is the time and it is a great way to improve your marketable skills

If you can – donate blood, our hospitals still need it. Remember too to wear masks outside.

Wishing you and your family safety and well-being during this time. We are all in this together!

Yours with much positivity,


Celia Davidson Francis
Director of Alumni Relations - UWI


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