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Accolades for UWI academics, researchers

BY DWIGHT BELLANFANTE Sunday Observer Reporter

Sunday, January 29, 2006    

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SOME 25 awards in recognition of outstanding research during the period 2004/05 were bestowed on researchers at the University of the West Indies Mona campus Friday night in the fields of the humanities and education, medical sciences, pure and applied sciences and the social sciences.

The glittering ceremony closed the two-day Research Day activities at the Mona campus, an annual event to showcase the academic output and research of the regional institution.

The awardees were adjusdged on outstanding quality of research, number of publications by each author, and the funding their work have attracted per category.

In humanities and education, the prizes for best publication went to Professor Brian Moore, Dr Michel Johnson, Dr James Robertson and Dr Matthew Smith of the Department of History and Archaeology.

Moore and Johnson's book titled Neither led nor Driven: Contesting British Cultural Imperialism in Jamaica 1865-1920 was described by Professor Aggery Brown, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, as "having succeeded in giving the concept of creolisation in Jamaica during the second half of the 19th and the early decades of the 20th centuries concrete contexts."

The work was further commended for 'illuminating' the process by which Caribbean culture was formed in the other regional territories during the period.

"God, monarch and empire were made inseparable by ceremonials, by holidays, Empire Day and the images of the monarch on the covers of the exercise books provided for primary schools," said Professor Brown.

Robertson's book Gone is the Ancient Glory, a monograph on Spanish Town, from its establishment by Spanish settlers in 1534 and later capture by the English in 1655, was described as a welcome addition to the urban history of the Caribbean.

Smith's article Vive 1804:The Haitan Revolution and the Revolutionary Generation of 1846 explores how revolutionary tendencies are given meaning by reference to defining events of the past and the importation and adoption of foreign ideologies - in this case Marxism - and foreign cultural norms which present themselves as pertinent to the human condition everywhere.

The award for the most outstanding research activity in the humanities and education went to Dr Jenny Jemmott for her work on The Black Family in Jamaica: 1834-1882, which explores how black families in the period immediately following the end of slavery, maintained African retention's with regard to attitudes toward family, children and kin - including the notion that the extended family and the "village" were responsible for raising children and promoting reverence for ancestors.

The award for the project attracting the most research funds in the humanities and education went to Yvette Rowe, lecturer in television at Carimac whose US$30,000 Bernard Van leer Foundation-funded project will result in a video documentary on how the foundation's early childhood learning support project has helped to build the capacity of basic schools in Bennett Lands, Whitfield Town, Greenwich Town and Rose Town in Kingston.

The project also trained 10 young persons in video production techniques.

The awards in medical sciences, announced by Professor Archibald McDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Science, for best publication went to Dr Colin McKenzie, Professor Graham Serjeant and collaborators from the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit (TMRU); Dr Jennifer Knight-Madden, Professor Terrence Forrester, Norma Lewis and collaborators from TMRU; and professor Kathleen Coard and collaborators from the Department of Pathology.

McKenzie, Forrester and Serjeant's work explored the UGTIA Variation and Gallstone formation in Sickle Cell Disease; while Knight-Madden Forrester and Lewis explored Asthma in Children with Sickle Cell Disease and its Association with Acute Chest Syndrome.

Coard's work is titled Gleason Grading of Prostate Cancer: Level of Concordance between Pathologists at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

The award for most outstanding researcher in the faculty went to Forrester of the Tropical Medicine Research Institute for 11 publications as well as Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology a collaboration with Professor Affette McCaw-Binns of the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry.

Most outstanding research activity in the faculty went to The Kingston Paediatric and Perinatal HIV/AIDS Programme by Professor Celia Christie and collaborators of the Department of Obstretics, Gynecology and Child Health.

The project attracted some $7.8 million in research grants.

Also awarded were Professor Barrie Hanchard, Dr Elaine Williams, Dr Nadia Williams, Dr Gillian Wharfe, Beverly Cranston, Professor Rainford Wilks and Dr Althea East-Innis for their work on The Epidemiology of HTLV-1 in Jamaica and Dr Paul Ramphal for his project A High-Fidelity Tissue-Based Surgical Simulator, which was judged to be the project with the greatest business/economic impact.

In the pure and applied sciences, awards were announced by Professor Ronald Young to Dr Byron Wilson, Dr Roy Porter, Petrea Facey, Dr Mitko Voutchkov, Professor Gerald Lalor and collaborators, Dr Simon Mitchell, Professor Ralph Robinson, Dr John Lindo and Dr Anthony Greenaway who were awarded for publications on studies ranging from lizards to rock formation, while most outstanding research was recognised for work on plant diseases and bauxite.

In the social sciences the prize for best article went to Dr Mark Figueroa for his work W Arthur Lewis versus the Lewis Model: Agricultural or Industrial Development?, while Dr Lawrence Powell was recognised for Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Most outstanding researcher in the department went to Dr Lou Anne Barclay who authored six publications, while the award for most outstanding research went to Dr Patricia Anderson, Heather Ricketts and Camille Daley for production of a Training Video on Social Assessment Methodology.

The award for the project attracting the most research funds went to Strengthening the Family Court System by Lita Allen and Dr Peta Anne Baker, which attracted $4.9 million in grants.

The Principal's Awards went to the Child Development Research Group, represented by Professor Susan Walker, for 'outstanding contribution to public policy' while the award for 'outstanding contribution to research at UWI, Mona' went to the Digicel Foundation, for telecommunications policy research and the establishment of a chair in telecommunications and management at the campus.

bellanfanted@jamaicaobserver.com

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