Past Featured Alumni

Avielle McConnie and Latonya Maughn were both recipients of the Cynthia Layne Award for best undergraduate student for Academic Year 2012/2013 at the recent Student Recognition Ceremony held on October 18th, 2013. Read about their journey at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus below.

Avielle McConnie - Trinidad & Tobago

Firstly, I would like to thank Almighty God for bestowing upon me spared life, health and strength throughout my studies.   Moreover, I am forever grateful for my family and friends who continuously kept me focused and rooted in my purpose when things became rough at times.

To attend the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus was always a goal I envisioned myself achieving at some point in my life. Ever since I was a teenager I knew I wanted to attend university to further my studies in Accounting and Barbados was always my first choice. With that being said, let’s fast forward to the year 2013. At this year’s graduation ceremony, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance (First Class Honours).

My Journey through Cave Hill 2010-2013

My three year journey at the Cave Hill Campus began on the 26th of August, 2010. I arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport, with my motto in mind “Shop Hard, Study Harder”, I was eager to embark on my road towards success. Looking back I can safely say that, no amount of prior “prepping”, can ever prepare you for what you are going to experience at UWI Cave Hill Campus. From the vast amount of knowledge that is shared in the classrooms, informative lectures, group and individual assignments, and the social events on campus. The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus has played a tremendous role in nurturing me into the responsible and well-rounded young adult I am today. 
Additionally, I can safely say that I benefited incredibly from attending this campus. I made friends from all over the region especially with some of my colleagues from St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent & the Grenadines: bonds that would last a lifetime. Moreover, there are also those experiences and events I would always cherish, such as the days of togetherness at KADuwival as well as learning about various countries at the different Island Association weeks.
I truly enjoyed my time at the Cave Hill Campus and I hope others enjoyed their experience, and that current students are having a great time at the campus both academically or recreationally. Lastly, I would like to wish everyone God’s richest blessing in their future endeavors.

Latonya Maughn - Barbados

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”- Bob Marley

With too many options, my journey at UWI began with much uncertainty and apprehension. I was not sure which path I wanted to take but I knew I was determined to make the best of the opportunity before me, determined to wake up and live! I took courses offered in disciplines throughout the faculty and after my first semester I was sure of the direction I wanted to go. From then on I was confident and having figured out the path I wanted to take, I made the decision to change my major to the Psychology Special. This is not to say that I was confident every step of the way. Sometimes I made mistakes, sometimes I felt discouraged but I had started and I was definitely going to finish. My experiences, good and bad, academic and non-academic, were all learning opportunities and helped build my self-efficacy.

I was fortunate to have supportive family and friends who provided what I required to excel and encouraged me along the way. Additionally, I was privileged to have some of the most compassionate, thought-provoking and inspiring lecturers who always encouraged us to go beyond the course requirements and explore the discipline of Psychology. Although it seemed unmanageable at times; keeping up with the group projects, presentations, assignments, midterms, and then having enough energy to push through final exams, it is clear that it all served a purpose. I have improved my time management skills and also learnt how to effectively prioritise and compromise.

My experience at Cave Hill Campus would not be complete without the co-curricular activities I was involved in. These too taught me a great deal. As part of First Year Experience and the Mentorship Programme, I was taught many of the skills I would need to succeed on campus and in the world of work. Participation empowered me, helping me to become more outgoing. Being a member of the UWI Blackbirds Female Basketball team further strengthened my teamwork skills which were an asset given the numerous group assignments. Assisting in service projects like Feed-The-Homeless, Homework Helper and School Outreach with The Circle K Club of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and Vision and Fortitude continually reminded me of the importance of helping others and the pleasure you can get from giving back. They also presented an opportunity to unwind, escape from the grind and make lasting friendships.

Overall UWI has given me a good foundation, one I intend to continually build on. I am currently pursuing Level 1 of Early Childhood Education to gain more knowledge about the development of young children after which I intend to pursue my Masters in School and Clinical Child Psychology. I plan to improve the education system in Barbados and throughout the region as well as develop interventions to provide at risk children with stimulating and nurturing environments which will give them a stable foundation. I encourage all current students to embrace UWI life and participate in extra-curricular activities because they too can teach you a lesson. Consider each experience as an opportunity to learn and make your time at Cave Hill one that you will cherish.

Featured Alumnus - Stephan Walker

Often, students believe that their degree must correspond with the career they plan to pursue for the rest of their lives. However, a Bachelors degree is really a foundation which gives the individual knowledge and skills to excel in any area of life, education and career of choice. Our featured alumnus, Stephan Walker, completed his degree in one area and has taken a seemingly different direction in his career path.

Stephan graduated from the U.W.I. Cave Hill Campus with a B.Sc. Management (Hons.) in 2007 and immediately commenced teaching at the St. Stephen’s Primary School. Stephan’s passion for teaching was ignited at 19 years of age when he began volunteering at St. Stephen’s Primary School - assisting teachers in preparing students for the Common Entrance Examination. This volunteer programme was an initiative of Y’s Youth Club of Barbados of which Stephan is still an active member. Since that time, Stephan has been elected the International Youth Representative 2012 – 2014 in Norway at the International Youth Convocation responsible for managing the Youth Movement globally. He also graduated from Erdiston Teachers’ College in March 2013 with a Diploma in Education Primary with distinctions in Theory and Practice; and was identified as the Most Outstanding Student 2011-2012 in this programme of study.

        Stephan indicates that much of the knowledge gleaned from the management courses he completed at the university has been helpful in his day to day life as a teacher. He has modified some of the teaching techniques used to assist him in obtaining his degree, and now utilizes them to teach primary school students. He credits his knowledge of human resources and managerial communications in guiding his interactions with colleagues, parents and students. He also credits the research skills developed at the U.W.I. for assisting him in the pursuit of his professional qualification at Erdiston Teachers’ College.