Department of Government, Sociology & Social Work
Welcome Message from Department Head - Dr. Tennyson Joseph

Tennyson Joseph

There is little doubt, that for you, matriculating class of academic year 2017/18, the decision to embark on a course of under-graduate study might be the most important decisions of your young adult lives, rivalled perhaps only by your choosing of a life-long companion. The department of Government, Sociology and Social Work, is fully cognizant of the seriousness of your decision, and we are fully seized of the responsibility which it places upon us, given the wide range of tertiary options available to you today. We accept your decision to enroll with us as a statement of confidence in our offerings and we pledge our commitment to do our part in furnishing you with the analytical tools and technical skills commensurate with a modern behavioral sciences education relevant to the 21st Century.

We take special pride in reminding you that what distinguishes our department as a school within the social sciences, is our emphasis on developing your critical thinking skills. We remain firm in our conviction that as our societies continue to experience fast-paced transformations, in which old structures, institutions and ideas, continue to be overturned, the need for critical thinkers whose role it is to make sense of our world and to provide the outlines for future solutions will become more and more in demand. We are pleased to welcome you as part of our family, and we encourage you to add your names to the proud list of West Indians who have left and continue to leave their marks on Caribbean society and beyond.

We take your joining of the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology, as a signal of your intention to assume the mantle of Caribbean leadership, and we fully support you in that enterprise.

This year, your enrollment comes on the eve of the UWI’s celebration of its 70th year of existence as the region’s premiere institution of higher learning. Forged in 1948 as a critical catalyst of Caribbean nation building, and as a necessary precursor for the eventual independence which was to come and which we continue to enlarge. The UWI more than any other institution of higher learning, has made a direct contribution to Caribbean development. There is no Caribbean parliament, civil service or private sector boardroom that is without the presence of a graduate of the university which you now join. I urge you to join in our celebrations, and at all times to arouse your consciousness towards the ways in which you can build upon the legacy in which you now share.

Finally, I am aware that to many students, particularly those coming from outside our home country of Barbados, entering university in a new country and being exposed to a new culture, can be a daunting experience. For many of you, this will be your first experience of genuine "adult living" of having to survive outside the protective walls of your parents, and having to supervise yourselves. However, I urge you to fortify yourself with the knowledge that since 1948, generations upon generation of the ablest sons and daughters of the Caribbean have walked the journey that you have now embarked upon. Like you, they were nervous and uncertain. Like them, you too can grasp your opportunity, immerse yourselves in learning, acclimatize yourself to a new country and culture, and take your places as proud graduates of a justifiably proud institution.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology, I give you the assurance that we will do all in our power to make your UWI experience fruitful and memorable. We look forward to working with you as we continue to explore, understand and add meaning to our Caribbean as we change in and with the world in which we are immersed.

As always, I invite you to carve and own a piece of UWI for yourselves. It is a piece of real estate that grows, rather than diminishes with every portion that the individual student "occupies" for him or herself. I urge you to claim your portion as you learn, work, play grow and develop over the next few years with us. Above all, think deeply on how you can enlarge Caribbean society, your world community and the institution that I now invite you to call your home.

Welcome home, matriculating class of 2017/18.

Tennyson S.D. Joseph

Head of Department


Department of Government Sociology & Social Work
Telephone: (246) 417-4288/4293/4996 Fax: (246) 422-4425 E-mail: gss@cavehill.uwi.edu