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Campus Community Saddened by Passing of Ms. Maria Dodson

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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The Campus community has been stunned by the loss of Ms. Maria Dodson, who passed away on January 11, 2019. She was a member of staff at The UWI Cave Hill for more than two decades, starting as a Stenographer/Clerk in July 1998.

Dodson lent her skills and professionalism to various offices, including the Department of Economics, the Faculty of Law and the Student Affairs – Admission section before joining the School for Graduate Studies and Research in October 2015, where she remained until her untimely passing.

Former colleagues have expressed fond memories of her bright smiles and caring nature in the following tributes:

Professor Winston Moore – Director, Graduate Studies and Research

I was very sorry to hear about the passing of Ms. Maria Dodson. Maria and I first worked together in the Department of Economics between 2006 and 2009. One of the things that I remember most about her was that she had one of biggest smiles that you would ever come across; when she smiled, you had no choice but to smile back. Indeed, everything about Maria brought a smile to your face: her passion for her work, the frankness with which she spoke her mind, her hand gestures and of course her love for bright colours.

Maria was also very kind, and whenever she bought a student’s case to your attention, you could see that she trulyempathised with their predicament.

My condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.

Owen Ellis – Senior Assistant Registrar,School for Graduate Studies and Research

Maria enjoyed her job here at Graduate Studies. Her smile and her laughter infused any space she was in and infected all those around her. The staff at Graduate Studies remember Maria as being kind, sharing, jovial yet serious, and always willing to go the extra mile. She was passionate about The UWI being at its best and was ready to go on outreach programmes to promote The University. She was very passionate about making sure that The University looked good in the eyes of the public.

Maria was also very student-friendly, and was at pains to ensure that her students were well taken care of. She also took the time to teach new staff the functions of the office, in order to ensure they could get the job done. She did not stifle her thoughts and made sure she gave her best advice when it came to management of the office.

Maria loved life and her family, and she would often talk about her children who were dear to her heart.

She will be sadly missed. The School for Graduate Studies and Research send their condolences to her family, especially to her mother, sister, brother and her three young children. May she rest in peace.

Mrs. Althea Greene-Forde – Administrative Assistant SERU

Interacting with Maria was always a pleasure whether it was professional or personal. I cannot think of any conversation, even if the circumstances were difficult, where she was not sincere and pleasant. My interactions with her always included some giggling but nothing less than a smile on either side. No matter which department she was assigned to and you needed information, assistance or guidance, she was always willing, even if it was not within her control, she always made the effort to help and that character trait set her apart.

You never felt like you were a bother, just one colleague helping another. For sure you felt at ease picking up the telephone to contact her again and again. She was the consummate UWI employee. Our paths did cross outside of work and it was the same Maria - jovial, smiling and you can be assured one or both of you would be smiling when it was time to go. Conversations about the children always included her trademark “muh girl!” with emphasis of course. Her personality shone through no matter what and that was the memory I will treasure. Not to mention her sense of style, from head to toe, every detail was on point! She will be sorely missed. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Ms. Jacintha Freeman – Office of the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

I first met Maria when she came to work in the Department of Economics. Even when she left the department to work in Student Affairs, we still kept in touch. She was one of the most energetic and spirited persons I have ever met. She was often smiling, helpful to students and staff alike and able to see the bright side of a situation even when circumstances were challenging.

On a personal level, she was always encouraging me through challenges I faced and often gave sound advice. Maria also believed in having a good time and living life to the fullest. We had some good times outside the office.

I still cannot believe she is gone. A bright spark has gone out of the University family. She will be sorely missed.

Natalie Pierce – Administrative Assistant, Human Resources Section

I first met Maria at secondary school, and even though she was a couple of years ahead of me, I always found her to be a friendly, caring and easy going person.

When we met again at The UWI, Maria’s personality truly shone through: she was approachable, knowledgeable and very student-centred. Maria loved her students and when I heard her speak of them, it was from a mother’s perspective.

Maria truly epitomised a light rising from the west; whenever she entered a room, her smile and laughter always brightened it. Maria, we love you and you WILL be missed.

Cherene Cumberbatch Stenographer/Clerk, Human Resources Section

From primary school days, Maria was a jovial person. When we met again at The UWI, I found her to be courteous, approachable and professional. Maria went about her daily duties with enthusiasm, even as an usher. I will miss her smile, her engaging conversations and her infectious laugh. Rest in peace and rise in glory, Maria.

Karene Holligan – Accounts Clerk, Bursary Department

I first met Maria Dodson in 1998 when I was a staff member in the Law Library and she was in the Faculty of Law. We often met in the lunch room to have lunch, and it is there that we formed an acquaintance.

Maria was a free spirit, very friendly and always smiling. She carried herself with much grace and always gave a friendly greeting to everyone she came into contact with. She was hardworking and very professional in all her duties. I can hear Maria’s laughter even as I write this. She was a very jovial person and I have never seen her angry.

She was a lady who loved life and lived according to her own decisions and not what people thought or said. This was one of the things I truly admired about her.

Maria was a great mom to her children and took pride in raising them. An honest individual who told it like it was, Maria was not afraid to make changes and thiscould been seen in the many departments she worked in on Campus. She loved to excel and developed herself educationally and otherwise.

Maria also loved people and made you feel important.

I am truly sorry to learn of her death and I know she will be greatly missed by her family, friends, work colleagues and the University at large. Gone too soon. Rest till Jesus come.

Ms. Sanielle Hinds – Personal Assistant to the Principal, Office of the Principal

My first interaction with Maria Dodson was during the period (2011-2013) whilst I was seconded to the Accreditation Secretariat. At that particular time, I needed copies of the various undergraduate Faculty Handbooks as evidence to support the Campus’ accreditation self-study report. Ms Dodson was very helpful and ensured that she gathered all the documents which I required. She also indicated that I could feel free to contact her for any help.

My next encounter with Maria was when I was pursuing graduate studies at the School for Graduate Studies and Research, Maria would always enquire about my wellbeing and wish me well in my studies. When I saw Maria last August, Maria in her usual jovial manner asked: “Sanielle, are you ready to pursue your PhD now?”

Maria was a very humble and pleasant soul who was the ideal UWI employee. She was passionate about her work and she exhibited a great love for all.

There was never a dull moment with Maria and she lit up any office.

I pray that The Lord would comfort the Dodsons during this time of grief. Remember that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Reflect on all the good times which you shared with Maria.

Dearest Maria, rest in peace and rise in glory!

Michelle Grandison Taylor, Administrative Assistant, Department of Economics

Maria Dodson and I worked together in the Department of Economics in 2008 when I returned to the Department as the Administrative Assistant. Maria was the Departmental Secretary at that time and over the course of time Maria showed the attributes of a model employee: very easy to work with, works well on her own, works well as part of a team, had good communication skills, good use of initiative and the list went on. Working with Maria, for me, every day was a bundle of laughs.

My fondest memories of Maria however, were not work related as we connected on a more personal level, that of love and of family, especially our children. Maria and I would come to work every day and trade “horror stories” or “the stories that would warm the cockles of our hearts”. Giving each other advice when needed, sometimes offer another perspective or at other times, just listen. Our working relationship in the Department of Economics was short lived as Maria was soon promoted to the post of Administrative Assistant in Admissions.

Even though Maria was no longer in the office with me, we remained connected. If we called each other for information or clarification on a matter, the familiar response of “Girl, how you and the family?” would evoke laughter as we went about updating the other on the children’s latest endeavours, and we had six children to cover.

I am sure the members of the Department of Economics who interacted with Maria would agree with me when I say, it was truly our honour and privilege to have been touched by Maria. She will always hold a special place in our hearts and she will be sorely missed.










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