The first full-scale long-term study in the Caribbean of on-demand public bus and taxi services has been conducted by the Jamaica-based Northern Caribbean University (NCU) on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. The results will help to provide a scientific basis for the ongoing debate in Jamaica on public transportation.
This was disclosed by NCU’s president Dr. Lincoln Edwards who was recently in the Cayman Islands (Oct. 18 to 20) on the occasion of the fourth anniversary celebrations of the NCU Alumni Association Cayman Chapter’s founding in 2014.
In another highpoint of the weekend’s celebrations, Dr. Edwards presented the 2019 President’s Award to a member of the local chapter of the university’s alumni association in recognition of her dedication and service. Receiving the President’s Award, Ms. Tracey-Ann Trail, a founding member of the association inaugurated five years ago, said she was humbled by the award and grateful for the opportunity to have served on the executive committee for the past five years. Miss Trail is a teacher at Cayman Academy.
Speaking during the weekend on NCU’s accomplishments, Dr. Edwards discussed also the university’s research in the area of climate change, detailed in a new book entitled Confronting Global Climate Change by NCU professor Mark Harris. The president also detailed student involvement in research, disclosing that an NCU team won first place in a competition organised by Jamaica’s Scientific Research Council. The winning team was selected at the 2019 National Science & Technology Fair in Jamaica.
Among other NCU accomplishments, NCU has signed an MOU with the Confucius Institute in Hanban, China, for sponsored provision of Chinese language teachers to support Chinese language/Mandarin classes at NCU. Sponsorship by the Chinese Embassy will allow nine NCU faculty and staff members to travel to China, between October and November 2019, to undertake specialized training in various areas.
In other collaborative initiatives, NCU is working closely with Jamaica’s Ministry of Education in offering Career Advancement Programmes (CAP), in the form of vocational training at NCU.
In further new accomplishment, NCU engineer has developed a coconut husk shredder aimed at protecting the environment, Dr. Edwards said. This will help to reduce coconut husk littering, thereby decreasing consequent mosquito breeding sites, rodent infestations, and greenhouse gasses.
In the area of extracurricular activities, an NCU student was selected as a member of the Jamaica national debating team participating in a collegiate debate in Orlando, Florida, Sept. 22-29, 2019. The Jamaica team won 15 of eighteen debates overall, the president said.
During an open microphone session, Dr. Edwards noted that the university had been selected by UniRank, a web-based university ranking organization in the US, as the most popular university in Jamaica in terms of web presence, interest and traffic.
Bringing greetings over the weekend, President of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, spoke of Dr. Edwards’ interest in Cayman and the local alumni chapter. In thanking Dr. Edwards, Pastor Dracket noted that Dr. Edwards had distinguished himself in terms of number of visits to Cayman since taking up the presidency in 2016.
President of the local chapter, Ms. Patricia Ebanks, expressed appreciation to Dr. Edwards for taking time out of his busy schedule to participate in the anniversary celebrations. She also thanked members of the association, in particular the members of the executive committee, for their dedication and service to the local chapter, to NCU, and to the Cayman Islands.
The chapter, which recently announced the availability of a second four-year scholarship to NCU, was instrumental in granting in September 2019 its first four-year scholarship to NCU. The recipient of the chapter’s first scholarship, Miss Sonia Bailey, is now attending NCU where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education.
The weekend celebrations ended with a community service activity in the form of a clean-up effort in collaboration with the Department of Environment Health at Smith Cove on Sunday (Oct. 20).