UCCI grads called to action

An
inspiring call to action from Katrina Carter-Tellison was one of the highlights
of the University College of the Cayman Islands commencement ceremony on
Thursday, 8 July at Sir Vassel Johnson Hall.

Originally
from Grand Cayman, Ms Carter-Tellison worked her way up through academia to
earn her doctorate, and is now chair of the Center for Liberal Education at
Lynn University in Florida.

Drawing
on her personal experience, Ms Carter-Tellison urged students to stick to a few
simple rules to achieve success, underscoring the importance of pursuing what
you love, but never forgetting that it takes hard work to achieve success.

She
also reminded the graduates that they now are in a unique position of
privilege.

Referring
to the adage that by serving others you serve yourself, she pointed to the role
the graduates will play in resolving Cayman’s current problems.

“How
we emerge is up to your generation,” she said.

The
ceremony also featured a rousing version of I Believe from the UCCI choir, and
remarks from UCCI Board of Governors President Berna Cummins, UCCI President
Roy Bodden and valedictorian Cheryl Blake.

In
his speech, Mr. Bodden expressed his confidence in the school based on a study
conducted by UCCI students last year with bachelor degree graduates from the
past four years. The study had an 83 per cent return rate, though the number of
students included in the study was not specified.

Among
its findings, Mr. Bodden said, were that 91 per cent of respondents indicated
they had received pay raises, promotions and/or new job offers as a result of
earning a UCCI degree.

He
also noted that 58 per cent also indicated they are continuing their education
towards a graduate degree or professional certification.

Mr.
Bodden also outlined some new developments at UCCI, including a one-year
pre-college course to raise participants’ skills to college entrance level.

He
also noted a state-of-the-art language lab will be opening in September, and
plans for new marine biology course at the Cayman Brac campus, which is housed
in new, more affordable premises.

Other
highlights from the past year included a $50,000 donation toward UCCI’s natural
science labs, a $20,000 increase in scholarship funds, and donation of a new
telescope..

Mr. Bodden added that
through these developments, along with initiatives such as a new dress code and
increased efforts from faculty, “we are well on the way to establishing the
intellectual integrity of this institution.”

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