On The Road with Coach

Maxwell Peerman Daniels

On the Road with Coach

We’re driving to a three o’ clock game in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a town of decrepit wooden and metal homes in the rolling hills, three and a half hours from the steel bar hugging doorways of apartments in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Coach David Santesteban  is leading the University of the Virgin Islands soccer team to a historic season, but the traveling situation for the team has eight, athletic, determined university men squeezed inside one rental van.

“This is unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells, directing a hand and his voice towards traffic in Puerto Rico.

Speeding down the road, assertive with controlling traffic towards his favor , coach commands traffic. Coach speeds up the van, taking what little space he has in traffic and running with it.   Suddenly he switches lanes in order to follow the lead van of soccer players from St. Thomas, and instantly becomes agitated.

“Unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells out into the air again.

It’s because after only three games traversing this island in a soccer convoy, he believes he knows this island like the back of his sun tanned hand.   With experience playing the forward position in soccer professionally for the San Jose Oaks and San Francisco Diablos, scoring is second nature and winning is the ultimate goal. Now,  although Coach Santesteban is a man of faith and pride, leading a young team filled with heart and ability, among the multiple things that annoy coach within a given day, following another car going in a circle is a big one.

The University of the Virgin Islands needed someone with vision to spearhead the development of the soccer program after the completion of their new home field, but the result of what they’ve gotten in seven games has been historic. For the first time ever,  the University of the Virgin Islands has made it into the post season.  He’s a man with a last name that almost nobody on island can pronounce correctly at first try, but normally everyone just calls him coach. Only weeks from leaving his family temporarily in Houston, Texas, driving around island he’s already greeting folks on St. Croix with a honk.

Coach is a religious man, which fits in with the Caribbean culture. He dresses sharp in his Sunday best clothes, and has dreams of new uniforms and boat shoes for his players. On countless occasions he’s chastised his players about how to properly behave in public.

“We’re all in a fishbowl!” Coach preaches to his players after a win on the road in Puerto Rico.

With a resume that displays a culture of success, coach understands how champions should present themselves, constantly comparing his team to Real Madrid, explaining how professionals behave themselves. With a team filled with upper-classmen, and lower-classmen at various skill levels, it has been coach’s job to get everyone on the same level, playing at the same speed. This is not an easy task for a coach, a month in to coaching at any university.

At the inaugural home game on Oct. 4, coach led the UVI Buccaneers to their first win on their new home field. With a team comprised of 15 men, the UVI soccer team is relatively small with aspirations towards a championship. Most of the other teams have a bench filled with six or more players at a time for substitutions, while the Bucs on average have only two. That means more playing time for tired players on the road. Despite all the hurdles on the way through the 2014 season, the Bucs have played through it all because of the passion for the game.

The passion that Coach  Santesteban (santa-stay-ban) brings to the field can be seen on the side line and in practice. For a coach who tries to abstain from yelling too much on the side line, sometimes he can’t help himself. On Nov. 1,  the Bucs played their first home game of the playoffs, but the refs didn’t give us home field advantage. By the 88th minute of the game, coach had enough with the refs and their bad time-keeping. Our players were kept on the field during a scorcher of a day almost 10 minutes longer than appropriate. In Spanish coach yells  that the ref was extending the game in the other team  favor.

“Que está extendiendo el juego para el otro equipo.”

Immediately the ref raises his hand and dismisses coach from the last supposed two minutes of the game. Although coach might not always get what he wants on this team, he gets what he needs. Coach in frustration , takes his leave from the field, not before stalling at least 45 seconds from the game clock.

At the end of that game,  which resulted in a 1-1 tie, coach didn’t have much agitation in his voice towards the players. He knew that this team played with the pride of an island on their back, and with that he knew he was at the right place. All that waits now is the future of Bucs soccer in the playoffs and next season. Already the team has been accepted to new tournaments, and new players have taken interest. Bringing coach Santesteban to St. Croix has brought needed to change the culture and image of soccer at UVI, but even the coach won’t let you forget about the talented players on the team who sacrifice their bodies and time on the field for the Buccaneers.

UVI School of Education awarded accreditation status; programs will run until 2016 and 2020


The University of the Virgin Islands School of Education has been awarded accreditation status from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Accreditation was granted for the undergraduate and graduate programs, according to a prepared statement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation on Nov. 7. The undergraduate program accreditation runs until 2020, and accreditation of the graduate program runs until 2016. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize NCATE as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation.

“This achievement is the result of the outstanding and dedicated work of Dean Linda Thomas and all members of our School of Education,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall, who recalled that when he arrived at UVI five years ago, Dr. Thomas, who served in a different role at that time, was coordinating the accreditation efforts in the school. “She was deeply committed to ensuring that we achieved this institutional goal, and I am delighted that now, in her role as dean, this dream has become a reality.” He continued, “However, we are uniquely aware that this type of achievement requires a team effort, and all of the faculty members – full-time and part-time – have played a critical role in order for this honor to now be bestowed upon them.”

Dr. Hall thanked all of UVI’s students in the School of Education, because their academic work, portfolios and conversations with the visiting team communicated a very positive impression. The various external stakeholders, including the Department of Education, the Board of Education and the various schools where UVI students conduct their practice teaching, were all instrumental to this success, he said.

 “We are indeed proud to have achieved this goal of NCATE accreditation,” said UVI Provost Dr. Camille McKayle. “Though this goal is stated in the Pathways to Greatness Strategic Plan, it is the standard of excellence that it represents that is the true prize for our students.”  She continued, “By achieving this accreditation, we are able to demonstrate to others external to the institution that the University of the Virgin Islands provides programs in education that meet national standards set by professionals in the field.”

 “NCATE accreditation is a major accomplishment for the School of Education and the University,” said Dean Thomas. “It is an endorsement of the quality of the institution’s teacher preparation programs, and an assurance that students will receive superior education in the School of Education and the University.” She added, “Accreditation is a mark of distinction and provides recognition that the School of Education has met national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other school professionals.”

Dr. Thomas said teacher candidates from NCATE-accredited institutions will be better prepared for new and more demanding initial licensing expectations in many states, and for new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification – particularly since certification standards for both are compatible. “Graduates from NCATE-accredited institutions will generally find it easier to apply for licensure when they move from state to state,” she said.

The School of Education’s accreditation is the second school at UVI to receive accreditation this year. UVI’s School of Business received initial accreditation status in May from the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The University is completely accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools through 2017. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.


ST. CROIX – Over 50 students attended the University of the Virgin Islands’ 2014 Campus Leadership Development Conference at the Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa.

The two-day conference, titled “Ready. Set. Lead,” began on Friday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and continued at 9:15 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 16. Continue reading UVI HOSTS ANNUAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Date Set for Dean’s List Reception


ST.CROIX-  UVI President David Hall will host the sixth annual Dean’s List Receptions recognizing the University’s high-achieving students for the 2014 spring semester. The Dean’s List Receptions honor full-time undergraduate students who have excelled academically and earned the distinction of being named to the Dean’s List. These special events begin with meet/greet receptions with the President at 2 p.m. The program portion of the event immediately follows at 3 p.m. on both locations.

The Dean’s List Receptions will be held as follows:

  • Albert A. Sheen Campus – St. Croix: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, at the Great Hall
  • St. Thomas Campus: Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, at the Reichhold Center for the Arts

The entire University community is invited to come out and support our students’ academic excellence and success. For more information, please contact the Office of the President at (340) 693-1000 or send email to udyer@uvi.edu.

A Day in the Life of a Busy College Graduating Senior

By Zoe’ Walker |

ST. CROIX — It’s 10:15 p.m. and the only thing that could be heard in Brandys Scott’s 15 X 15 foot. dorm room was the steady tapping of the pen on her wooden computer desk, coupled with her rhythmic breathing as she pondered over the last question of her psychology homework.
The loud sound of her phone vibrating on her wooden desk quickly breaks the peaceful silence that had enveloped the room as she received a notification. Putting her pondering on hold, she picks up the phone and burst out in a hearty laugh as she watches a Snapchat video her sister sent of her trying on her Halloween costume and doing the popular shmoney dance at the same time.

Clad in Joe Boxer smiley face pajama bottoms and a wife-beater, Brandys got up and went through her door, still laughing at the Snapchat video by her sister in search of the restroom. Reenter the room with a smile still on her face, Brandys went back to her wooden desk to resume her search for the answer to that last question.

The blaring sound of her iPhone’s ringtone flooded the room as a sleepy Brandys answered, “Hello” followed by a frantic “I’ll be right down.” She forgot that she had an 8 a.m. work meeting and her coworkers were all waiting for her to arrive. Hustling out of bed, Brandys rushed out of her room and into the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face. Then she quickly got rid of her smiley face pajama bottoms, pulled on a pair of jeans that were at the foot of her bed, grabbed her AKA varsity styled jacket from her closet and ran through the door.

At 5- foot 1-inch Brandys is a graduating psychology senior, vice president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., senior senator, veteran resident assistant and secretary to the University of the Virgin Islands Psychology Club, sister, best friend and daughter. With chocolate coloured skin, dark brown eyes shielded behind her square- framed glasses, shoulder length black hair and a distinguishing mole at the bottom of her lip on the right side of her face

Entering her room shortly after 9 a.m. from her early morning work meeting, Brandys shrugged her jacket off and put it over the back of her wooden computer desk chair. Moving over to her micro fridge, she opened the door and took out a Capri Sun juice pouch which she drank all while standing in front of the open fridge. Discarding the now empty pouch in the trash can by her computer desk, she glanced over to the top of her desk where she had multiple brightly colored Post- it notes lining the top of looking like a trail of Skittles neatly lined off. A puzzled look filled Brandys face as she stared at a fuchsia colored Post-it note before walking over to her desk sized calendar that she had propped on the back of her door to confirm the discrepancy. She realized that today was SGA’s Open House for which she was supposed to be a guest panelist and it slipped her mind.

After making a quick phone call to confirm her attendance time at the panel, Brandys grabs her towel and shower caddy and leaves the room.
Shuffling through her dresser drawer looking for her ‘SGA Nice’ shirt, Brandy’s room has an air of comfortable chaos. Her bed is unmade with the fitted sheet lifting slightly at one end, folders and textbooks on one side of the bed, her psychology text and book from last night’s homework session were still open, six pairs of shoes were scattered throughout the room, sticky notes on her computer desk, and a pile of clothes were piled on her extra wooden chair.

Listening to Pandora’s Beyoncé radio, Brandys is sitting in the hallway mirror curling her hair as she sings “Flawless, a popular song by the international singer. Hair curled, Brandys applies a coat of lip gloss to her lips and mascara to her eyelashes before she unplugs her curling iron and walks back into her room.

Powerwalking to the UVI Great Hall where the panel was set to take place, Brandys sat and listened attentively as the other speakers spoke, checking her phone occasionally to see what the latest updates were on her Instagram. When the MC announced for her to come to the front along with the other guest panelist, Brandys went up and began speaking about her experience at UVI.

Manning the decorated AKA table at the open house at the cafeteria, Brandys sports her AKA jacket while speaking to the young ladies about the organization and how they can join.

Between her three classes, running around to Kmart and Cost- U- Less, psychology club meeting where she got goodie bags prepared for their upcoming bake sale – a high- spirited Brandys still managed to attend the happy hour program that was put on by a university organization that night and won the intense game of beer pong with her team.

“I consider this the perfect opportunity to improve my time- management skills and practice learning how to balance everything that’s happening in my world in preparation for my life post college,” an extremely frazzled looking Brandys said as she climbed the two flights of stairs to her second story room.

It is now 11 p.m. and as her room door closes, you could hear the scraping of the wooden computer chair being pulled out as Brandys prepares for another late night filled with homework and possibly funny Snapchat videos.

Brandys Scott’s marked off calender of events that have passed.

Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain

Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain is well on his way to a successful future

By: Shari Chryss Alfred

ST. CROIX- Scoring goals on and off the soccer field, sophomore Kimani George, a criminal justice major and co-captain of the Buccaneer’s soccer team, has proven himself to be a role model, not only to teammates but also to many in the St. Croix community.

The 24-year-old St. Lucian native, who migrated to the Virgin Islands in 2008 for better educational opportunities, and has received that and much more using the strength of his mom as his motivation. Continue reading Scoring Goals: Specialist, Officer and Soccer Team Co-Captain

UVI Board Approves School of Medicine Documents

UVI Board Approves School of Medicine Documents for Submission to LCME for Accreditation

UVI PRESS RELEASE — In a special meeting of the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees held on Nov. 17, the Board passed a resolution approving materials and agreements to be submitted to the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) for the accreditation process of the UVI School of Medicine. The LCME is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the reliable authority for the accreditation of medical education programs leading to doctor of medicine degrees. The Board also provided guidance to UVI President Dr. David Hall on a matter concerning a gift agreement.

Continue reading UVI Board Approves School of Medicine Documents

UVI achieves highest giving rate among HBCUs

Sameca N Hendrickson |

St Thomas – As the only HBCU in the Caribbean, UVIs alumni and supporters has gone above and beyond with their efforts to achieve their goal for the annual giving rate for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

The percentage of alumni donating was fifty-two percent, the highest recorded for any Historically Black College and University.

For the past two consecutive years, UVI has maintained their reputation of having the highest giving rate among HBCUs. With the guidance of Linda Smith, UVI Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs, she and her staff has worked diligently toward this achievement. Continue reading UVI achieves highest giving rate among HBCUs

Lights, camera, action-Sen. Alicia ‘Chucky’ Hansen kicks off her election campaign with the residents of St. Croix

ST.CROIX– The residents of St. Croix came out in droves to support Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen’s campaign party kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Canegata Ballpark despite the senator’s recent tax evasion conviction and controversial rape comment.

The bass of the music could be felt radiating through your body as you came closer to the gates of the ballpark, with incomers swaying and moving their bodies to the beat. Continue reading Lights, camera, action-Sen. Alicia ‘Chucky’ Hansen kicks off her election campaign with the residents of St. Croix

UVI students and marching band walk in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness

by Nalie Frederick

ST. CROIX—Dozens of University of the Virgin Islands students wore pink and marched down the university’s Palm Drive in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Week. The Seventh-Day Adventist Pulse Drum Corp band led students along with faculty, alumni and a few from the general public down Palm Drive. Speakers and food were at the pavilion where the march ended.

University Professor David Capriola opened the march with a speech and a moment of silence for breast cancer survivors, people who are fighting the disease, and those affected by it. Capriola and participants wore pink to show their support. They wore wigs, shirts, pants, shoes and other pink merchandise. Continue reading UVI students and marching band walk in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness

University of the Virgin Islands Annual Basketball Bush League.

BY: Jeremiah Harrison

ST.THOMAS — The faint echo of balls bouncing on the court is heard over the chatter of players as teams warm up in the gym at the University of the Virgin Islands “Annual Basketball Bush League.”  Players gather from all communities of the island in hopes of enjoying the game of basketball.

UVI’s Basketball Bush League was started by a young man named Jedd, whose purpose to begin the league was as he put it “Just for something to do.”   Even if it started as simply as that, it is now on its second year and is creating a good buzz for young adults on island. Continue reading University of the Virgin Islands Annual Basketball Bush League.

USVI/BVI Friendship Day

By Symra Hendrickson

ST.THOMAS — Gov. John deJongh Jr. rolled out the red carpet this year to welcome the BVI delegates for the 41st USVI/BVI Friendship Day.

USVI/BVI Friendship Day is an opportunity for Virgin Islanders to reflect on the close ties that bind the two territories together. It was designed to strengthen and build upon the bond of friendship, history and shared cultures of the Virgin Islands. The theme of this year’s Friendship Day was “Ole Tyme Tings – Celebrating the Ties that Bind Us!” When the Friendship Committee said “Ole Tyme” they really meant it. There were Long Johns, local passion fruity and peanut punches and mini pineapple tarts. There were also coal pot demonstrations. Continue reading USVI/BVI Friendship Day