New Students Set Sail for Academic Success

Feature Photo Caption: Ryan Shaw ready to take on the new academic year and next, the world. (Photo taken on St. Thomas courtesy of Adeola Adelekan, Orientation Leader)

By Alicia Taylor and Nathalie Trow-McDonald

IMG_0560Albert A. Sheen- St. Croix campus new student orientation island tour, August 20, at Point Udall. (Courtesy of Catey Mendoza, a National Student Exchange student from Alaska)

Albert A. Sheen – St. Croix Campus Orientation: Perspectives of An Exchange Student

Attending UVI is the beginning of our flight towards success. With the help of the orientation staff and student leaders, we were introduced to the flight attendants and captains that will assist in our navigation throughout the journey we call college.

Throughout our flight journey at UVI, we were instructed on safety precautions and instruments we can utilize to assist us. We were educated about campus security, dating and violence, sexual assault and physical and mental health concerns. Through counseling and health services, RAVE and a variety of other departments on campus, students can be reassured that the flight they are traveling on is a safe one.

The theme for orientation on the Albert A. Sheen campus on St. Croix was “Navigating Your Path to Academic Success,” hence all the flight metaphors.

Being a National Student Exchange (NSE) student, the Virgin Islands was an unknown territory waiting to be revealed to me. Attending orientation allowed me the opportunity to experience the university and the culture of St. Croix first hand.

The orientation staff and faculty made it their priority to make sure each student either learned or was reminded of the heritage of St. Croix and the Virgin Islands. Meals were prepared with a variety of foods local to the Caribbean, including the introduction of two local food trucks for students to try at lunch.

The St. Croix campus offered orientation students to take part in a movie night at the Caribbean Cinema, an island tour, bowling at Ten Pins and snorkeling lessons.

Of all the organized activities and events, the New Student Convocation and Buccaneer Welcome Reception was my favorite. Specifically, President Hall’s address to the students.

“He was engaging, relatable and genuinely cared about each of us individually,” said Cassie (Cassandra) Glodowski, a NSE student from Wisconsin. “He didn’t just see us as a statistic, but rather as a student of UVI.”

After walking the stage and being bestowed the medal, I felt like an official member of the Buccaneer community. UVI is proud of each and every student, whether they are here for a semester or five years. The bond created here is unbreakable and each individual of this community will assist in navigating you towards the path of academic success.

Regardless of the destination, you have allowed UVI to provide a stamp on your passport of life. Continue reading New Students Set Sail for Academic Success

UVI Welcome Back How-To: The Parking Permit Situation


Featured Photo: Designated Parking Map of the St. Thomas Campus. (Courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands)

Alayna Belshe |

ST. THOMAS – This is my third fall semester at UVI and every year I learn a little more about how to get things done at our university. This year, I mastered getting a parking pass and completing the vehicle registration process.

If you are new to campus or if you have been lucky enough to get a new vehicle over the summer, you need to register your vehicle online through your BanWeb account before you visit the security office.

To complete the online registration you need:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Your license plate number
  • Your car’s make
  • Your car’s color
  • Your car’s year

Accessing BanWeb is as simple as logging into your MyCampus page on the UVI website and selecting the BanWeb link on the left.

BanWeb Location

Screenshot of the BanWeb Home Page after Logging into MyCampus (August 2016)

After filling out the vehicle registration form found on BanWeb, proceed to the campus security office. The entrance to the office is right next to the Banco Popular ATM on the St. Thomas campus and near the First Bank ATM by the Evans Center on the Albert A. Sheen- St. Croix campus.

You will need to bring your driver’s license, registration and your student ID. (If you still don’t have your UVI Student ID, a piece of paper with your name and ID number will be accepted).

The campus security office is open 24 hours a day, so there is no excuse for not getting this done.

The best part of this whole process is that the permit is free. (Provided that you do not lose said permit, otherwise be prepared to fork over $25.00 to the security office.)

As of Wednesday morning all members of the UVI community received an email detailing the parking policy and the process of registering your vehicle including maps of appropriate parking for each campus.

Good luck to all of us finding our preferred parking spaces!

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Designated Parking Map of the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. (Courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands)

Tourism Sponsors National Association of Black Journalists Meeting, Sends Two UVI Students

Featured Photo: Gov. Kenneth Mapp speaks to Patrice Harris and Nathalie Trow-McDonald about job opportunities at the NABJ founders’ reception in Washington, D.C. (photo courtesy of Bevan Springer).
Nathalie Trow-McDonald

Last weekend the V.I. Tourism Department sponsored two local university students to attend the first joint convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Washington, D.C.

For the last six years, Tourism has been a corporate sponsor for the annual NABJ convention in an effort to bring a more culturally diverse pool of tourists to the territory.

As a communications student at the University of the Virgin Islands entering my junior year, I was invited to attend the meeting along with Patrice Harris, a recent UVI communications graduate who spoke at the school’s St. Thomas 2016 commencement ceremony. Attending the meeting was an opportunity to expand our career horizons and learn from minority journalists.

“It was a strategic decision to strengthen the territory’s outreach to multicultural markets and especially the African American community,” explained Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Tourism commissioner.

Nicholson-Doty continued, “Sponsoring NABJ is one way the department can demonstrate its support of and belief in the important work its members are called to do – ensure an educated, informed citizenry, which is the basis of our nation’s democratic ideals.”

This is the third consecutive year that university students have joined the V.I. delegation to represent the territory at the meeting and showcase its young talent.

“The Department of Tourism has sponsored students from the University of the Virgin Islands thanks to the encouragement of UVI Professor Dr. Alexander Randall,”  Nicholson-Doty said. “The department believes firmly in educating and empowering our young people so they can be prepared to be future leaders, thinkers and change-makers. Students of the communications arts, including journalism, have a key role to play in this regard. We believe exposing them to rich experiences such as NABJ is an investment in our future.”

Nicholson-Doty said Tourism continues to work with NABJ because it’s a great venue to showcase all the Virgin Islands has to offer to people who can spread the word. Steel pans, soca music and a mocko jumbie gave attendees a taste of the Virgin Islands during a special evening event hosted by Tourism.


Amber Sizemore of the SpeakEasy M.E.D.I.A. Foundation, left presents scholarships to Nathalie Trow-McDonald and Patrice Harris at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Gala (photo courtesy of Bevan Springer).

“This is a prime opportunity to tell the USVI story to an audience of highly educated professional men and women who are not only stewards of information but also travelers,” said Nicholson-Doty. “On a more individual level, we are able to develop and nurture personal relationships with journalists who focus on travel, tourism, sustainability, history, culture, culinary arts or a variety of niches where the USVI has much to offer.”

Governor Kenneth Mapp gave a speech at the NABJ Founders’ Reception held in the new Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture slated to open in September.

“As African Americans, we have really made great strides in this nation,” Mapp said. “Yet we have a long road to travel. So I say to each of you, continue to do the fine work that you do in reporting to our communities, reporting to the nation and reporting to the world.”

Following Mapp’s speech, Nicholson-Doty gave out prizes that included three-night stays at local hotels in both St. Thomas and St. Croix, as well as airfare to the islands on any date of the winner’s choosing. Throughout the event Ryan Joseph, a trumpet player from St. Croix, and his jazz band.

Due to our association with the Tourism Department, Harris and I received tickets to see Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak, as well as a special sneak-peak of the new museum.

During a panel discussion preceding Clinton’s speech, a journalist said, “We need more people of color in the journalism field because we need to be telling our own story and not having others tell us what is going on in our own communities.”

A number of inspirational journalists spoke, including Jarrett Hill, who discovered the similarities between Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech and a speech given previously by First Lady Michelle Obama.  And several famous authors held meet and greets, such as actor and author Hill Harper.

The conference extended beyond news media: Harris and I attended one of the first screenings of the upcoming Disney movie, “Queen of Katwe,” which included an exclusive question and answer session with one of the main actresses, Lupita Nyong’o. Other movies screenings that star black people included “Loving,” “Hidden Figures,” “Southside with You” and “Birth of a Nation.” Conference attendees were also introduced to Disney’s first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor.

Workshops that gave us tips to become better multimedia journalists were interspersed between lectures, and a career fair offered opportunities for potential internships and job positions.

At the end of the annual NABJ Salute to Excellence Gala, Harris and I were each awarded a $500 scholarship by the Speak Easy M.E.D.I.A. Foundation, which was created to provide scholarships to youth in the United States and the Caribbean interested in pursuing a career in the field of communications. Harris received her scholarship in tears, knowing how proud her late father would be of her accomplishments.

Currently UVI has a four-year bachelor’s degree program in Communications as well as its own student run media outlets, including a radio station, WUVI AM-1090/97.3 FM, and an online newspaper, The Voice. There are plans in the making to establish an NABJ Student Affiliate chapter at UVI.

WUVI station manager Dara Monifah Cooper said, “I’m looking forward to selecting students from St. Croix next year” to attend the NABJ convention. “They do a lot,” Cooper said, “but have yet to be selected to attend and I aim to change that.”