Tag Archives: College

Provost Impressed by Student Research

Nathalie Trow-McDonald |

The 18th Annual Fall Student Research Symposium sponsored by the Emerging Scientist Program was held yesterday afternoon in the Sports and Fitness Center of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) St. Thomas Campus.

Sixty posters and their proud owners stood in a circle around the basketball court as judges and curious community members mosied from one well-dressed student to another in hopes of learning something new.

“This is my favorite event all year,” commented Dr. Camille McKayle, UVI Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs with enthusiasm. “It has everything we want in it: inquisitive students, engaged faculty, and students exposed to cutting-edge technology… I am always impressed by the students when I come.”

Incorporated in the symposium was a competition for the participants. Students who receive the highest scores from the judges will be awarded travel funds that cover registration, transportation, and housing to attend a scientific meeting to present their research.

Symposium winners typically attend the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics held annual in Washington D.C., but winners are allowed to choose the conference they are most interested in attending. Continue reading Provost Impressed by Student Research

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

Old vs. New: The Tablet vs. The Textbook

By Shani Isaac

As fall arrives, so does the process of preparing for college courses. One of the many ways in which college students prepare for the year ahead of them is by purchasing textbooks in order to succeed in their courses, while trying not to break the bank.

The year of 2014 marks the year where the price of attending college has been at its highest, among other things. While room, board and tuition weigh heavily on people’s minds, it is sometimes the price of books that breaks the bank . According to CollegeData.com, the national average cost of textbooks is currently $1,207 in public institutions, and $1,253 at private institutions. Here at UVI, according to their website, however, the average cost of textbooks per year is $1,703.  This includes other supplies needed for school.

With the advent of the internet, textbooks have become available for purchase via ebooks which can be accessed via a phone or tablet, and even a computer. Much of the time, ebooks are up to 80 percent cheaper than their physical counterparts, and in a day and age where tablets can be purchased for just 70 dollars (the Kindle Touch being an example), it is an option to be considered.

Textbook VS Tablet (Via: Crazyengineers.com)
Textbook VS Tablet
(Via: Crazyengineers.com)

Investing in a tablet and simply purchasing or even renting, as Amazon and other sites will allow you to, seems to be the wave of the future, a concept that is taking hold quickly in the nation and across the world. According to multiple sources, including Procon.org, tablets contribute to a variety of health problems, including eye-strain, and can also be a distraction to the students in question. There is also the fact that not all college textbooks have been converted to e-book format.

Financial aid does not always cover the purchase of the textbooks needed to complete certain courses, as many UVI students have come to realize. Particularly when it comes to the texts required for upper level courses, prices can run into the upper 200s . Prices have always run slightly higher in the Virgin Islands due to import taxes, but should the student have to suffer even more, having to afford tuition and additional fees, not to mention in some cases, room and board.  Purchasing a tablet and purchasing e-books when available seems  to be a practical and affordable choice.

Another counterargument, particularly from conservatives, is that we are becoming entirely too dependent on technology. Liberals argue that it staunches the consumption of trees for paper, and is far more portable than 4 or 5 texts needing to be carried around all at once.

At the end of the day, while both sides have valid points, any students, new and returning, are searching for solutions to this pressing issue.

Where are all the Men?

Where are all the Men?


ST. CROIX –Finding a male student at the University of the Virgin Islands is equivalent to finding an Eskimo in the Caribbean. At the university, 31 percent of freshmen are male and 29 percent of all undergraduate students are male. The typical undergraduate student at UVI is a mature local woman attending full time.

creg brown, part of the 28 percent of 2013 UVI male graduates
Creg Brown, one of the 29 percent of 2013 UVI male graduates

But why is this happening? Are young women simply more ambitious and harder-working? Are men becoming increasingly disengaged from academia?

Female high-school students are more likely to aspire to attend college than their male counterparts and the young women enrolled in college, persist and graduate at higher rates as well, according to a report released on Aug. 28, 2012 by the National Center for Education Statistics.

When young women graduate from high school they tend to go straight into college with a plan set on a four-year degree.

Men decide to go college at a lower rate. For example, while almost three-quarters of female students who enrolled in college did so immediately after high school, just over two-thirds of male students did. Slightly less than half of young men first enrolled in a college or university.

In high school women paid more attention to the college searches than men. They would consult college websites, publications or search guides for information on college entrance requirements. Only 60 percent of male seniors reached out to college representatives for information.

Once in college, a higher percentage of women  stay enrolled and graduate, according to the statistics taken by BYU in 2004. Roughly 60 percent of all first-time, full-time bachelor-degree-seeking students who started college in 2004 had earned an degree six years later from the same institution. A greater proportion of women finished than men.

When asked about her take on the ratio of female students to male students, third-year student Nicole Foster said, “It’s not that there are more males than females on the islands it’s just that more women decided to come school than men.”

The purpose of higher education is to be more qualified for higher paying jobs.

Women don’t typically go for jobs in construction or security, which don’t necessarily require a degree. So women try to get the edge with a degree.

Inside the closets of UVI Fashionistas




ST. CROIX- At The University of the Virgin Islands, most students wear T-shirts and jeans, but within the trendy crowd there is a distinct and peculiar group of people called “UVI Fashionistas.”

We stepped into the closets of Shakirah Ritter and Ajah Richards style to learn more about the in-fashion on campus.

Shakira Ritter
Photo Credit: Ms. WillaWorld
UVI Fashionista Shakira Ritter

Shakirah Ritter is a 19-year-old ticking fashion bomb that explodes when she steps out for a girl’s night out or heads to class. She emulates simplicity, yet her unique style is super high-fashion, sleek and versatile.

Shakirah’s favorite trends are inspired by tribal prints and pastels and she studies fashion through magazines like “Vogue.” Celebrities like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian inspire Shakirah’s daily  outfits. Shakirah says she enjoys pairing high heels with her outfits.

In “In Style Magazine,” Kim Kardashian states, “I wear a lot of heels! They give you extra height, plus they lengthen your legs and make you look leaner.”

Even though Shakirah looks at celebrity fashion for inspiration, she never copies. In fashion, clothing is not the only fashionable factor. Makeup and hair also are key ingredients for the perfect mixture of a fashion soup.

Messy buns, occasional braids and sew-ins are Shakirah’s main  hairstyles. She uses Mac makeup, which creates that perfect natural look for regular days and a dark smoky eye for photo shoots. Fashion makes her feel cool and she enjoys expressing herself through fashionable clothing.

Ajah Richards
Photo Credit: Ajah Richards
UVI Fashionista Ajah Richards

Ajah Richards is a 22-year-old sophomore at UVI. His fashion sense is very urban and stems from New York City.

This urban guy likes to create a chemical mixture of fashion that blows people away.His mixture of urban and casual are meticulously put together to ignite his finished product.

Ajah’s urban twist is totally unique because he is inspired by women fashion too! However, he finds a way to twist feminine styles into “masculine macho.”

He says that almost 89 percent of the time, styles and prints such as galaxy, Aztec, and even floral are not only for women but are also available in styles for men.

“Fashion is risk taking,” Ajah says.

Some people are afraid of wearing fashions that they admire; however, he has no fear. Fashion makes him feel confident. For example, Ajah has a T-shirt with a ballerina design on the front. It may seem strange, he says, but the ballerina on his T-shirt  actually is just  cover art from Kanye West’s track called “Runaway.”

Ajah shops at Urban Threadz in Sunny Isle and occasionally online at Dr. Jay’s.  Ajah dresses up his look with some cool glasses, snap backs and male accessories.

To conclude, Ajah and Shakirah both gave advice. To someone who is trying to develop his or her own style, Ajah says “Find someone whose fashion you admire and use that as a base to create your own style.” Shakirah says, “Be unique, think about your personality, the things you like and work around that.”