Four T&T nationals are among six people who will be conferred with honorary doctorates at the 2013 graduation ceremonies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, in October.
Former Bishop, Rev Clive Abdulah, will be conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree; research scientists Dr Theodosius Ming Whi Poon-King and Dr Elisha Tikasingh will be conferred with Honorary Doctor of Sciences (DSc) degrees and Trinidadian journalist Marina Salandy-Brown will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Letters (Dlitt) degree, the university has said in a press release.The release said the four were being honoured for their stellar contributions to the development of T&T and the wider Caribbean.Abdulah was the first national to be elected Bishop of T&T, a position in which he served for 23 years (1970-1993). He was also a founding member of the Inter-Religious Organisation of T&T and its second president.
He is also still the first and only bishop to have served as a member of the University Council of UWI from 1971-1975 and is the first West Indian bishop to serve on the board of directors of the Anglican Centre in Rome (1992-1995).For his contributions, Abdulah, who continues to serve the diocese of T&T, was the recipient of the Humming Bird Gold Medal and, in 2013, received the Cadet Corps Commanding Officer's Award.Poon-King has made tremendous and invaluable contributions to medical research in areas such as diabetes, acute rheumatic fever, paraquat poisoning and scorpion sting mycocarditis.He was the first to report on a link between scorpion stings and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), and published the report in the British Medical Journal. Dr Poon-King is also credited with undertaking the first nationwide survey of diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago in 1961.
Tikasingh has also made sterling contributions to scientific research in the Caribbean region and is internationally renowned for his work in entomology, parasitology and virology. Upon completion of his academic qualifications, he joined the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory (TRVL) UWI, St Augustine, in 1960 as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.During his 25-year career, he established the Parasitology Unit at CAREC, which subsequently served as a reference centre to laboratories in 19 countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean, and authored over 100 research articles which have been featured in international peer-reviewed journals.Dr Tikasingh is internationally known for the development of a technique to produce hyper-immune ascetic fluids in mice, which is used today as the gold standard and forms the basis for arbovirus immunological studies.Salandy-Brown has had a distinguished career in media, the arts and literature. An international prize-winning programme maker, she has made extensive contributions to the cultural landscapes of both T&T and the United Kingdom.
Salandy-Brown was a former editor of the Melrose Press in London, a Governor of the University of Westminster and a former trustee of the Koestler Awards to support and fund arts in prisons in the UK. She also served as a senior executive with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where she was critical to strategic policy-making and the conception and production of radio programmes.The other two graduands are London novelist/writer/literary commentator Dr Lakshmi Persaud, who will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Letters (Dlitt) degree and Jamaican publisher/entrepreneur Ian Randle will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree.A total of 19 Honorary Graduands have been named by the regional university. The degrees will be conferred by UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne at graduation exercises, beginning with the open campus ceremony in Grenada on October 12, the Cave Hill Campus ceremony in Barbados on October 19, the St Augustine Campus ceremony in T&T from October 24 to 26 and the Mona Campus ceremony in Jamaica from October 31 to November 2.