On Friday, Dec. 11, the University of the Virgin Islands will commemorate more than 370 degrees earned by graduates in the Class of 2020. A virtual ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. for graduates from the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and the St. Thomas campus. Multiple social media sites will show the event to include UVI’s official YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages. Links to these sites can be found on www.uvi.edu.
“This year’s commencement ceremony for the University of the Virgin Islands is the most unique, gratifying and innovative experience of any the university has convened in its history,” said UVI President David Hall. “The 2020 graduates were not able to experience the normal pomp and circumstance, family presence and cheering as graduates in the past. Yet, they are as excited and committed to this virtual ceremony as the ones we had face-to-face.”
“These graduates have faced and overcome challenges that no other group of students has faced, including hurricanes and a pandemic, and they stand victorious,” said Hall. “Speakers and honorary degree recipients are all in different locations, yet we all will be embraced by a common spirit of gratitude and celebration.”
Ultimate public servant, inspirational motivational speaker and distinguished UVI alumnus Hannibal “Mike” Ware will give the keynote address. The university will bestow upon him the honorary degree – doctor of humane letters. Ware holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from UVI.
“Mr. Ware is one of our most distinguished alumni,” said Hall. “He studied and journeyed along the same path as these graduates, and his UVI degree propelled him to the heights of professional success.”
Keeper of the culture, community voice and intellectual leader Dr. Eugene “Doc” Petersen will also be presented with the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters at this year’s ceremony.
“These two men represent the intellectual and cultural fruits that the soil of the Virgin Islands has produced,” said President Hall.
Asel H. Mustafa will be the Class of 2020 speaker from the St. Thomas campus. Mustafa is a double major, graduating magna cum laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry and biology. Allison L. DeGazon, Ph.D., is the Class of 2020 speaker selected from the Sheen Campus with her doctoral degree in creative leadership for innovation and change.
Watch the commencement ceremony live on UVI’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/UVIvideos or Facebook and Twitter. For more information and for quick links to the ceremony, visit UVI’s website – www.uvi.edu – or see this link to the commencement page https://www.uvi.edu/virtualcommencement/default.aspx.
Class of 2020 Commencement Statistics
Ph.D. Creative Leadership for Innovation, Change 11
Total Ph.D. Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change 11
School of Business
Master of Business Administration 9
Master of Accounting 6
Bachelor of Arts 26
Bachelor of Business Administration 59
Associates of Arts 3
Total School of Business 103
School of Education
Master of Arts School Counseling 4
Master of Arts Educational Leadership 5
Master of Arts Leadership 3
Bachelor of Arts 24
Associates of Arts 4
Total School of Education 40
School of Nursing
Bachelor of Science 37
Total School of Nursing 37
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Master of Psychology 5
Master of Public Administration 10
Bachelor of Science 13
Bachelor of Arts 44
Associate of Applied Science 9
Total College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences 81
College of Science and Mathematics
Master of Marine and Environment Studies 14
Bachelor of Science 59
Bachelor of Arts 3
Associates of Science 16
Associates of Applied Science 12
Total College of Science and Mathematics 104
Graduate Success Stories
UVI Graduate’s Dream to Become a Doctor Soon to be Fulfilled
“Trust your education. It gave me a solid foundation for medical school.”
Micaiah Bully is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in health sciences from the University of the Virgin Islands. Bully is a first-year medical student at Boston University’s School of Medicine. He enrolled at UVI in the fall of 2016, with the intention of being accepted into the University’s Boston School of Medicine’s Early Medical School Selection Program.
The EMSSP is a partnership between Boston University and UVI that is designed to provide an early and decompressed transition into the medical school curriculum through provisional acceptance into medical school at the completion of two years of undergraduate study.
With this goal in mind, Bully dedicated a lot of time toward his academics, earning him top scores in a number of his biology courses, being on the Dean’s List for eight consecutive semesters, the Barnett Frank “Best in Class Award” for a junior male with the highest GPA in 2017, the Senior Biology major award and Outstanding Student in French Award.
In September of last year, Bully took the MCAT and received a perfect score. “I remember opening my results and, after seeing my score, there was just a feeling of relief. The MCAT is one of the biggest hurdles, so I was happy to have completed that requirement for matriculation,” he says. After completing graduate-level courses at Boston University in his senior year, Bully successfully matriculated into Boston University’s School of Medicine.
Now as a first-year medical student, where he is a part of a number of programs and organizations related to the field of medicine, Bully is anxiously looking forward to earning the title of Doctor of Medicine with the hopes of returning home and serving his Virgin Islands community. “I plan to relocate to St. Thomas and hopefully open a private practice, serving the community that I know and care for,” he said.
See this link to the full story: https://uvitoday.blogspot.com/2020/12/graduates-dream-to-become-doctor-soon.html
Tabitha Urgent: A Dream Fulfilled – RN Urges Former Peers to Keep Moving Forward
“Our hardest struggles result in the greatest rewards.”
On Friday, Dec. 11, Tabitha Urgent will celebrate earning a Bachelor of Science degree during an online ceremony. She will be in the third cohort of nursing students to receive their Bachelor of Science in nursing on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. “I always wanted to be a nurse and help people,” said Urgent. “Since elementary school, I knew I wanted to be in the medical field.”
“When I was younger, I created a fake clinic with my Barbie dolls and teddy bears and acted as a nurse,” she recalls. Urgent began her journey to become a nurse when she enrolled at the university in 2015. She excelled academically throughout her freshman, sophomore and junior years.
Her journey to become a registered nurse was going smoothly, then tragedy struck. “In the fall of 2016, I lost my twin brother. That was the first traumatic experience for me,” she says. Despite this tragedy, Urgent decided to continue to pursue her nursing degree. “Normally people would say take a break or take some time off,” says Urgent. However, with a goal in mind, she decided to persevere. “Losing my twin brother has been my motivation to continue school,” she adds.
Classes were going very well, but in December of 2018, her life suddenly changed. Tabitha lost her mother. “When I lost my mom, it was very hard. I remember how proud my mom used to be. Even though I was just a nursing student, she always told people, ‘my daughter is a nurse,’” Urgent says.
Through hard work and dedication, Urgent was accepted into the School of Nursing program and was on the Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters. She also received the title of “Junior Female with the Highest GPA,” or grade point average.
Upon earning her degree, Urgent successfully completed the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN earning the title of registered nurse. “I am so grateful for the UVI nursing program. The nursing program is a hard program, but it really prepares students,” she says.
With her childhood dream now a reality, Urgent has decided to pursue a Master of Science in nursing at Chamberlain University, with the hopes of becoming a family nurse practitioner. Urgent wishes to gear her focus toward the field of mental health.
As living proof that anyone can accomplish their dreams, Urgent encourages and motivates current nursing students to keep moving forward. “Don’t give up. If this is something you really want, you must work hard for it. There may be days where you’re crying or feeling hopeless, but I’ve learned that our hardest struggles result in the greatest rewards.”
See this link to the full story: https://uvitoday.blogspot.com/2020/12/tabitha-urgent-dream-fulfilled-rn-urges.html
UVI Graduate Finds Her True Path
As the first in her immediate family to earn an undergraduate degree, Ozziesha Liburd plans to become a businesswoman. With her Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of the Virgin Islands, Liburd has set forth the foundation for her future.
However, the road to finding her career path was not always clear. Earning a business degree wasn’t her first choice. Liburd enrolled in UVI as a biology major with plans of one day becoming an optometrist. Quickly realizing that a career in optometry may not be for her, she transitioned over into the School of Business where her love for marketing began.
“I took Introduction to Marketing with Dr. Lydia MacKenzie,” said Liburd, who was struggling to find something she was passionate about. “I loved it so much, and I also loved Dr. McKenzie as a professor.”
Making the most of her college experience, Liburd attended the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute and served as treasurer of the Student Government Association. She remembers the excitement she felt when she discovered she would be attending the TMCF Leadership Institute. “I was so happy. I experienced so many wonderful things while at the leadership institute,” says Liburd. She had the opportunity to interact with a number of fortune 500 companies and interviewed with The Kellogg Company.
Excited to be graduating with the UVI Class of 2020, Liburd is looking forward to opening her own business. “I’m still trying to figure out that part of my life, but I feel much more confident in pursuing my goals. My time in the School of Business as a marketing major, I believe has prepared me well,” she said.