US doctoral scholars visit TT
By Joan Rampersad Monday, October 25 2010
A US contingent comprising 35 doctoral scholars and six faculty members from the prestigious Law and Policy Doctoral (LPD) Programme in the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University, Boston, were in Trinidad and Tobago for the last five days, as part of an “International Immersion Research” initiative.
While in TT the scholars, led by Holly M Carter, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs interacted with a wide array of academic, business, political and civil society groups in TT in order to gather data. They visited the University of the West Indies (UWI), including the Eric Williams History Exhibit and the Coast Guard Base at Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas. They also toured Laventille with Fr Clyde Harvey, visited the Gandhi Memorial Vedic Primary School, the House of Parliament, the National Gas Company (NGC), toured the Pt Lisas Industrial Estate, met with former Prime Minister Patrick Manning at their resident hotel the Hyatt Regency, fast ferried from Trinidad to Tobago courtesy the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), went to Store Bay then came back to Trinidad before leaving the country this morning.
Last Thursday the contingent paid a visit to Caribbean Airlines Invaders’ pan yard in Woodbrook. Upon arrival they were handed “waivers” after which they were met by Michael Mitchell, Consular Officer at the Embassy of the United States of America, and Ainsley Gill, Managing Director of the AGA Group, LLC, the Washington DC-based company that co- ordinated the visit
The students were introduced to doubles, accra, bake and shark and a number of other local delicacies while taking in the sounds of the sweet pan music from their hosts who played selections such as “Bailamos”, “Lately”, “Falling In Love”, “In The Mood”, “Conga”, “Stand By Me”, Waka Waka” and “Rock The Boat”.
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The five-day visit was to facilitate the doctoral students in collecting data related to the impact of policy and laws on people’s lives.
For the Trinidad-born Gill, “Trinidad and Tobago’s emergence as a leader impacting the world stage was underscored by the group’s decision to choose the twin-island Republic as a research destination from the many available candidate countries.”
At the pan yard event Mitchell told the students: “During your research, you will experience the deep history and culture of this rich and diverse country. What you are doing is just as important to us at the US Embassy. We are just as concerned with the exchange of art and intellect, as we are with safety and security.”
Mitchell also informed the scholars about the amount of gas that TT supplies to the US. He said: “Few Americans know that 40 percent of US natural gas comes from this country.
This country has a per capita income of over US$21,000, ranking it fifth in the western hemisphere. So as you are exploring the islands and meeting the people, be sure to appreciate what a rich and beautiful country you are visiting.”
Dean Carter assured: “Our students represent the best of cross sectors in the US in terms of the work that they do in their professions, and have chosen to do an executive doctoral programme to be the next best in their professional career paths, and to bring that expertise here as a way of both sharing the insights they have and the ability to use this as an opportunity to do some comparative research in the context of work they are going to be doing in their dissertation projects over the course of their academic experience.”
She added the students were not only in terms of domestic issues having to do with law and policy, but also looking comparatively and globally because they really do have global leaders in the programme,
In closing she said, “We are very grateful to TT for the warm welcome that you provided and more importantly for the intellectual stimulation and research opportunities that exist here for us.
We will take advantage of everything in what these wonderful islands have to offer and we look forward to having many of you and hopefully, some wonderful relationships will come as a result of this.”