Staff Honoured at 46th Annual UTech, Jamaica Awards

Prof. Colin Gyles (at podium) addresses members of faculty and staff and specially invited guests at the University of Technology, Jamaica 46th annual University Awards ceremony held on Friday, May 27, 2016 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, Papine campus.Members of faculty, administrative, technical and ancillary staff were honoured for long and dedicated service and commitment to the development of the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica) at the 46th annual University Awards ceremony held on Friday, May 27, 2016 at the Alfred Sangster auditorium, Papine campus. Awards were presented for long service, for excellence in research, community service, customer service and innovation.  The ceremony organised by the Division of Human Resources and Administration was held under the theme, “Reflecting on the Past, Charting a Dynamic Future.” 

Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President in his welcome, congratulated members of faculty and staff and expressed appreciation “for excellence in the performance of your duties; excellence in going over and beyond the call of duty and for long, faithful and dedicated service to this our beloved institution,”  adding that excellent service has not gone unnoticed.  “The administration recognizes and acknowledges the efforts of members of the UTech, Jamaica family who have been contributing to the building of this remarkable institution which notwithstanding the challenges, continues to grow from strength,” the Acting President said. Prof. Gyles further expressed commendation on the University’s continued record of improvements in academic offerings, strides being made in research initiatives and progress in community service, arts and cultural programmes and notably also in sport.   Prof. Gyles also took the opportunity to remind the gathering of UTech, Jamaica’s Core Values of Respect, Accountability, Integrity, Service, Excellence, Innovation and Team Spirit.

Guest speaker, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, CD, Minister of Education, Youth and Information in his remarks, explained the rationale for the recent merging of the youth ministry with education and information.  Senator Reid pointed out the “configuration of portfolios presents an opportunity to exert concerted effort to change our national conversation in terms of our values, attitudes and behavior – starting at the early childhood level up to tertiary and adult education.” 

He told the gathering that with portfolio responsibility for persons aged zero to age 29, his ministry would be revamping a national values and attitudes campaign.  He called on UTech, Jamaica to take a lead role in the national conversation for promoting positive values and attitudes.  “You are well suited to do this not only because of your roots in the Jamaican society as a home-grown institution; but also because of your success in producing world champions in athletics; your sporting ambassadors, Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson to name a few,” adding that they provide a strong basis on which to develop a values and attitude programme to influence the campus and the wider community.

Lamenting that STATIN data indicate that the 1.3 million labour force has 900,000 unskilled persons, the Minister urged “UTech, Jamaica as the national university to play a leading role in preparing the country’s manpower to seize opportunities in the ICT, hospitality, logistics, transport, BPO and other emerging growth sectors.”

Senator Reid lauded UTech, Jamaica for “achievements in the areas of research and development,” citing such ground breaking initiatives as research on the use of solar hydrogen gas for cooking, the University’s receipt of a renewed licence to conduct medical marijuana research and the recent graduation of the first cohort of the Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree.  The Minister further applauded the University for “settling down to carry out the important mission of providing education for national development, “adding that his ministry is “committed to addressing outstanding issues” related to some aspects of the University’s operations.


Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, CD, (3rd left) Minister of Education, Youth and Information is welcomed on his arrival for the awards ceremony by from left Dr. Horace Williams, Senior Director (Acting) Human Resources and Administration, Mr. Aldrick McNab, Member of the University’s Council, Prof. Colin Gyles, President (Acting), Mr. Richard Powell, Pro-Chancellor and Major Patrick Cameron, Chief Operations and Projects Officer, UTech, Jamaica.

Long Service Awards

Awards were presented for long service in the categories of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 years. The President’s Award for Excellence was presented in the categories of administrative, technical and ancillary excellence, and for excellence in research, innovation and community service.  The University’s most prestigious award – The Distinguished Service award was presented to Mrs. Vanetta Skeete, Senior Lecturer, College of Business and Management. The special recognition award was presented to the Grace Kennedy Foundation in recognition of its support since the Academic Year 2004/5 in providing financial contribution to support tuition and other related expenses for students in need. Approximately ninety (90) students have benefitted from funding providing by the Grace Kennedy Foundation.

Distinguished Service

Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President presents Mrs. Vanetta Skeete, Senior Lecturer,  Course Coordinator and Associate Head of the School of Business Administration in the College of Business and Management with her citation for the Distinguished Service Award.  The citation lauded Mrs. Skeete for “dedication and tenacity” and “exceptional leadership” in the School.

In her response on behalf of the awardees, Mrs. Skeete expressed gratitude for the honour of being recognized for “the value of my work in and out of the classroom over the years,” adding that “all who have given relentless and dedicated service to this University” should also be recognized.  Mrs. Skeete emphasized the need to recognize each other for excellence above and beyond the call of duty which she noted contributes to the efficiency and success of the organization.  She thanked the Human Resources Department for organizing a fitting tribute to staff and in encouraging all members of staff to continue to provide excellent work that will ensure that our students are well served, the Distinguished Service Awardee ended with a quote from Albert Pine – “What we do for ourselves, dies with us, but what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

President’s Awards for Excellence

The President’s Award for Excellence was presented in seven categories.

Excellence in Research

Prof. Fitzroy Henry, (right) Professor of Public Health Nutrition, College of Health Sciences accepts his citation for the President’s Award for Excellence in Research from Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President.  The citation delivered by University Public Orator, Mrs. Pamela Kelly, lauded Prof. Henry for his consistently strong advocacy for public health and nutrition, championing the cause of healthy food choices and the role of nutrition in the prevention of diabetes and other chronic lifestyle diseases.

Excellence in Innovation

Mr. David Drysdale (right) University Librarian and members of staff of the Calvin McKain Library are a picture of happiness as they are presented with the President’s Award for Innovation from Acting President, Prof. Colin Gyles.  The Library received the accolade for developing and introducing a number of innovations in the delivery of their services to the University community.  These include a virtual reference service, the CML Link UP, electronic access to past examination papers, e-printing and photography service, among other innovations.

Excellence in Community Service

Prof. Gyles presents Miss Deslyn Neunie, Lecturer in the College of Oral Health Sciences with the President’s Award for Excellence in Community Service. The award is given annually for major contribution to the development of the wider community and leadership in the University’s community service initiative and programmes.

Excellence in Customer Service

Loud applause from his colleagues and a standing ovation recorded the presentation of the President’s Award for Excellence in Customer Service to Mr. Kevin Halstead, (right) Accounting Assistant in the Division of Finance and Business Services presented by Prof. Colin Gyles. Mr. Halstead was selected for his consistency and compassion in processing of staff loans and for giving service beyond expectation required in completing all aspects of the loans process. 

Administrative, Ancillary and Technical Excellence


Administrative Excellence: Miss Danille Stewart, Administrative Support in the College of Business and Management is all smiles as she receives the President’s Award for Administrative Excellence from Prof. Colin Gyles. Miss Stewart was recognized for consistently exhibiting dependability and exceptional service in executing her job functions, as well as for her problem solving aptitude and communication skills in adding value to the work of the College.

Technical Excellence:  Prof. Gyles (left) presents Mr. Deanroy Edwards, Technician, (Electrical) Faculty of Engineering and Computing with the President’s Award for Technical Excellence in carrying out his duties.  Mr. Edwards was honoured for the impact of his contribution in trouble shooting and providing innovations to solve technical issues in the School of Engineering.


Ancillary Excellence: Prof. Colin Gyles (left) presented the President’s Award for Ancillary Excellence to two members of the Facilities Management team.  At left he congratulates Mr. Terrence Bucknor, Groundsman and at right, Mr. Kevin Miller, Carpenter both for excellence in the execution of their duties.  Mr. Bucknor was lauded for his consistent exceptional customer service to both internal and external customers and his detailed and meticulous performance of his work which serves as a benchmark for his team members.  Mr. Miller was also lauded for outstanding customer service and for his consistently high standards in carrying out his duties as a repair carpenter in the Facilities Management Department.

Special Recognition Award

The Special Recognition Award is presented annually to a person/group or organisation for outstanding and dedicated service to the University.  The award recognises employees or organisations that have among other things, demonstrated leadership in the University and the wider community.


Dr. the Hon. Alfred Sangster, OJ, Former President, UTech, Jamaica presents a beaming Mrs. Caroline Mahfood, Executive Director, Grace Kennedy Foundation with the Special Recognition Award in acknowledgement of her company’s funding support for tuition and other related expenses for UTech, Jamaica students.



Pro-Chancellor, Mr. Richard Powell (left) presents Mr. Jefferson Davis, Laboratory Technologist, Faculty of The Built Environment and Mrs. Thomazine Mattis (right), Laboratory Assistant, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies with awards for 40 years of service to the University.


Pro-Chancellor, Mr. Richard Powell presents the award for thirty years (30) of service to the University to a beaming Mrs. Sheerin Eyre, Senior Lecturer, College of Health Sciences.


Dr. Elaine Wallace (left), University Registrar presents awards for twenty-five (25) years of service to from left, Miss Paulette Brown, Project Officer, Planning and Operations Division, Mr. Horace Mignott, Library Support, Calvin McKain Library, Mrs. Yenola Salas-McAnuff, Administrative Support, Division of Student Services and Mrs. Gresilda Euter-Robinson, Administrative Support, Division of Community Service and Development.




Dr. Horace Williams (left), Senior Director (Acting), Human Resources & Administration presents awards for twenty (20) years of service to Dr. Felix Akinladejo, Associate Professsor, Faculty of Engineering and Computing and Miss Karlene Black, Vice Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing.


Dr. Haldane Johnson (left), Acting Deputy President presents awards for twenty (20) years of service to Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President and Mrs. Karen Rhule, Faculty Administrator, Faculty of Law.



Mr. David Drysdale (left), University Librarian, Calvin McKain Library presents awards for 15 years of service to Mrs. Lorna Miller-Henry, Lecturer, College of Oral Health Sciences, and Mr. Olusegun Ismail, Head, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science and Sport.


Dr. Jeanette Bartley-Bryan (left) Associate Vice President, Continuing Education, Open and Distance Learning presents awards for 15 years of service to Mrs. Dennise Haldane, Director, Procurement and Mr. Basil Clarke, Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering and Computing.



Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly (left) Vice Dean, College of Health Sciences presents a beaming Mr. Damian Nesbeth, Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Sport and an equally happy Mrs.  Dian McDaniel, Multimedia Technician, College of Health Sciences with their awards in recognition of their ten years of service to the University.    

Left, Dr. O’Neil Roper (left), Senior Director, Facilities Management Department presents Mr. Ceretsie Rowe-Campbell, Lecturer, College of Business and Management with his award for ten years of service.  At right, Mr. Ivor Bennett (right), Director of Marketing smiles happily as he accepts his award in recognition of his ten years of service to the University from Mr. Anthony Davis, Director of Sport.


The University of Technology, Jamaica Academic Staff Union (UTASU) Award for outstanding contribution was presented to Mr. Meredith Williams, Lecturer, College of Health Sciences by  Mrs. Vanetta Skeete (left), Senior Lecturer, College of Business and Management.


 Mr. Anthony Townsend, Executive Assistant, College of Business and Management poses with his University of Technology Jamaica Administrative Staff Association (UTASA) award received for outstanding service to the Union.

Mrs. Muriel Johnson (left), 3rd Vice President, University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) presents the UAWU award to members of the UAWU Delegates Council led by Mrs. Stancy Mighty-Dixon (right), Chief Delegate and Laboratory Technician, College of Health Sciences.  The award was in recognition of the Council for its outstanding job in meeting 80% of its objectives for the year 2015. Other members of the Delegates Council who received the award were Mrs. Bridget Johnson-Smith, Mr. Clayton Williams, Mr. Denvil Allen, Mr. Orlando Clarke, Mr. Desmond Burley, Miss Marcia Williams, Miss Tamara Henry, Mr. Deuane Taylor, Mrs. Anthony Gordon and Mrs. Wendy Dressekie-Gordon.



Michelle A. Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
237 Old Hope Road,, Kingston 6
Tel: (876) 970-5299; 927-1680-8 Ext. 2299,  Fax: 970-2225