UTech, Jamaica Expresses Appreciation to Denise Herbol, Outgoing USAID Mission Director

A delighted Ms Denise Herbol (centre), outgoing United States Aid for International Development (USAID) Mission Director to Jamaica, admires a painting by Kesi Mortley, Caribbean School of Architecture and visual arts student at UTech, Ja.’s  Centre for the Arts, being presented to her by Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President,  at an appreciation event hosted by the University in her honour on Monday, June 20, 2016 at the University’s Papine campus. Sharing in the presentation is Prof. Rosalea Hamilton, Vice President, Community Service and Development, UTech, Jamaica and Project Director, Fi Wi Jamaica Project.  Ms. Herbol shared that the painting is a most welcome addition to her African-inspired art collection.


The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja.), led by the Division of Community Service and Development on Monday, June 20, 2016 hosted a special function to express appreciation and farewell to outgoing USAID (United States Aid for International Development) Mission Director to Jamaica, Ms. Denise Herbol who has been instrumental in  her support of the University during her tenure in Jamaica since 2011.

Ms. Herbol’s engagement with UTech, Jamaica through the USAID has involved two human rights based projects – the UTech Cares initiative in 2013 which later evolved into the Fi Wi Jamaica Project, both led by the Division of Community Service and Development.  Both of these human rights focused interventions have been profoundly impactful in their objectives to expand the limits of tolerance and respect and to influence behavioural change and transformation of attitudes among students and staff at UTech, Jamaica and beyond.

Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President, in his remarks lauded Ms. Herbol as an exemplary advocate of the advancement of human rights and the reduction of discrimination against various marginalised and vulnerable groups through the USAID’s various programmes and initiatives of which the University has been a beneficiary.  He noted that UTech, Jamaica is pleased to have been associated with her and the USAID and assured the outgoing Mission Director that the legacy of cooperation that has been established between the two organisations will continue to benefit both UTech, Jamaica and the wider community.

Prof. Rosalea Hamilton, Vice President, Community Service and Development and Project Director, Fi Wi Jamaica project provided a comprehensive overview of the achievements under the project for the period May 2015 – 2016 which she reported was conducted in 12 parishes across Jamaica in collaboration with 16 project partners drawn from corporate Jamaica and non-profit organizations, some of which have included the Institute of Law and Economics, Scotiabank Chair – Entrepreneurship and Development, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), 51% Coalition, Jamaican Association for Debating and Empowerment (JADE), the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Flagstaff-Trelawny Maroons, Jamaica Household Workers Association and others.  Prof. Hamilton shared that 3, 100 persons participated in 46 programmes which included workshops and sessions on business entrepreneurship and empowerment training for women, web entrepreneurship training, Fi Wi Jamaica empowerment workshops on trafficking in persons (TIP), domestic and intimate partner violence (DIPV), women for empowerment (WFE) network meetings, a panel discussion focusing on civil society and democracy and youth empowerment session offered through the University’s ‘Saturday University’ initiative. 

Dr. Rohan Lewis, Dean, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies and Project Director, Fi Wi Jamaica who chaired the brief farewell event, noted that Ms. Herbol’s support of the UTech Cares and Fi Wi Jamaica projects have been instrumental, resulting in the significant impact achieved by the University in addressing the issues of discrimination, tolerance, gender-based violence, trafficking in persons and the empowerment of women and girls. 

Dr. Ellen Campbell-Grizzle, Dean, College of Health Science and Project Expert, Fi Wi Jamaica Project in her appreciation remarks, wished Ms. Herbol continued success in her personal and professional journey, noting that UTech Cares and the Fi Wi Jamaica projects are part of her professional legacy which binds her to the University.

Ms. Denise Herbol in her response expressed appreciation for the progress the University has made in championing the cause for respect and the protection of human rights in Jamaica.  She stated that it has helped to open the space for an ability to have a discourse on the issues, noting that, “this discourse was not available when I first got here in 2011, but it is here today.”  She commended the project team for their hard work and acknowledged that the road has not been an easy one, and gave assurance that her successor at the USAID has already pledged continued support of the project.

Among those in attendance at the farewell were Fi Wi Jamaica Project team members Dr. Elaine D. Wallace, University Registrar and Chair, Fi Wi Jamaica Project Steering Committee, Ms Tahirah Johnson, Fi Wi Jamaica Project Manager, Dr. Kofi Nkrumah-Young, Chief Planning, Procurement and IT Officer, Mrs. Norma Morgan, Executive Assistant, Division of Community Service and Development,  Miss Michelle Holness, Administrative Assistant, Planning and Operations Division, Miss Carren Brown, Executive Assistant, College of Health Sciences, Major Patrick Cameron, Chief Operations and Project Officer, Mr.  Lorence Brown, Chief Business and Finance Officer, Dr. Kamilah Hylton, Dean, Faculty of Science and Sport, Mr. Ivor Bennett, Director of Marketing, and Mrs. Michelle Beckford, Corporate Communications Manager.

Ms Denise Herbol (in red), outgoing USAID Mission Director to Jamaica has the rapt attention of the gathering during her address at the farewell appreciation event held by the University in her honour on Monday, June 20.


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
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm