President's Appreciation Award bestowed upon Dr. Beverley Lansiquot

In the regular session of its quarterly meeting on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in the Medical Simulation Center on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix, the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve two new academic degree programs – a Professional Science Master’s Degree in Marine and Environmental Science and an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the Professional Science Master’s Degree Program in Marine and Environmental Science. The two-year degree program is designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as marine and environmental science professionals and offers persons currently working as educators, natural resource managers, ecotourism specialists, and others an opportunity to enhance their professional skills, and develop a working understanding and experience in marine and environmental science research.

“These Professional Science Master’s Degrees have been around for quite some time nationally,” said UVI Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Camille McKayle. “They are usually degrees where you might not expect students are going to get a Ph.D. but are going into the workforce.” UVI’s current master’s in marine and environmental science is thesis based, requiring students to conduct original research and formally present it. The new program will be course based, allowing students in their second year to take elective courses and participate in a professional internship or gain additional job experience for those already working in the field.

“We think this will encourage a more diverse student cohort as a number of students did not, for various reasons, do a thesis and are in the community working and being productive as marine science professionals and this type of degree will actually allow students to finish a master's with internship and work experience,” explained Dr. McKayle.

Additionally, the program will highlight internationally recognized current research and use cutting-edge 21st century methodology and equipment. Guest professors, presenters, and workshop project leaders from across the nation will provide depth and breadth to the program content and add diverse quality experiences for students.

The Board also voted unanimously to approve an Associate of Arts Degree Program in General Studies. This new degree program, housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, will give students who have not chosen a degree program a path to explore multiple fields and make an informed decision about what field they would like to pursue while working toward a degree. “There is a trend of students graduating with a high school diploma and getting an Associate’s Degree in General Studies. What we have created here is a way for students, whether they are using UVI as a steppingstone to get somewhere else or want to augment their high school diploma, this new degree program will give students additional opportunities,” said Dr. McKayle.

During the President’s Report, UVI President David Hall highlighted the achievements of UVI students and faculty as well as various University initiatives. As is customary during the Board meetings, Dr. Hall presented the President’s Appreciation Award in recognition of the excellence and commitment of those employees and UVI units that have performed exceptionally within the past quarter. The President’s Appreciation Award for this term was presented to Dr. Beverley A. Lansiquot, dean of UVI’s School of Nursing, and the faculty of the School of Nursing. Dr. Lansiquot, who began her association with UVI as a nursing student at the College of the Virgin Islands over 50 years ago, will be retiring at the end of July 2024. Dr. Lansiquot's leadership and the dedication of the faculty have greatly contributed to the success of the nursing program at UVI. Her advocacy was instrumental in ensuring the institution received funding for a Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) program on the Albert A. Sheen Campus. UVI’s nursing students continue to outperform the national average on the rigorous national standardized licensure exams which is due in large part to the quality and rigor of the nursing program at UVI and that of the faculty and the leadership of Dr. Lansiquot. In fact, 100 percent of the BSN graduates on St. Croix passed the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) on the first sitting during the most recent period.

In other business, the Board voted unanimously to request a FY2024-2025 appropriation of $38.9 million to cover salaries, benefits, equipment, supplies, and incidental expenses of the University for its operations and programs. This includes the cost to provide legislatively mandated programs and a multitude of other programs such as the Hospitality and Tourism program, the BSN program on the Albert A. Sheen Campus, the Agriculture Science and Aquaculture Program, UVI CELL programs, and programs designed to prepare high school students for college.

While in executive session, the Board: 

  • Approved Executive Session Minutes on Oct. 24, 2023, Jan. 20, 2024 and Feb. 7, 2024
  • Received a presentation from the Academic, Research and Student Affairs Committee and the Finance and Budget Committee
  • Received an update on personnel matters
  • Received an update on legal matters

The Board last met in regular session on Oct. 21, 2023. A complete list of Board meetings is available on the Board of Trustees page on the UVI website and from this direct link.

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