by BRIA KING
Vincentians have consistently been leaving their mark on the academic world by copping awards and performing exceptionally at international universities.
This year is no different for Vincentians who recently graduated from various universities in the Republic of China (on Taiwan).
Chanolde Munroe, a graduate of the Ming Chuan University with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication, is counted among these exceptional students, as she was awarded with the outstanding graduate project certificate for her project titled “St Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan: A tale of a 40-year friendship”.
“I was happy because a lot of people know that I lost my mom in my second semester of my final year, and I really couldn’t do anything. I had done all my interviews before and had transcribed my interviews and I had a layout of how I wanted my story to go, but when that happened, it was something that just wracked me to my core. I could not write. I could not even formulate a sentence in my head on how to start this thing…,” she told SEARCHLIGHT in a recent interview.
Munroe, a former reporter at SEARCHLIGHT, moved from not having any inspiration, to executing her award-winning project which explored the relationship of two island states and the reasons for such strong diplomatic ties.
She explained that the idea for her project came from discussions she observed last year during SVG’s 2020 elections, where people were debating the reasons for the Caribbean country’s ties with Taiwan as opposed to China.
“…There is something that I’ve seen that is so unique about St Vincent and Taiwan, I just wanted to get to the root of it and understand a bit more,” Munroe said.
Her 16-page thesis spanned the relationship both past and present, with insights coming from a number of persons, including former Prime Minister, Sir James Mitchell and current Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
Though she settled on the topic that copped her an award, Munroe had a list of topics that she was interested in exploring. These included an overview of the Journalism Industry in St Vincent and the Fake News penetration into the Media Industry in SVG.
However, the COVID19 pandemic made it impossible to fly home to conduct research to pursue these topics.
“To see that I moved from absolutely no inspiration to creating a project, a body of work that received the highest award in the school for thesis and project, it was overwhelming. I breathed a sigh of relief when I got the e-mail and I cried a lot because I knew my mom…is so proud of me,” Munroe said. “…to go through what I went through and still produce such a good body of work was – I don’t even have the words. I just know I made my family and my mom proud, my friends, and everybody…”
The journalist plans on taking a year off to gain work experience while she finalises plans to pursue a Masters degree either in Marketing Communications, Digital Communications or International Affairs.
Another Vincentian, Jamar Goodluck, can also boast of receiving accolades for his Master’s thesis.
The scholar, who received a scholarship to study in Taiwan in 2019, pursued an International Master of Business Administration in Technology Management, with specialisations in corporate governance and leadership, IT and innovation and entrepreneurship.
His Master’s thesis addressed “Attitudes towards the Implementation of e-governance in a developing state: A Case Study of St Vincent and the Grenadines”, which was described as a “well executed…[impressive]…high level…ambitious study”.
Goodluck, who works in the public service, said there are many benefits of having a good attitude towards e-governance, one of which is transparency in the way the government works.
“With e-governance, everyone will see what the exact process is for transactions…employees would not have to worry about storage as well, because it will be a paperless transaction…you don’t have to worry about putting papers there for years to come to go back and check records, so it improves record keeping and record finding on a whole,” he explained.
However, the Belvedere resident’s findings show that there is a negative attitude towards e-governance in SVG.
He sampled university graduates in his research, and found that the more educated persons were, the more their attitudes diverted away from e-governance.
He said this was because of the degrees pursued; “they were non-IT related degrees, so they wouldn’t have a love for it”.
Goodluck said his findings also showed a digital divide, where the older persons were, the more disinterested they were about e-governance.
Findings also showed that more women tend to gravitate towards e-governance because “women tend to see it as an easier or smarter method of getting the same monotonous task done”.
“I’m extremely passionate about the topic…I’ve been in the public service for years, and realise that the way we do things…there are way smarter ways. We should be working smart in government…there are ways to make things easier for everybody” he said.
“It would be great if someone from St Vincent and the Grenadines can attempt what I did…same topic, but from a different perspective so that the more people that do the topic, the more people will see and understand the importance of e-governance.”
Goodluck will return home to SVG soon, and having done the research, would appreciate the opportunity to explore
and highlight avenues that can be improved with respect to making transactions in the public service smoother when conducting business with customers.
Other Vincentians who graduated this year include Jomol Lewis, who pursued a BSc in Mechanical Engineering at the National Chung Hsing University.
Lewis graduated with the outstanding student award, having gotten outstanding grades and won many track and field competitions during his time at university.
Lorenzo Bacchus and Rotasha Medford both attended the National Taipei University of Technology and graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Architecture and Computer Science & Information Engineering respectively.
Zamora Cottle and Jenness Opara graduated from Tamkang University. Cottle pursued a BSc in Diplomacy and International Relations, while Opara pursued a MSc in Taiwan and Asia-Pacific Studies.
Like Munroe, Tiffesha Telesford also graduated from the Ming Chuan University this year, but with a Masters degree in Business Administration.
Mickiela Kier graduated from the Kaohsiung Medical University with a Bachelors in Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, while Alicia Cox graduated from the National Taipei University of Technology with a BSc in Industrial Engineering and Management.
Vannell Baptiste, the only female in her graduating class from Kun Shan University of Science and Technology, graduated with a BSc in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Business Administration.
Kasaini Culzac attended the National Taipei University of Technology, where he pursued a BSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Zoia Sam graduated from the I-Shou University with a Doctor of Medicine degree.