June 13, 2014
Theresa Hamilton: 33 years of dedicaton to UWI

Fri, Jun 13, 2014

Words cannot fully express the exemplary service that Theresa Hamilton has given to the University of the West Indies. Indeed one will have to see “Hamo”, as she is affectionately called, in action to appreciate her commitment over these past 33 years.{{more}}

Her dedicated service to UWI is perhaps a natural extension of her life’s story. Being the first of several siblings, she assumed the responsibility of an adult at an early age, caring for the welfare of her brothers and sisters. In fact, she recalls contributing to the family income as early as 16 years old. And while her siblings are all grown adults, she is still that pulse that pulls the family together from time to time.

Theresa’s sojourn with the University of the West Indies began on June 1, 1981, as senior office attendant. She was subsequently promoted to office clerk and finally clerical assistant 3. Theresa describes her time with UWI as “challenging but educational.” She noted that the student body was small and the facilities limited; but one made the best of the resources in those early days. As one of the longest serving staff members, “Hamo” has witnessed the physical and administrative transformation of the institution from the days of the Extra-Mural Department to the School of Continuing Studies, UWIDITE, and now the Open Campus. When she joined the staff in 1981, the site had fewer than 30 students with little or no technological innovative capabilities. Today, the student body is well over 300 students, including those pursuing professional development programmes, and uses several technological modalities to deliver its online programmes.

Not only did the institution grow over the years, but Hamilton too, experienced a parallel personal metamorphosis. She notes, with an agreeable smile, that she was challenged by her colleagues to take advantage of the educational opportunities that were available through the University of the West Indies and other institutions. Following the advice of her colleagues, she subsequently pursued a number of CXC subjects, the Certificate in Public Administration, (UWI, 2002), an Associate’s Degree in Office Automation, (City University, New York, 2007), and numerous other professional and continuing education programmes. These assisted her in her academic and personal development. She indicated that pursuing these programmes boosted her confidence as an individual and aided in her work with the students over the years. Further to this, she gained the important skill of managing difficult situations, which complements her work with her church and in her personal family life. Hamilton makes it plain that she is not an “up front person,” but takes pleasure in doing what she refers to as the “little things.”

The Open Campus salutes this easy-going, affable and forthright gem of the Caribbean for her years of service to the University of the West Indies – 1981-2014. As she prepares to retire from active duties, the head, staff and students, past and present, wish her the very best in her future endeavours. Mrs Theresa Hamilton will be remembered for her friendliness, being ‘a woman of her word’ and her enthusiastic spirit. As she leaves the Open Campus portals, she encourages the staff and students to work hard to continue to lift the image of the University of the West Indies to higher heights.

Contributed by: Open Campus St Vincent and the Grenadines