Institution making history with Significant number of Bachelor Degrees in USM Class of 2008

Institution making history with Significant number of Bachelor Degrees in USM Class of 2008

Ms.Josianne Fleming-Artsen President of USM

The 14th University of St. Martin (USM) Commencement Ceremony was held Saturday evening at the Sonesta Maho Convention Hall, the 54 member strong Class of 2008 is making history.

This class represents a significant number of graduates with Bachelorâ??s degrees compared to the Associate degrees granted each year. The institution has been in existence for 19 years.

Under the theme "A Higher Degree, A Higher Purpose," 13 students graduated with their Bachelor degrees (nine (9) with their Bachelor of Arts in Education, four (4) with the Bachelor of Business Administration degree). Then there are 19 graduates with their Associates of Arts in Business and 13 with their Associate of Arts degree in General Liberal Arts.

Nine other students will also be graduating with their Masters in Education, a program done in conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). The Bachelor of Business Administration program was done in conjunction with Mount St. Vincent University.

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Honorable Minister of Education Omayra Leeflang

"We have a new development that our students are really seeking a higher degree for a higher purpose. The evidence is there," USM President Josianne Fleming Artsen said.

"This speaks well for Country St. Maarten as these graduates will be the professionals building the nation."

This same sentiment was expressed by outgoing Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria van Enckevort who added that she is leaving USM on an upbeat note. She said that the number of graduates in the Bachelor programs show that there is a demand for such programs and that USM is fulfilling its mission. She added that the graduates are the ones that Country St. Maarten should recognize and embrace.

The keynote speaker for this 14th Commencement Ceremony is the Honorable Minister of Education and Culture and Minister of Health and Social Development for the Netherlands Antilles Mrs. Omayra Leeflang.

Minister Leeflang has an extensive background in education, policy and research. Prior to entering parliament in 1999, Mrs. Leeflang was a kindergarten and later primary school teacher. She also was a Papiamentu language teacher and Curriculum/Methodology Developer with Sede di Papiamentu/ Language Bureau before serving as a consultant with the Cultural Educational Affairs Department on the subject of Papiamentu and later as a policy worker for Educational Development and Research.

"We are elated to have the Honorable Minister of Education Omayra Leeflang as our keynote speaker and she was selected primarily because of her background and expertise," President Fleming-Artsen said.

"Minister Leeflang, I am sure, will be inspiring and encouraging these graduates to continue to excel in whatever path they may choose from here on."

Other invited guests include Commissioner of Education Sarah Wescot-Williams, the Assistant Provost from the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Dr. Judith Edwin, Special Assistant to the UVI Provost Director Academic Administration Maria Fleming, and the USM Board of Directors.

The invocation and benediction will be delivered by Reverend Lloyd Brissett while Associate of Arts in Business graduate Jethro Fitzpatrick is scheduled to address the Class of 2008. Singer Claudie Piper is also scheduled to perform.

According to Fleming-Artsen, the family and friends of the graduates are urged to turn out to support and encourage these graduates. This is an accomplishment that helps them build their confidence for future endeavors, she added.

Special awards such as the Board of Directors Award, Presidentâ??s Award, Academic Achievement Award, and Outstanding Faculty Award will be given to the respective graduates. Fleming-Artsen said that the names of the awardees will be disclosed at the event on Saturday.

The list of USM 2008 graduates include:

(Associates of Arts in General Liberal Arts)

Mary M. Bary, Rolinda L.R. Carter, Carlson I. M. Charles, Sharleen P. Dickenson,

Yelena E. George, Shanirah I. Illidge, Kemmie A.S. John, Sarah E. Johnson, Sean Medina, Jaida A. Nisbett, Noelani A. J. Riley, Claudine I. Spanner, and Andrea A. St. Luce.

(Associates of Arts in Business)

Vanessa Bruney, Samuel E. Douglas, Jethro H. Fitzpatrick, Marianne M. Flanders, Maria M. Halley-Hodge, Eugene S. Hanson, Tiffany A. Hassell, Shammara Jean Pierre, Ashma I. John, Chadira C. Kruythoff, Dionne S. Lewis, Adelé Oliver, K. M. Felicia Pantophlet, Melissa L. L. Ramjohn, Abegail Richardson, Shana I. Rombley, Cherie N. Serrant, Lorna M. F. Simmons, and Oritha M. Wilson

(Bachelor of Arts in Education)

Rosalind A. Chittick, Shaneida Connor, Shemaiah Daflaar-Fleming, Donne N. Darroux, Martha D. Hassell, Stuart A. Johnson, Darleen Richards, Solaika A. Serbony, and Lisette T. Thomas.

(Bachelor of Business Administration)

Line Grosjean, Lincia Augustine, Cassandra C. Bryson, and Shawn C. May

(Masters in Education) Georgiane A. Adriana-Henriquez, Dawn V. Bagot-Williams

Hubert C. Duffis, Danny E. Fleming, Dwayne M. Gordon, Jina L. Mahbubani, Vera V. Milliard, Justina Mills, and Lavern A. Shury-Nelson