Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Veronica Calista (Williams) Simon : 2018 UWIAA Pelican Award Winner

PR Alumni Spotlight - Dr Veronica Simon

Dr. Veronica Calista (Williams) Simon: 2018 UWIAA Pelican Award Winner

Student (A Level College): 1974-1976
Lecturer – DASGS & DTEEA: 1989 – 2003
Coordinator DOCE: 2003- 2007

An educator for more than 40 years, Dr Veronica Simon is currently the Head,  Student Experience and is responsible for the operations of the Student Experience Virtual Concierge Unit (SVCSU) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus. She has also served The UWI as Head of the UWI Open Campus Site in Saint Lucia from 2007 to 2019 and as Deputy Director (Ag) of the Division of Open Campus Country Sites from 2019 to 2020. Additional service to The UWI has included: member of the Open Campus Academic Board; staff representative on the University Council and University Senate; Campus representative on the UWI Press Board of Directors and Education Specialist on the Vice Chancellor’s Zika and COVID Task Forces. She is also the Public Orator for the UWI Open campus.

A multiple graduate of The University of the West Indies, Dr. Simon holds a BA(Hons) degree in English from the Mona campus, an MPhil (Distinction) degree in Education, and a Post Graduate DipEd from the St. Augustine campus. She is also a graduate of The University of Sheffield, with a PhD in Education. Her highly commended PhD dissertation was entitled, Voices from Saint Lucia: a Dialogue on Curriculum Change in a Small Island State.

Dr. Simon credits her mother, who was also a teacher for more than 40 years, with igniting her lifelong passion for teaching and firm belief that every individual has unlimited lifelong learning potential. She began her career in education at the secondary level, as a teacher at the St. Joseph’s Convent, Saint Lucia (1976-1977), and later at The St. Joseph’s Convent in San Fernando, Trinidad (1980-1987).  She subsequently assisted La Ligue des Noirs in Montreal, Quebec (1987 to 1989), in developing community education programmes for Caribbean and African immigrants as part of the organisation’s social justice mandate. She then returned to her native Saint Lucia to serve the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) as: Lecturer at the Division of Arts and General Studies (DASGS); Lecturer at the Division of Teacher Education and Educational Administration (DTEEA) and Coordinator of the Department of Continuing Education (DOCE) during the period 1989 to 2007. She also served as a member of the SALCC’s Academic Board and Senior Management Committee.

Dr. Simon has made a significant contribution to regional education in a number of ways including: consultant to the OECS on the development and piloting of the Harmonised Language Arts Curriculum and lead for the related Infant and Primary Textbook Review exercise; CAPE syllabus developer and Chief Examiner for the Caribbean Examinations Council;  consultant on the CARICOM/OAS/CIDA Project on Achievement Norms and the UWI/TLIU/EDF Secondary Teacher Certification Project.

In addition to several conferences and other public presentations, Dr Simon has designed learning materials and courses for all age groups from primary to tertiary level; has co-authored textbooks in Communications Studies and Language Arts and edited two Anthologies for children (Macmillan). She has served as Chair of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme National Steering Committee in Saint Lucia, and on the Regional Advisory Group for the OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme.

During her leadership of the UWI Open Campus Site in Saint Lucia, she used her passion for public education and discourse to institute the Patricia Charles Annual Memorial Lecture, the Lady Floissac Annual Memorial lecture, the Dr. Patricia Ismond Memorial Workshop in Literature (now part of the Nobel Laureate Calendar), and programmes in Creative Writing and Theatre Arts for Teachers. To ensure that the work of Saint Lucian playwright, Roderick Walcott was given due recognition, she secured a UNESCO grant to establish a Special Collections room at the Site library where his work and life documentation resides. A special collection of the work and personal library of Saint Lucian leading expert on the work of Sir Derek Walcott, Dr. Patricia Ismond, is also located in that space.

In 2018, she received the UWIAA Pelican Award for her sterling contribution to education in her native Saint Lucia.

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