GraceKennedy Foun­da­tion re­news $11m fund­ing for re­search

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

THE GRACEKENNEDY Foun­da­tion has re­newed fund­ing for the Carl­ton S. Alexan­der Chair in Man­age­ment Stud­ies and the James Moss-Solomon Se­nior Chair in En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment at the Univer­sity of the West In­dies (UWI).

The Chairs are re­spec­tively held by Pro­fes­sor Ian Box­ill, who has been in the post since 2010, and Pro­fes­sor Mona Web­ber, who was ap­pointed on Oc­to­ber 1 this year.

Dur­ing a fo­rum held on Novem­ber 22 at the Re­gional Head­quar­ters at the UWI, both pro­fes­sors spoke about their re­search, com­mu­nity work, and their rel­e­vance to cur­rent prob­lems be­ing faced by the coun­try.

Among Box­ill’s re­search and con­tri­bu­tions over the past year is a pro­gramme with the San­dals Group and Is­land Tours to iden­tify ways of lever­ag­ing Ja­maica’s at­trac­tions, im­prov­ing the tourist ex­pe­ri­ence, ex­pand­ing link­ages, and earn­ing more rev­enue for the coun­try. He has also con­ducted a needs as­sess­ment with the Ja­maica Man­u­fac­tur­ing As­so­ci­a­tion to iden­tify the ar­eas where greater sup­port is needed by the sec­tor to in­crease its ef­fec­tive­ness. Man­u­fac­tur­ing con­trib­uted 8.6 per cent to GDP in 2015.

Web­ber’s ac­count of her re­search opened eyes and minds as she shared about the life-giv­ing and, pos­si­bly, life-sav­ing work her team is con­duct­ing un­der the sea.

She spoke about the impact of pol­lu­tion on ma­rine health and an­nounced that she would be delv­ing fur­ther into ex­am­in­ing con­tent found in the stom­achs of fish found in Ja­maica’s wa­ters.

WEHBY

Al­ready dis­cov­ered is that some fish are con­sum­ing toxic mi­cro plas­tics. Her re­search will have far-reach­ing im­pli­ca­tion for the liveli­hood of fish­er­men and the health of con­sumers of seafood.

Each Chair is funded by the GraceKennedy Foun­da­tion at a value of $5.5. mil­lion per an­num.

CEN­TRE FOR SO­LU­TIONS

Don Wehby, CEO of GraceKennedy Ltd, com­mended both pro­fes­sors on their work, while also thank­ing out­go­ing James Moss Solomon Snr Chair, Pro­fes­sor Dale Web­ber, who was re­cently ap­pointed provice-chan­cel­lor, grad­u­ate stud­ies and re­search.

“The UWI must be known as a cen­tre for so­lu­tions and a leader in pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tion and in­no­va­tive think­ing among its stu­dents – the future lead­ers of Ja­maica. Ed­u­ca­tion, af­ter all, is the ul­ti­mate prob­lem solver ... I again re­state GraceKennedy’s commitment to UWI as we see it as one of our ways of an­swer­ing the future’s call,” Wehby said.

Pro­fes­sor Archie McDon­ald, prin­ci­pal of the UWI’s Mona cam­pus, de­scribed the part­ner­ship be­tween the GraceKennedy Foun­da­tion and the UWI as “the quin­tes­sen­tial merger of big busi­ness and ed­u­ca­tion”.

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