Saint Lu­cian Com­mon­wealth Schol­ars will use Skills to ben­e­fit our Na­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Two Saint Lu­cians—Mario J. Chicot and Danielle C. Gor­don—are part of the 2018 co­hort of Com­mon­wealth Schol­ars. Mario and Danielle proudly rep­re­sented Saint Lu­cia as they joined fel­low schol­ars from other low and mid­dle-in­come Com­mon­wealth coun­tries at this year's Com­mon­wealth Schol­ar­ship Com­mis­sion (CSC) wel­come event held in Lon­don last Fri­day, Novem­ber 23.

Both Mario and Danielle are re­cip­i­ents of full-time Mas­ter's De­gree schol­ar­ships un­der Com­mon­wealth Schol­ar­ship Com­mis­sion (CSC) devel­op­ment re­lated themes– science and tech­nol­ogy for devel­op­ment; and strength­en­ing global peace, se­cu­rity and gov­er­nance, re­spec­tively. Based on their devel­op­ment plans for Saint Lu­cia, both schol­ars claim to be heav­ily in­vested in the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of Saint Lu­cia. Their plans of study and sub­se­quent ben­e­fits to Saint Lu­cia will con­trib­ute to the achieve­ment of United Na­tions Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals 3, 5, 10 and 16.

Mario has been a mem­ber of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force (RSLPF) since 2010. His fam­ily has a tra­di­tion of work­ing in law en­force­ment, so Mario's pas­sion for the job was honed at a young age. In 2016 Mario grad­u­ated from Mon­roe Col­lege with a Bach­e­lor of Science in Crim­i­nal Jus­tice with First Class Hon­ours. His sub­stan­tive post is within the Ma­rine Unit where he has worked in all facets of this unit in­ter alia en­gi­neer­ing, op­er­a­tions, sub­aquatic search and re­cov­ery, and ad­min­is­tra­tion. Now he is study­ing Ad­vanced Polic­ing at the Liver­pool John Moores Uni­ver­sity.

In an in­ter­view at the wel­come event Mario stated, “Polic­ing con­tin­ues to be a chal­leng­ing, de­mand­ing and ex­cit­ing pro­fes­sion which is sub­ject to con­tin­u­ous change as it moves to an ev­i­dence and tech­nol­ogy-based ap­proach to crime fight­ing. A Mas­ter's De­gree in Ad­vanced Polic­ing hones the quan­ti­ta­tive re­search skills re­quired by serv­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, like my­self, to use this ap­proach. I in­tend to com­plete a dis­ser­ta­tion on 'The Ef­fect of Polic­ing on the Lives of Po­lice Of­fi­cers' to in­form pol­icy and prac­tice for the strength­en­ing of peace, se­cu­rity and gov­er­nance in Saint Lu­cia.” Even­tu­ally, upon re­turn to Saint Lu­cia, Mario hopes to grow into a lead­er­ship role within the RSLPF to help de­velop a strate­gic and in­te­grated polic­ing model re­flec­tive of pub­lic needs.

War­ren G. Ben­nis, de­fines lead­er­ship as the ca­pac­ity to trans­late vi­sion into re­al­ity and this is what Danielle has al­ways sought to do. She stands by the no­tion that a coun­try's great­est as­set is its hu­man re­source which must be em­pow­ered and nur­tured through ed­u­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the aca­demic dis­ci­pline of Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM). As a tu­tor, peer ad­vi­sor, re­cip­i­ent of un­der­grad­u­ate Bi­ol­ogy and Bio­chem­istry awards, Mi­crosoft Of­fice spe­cial­ist, men­tor, Head Teach­ing As­sis­tant, Science Teacher and most re­cently as the Science and Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer (Ag.), Danielle has been a cham­pion for Science. Hav­ing worked closely with young ladies, she has de­vel­oped a de­sire to con­trib­ute to the so­cial land­scape of Saint Lu­cia by be­ing di­rectly in­volved in solv­ing crimes, many of which are against young women. Also, her suc­cess­ful col­lab­o­ra­tions with the RSLPF, Saint Lu­cia Foren­sic Science Lab­o­ra­tory and Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal on var­i­ous projects that in­volved her devel­op­ment of their in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment sys­tems, have pro­vided her with both the foun­da­tion and im­pe­tus to make fur­ther con­tri­bu­tions to the devel­op­ment of Saint Lu­cia.

Danielle is cur­rently pur­su­ing an MSc in Ap­plied Bio­sciences and Biotech­nol­ogy at Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don and she an­tic­i­pates re­turn­ing to Saint Lu­cia as a well-rounded in­di­vid­ual, equipped to make mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tions in Science and Tech­nol­ogy through the dis­ci­pline of Foren­sics. She also hopes to un­der­take a lead­ing role in im­prov­ing the is­land's health sec­tor. The course con­tent will ex­pose Danielle to ad­di­tional sub­ject mat­ter and knowl­edge in fields in which she is keenly in­ter­ested, such as the ap­pli­ca­tion of bi­o­log­i­cal sciences to re­al­world prob­lems, specif­i­cally the preva­lence of non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (NCDs). The de­sign and ret­ro­spec­tive pop­u­la­tion of the Saint Lu­cia Post­mortem Data­base by Danielle re­vealed most of the nat­u­ral causes of death are due to NCDs such as can­cer, car­o­di­o­vas­cu­lar and res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases. Ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion in­creases the risk of de­vel­op­ing these NCDs so Danielle aims to use her train­ing to en­hance early de­tec­tion and timely, tar­geted treat­ment of these dis­eases; and also help the cit­i­zenry to make bet­ter-in­formed de­ci­sions about man­age­ment of their health. Her skills can also be ex­tended to DNA anal­y­sis for crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion. In­evitably, the im­pact of the in­tro­duc­tion of a more rig­or­ous use of DNA anal­y­sis in crime de­tec­tion and pros­e­cu­tion, and the avail­abil­ity of a na­tional ge­netic test­ing ser­vice will be re­flected over time by an im­prove­ment in crime in­ter­dic­tion rates, a re­duc­tion in mor­tal­ity rates as­so­ci­ated with NCDs and an im­prove­ment in the gen­eral health and well-be­ing of the pop­u­la­tion as a whole.

The first Saint Lu­cian Com­mon­wealth Scholar ar­rived in the UK in 1960. At present, Saint Lu­cia has a to­tal of 79 Com­mon­wealth schol­ars. Ap­pli­ca­tions for Com­mon­wealth Mas­ter's and PhD Schol­ar­ships 2019 are now open. These schol­ar­ships en­able tal­ented and mo­ti­vated in­di­vid­u­als to gain the knowl­edge and skills for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. and ac­quire a de­gree with­out an aca­demic debt bur­den.

The dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tion is De­cem­ber 19, 2018. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at:­ar­ships/ united-king­dom-com­mon­wealth­schol­ar­ship-2019

Danielle Gor­don (left) and Mario Chicot are cur­rently pur­su­ing Mas­ter’s de­grees to in­crease the value of their con­tri­bu­tion to Saint Lu­cia’s so­ci­ety.

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