UWI Open Campus in Anguilla creates history with first Ph.D
The Valley, Anguilla, February 11, 2020 (The Anguillan): After four years of online studies, under the tutelage of the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Anguilla, Ms. Michelle Queeley has become the first student on the island to graduate with a Ph. D, thus creating history for Anguilla. She has achieved the degree of Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership and Higher Education with commendation.
Her graduation and certification ceremony was attended by officials of the Governor’s Office, the Anguilla Government, the UWI Open Campus, UWI Adult Faculty and Course Facilitators, UWI Alumni, the Guild of Students, Ministry and Department of Education, the Anguilla Community College and friends and supporters of Ms. Queeley.
The event, which brought resounding cheers and commendation for the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School graduate, was held at the Teachers’ Resource Centre on Thursday, January 30, 2020. “This is indeed a celebration that we waited for… and we felt it was perfect timing to end this month giving thanks with this celebration in honour of Ms. Queeley,” an excited Dr. Phyllis Fleming -Banks, Manager of the UWI Open Campuses, stated.
She said Ms. Queeley began her doctoral studies in August 2015 and showed steady progress, gaining the highest examination results in the region in a class of 60 during the first semester. The programme required her to complete nineteen courses, the dissertation and a research project in the final year. She received all A’s, becoming the top student of the Open Campus.
Minister of Social Development, Mr. Evans Rogers, said it was an occasion where he was lost for words. According to him, over the years he was intimately involved in the work of the Open Campus; he was able to follow Ms. Queeley’s performance and was delighted when she became the top Anguillian student. He described her Ph. D degree as a great accomplishment and congratulated her for her commitment and dedication – and for being the first Ph. D student of the Open Campus in Anguilla.
Minister of Education, Mrs. Cora Richardson Hodge, said it must have been difficult for Ms. Queeley to spend four years, while working, to earn her doctoral degree taking into account the demands of that level of a full-time course. “The fact she was able to do this in Anguilla says a lot,” the Minister said. “It means that each one of us in here has the opportunity to reach as far as we can go without even leaving Anguilla’s shores. We have the Anguilla Community College which offers many programmes, and we have the UWI Open Campus which brings more programmes. Between the two of them, you can move from 6th Form straight into obtaining a Ph.D. It will take a little while, but you will get there.” She took the opportunity to highly commend Ms. Queeley on her success.
Responding, Ms. Queeley expressed gratitude to the Government of Anguilla, as well as family members, for investing in her by providing funding so that she could realise her childhood dream of being called “doctor”. She named a number of persons who were also of much assistance to her and offered her thanks and appreciation to them.
Originally from St. Kitts, Ms. Queeley said she had come to call Anguilla her home and was grateful to the Government and people of the island for their assistance.