PHILIPSBURG:— It is one thing to have local St. Martin talent attain a Ph.D. abroad, it is another for your local institution to develop in such a way that in the future it can also begin to do so. This was the dream of the architects of the University of St. Martin – the late Dr. Claude Wathey, Ambassador Hushang Ansari, and Mrs. Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet, the former commissioner of Education and current President of the Board of the University of St. Maarten Foundation. Currently, the USM is busy taking such steps. Last year, and again this year, the USM has been part of Ph.D. supervisory teams of candidates who gained their degrees studying at institutions in the Netherlands. Last year Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, the President of USM, co-supervised the thesis of Dr. Markus Balkenhol at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. the German national successfully defended his thesis entitled “Tracing Slavery.
An Ethnography of Diaspora, Affect, and Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam,” obtaining a Ph.D. in the discipline of cultural anthropology. On March 10, 2017, Dr. Guadeloupe again represented the USM this time as part the promotion commission of Dr. Guiselle Starink-Martha. With the title, ” A Song for Curaçao: Musical Performances of Double Diaspora,” Starink received a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies. Dr. Starink, in the photo on the right shaking hands with her main supervisor, Professor Smelik, and Dr. Guadeloupe in the background, is currently on the island doing research on the ways St. Martiners imagine their nation. She will be on the island until the 14th of May.
The cooperation with the University of the Virgin Islands–UVI@USM–also has a Ph.D. component that is scheduled to be presented to the general public within a few months. In addition, Mrs. Geneve Phillip-Durham, our Dean of Academics, is submitting her Ph.D. thesis the end of this month. This will strengthen the USM’s capacity. The objective is to build the international standing of the institution located on Pond Island. Mrs. Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet stated “we founded a University. The word says it all, a university awards PhDs too. This was our original aim. This remains the direction. The mission statement of the USM is to contribute to an island where in every family you encounter one person holding at least an Associate Degree. At least, means that for us some of those families should also have doctors”.
Source: St. Martin News Network
USM involved in PhD defenses.