PHILIPSBURG–The American University of the Caribbean (AUC) Medical School is partnering with Harvard University to establish a Disaster Management Centre of Excellence in St. Maarten. This collaboration came in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Marie, two category five-plus storms that forced the relocation of some eighty per cent of AUC students to the United Kingdom.
Students have since returned to continue their studies here and the medical school is seeing opportunity in the adversity Irma and Marie wrought. This was the message Executive Dean Dr. Heidi Chumley and her delegation shared with Member of Parliament Silveria Jacobs in her capacity as chairwoman of Parliament’s Permanent Committee on Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs (CECYSA) on Thursday in an introductory meeting.
The Harvard collaboration and other growth areas are seen by AUC as the “silver lining” in the aftermath of Irma.
AUC was approached by a disaster medicine group from Harvard to develop a Disaster Medicine framework, as St. Maarten has a lot to offer in the areas of education and science development, according to a press statement from Jacobs.
AUC wants to partner with the University of St. Martin “in a mutually beneficial scenario … that will improve the current educational product,” said Jacobs.
She said the information was “very encouraging” in the areas of education, tourism and possibilities for upgrading and supplementing opportunities for growth in St. Maarten.
Newly appointed AUC President Dr. Cathy Boden-Holland said the recovery of St. Maarten was “phenomenal and surprisingly ahead of most Caribbean islands.”
Chumley updated Jacobs about the return of AUC students to the local campus. Most accommodations of students and professors were destroyed or damaged by the hurricanes.
The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2018 took place in Florida in conjunction with AUC’S sister school. The St. Maarten Campus students still felt a touch of home with music from Generation New Status Drum Band under the leadership of Youmay Dormoy. The medical school paid for the group to travel to Florida to perform at the graduation ceremony.
Also in the delegation were Director Government Relations for parent company ADATLEM Global Education (formerly DeVry Inc.) Eric Mitchell and Senior Administrator Campus Operations Hazarie Ramoutar.
Jacobs will invite AUC representatives for a meeting with the Education Committee after the summer break.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/77636-auc-partners-with-harvard-on-disaster-management-centre