CSC Alumni Dominica
The Commonwealth of Dominica Commonwealth Scholars Alumni Association (CDCSAA) was launched on 22 January 2020 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium Conference Room in Roseau, Dominica.
The launch ceremony was attended by Commonwealth Alumni, teachers from primary and secondary schools in Dominica, and officials of the Ministry of Education. Dr Lennox Honeychurch, renowned Dominican historian and Chevening Scholar, delivered brief remarks on the history of Commonwealth Scholarships in Dominica. Commonwealth Alumnus Ronald Charles (1994 Shared Scholar, BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work, University of Sunderland), provided the role of Master of Ceremonies.
Remarks were delivered by the Coordinator of the Association Steering Committee, Jo-Ann George (2008 Scholar, MSc Management and Implementation of Development Projects), who highlighted the efforts so far in setting up the alumni association. She briefed the audience on the goals and objectives of the CDCSAA and outlined plans for the future of the association. Commonwealth Alumni in attendance gave summaries of their Commonwealth Scholarship experiences and expressed the benefits of their studies. The personal and professional benefits, opportunities for cultural exchanges, and lasting bonds with fellow alumni from across the world were examples given by all speakers. Current Scholar, Albertina Alfred (2019 Scholar, MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering), provided her experiences in the UK.
Alumni then delivered a brief presentation on application procedures and other important details about Commonwealth Scholarships. An invitation was extended for volunteering with the CDCSAA to help broaden the reach and scope of the association towards meeting its goals and objectives.
Women and Girls in Science
One of the first activities planned by the association will be a Girls In Science Competition, designed to encourage girls in primary and secondary education to pursue studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The activity will serve as an introduction of the association to the Dominican community.
The launch of the association coincided with a Teachers’ Seminar held in preparation for the Girls In Science Competition exhibition, which will take place 9 March 2020, Commonwealth Day. Approximately 60 primary and secondary school teachers were present. The Teachers’ seminar was conducted to:
- Familiarise teachers with the association, its aims, and objectives
- Introduce teachers to the Girls In Science Competition, launched on 11 February to mark International Day for Women and Girls In Science. The competition will be judged at the exhibition 9 March
- Provide teachers with strategies to motivate their female students to pursue courses and careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields
The seminar was facilitated by female civil engineer, mother, and entrepreneur, Jodie Dangleben, who used various methods to convey the message that females are underrepresented in STEM fields and there are creative ways in which they can be encouraged to pursue such careers. She also attempted to debunk the myth that certain fields are only for males and the stereotypical views that women can or should not engage in certain technical fields.
The teachers participated actively in the session, providing overall positive feedback and expressions that the activity was timely. Support was pledged by the Ministry of Education officials who suggested a collaboration between the Ministry and the CDCSAA for the upcoming Science Week, scheduled for April 2020.
Overall, the launch and activity was well received and confirmed there is a place for the CDCSAA and that more can be done among Commonwealth Alumni to maximise the impact and benefits of their Scholarship.
The venue was kindly offered at no fee by the Management of the Windsor Park Sports Stadium and refreshments were sponsored by the Dominica National Lotteries Commission.