About the Launch Speakers Caribbean Quality Culture : Persistent Commitment to Improving Higher Education

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, 8th Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies is a distinguished academic, international thought leader, United Nations committee official, and global public activist in the field of social justice and minority empowerment.
He received his higher education in the United Kingdom and is Professor of Economic History. He has lectured extensively in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. He has published over 100 peer reviewed essays in scholarly journals, and over 20 books on subjects ranging from Atlantic and Caribbean History, gender relations in the Caribbean, sport development and popular culture.
Sir Hilary is President of Universities Caribbean, Chairman of the Caribbean Examinations Council, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and Advisor on Sustainable Development to former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He has had widespread global recognition for his academic achievements and leadership expertise, and was knighted by the Government of Barbados. He has received numerous honorary doctorates from around the world and recently received the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Freedom Award.

Dr Ronald Brunton

Dr Ronald Brunton is a Caribbean tertiary level educator, researcher and higher education administrator. His research interests include higher education policy, educational indicators, curriculum, distance and online learning, quality assurance, and education and national development. Dr Brunton is the former Director of Academic Services at the UWI School of Business and Applied Studies Ltd. (UWI-ROYTEC), and former Director of Qualifications and Recognition at the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT). Dr. Brunton served as President and Board member of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE), 2015-2019. 

Dr Kay Hinds-Thompson

Dr. Kay Hinds-Thompson aspires to be a lifelong learner and has encountered few noteworthy situations that did not carry a lesson.  As a budding researcher since re-joining The UWI, Kay has more recently published on quality assurance in academic programmes, especially work-based and work-integrated learning, and presented on quality in preceptorship in medical education/clinical education and training.   

Kay is a three-time graduate of The UWI. With the aid of a Fulbright Scholarship, Kay earned her PhD in 2015 at the University at Albany – SUNY, in Higher Education Administration. Her quality assurance focus there explored leadership and management of inter-institutional transnational partnerships. Currently, Kay leads the Cave Hill Campus Office of the regional Quality Assurance Unit, since late 2013. Immediately prior, Kay led and managed the Division of Commerce at the Barbados Community College (BCC), and before this was the BCCs pioneering Curriculum Specialist.

She has one son, one sister and five nieces and nephews, most significant sources of her joy and lifelong learning, apart from her growing faith in God.  Kay enjoys fishing, hiking, craft, reading and gardening, in pursuing work-life balance.

Dr. Sharine Isabella

Dr Sharine Isabella is manager of the Department of Quality Assurance at the University of Curaçao, primarily responsible for the internal and external quality assurance reviews and evaluation of all offered programmes. She acts as initiator, coordinator and supervisor of quality improvements activities and the professional development of the teaching staff in teaching and research skills.

Besides the UoC, Dr. Isabella has guided several Dutch-Caribbean higher education institutions with quality improvement efforts and their pursuit of accreditation. She provided various courses and workshops in the (higher) educational field locally and regionally, particularly related to quality assurance, curriculum development and teaching and learning skills.

Dr. Isabella is a certified internal quality auditor and served as external auditor for accreditation agencies in Suriname, Aruba, and the Netherlands. Currently she is board member of CANQATE, the regional association for quality assurance in tertiary education.

Her research interests are focused on quality assurance, quality improvement and accreditation. In recent years, Dr. Isabella has several publications, in which she primarily studied the quality of higher education programs and the contribution of national universities to the sustainable socio-economic development of developing countries, in particular Curaçao.

Dr Anna Kasafi Perkins

Dr Perkins is a former dean of studies and lecturer at St Michael’s Theological College, Jamaica.  Since 2007, she has been a Senior Programme Officer with the Quality Assurance Unit in Office of the Board for Undergraduate Studies at The University of the West Indies (UWI) and adjunct faculty at St Michael’s Theological College. Dr Perkins holds a doctorate in theological ethics from Boston College.  She teaches and researches in ethics, justice, popular culture, sexuality, theology, scripture, and quality assurance.  She serves on The UWI in various capacities including as a vice president of the Union and a member of The UWI COVID-19 Task Force.  Her service to the community includes being a Commissioner of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ) and Chair of the BCJ Licensing, Monitoring & Compliance Subcommittee; member of the National Bioethics Committee of Jamaica; and the Jamaica Council of Churches’ representative on the Legal Aid Council of Jamaica.  She is a published author/editor of books, book chapters and journal articles, including Quality in Higher Education in the Caribbean.  Her most recent publications are Ethics Amidst COVID-19: A Brief Ethics Handbook for Caribbean Policymakers and Leaders (2020), co-authored with Professor R. Clive Landis, and Rough Riding: Tanya Stephens and the Power of Music to Transform Society (2021), co-edited with Adwoa Onuora and Ajamu Nangwaya.  She has a chapter on Quality Improvement, Leadership and Ethics in Caribbean Quality Culture: Persistent Commitment to Improving Higher Education  edited by Sandra I. Gift (2021).

Dr Sandra Ingrid Gift

DR SANDRA   GIFT’s career in the field of education spans over 35 years. Before joining The University of the West Indies (The UWI), she served as Secretary-General of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO; Sub-regional Coordinator for UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network in the Caribbean, and   as the Regional Coordinator for the Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project, the educational arm of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project.

Dr Gift also served as Senior Programme Officer in the   Quality Assurance Unit of The UWI. She   managed the St Augustine Campus’s system of academic Quality Assurance programme reviews and evaluations. She successfully led the Campus’s inaugural institutional accreditation exercise in 2010-2011 as well as its reaccreditation exercise in 2016-2017. She has recently served as Special Advisor to The UWI St Augustine Campus for the production of its Mid-Term Review and Progress Report, 2021 for submission to the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).

 She is a recipient of ACTT’s Excellence in Higher Education Quality Assurance Award, (2011); The UWI St Augustine Campus Principal’s Award for Administrative Leadership Excellence (2014), and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, for Service to The University of the West Indies, (2015). Her publications include Maroon Teachers: Teaching the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans.