PRESS RELEASE – The National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) conducted its second Annual Graduation Ceremony for the Australian Institute of Business’s two-year BBA and 12-month MBA while-you-work programmes on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at the Bougainvillea Conference Room, Bay Gardens Hotel.
Eleven of 15 graduands received their awards in an intimate ceremony witnessed by friends and family and even some proud employers, who were present in support of their staff.
The theme of this year’s graduation was “Take Us Somewhere: A Call to Impact”. The overall ethos of this year’s event was that of each one making their contribution count in these difficult economic times, and the responsibility of those thus trained.
The keynote address was delivered by local business leader, Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood, director of Saint Lucia’s Trade Export Promotion Agency and the Office of Private Sector Relations.
Flood’s speech was refreshingly daring as it was inspiring, as she urged the graduands to be “M.A.D. about Making A Difference” with their qualifications – the kind of “mad” that in our colloquial parlance referred to one who was admirably bold, daring, creative and passionate about “making a difference”.
Speaking at the ceremony, she said: “I am making a direct and personal appeal to you the graduands to apply your business administration expertise to positively influence and impact your fields, your sectors, your communities, your country and your world. Be ‘M.A.D’. Make A Difference.”
Trevor Lamontagne, NRDF chairman, said of the NRDF: “This little giant will not rest. We are committed to delivering a high standard of education as we continue to improve on our offer.”
He encouraged the class of 2014 to motivate others to avail themselves of the opportunities offered at the NRDF.
Professor Rod Oxenberry, chairman of the Academic Board of the Australian Institute of Business, was in Saint Lucia to pass on the congratulations of the Australian Institute of Business.
“The realities of our world and time present big challenges to new graduates,” said Oxenberry, “and because you are new graduates, the expectation is high that you will not only be a success in your businesses but you will bring something new to solve all these problems.”
He encouraged them that though they would not realistically be able to solve all the world’s problems, yet they should still take it on as a challenge. He further implored them to “value, share and use their success”, and to be able to say in 20 years’ time that their graduation day was just the start of their journey towards using their qualifications to make a difference.
Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, Dr. Robert Lewis, conveyed to the NRDF the gratitude of the government and people of Saint Lucia “for providing such opportunities for development and enhancement of the nation’s human resource” and applauded the NRDF-AIB collaboration in that regard.
The MBA Valedictorian 2014 was Charmaine Anthony who testified: “We have walked out in many ways better than we entered. Our resilience, our time-management skills, our strategic thinking mode and enhanced competencies can all be attributed to the pressures of AIB over the course of this programme… We could boast of having gained considerable knowledge directly transferable in our personal and professional spheres.”
She added: “Furthermore, this programme has allowed us to foster and develop remarkable friendships, strategic networks and alliances from which we have already begun to draw.”
Linking their journey to that of soldiers going into battle, and the monthly exams as days of reckoning, she said: “Notwithstanding its challenges… our AIB journey has been exceptionally rewarding. It has brought us a few notches closer towards self actualisation. Our journey was a capacity building one … one which breeds hope. Hope for our futures and that of our nation, our region and beyond. The breadth and depth of knowledge which we have garnered over the duration of this programme are immensely invaluable.”
NRDF/AIB honour their Graduates for academic year 2014:
Sheron Baptiste (BBA)
Ayisha Walcott-Auguste (MBA)
Selena Charles (MBA)
Pamela Cadet-Deterville (MBA)
Nigel Edwin (MBA)
Joan Phillip-Emmanuel (MBA)
Petal Jhardat-John (MBA)
Sarah Serieux-Lesmond (MBA)
Kendra Noel (MBA)
Daisy St Rose (MBA)
Fedra Faucher (MBA – Finance)
Alison Leonce (MBA – Finance)
Jenny Alcide (MBA – HRM)
Charmaine Anthony (MBA – HRM) – AIB MBA Valedictorian 2014
Leatha Albertha St Catherine (MBA – HRM)
NRDF is encouraging enrolment for the September 2014 intake. Applications are now open.