July 29, 2021

The UWI Open Campus appoints new Head of Site in Belize

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Dr Sharmayne Saunders, Head, The UWI Open Campus Belize

Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Wednesday, June 3, 2020 – The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Sharmayne Saunders as Head of Site, Open Campus Belize. Her appointment was approved by the University Council at its meeting on April 30, 2020, with indefinite tenure effective May 1, 2020.

Dr. Saunders was preceded by Mrs. Jane Bennett, who served from 2007–2019. The University community thanks Mrs. Bennett for her stellar leadership during the years and wishes her well as she pursues new professional experiences.

Dr Sharmayne Saunders has built a 25-year career in business, consultancy and academia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and Business Management (magna cum laude) and a Master of Science degree in Telecommunication Systems Management and e-Marketing (summa cum laude); both from Murray State University. She also earned a Doctoral degree in Organization & Management and Information Technology Management from Capella University in 2006.

Following several leadership roles in the private sector, Dr Saunders joined The UWI Open Campus in 2008 as Programme Officer and was also a Course Facilitator/Lecturer for undergraduate, postgraduate and continued professional education courses. She continues to provide postgraduate research teaching and supervision to many students. During her tenure as Programme Officer at the Belize Site, she structured new continued professional development courses in areas like time management, customer service, organizational behaviour and management, interpersonal skills and leadership; while engaging in extra departmental service as chair and co-chair of a wide range of committees within and external to The UWI community.

Dr Saunders acted in the capacity of Head for almost 14 months, prior to assuming the official appointment, which succeeds her 11 years of service as Programme Officer. She has provided leadership on multiple strategic objectives including leading research at the Belize Site; and has managed numerous local and regional donor funded projects serviced by agencies such as UNICEF, OAS, UNDP and IDB, to name a few. She has been able to forge strong collaborative links and working relationships with such agencies, as well as with public and private sectors, and civil society organisations.

Dr Saunders holds an impressive record of public service, scholarly work and research. Her national service was recognized in 2019 with an award for commitment and service to national development and the development of the education sector in Belize. Her many citations and recognition of service in the education arena include that of Alumni of the Year from her alma mater, Murray State University.

A member of various regional, and international associations, Dr Saunders has served on several boards of national and private sector entities, commissions, councils, committees, as well as on regional and international editorial boards. Her academic work includes paper publication and delivery of several public presentations and workshops. She has also been a guest editor for the Caribbean Quarterly journal and continues to serve as a member editor for the Journal of Administrative Sciences and Policy Studies.

The UWI Open Campus congratulates Dr Saunders and wishes her success as she continues to serve the people of Belize on behalf of The UWI.

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