On The Cover

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe '96
concludes his official visit to Vietnam
on Dec. 18, 2012.

2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Success of the Barry Athletics Model

Campus Democracy Project

Spring 2013, Volume 18, Number 1

Campus Currents I Spotlight On Sports I Barry Beat I Features


The Ripple Effect

Barry University is expanding its geographic reach by educating teachers and training physician assistants in the Caribbean.

By Rebecca Wakefield

Barry University has long embraced its mission to provide education wherever it is needed and has offered programs to students not just on its main campus in Miami Shores but throughout the state of Florida via its numerous satellite sites. In the last couple of years, however, Barry has expanded into new territory — the Caribbean. The Adrian Dominican School of Education (ADSOE) now offers several master’s degree programs in Nassau, Bahamas, while the Physician’s Assistant program is now offered in the U.S. Virgin Islands. While Barry’s campuses may be separated by an ocean, they are connected through technology and dedicated faculty.

Barry Grows its Bahamas Base

“We have a strong alumni base in the Bahamas and a wonderful reputation there,” explained associate dean of International Programs, Dr. Jill Farrell. “We have a number of Barry graduates in The Bahamas, and they have encouraged us to offer faceto- face programs there.” The first program — a master’s in curriculum and instruction — began in early 2011, with the first cohort of 16 students graduating in May 2012. The program operates out of the Genesis Academy, a small school run by the family of Noel Treco-Hanna Knowles, one of many in the Barry network of alumni in the Bahamas. As with any new undertaking, there were obstacles. Challenges included getting the word out to potential students who didn’t have any direct experience with the University. They did so through numerous presentations at schools and community meetings, as well as radio and newspaper ads. “It was the first program to be offered offshore,” Farrell said. “We didn’t have a presence, a campus. There was no established place to hold classes. We didn’t even have a sign that said Barry University.”

What attracted students to Barry was the University’s willingness to bring the program to them. While Barry has a long tradition of providing undergraduate education to Bahamians, graduate programs were a new undertaking. Once people begin their careers, it’s expensive and disruptive to have to put their lives and jobs on hold to get a graduate degree on the mainland, said Dr. Judy Harris-Looby, Chair of the Exceptional Student Education program and part of The Bahamas faculty. Joan Knowles Turnquest has been an elementary school teacher in the Bahamas for nearly two decades. Her résumé reflects a constant effort to improve her skills, with a long list of conferences and workshops she has participated in over the years. That’s why she was thrilled when Barry University decided to offer a master’s degree in her hometown of Nassau. It allowed her to expand her knowledge and enhance her career without the expense and life-altering disruption of spending a year or more in Miami. “Not only have I had the opportunity to meet and learn from experienced and professional lecturers,” she said. “What I have learned has channeled me into a renewed way of viewing education in my country as one that is dynamic and progressive.”

One example: Knowles is now working to expand research she did in the program into creating memorization strategies for readingchallenged students in her school. ADSOE currently offers both a master’s in curriculum and instruction and a master’s in exceptional student education. In January 2013, the school will commence its first Bahamas master’s cohort in organizational learning and leadership. Courses are designed to fit into the lifestyle of working teachers, with intensive weekend and summer courses. A strong part of Barry University’s mission is a commitment to social justice and community service. An example is its program to train Bahamian teachers in methods of working with children with disabilities, training largely unavailable to them in the islands. “We’re trying to provide experienced educators with the knowledge and skills to be leaders and move their government systems forward,” Farrell said. There are few resources in The Bahamas to deal with either behavioral or academic problems in children with special needs, says Dr. Michelle Major, clinical director of the Caribbean Center for Child Development in the Bahamas. That’s why Major, who holds multiple degrees from Barry, including BS ’98, MS ’99, SSP ’01 and PhD ’05 and was formerly an assistant professor of psychology at the University for several years, pushed ADSOE to bring a graduate program in exceptional student education (ESE) to her country. Her passion is to see Barry develop the ESE program into a model for universities teaching abroad. Less than two months into the program, she says the reception from the highest levels of government has been wonderful. More importantly, the teachers themselves feel proud to be armed with information that will make a real difference. “I don’t think people understand the ripple effect and the impact that programs like this have in a country,” she explained. “In a country like ours, we don’t have a lot. This has the potential not just to change a kid’s life, or a family, but to transform an entire country.”

Pictured with Shaquille O’Neal (left to right) are recent Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction graduates Lucinda Morley, Johnette Cooper-Lockhart, Braquelle Newton, Tamar Bodie, Asheka Culmer, Tamu McKinney, Leontine Wells and Pleshette McPhee. Seated areTamara Saunders, Rayette Strachan, Shavonne Rolle and Tanya Wells.

2012 Bahamas Alumni Reception

Barry University’s Adrian Dominican School of Education (ADSOE), along with the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, hosted an alumni reception in the Bahamas this past October. More than 100 alumni, local dignitaries, friends and Barry administrators attended the event, held at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino. Alumni attending from the Bahamas included Brendan C. Francis, MD, who was recently named to the Forbes Advisory Panel and included in the Marquis Who’s Who in the World in 2013; Michelle Major, PhD, director of the Seahorse Institute and Caribbean Center for Child Development; Lisa McCartney, owner of Unicorn Village Meridian School; and Dwight Strachan, host/producer of Morning Blend on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. Shaquille O’Neal, PhD, former basketball great who earned his EdD in Organizational Learning and Leadership with a specialization in Human Resources Development from ADSOE, also attended the alumni event.


Physician Assistant Program Expands to U.S. Virgin Islands

In 2010, almost $1.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health Resources and Services Administration were awarded to Barry University to bring its Physician Assistant Program to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to address dramatic health care shortages. Physician assistants are highly trained health care professionals who gather and evaluate medical data and participate in the process of clinical decision making, diagnosis, and therapeutic management under physician supervision. In places like the USVI, they fill a critical gap in primary care. Although the Physician Assistant Program had been around since 1997, the USVI was new territory. Doreen Parkhurst, associate dean and Program Director of the Physician Assistant Program, had identified a need in the medically underserved islands and successfully secured grants to pay for equipment needed to conduct classes via interactive video conferencing, to develop faculty and staff and to send students there from the mainland for two years. Then an advance team from Barry went to the islands to identify the best location and partners. They settled on St. Croix and found a hospital and a local government keen to have them. Still, there were challenges. The program operates out of a mall space that had to be adapted for classes, workshops and labs. Internet capabilities had to be built. Barry faculty and staff worked closely with the local government to pass legislation expanding the types of medications physician assistants can prescribe for patients seen in hospital emergency departments, making them more effective and valuable partners to the hospitals. An ongoing challenge is to prepare an educational pipeline of Virgin Islands students to fulfill a primary mission of the program — to provide medical education to islanders who will stay to serve their community. “We have to nurture them,” Parkhurst said. “We’re doing health fairs, lots of radio interviews, working with the legislature to make sure they allow practitioners to do what they need to do. We want to go into the elementary schools and talk to children on career days.” Virgin Islanders have eagerly embraced the program. “Barry is pioneering our way forward in the Virgin Islands,” said Virgin Islands Department of Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan Jr. “Education, high-tech and health care encompasses our demand sectors of the future. It is our hope that we can work with partners to expand our training resources and thereby our knowledge base, a valuable asset in today’s economy.” Jennifer Samuel and Arthurlyn Sullivan are two USVI natives currently in the program, who plan to stay on the islands to practice medicine upon graduation. Sullivan was inspired to go into health care because she has seen the difficulties faced by family and friends who must travel to the mainland for specialized care. “The population is large for the number of specialists,” she said. “A lot of people will travel to Florida in an emergency and it’s expensive. Diabetes and hypertension really affect the community here.” Samuel says the coursework is rigorous, but she’s been inspired by the “incredible support, encouragement and assistance” of a faculty, staff and fellow students who clearly feel that they are pioneers building something important in the Virgin Islands. “If I could do it all over again and have the choice to come to a campus like this, I would do it here again,” said Salo, between rounds at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center. “You’re getting the same education that everyone else gets, but from a Caribbean island. You get more hands-on experience because you’re not competing with a massive amount of medical students. And, in a sense, this is the most critical access hospital you can find on United States [territory].”

Law of the Land

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh Jr. signed legislation into law on July 17 permitting physician assistants to prescribe non-narcotic medications for up to 30 days and a 72-hour supply of Schedule II-V controlled medications for patients seen in the emergency department of a Virgin Islands government hospital. The persistent and determined efforts of the Barry University PA team in St. Croix played a critical role in helping to get the legislation passed. The new legislation will allow better access to health care for all USVI residents

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