From left are: Daren Watson, Jhordanne Jones, Joni Hall and Jermaine Young.

Photo by Shorná Thompson

Mona produces 4 Fulbright Scholars

FOUR GRADUATES FROM The UWI, Mona were recently awarded Fulbright graduate scholarships which they will be taking up later this year.
They are Daren Watson and Jhordanne Jones, who received Fulbright Graduate Student scholarships, and Joni Hall and Jermaine Young, who received Fulbright LASPAU (Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities) Faculty Development Program awards.

Watson, an instructor in the Department of Physics, will be pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. He holds a BSc in Environmental Physics and Mathematics, as well as an MPhil in Physics at The UWI, Mona.
“This scholarship will give me the ability to make a greater impact [and] it will bring across the theory and the applicability of renewable energy,” Watson said. When he returns home he hopes to contribute to the renewable energy sector in a way that will have a positive impact on Jamaica accomplishing its Vision 2030 goal of ‘30 % renewable energy penetration to the national grid’.

Like Watson, Jones also wants to create change when she returns home. Jones, who currently works as a research assistant in the Department of Physics, will take up her award at Colorado State University to pursue a PhD in Atmospheric Science. While pursuing her BSc in General Physics and later, her MPhil in Physics with an emphasis in Climate Studies, Jones recognised that tropical cyclones were a big part of the Jamaican and Caribbean area. However, what she found lacking was the necessary surveillance and expertise required to uncover the impact of these tropical cyclones and forecasts tailored to a Jamaican and Caribbean perspective. Jones hopes that by pursuing further studies she will be able to fill this gap. Her aim is to provide Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean with expert information, tailored tools, forecasts and risk management that will better ensure the region’s safety against disaster risks.

Meanwhile, Hall, special instructor in the Department of Physics, currently holds a BSc in Physics from The UWI, Mona and an MSc in Sustainable Energy Technology from Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands. She will be studying at the Bredesen Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Hall hopes to use the knowledge that she expects to gain from her PhD in Energy Science and Engineering to inform her teaching and research on her return to Jamaica.
“As it relates to energy, Jamaica and the region in general needs to have more capacity, so training me is helping to fill some of that deficit.”
Young, like his colleagues, hopes to impact his home country in a positive way after completing his Fulbright-funded PhD. However, his area of contribution will be in state policy development. Young, a teaching assistant in The UWI’s Department of Government, currently holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communication and a Master of Science degree in Government from The UWI, Mona. He will be pursuing a PhD in Political Science at the Florida International University. He believes that “an understanding of where we are in terms of our political progress is pertinent for future development”. He hopes that the knowledge that his PhD will provide will not only aid in developing his academic capabilities in teaching and research, but will also give him a “more cosmopolitan outlook on life” which will allow him to play a greater role in his country’s development.

The Fulbright Program is an international educational programme operating in more than 160 countries worldwide and sponsored by the US government. It is designed to provide recipients of its merit-based awards with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research at universities in the USA.