An impressive group of 28 Civil Servants earned university-level qualifications last Thursday (1 November) amid cheers and accolades from family and friends at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI). This is the eighth group to graduate from the Civil Service College (CSC) which offers civil servants access to free-education, including university-level courses.
Graduates achieved various qualifications. Fifteen earned certificates in Public Administration, eight received their Associates of Arts (AA) Degree in Public Administration; and five walked away with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson spoke of the Government’s commitment to talent development. “As the Head of the Civil Service, I am so pleased that the Civil Service College is investing in our employees who are our greatest asset. By helping civil servants to realise their dreams, we secure a better future for them and the Cayman Islands overall. Our goal is to create an agile civil service which ensures we have the right people, in the right roles and at the right time,” Mr. Manderson said.
Donning gold, blue and black gowns depending upon the qualification they were earning – the honorees were pleased with their achievements and looked forward to applying what they learned during their time at the CSC.
HR Audit Senior Karen Christian, graduated for a second time having now earned both her Associate Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor Degree in Management with a concentration in Human Recourses. Immediately following her graduation, Ms. Christian was seconded to assist in the formation of the Department of Workforce Opportunities Residencies Cayman (WORC).
Ms. Christian a former Employee of the Month (May 2014) said, “I am so blessed. This experience has provided me with the confidence to apply what I have learned. It was well worth the effort and walking across that stage is so liberating. Adapting the attitude “YES I CAN” for investing in higher education doesn’t only benefit the individual, but their children and their children’s children and ultimately the country. Education is the passport to the future that doesn’t expire.”
Mr. Stephen Atherley, is a Prison Officer and the 2018 CSC top scholar, having earned his Associate of Arts degree in Public Administration with honours. Mr. Atherley thanked God and his family for seeing him through to the completion of his degree. "Education and learning are lifelong processes. Personal development is vital. This world is ever changing and one needs to keep abreast of current best practices and be familiar with changes and modern technology. I would, therefore, urge my colleagues that irrespective of whatever level they may be at, to continue to equip themselves with knowledge because it can only contribute to enhancing their performance on the job.”
Chief Officer for the Portfolio of the Civil Service Gloria McField-Nixon attended the graduation and said, "I wish to offer hearty congratulations to the graduates. Their commitment to lifelong learning and improving themselves is highly commendable and establishes a solid foundation for developing a World-Class Civil Service. I am impressed by the many ways these graduates are already applying what they have learned to fulfil our joint purpose, ‘To make lives better’.”
The graduates include civil servants who have already been recognized as top performers. Equipped with new qualifications, they are continuing to make a positive impact across the civil service. A prior Police Officer of the Year (2015/16), Mr. Fernando Soto graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences. Mr. Soto has commenced a Master Degree in Public Administration through distance learning with the University of Birmingham, with the sponsorship of the Portfolio of the Civil Service. Another graduate who is putting their newly acquired knowledge to immediate use, is Ms. Kimberley Powell who is a former Employee of the Month (April 2017) and who earned an Associate degree in Public Administration. Ms. Powell is now on secondment to the Office of the Deputy Governor to assist with streamlining projects. A current Civil Servant of the Year (2017), Ms. Tristaca Ebanks, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences with concentrations in HR Management and Public Service Management.
Director of Human Capital Development Ms. Andrea Fa’amoe said, “With this 2018 graduating class, the Civil Service College in partnership with UCCI, continues to contribute to the Government’s vision of creating a World-Class Civil Service. Each year Civil Servants graduate from both the Certificate and Associates degree programs in Public Administration. This year we also saw past honour graduates from our Associates degree program now earning their Bachelor’s degrees. Through collaboration with institutions of higher learning, the CSC will continue to provide educational opportunities for Civil Servants. Congratulations to the Class of 2018.”
Public Administration Certificate: Thomas Carter, Mark Anthony Ebanks, Owen Henry, Ana Lester, Tamara Loten, Claudette Maxwell, Samantha McLaughlin, Patricia Mendez, Marcia Myles, Cindy Powery, Gina Rankin-Bustillo, Andrea Singh, Amory Smith, Devin Tatum and Yvonne Walton
Associate of Arts Degree in Public Administration: Stephen Atherley, Wade Chase, Claire Fiedtkou, Adrian Neblett, Kimberley Powell, Windell Solomon, Shanna Wallace and Valis Whitelocke
Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration: Karen Christian and Lisa Kelly
Bachelors of Science Degree in Social Science: Tristaca Ebanks, Wendy Mellaneo and Fernando Soto