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TWAS Newsletter
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Caribbean first

Caribbean first

"Every child in Jamaica wants to become a medical doctor, but they don't know the other opportunities that science has to offer," says TWAS Young Affiliate Marvadeen Singh-Wilmot, a lecturer in the chemistry department at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Mona, Jamaica.

Marvadeen Alvarine Singh-Wilmot is the first person from the Caribbean to be chosen a TWAS Young Affiliate. She was selected by the TWAS Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (TWAS-ROLAC).

Singh-Wilmot was educated at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Mona, Jamaica, where she obtained a BSc in pure and applied chemistry in 1997 and a PhD in lanthanide chemistry in 2003. She is currently a lecturer in the chemistry department and head of her own research programme in x-ray crystallography at UWI.

Her experience at UWI as a student and now as a lecturer has been both rewarding and productive. "UWI's chemistry department," she says, "has always been supportive and nurturing. The university has enjoyed a history of excellence with first-class mentors since its establishment."

At UWI, Singh-Wilmot supervises graduate and undergraduate students and teaches a full course-load during the academic year. Because of her inspiring work as a teacher and mentor, she received UWI's Guardian Life Teaching Award in 2008, and the Award for outstanding scores on teaching assessments from UWI's Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences in 2009.

For her research, she was awarded a New Initiatives Grant in 2008 in support of her work in new lanthanide clusters that have the potential to lead to the development of novel functional materials.

Outside of the university, Singh-Wilmot directs the "Lab Rats", a week-end programme for children between 3 and 12 years that builds their investigative and analytical skills and promotes creativity and critical thinking through scientific activities. In addition, she  participates in the Cooperative Development Committee where she focuses on applications of science to improve the lives of people through collaborative activities.

Two of her most important future aspirations are to "reach out to the people who cannot afford to pay for scientific education" and to "build a stronger science culture in the Caribbean region."