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UB makes six administrative appointments

The University of The Bahamas (UB) recently announced six administrative appointments at the Oakes Field and northern Bahamas campus (UB-North) ahead of the fall academic year.

Dr. Vikneswaran Nair, has been appointed dean of graduate studies and research; Dr. Peter McWilliam has been appointed dean of faculty, UB-North; J. Desmond Keefe is now the executive director of culinary arts and tourism studies; Dr. Danny Davis has been appointed assistant vice-president of institutional strengthening and accreditation; Dr. Pandora Johnson has been appointed strategic partnerships and initiatives liaison; and Dr. Davidson Hepburn is now the founding executive director of government and public policy institute.

 

Dr. Vikneswaran Nair

Dr. Nair was most recently a professor at the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts; program leader for the Responsible Rural Tourism Network; and associate research fellow of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Tourism (CRiT) at Taylor’s University in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

As the new dean of graduate studies and research, Dr. Nair will recommend a structure for the Office of Graduate Studies and Research to evolve into a graduate college. He will manage and supervise the office and, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, identify strategic partners for the development of dual and joint graduate programs and research initiatives.

The founding director of the Centre for Research and Development at Taylor’s University, Dr. Nair’s research specialization is in sustainable and responsible tourism, ecotourism management, environmental management, community-based tourism and poverty alleviation via tourism.

Professor Nair’s research achievements have earned him many awards, including the Taylor’s Chairman’s Staff Excellence Award for Academic Excellence (2002); Research Excellence Award (2007); Best Paper Award for tourism research in the third national tourism educators conference for his work in ecotourism (2004); Merit and Honorary Award, respectively, for academic leadership and accomplishment (2006 and 2009); Best Paper Conference (2008); and Best Paper Award for his work on education tourism for real estate development in the 20th National Real Estate Convention (2009).

Dr. Nair earned a Bachelor of Science in horticulture (1994), Master of Science in systems engineering with a specialization in environment (1998) and a Ph.D. in systems engineering with a concentration in ecotourism (2003) from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). He also holds a diploma in personnel management and industrial relations from the College of Professional Management (1997).

 

Dr. Peter McWilliam

Prior to Dr. McWilliam’s appointment, he served as the head of department for secondary programs (2009–2012) in the School of Education. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing a number of initiatives, such as undergraduate and graduate level curriculum development.

Dr. McWilliam has taught at the primary, secondary and tertiary level both nationally and internationally. He has been a faculty member in education since 2004, teaching primary and secondary mathematics education courses. He has also served as a faculty member in the academic units of mathematics, physics and technology and business and hospitality management at the Oakes Field Campus and UB-North.

He graduated from the University of Exeter (UK) with a doctorate degree in education, specializing in mathematics. He holds a Master of Science degree in finance and management from the University of Loughborough (UK), and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Hull (UK). He also obtained professional certifications in education and finance, including a post graduate certificate in education (mathematics and physical education) and the Series 7 (General Securities Representative).

Dr. McWilliam has written and published mathematics textbooks for the primary and secondary school level. He has also presented his research findings at many national and international conferences and seminars.

Dr. McWilliam has served in various capacities such as consultant, Testing and Evaluation Unit (grade level assessment tests, mathematics) and professional development (in-service mathematics teachers), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. He has also been a consultant of professional development (in-service teachers) for the Catholic Board of Education. He has also been active on many UB boards and task forces, such as the Research Advisory Board, Academic Board, Appointments Board and the Major/Minor Task Force.

 

J. Desmond Keefe

Keefe has over 20 years of experience in the field of culinary and hospitality education. He has extensive experience as a culinary educator and administrator.

Prior to his career in higher education, Keefe spent over 20 years as an executive chef in Boston and the greater New England area. He has also served as the executive food service director for the Gloucester Seafood Festival, coordinating business and non-profit organizations in a joint effort to produce the first nationally produced Gloucester Seafood Festival.

Keefe has been involved with the American Culinary Federation throughout his career as a national board chair, presenter, and evaluator for accreditation visits. He has led an accreditation self-study for his own program at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA. For many years, he has coached student teams that have competed at regional and national levels in the United States.

Keefe has a Master of Education degree with a concentration in nutrition from Cambridge College and an undergraduate degree from Johnson & Wales University. He is a certified culinary educator (CCE); certified executive chef (CEC); certified hospitality educator (CHE); and a certified leadership instructor, Phi Theta Kappa.

 

Dr. Danny Davis

Dr. Davis has a doctorate in organic chemistry from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Acadia University. Dr. Davis started his career in the pharmaceutical industry in 1984 and spent most of his formative working years as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry in Grand Bahama. By the time he left industry for academia, Dr. Davis had advanced to the position of head of the Analytical Chemistry Group and project leader for technology transfer. He was responsible for the management of the introduction of new drug products. While at AlliedSignal/Honeywell, he was trained to the level of Black Belt in the Six Sigma Process Improvement methodology and taught Six Sigma courses in Freeport, Grand Bahama; Morristown, New Jersey; and Buffalo, New York.

Dr. Davis joined the University of The Bahamas in 2002 and taught chemistry for a number of years before serving as registrar. He spearheaded the transition of many manual legacy processes to the PowerCampus student data system, most notably the move to online registration and online grade submission. Dr. Davis also served as project manager for The College of The Bahamas’ transformation to university project that was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The consummate scientist, Dr. Davis, is leading an air-quality monitoring program focused on particulate matter emissions associated with landfill fires in New Providence.

 

Dr. Pandora Johnson

As the strategic partnerships and initiatives liaison, Dr. Johnson coordinates strategic academic affairs partnerships and initiatives, leveraging both existing and new strategic partnerships to advance and grow UB’s teaching, research, scholarship, creative activities and outreach agenda. In conjunction with the Office of the Institutional Strengthening and Accreditation, she assists with gathering information for quarterly key performance indicators on such partnerships and initiatives.

Dr. Johnson served the institution for more than 30 years as a faculty member in the School of Education and in various senior administrative capacities. Most recently, she served as acting vice president of academic affairs, and was responsible for all educational planning, administration and academic program development and policies as well as recruitment, selection, orientation and evaluation of faculty. She also had direct oversight for all academic units as well as the Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute, the Research Advisory Board, the Northern Bahamas Campus (now UB-North) and Testing Services. Dr. Johnson holds a doctorate in educational theory from the University of Toronto; a masters in educational studies from Concordia University; and a Bachelor of Arts in political science education, also from Concordia University.

 

Dr. Davidson Hepburn

Dr. Hepburn, as the founding executive director of the Government and Public Policy Institute (GPPI), will collaborate with the Office of the Provost to oversee the drafting of policies and procedures to guide the operation of the institute and determine staffing requirements for effective program delivery.

In this role, he will build and maintain linkages with local, regional, hemispheric and international agencies to facilitate policy research, consultancies, conferences, seminars and workshops; solidify collaborative arrangements with the ministries responsible for education, the public service and foreign affairs; and maximize opportunities for research funding.

Over the course of more than four decades, he served as the first assistant secretary responsible for home affairs, under secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, director of immigration and the permanent secretary responsible for Immigration and tourism.

He has an extensive record of international exposure, serving as deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Bahamas ambassador to the United Nations, non-resident ambassador to Cuba and Haiti, chairman of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) national commission, member of the executive board of UNESCO and Bahamas ambassador to UNESCO. Additionally, he held the positions of president of the 35th Session of UNESCO Conference, board member of the Institute of Lifelong Learning and honorary consul for Indonesia.

Dr. Hepburn earned doctorate in comparative language and literature from the University of Madrid and a diploma in international relations from the International Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

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