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"Mr. Hall also highlighted the excellence and commitment of UVI employees or units that have performed exceptionally with the President’s Appreciation Award, a customary highlight, UVI said.

“It is a reality that Center for Marine and Environmental Studies (CMES) is the anchor for our research transformation and research excellence at the University,” Mr. Hall said.

The president noted that key to awarding CMES was the appointment of Dr. Tyler Smith to one of the National Academies of Science Committees. “This is a prestigious appointment because it relates to the national importance of marine science research, and for one of our faculty members to be solicited by the highest and most prestigious organization is something significant and worthy of recognition,” Mr. Hall said.

“Despite not having a building, the largest graduating class in the history of CMES of 17 students recently earned their master’s degree in marine and environmental science,” Mr. Hall said.

The President praised CMES for “taking the lead in the clean-up of St. Thomas’ East-End Reserve, which was a large scale mangrove community clean-up which brought together numerous volunteers to remove debris that negatively affect the environment.” He also highlighted CMES’ key involvement in the hosting of the annual Reef Fest event in April.

Present to receive this quarter’s award were:

    • Dr. Paul Jobsis, acting director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
    • Dr. Sandra Romano,  dean of College of Science and Mathematics
    • Dr. Marilyn Brandt, director of masters in marine and environmental sciences program
    • Dr. Sennai Habtes, research assistant professor
    • Stephen Prosterman, diving and marine field officer
    • Howard Forbes Jr., director of  the VI Marine and Advisory Service on St. Thomas"