Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Congratulations Dr. Zeromeh Campbell

Story from The Jamaica Gleaner

Dr. Zeromeh Campbell is now doing a paediatric residency programme at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
Zeromeh Campbell's happiness and joy at realising her dream is infectious and heart-warming. After several years of hard work and sacrifice, the young Jamaican woman graduated as a medical doctor in May 2007 from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She is now doing a paediatric residency programme at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

"The happiest moment in my entire life was on graduation day. I was first in my class and I was really bawling when I realised I was finally graduating. I was so happy! I was overwhelmed!" she said.

What was really awesome was the fact that she won not one, not two, but 10 awards on graduation day. Among the awards were:

The Bertran F. Cooper M.D. Class of 1978 Memorial Award, for students who have outstanding achievement in paediatrics;

The Merck Manual Award '07, to students who have achieved the highest scholastic records during their years of medical study;

The Grafton Rayner and Edna Spriggs Browne Award, given to the student with the highest cumulative average in her class;

The HUMAA (Howard University Medical Alumni Association) award, to the student who has attained the highest scholastic average in her class.

Wanted to be a doctor

She is one of those people who knew early on in life exactly what they want to do with their life. She always wanted to be a doctor. So throughout the years at Holy Childhood Preparatory School and Immaculate Conception High School, she kept the dream alive. Moreover, she "loved her own paediatrician in Jamaica, Dr. Heather White," and that helped her to focus on what her life's work would be.

Zeromeh was so focused on becoming a doctor and specialising as a paediatrician that even while at school she did some volunteering at the Bustamante Children's Basic School in 1995. "I would spend time playing with the children and feeding some of those who could not feed themselves," she said.

Her deep interest was in studying the sciences and it paid off in her results at high school. After overcoming that first hurdle, she moved up to the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, where she studied for the B.Sc. in pre-professional biology.

At Florida Tech, she was a member and then vice-president of the Caribbean Students Association (CSA) and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honour Society there.

She graduated with highest honours in 2002, and then she took one year off to work.

In 2003 Zeromeh entered Howard University in Washington, D.C. to study medicine. Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM) opened as a medical department in 1868, just three years after the end of the Civil War in the United States.

What was it like for the young Jamaican to study at the historically black Howard University College of Medicine?

"I loved it," she responded enthusiastically to my question.

After many years spent in training there she looked back in 2007 and said, "I needed to be at Howard University. There were many people there who I could emulate."

Zeromeh lived in nearby Alexandria in Virginia with two friends who had also gone to Immaculate Conception High School while she studied at Howard University. She either drove or took the train to school.

Between 2004 and 2005, Zeromeh, was a MedStars tutor at Howard. She supported and tutored freshmen in medical school, held weekly sessions with them to go over challenging topics in the curriculum and shared useful study strategies.

She also became a member of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA); the Student National Medical Association (SNMA); Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honour Society Gamma Chapter at Howard University College of Medicine (HUMC); and treasurer for Physicians for Human Rights. In her capacity as treasurer she helped to co-ordinate the first Annual Health Disparities Conference of the HUMC.

Zeromeh has also given volunteer service. Most recently she assisted with the Good Shepherd After-School care programme and from April 2006 to May 2007 attended group therapy with the Paediatric AIDS/HIV Care programme that offers basic interaction and support for 13 to 15 year-old boys and girls affected directly or indirectly by the disease.

In 2006 "we (medical students) had to decide what we wanted to do," she said. Most of the hospitals where she wanted to continue her training to become a paediatrician were located either in the southern United States or on the West Coast.

"I was so glad when I found out in March that I got my second choice - to go to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas."

She is now doing a three-year paediatric residency programme at Baylor College, with training done mainly at the Texas Children's Hospital. That hospital is affiliated with Baylor. Texas Children's Hospital is the largest children's hospital in the United States and an internationally recognised paediatric hospital. It is located in the Texas Medical Centre in Houston.

"I 'm comfortable in Houston," she said when I asked her how she likes her new surroundings.

It will be another long period of training before she becomes a Paediatrician but having come thus far she is determined to reach her goal. "I am happy how everything has worked out. My mother is very proud of the fact that I was one of the students who scored the highest possible marks in the National Board Exams.

"I made a lot of sacrifices and had many sleepless nights, but I believe when you have a dream you should go for it and always seek after learning," she said.

Another dream she has yet to fulfil is to return to Jamaica to what she considers "her dream job - working at the Bustamante Hospital for Children."

Bonita Jamaica
Beautiful Place. Amazing People.

See you in Jamaica.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jamaican Heads NASA Team On Space Station Expansion Project

When the “Discovery” space shuttle heads into space this month it will carry a special package ‘gift-wrapped’ by a Jamaican-born engineer and his team at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States.

Glenn Chin is NASA mission manager charged with delivering a Node 2 module called “Harmony” that will expand the docking area at the International Space Station to accommodate other space programs. Chin heads a multi-disciplined team of 30 to 40 engineers and technicians at NASA which is involved in the testing, integration and assembly processes that will make “Harmony” ready for launch inside “Discovery’s” cargo bay on the morning of Oct. 23. Once installed at the space station, “Harmony” will serve as a port for space programs from China and a combined 13 European countries.

“Harmony is a module with six docking ports where modules can dock to make the station bigger,” explained the 43-year-old Chin, who attended high schools in Jamaica and the U.S. and college at the University of Miami, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

“It’s like a six entrance hallway that you can add rooms to…It’s actually the gateway to the international partners.”

That “hallway” or central building block is 24 feet long and 15 feet wide. It weighs 31,500 pounds.

SIMPLE TASK It was built in Italy, with fine-tuning at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Chin and his team are based. He was involved in the early design and construction of “Harmony” as part of a special team, which offered NASA insight into the project’s progress. That required him to travel to Torino between 1998 and 2000. Other work assignments temporarily took Chin away from the “Harmony” project, but he would later return as mission manager. His task is simple: get “Harmony” ready for launch and make sure it works once it gets into space.

But Chin is confident it will. Discovery’s transportation of “Harmony” this month, also called “STS-120”, is not the only mission Chin has been involved with at NASA. He has been in charge of 16, four of which he has seen through to their launch. However, despite acknowledging a familiarity with the procedures required for the task, Chin said the different types of “payload” he is required to deliver in proper working order keeps the challenge interesting.

“It’s pretty routine,” he said. “The processes are pretty much the same. But the differences in hardware for each mission is unique. Each hardware is unique.”

So is his background. Chin is one of a handful of Caribbean nationals working at the Kennedy Space Center, which employs some 18,000 workers. He is proud of his heritage and credits his background for much of his success in the U.S.

“That’s huge for me,” he said. “As a Jamaican I’ve always been a hard worker, persistent. When I came to the States I realized the opportunities here and went after it. “I have enough savvy to know you can reach for your dreams in this country.” For the married father of a son, his dreams extend to outer space.

Glenn Chin's Bio

Bonita Jamaica
Beautiful Place. Amazing People.

See you in Jamaica.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Alia Wedderburn Wins At the International Bronner Brothers Hair Show and Convention (Georgia, USA)

Congratulations Alia Wedderburn and HEART/NTA. Please keep up the great work.

September 04, 2007

Another Jamaican has brought home gold, this time from Georgia (USA). Alia Wedderburn won the Student Competition at the international Bronner Brothers Hair Show and Convention at the Georgia World Congress Centre August 20. Wedderburn is one of two WorldSkills Jamaica competitors vying for the opportunity to represent their country in the WorldSkills International competition in ladies and men’s hairdressing.

Wedderburn beat six competitors and was the only non-American participant. Competitors were required to prepare an Elegant Evening Wear style. Eight judges picked Wedderburn’s two-color, upsweep “do” that was molded with swirls at the centre and back of the head and accessorized with silver ornaments. The hair was complimented with make-up and dress in keeping with elegant eveningwear.

She won an impressive trophy, a gold medallion, cash, and US$400 worth of Bronner Brothers products.

The trophy is expected to improve her chances of selection to represent Jamaica at the WorldSkills International competition in Shizuoka, Japan in November 2007. Jamaica’s involvement in WorldSkills through HEART/NTA is intended to raise standards to world-class levels in the industrial trades and service sectors.

Wedderburn is also in the final phase of study as a cosmetology instructor at the HEART/NTA Vocational Training and Development Institute.

The small contingent of Jamaicans who went to Georgia to support Alia, included her WorldSkills training expert Claudette Jennings, Career Development Officer of the HEART School of Cosmetology. Coach Jennings said she always expected Wedderburn to win.

Read it for yourself here: Click

Bonita Jamaica
Beautiful Place. Amazing People.

See you in Jamaica.

Prime Minister of Jamaica Wins IOC World Women and Sport Trophy

Congratulations Portia Simpson-Miller - Former Prime Minister of Jamaica.
08 March 2007 - Lausanne, Switzerland

Today, joining in the world’s celebration of International Women’s Day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded its World Women and Sport Trophy for 2007 to the first female Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

At an official ceremony held at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Portia Simpson Miller was honoured for her outstanding dedication to promoting women’s activities in Jamaican sport – both as athletes and as administrators. As well as the World Trophy, five continental trophies were presented, to Fridah Bilha Shiroya (Kenya / Africa), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA / Americas), Naila Shatara-Kharroub (Palestine / Asia), Ilse Bechthold (Germany / Europe) and Veitu Apana Diro (Papua New Guinea / Oceania). During the official announcement, IOC President Jacques Rogge emphasised that “the IOC, through its Women and Sport Commission, has been working untiringly to implement programmes to enable women and girls the world over to feel fully involved in the universal movement to promote women in and through sport”.

Since 2000 the IOC has annually recognised a person, organisation or institution for their remarkable contribution to the promotion of women in the sports world. The winners are selected by the IOC Women and Sport Commission, chaired by IOC member Anita L. DeFrantz. This year the Commission received 65 applications from National Olympic Committees (NOC) and International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) from all over the world.

A political voice for the good of women and sport

Portia Simpson Miller, winner of the world trophy in 2007, is the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica, elected in March 2006. Her exceptional political career started in 1970. In 1989 she was appointed Minister for Sport, and in this function was also responsible for Women’s Affairs. Shortly after her election as Prime Minister she became one of the first world leaders to sign the World Anti-Doping Code. Throughout these years, her personal leadership, based on a “bottom-up” philosophy, has clearly supported the development of women’s sporting activities in Jamaica. As a result, more and more women are being elected to the decision-making bodies of the National Sport Federations.

A life devoted to serving society

Fridah Bilha Shiroya, Treasurer of the NOC of Kenya, is the winner of the trophy for Africa. One of her outstanding merits is the strengthening of women’s role in Kenyan sport: as the first female to hold an executive office in the Kenyan NOC, she founded the “Association of Kenya Women in Sports (TAKWIS)” in 1996. This initiative became a driving force to increase women’s participation in Kenyan sports as well as female representation in the national administrative sports structures. Furthermore, Fridah Bilha Shiroya has proved her innovative spirit by founding the Kenya Women’s Football Association and bringing the sports of softball and baseball to her country.

Conveying values to the youth

One of the world’s greatest Olympians, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, wins this year’s trophy for Americas. With the creation of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Foundation in 1988, the six-time Olympic medallist has helped young people to prepare for their role in society – driven by guiding principles such as character and leadership, teamwork and dignity. The Foundation raised USD 12 million to build the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in her hometown East St Louis, Illinois, which offers more than 30 programmes in education, culture, arts, sports and fitness, health and life skills for young people aged 6 to 18 with a major focus on young girls. About her tireless work with the Foundation, Joyner-Kersee says: “Once I leave this earth, I know I have done something that will continue to help others”.

Opening up the sports world for girls in Palestine

The Women and Sport Commission’s choice for the trophy for Asia was Palestinian Naila Shatara-Kharroub, a pioneer in establishing and developing physical education for girls in her country since 1979. Shatara-Kharroub has served the Ministry of Education for several years, and is today the Principal of the Dar Al-Kailma School in Bethlehem. Despite the political, social, economic and security-related challenges, and having started from zero, Naila Shatara-Kharroub has managed to introduce physical education in the 50 girls’ schools of Bethlehem and Jericho Districts, establish playgrounds, organise sports equipment and conduct various training courses for female physical education teachers.

Role model for young female sport leaders

Ilse Bechthold, Chairperson of the IAAF’s Women’s Committee since 1981 and member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, is the 2007 winner of the trophy for Europe. She has dedicated her competence and will to opening the door for women to nearly every discipline that is practised in athletics. In 1998 she initiated the “Year of Women in Athletics” within the IAAF, as well as several worldwide clinics and courses. Having been successful in the discus, shot put and pentathlon herself, her passion for sport has also influenced her professional life. She has taught physical education to thousands of future teachers at the University of Frankfurt and served as a spokesperson for female students.

Getting all generations moving
Veitu Apana Diro
, Vice-President of the NOC of Papua New Guinea, is the winner for Oceania. She is one of the longest-serving women in sport in her country. As a founder of the national netball federation in 1965, she has always encouraged women and girls to discover this sport. In 2000, she became Chairperson of the then newly founded Papua New Guinean Women in Sport (WIS) Committee. Her efforts towards increasing female participation in sport were and are addressed to all generations: she has coached numerous young girls in various sports, but has also established a masters association for older women. Her recent initiative is a mentoring programme in which elite female athletes go into schools to motivate young girls to practise sport.

Read it for yourself here: Click

Bonita Jamaica
Beautiful Place. Amazing People.

See you in Jamaica.

UNICEF Jamaica Project Officer Wins Young Investigator Prize for AIDS Research

Congratulations Penelope. Please keep up the great work.

Penelope Campbell, Project Officer in the UNICEF office in Jamaica is the first winner of the Young Investigator Prize in the area of Women, Girls and AIDS which has been awarded by the International AIDS Society.

The award was presented to Miss Campbell on Monday, August 14, 2006 at the plenary session of the International AIDS Conference being held in Toronto, Canada. The Young Investigator Prize: Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS highlights the challenges faced by women and girls by encouraging women investigators from resource-limited settings to pursue HIV/AIDS research.

Geeta Rao Gupta, President of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, which co-founded the award, , stated that Miss Campbell epitomizes the hard work and skills that thousands of women researchers demonstrate each and every day.

The UNICEF Project Officer who manages the programme for Adolescent Development and Participation and HIV/AIDS in the Jamaica office, won as a result of a baseline study on the establishment of a mobile unit providing HIV/AIDS/STI information, skills and services to vulnerable adolescents in Jamaica. The research was undertaken in August 2005 after Children First, an NGO in Spanish Town approached UNICEF for support in establishing a mobile service to reach 5,000 vulnerable adolescents along major transport and HIV/STI prevalent locations. Interviews were conducted among 451 young people ranging from 10-19 years and the results showed that although 48% of the respondents were sexually active, only 19% accessed sexual reproductive health services.

The UNICEF Representative in Jamaica Bertrand Bainvel in congratulating Miss Campbell on the award said that he was extremely proud that one of its most talented staff had received such a high recognition.

"Prevention among adolescents is absolutely key if we want to see a reverse in the spread of the epidemic in the world and especially in Jamaica. Every adolescent must be given the right to know how to protect themselves from HIV, and this includes the right to know their status – this is the message carried out by the Bashy Bus. The Bus proves that it is necessary, feasible and effective. Primary prevention among adolescents is one of the four pillars of the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS along with reduction of mother to child transmission, access to paediatric treatment and support to children made orphans or affected by HIV. The Bashy Bus is an illustration of the creativity and commitment of Jamaica – a champion country in the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS", he added.

Read it for yourself here: Click

Bonita Jamaica
Beautiful Place. Amazing People.

See you in Jamaica.