UNB confers Honorary Doctorate for UWI Principal, Professor Celement Sankat

UWI Principal Professor Clement Sankat receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of New Brunswick (UNB)

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) has conferred an honorary degree on University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Principal, Professor Clement Sankat at its spring graduation ceremonies.

The Canadian University is among the oldest public universities in North America and the oldest English-language university in Canada. Its Fredericton Campus, where Prof Sankat received his doctor of letters on May 19, was established in 1785.

"I am deeply honoured by the award of this honorary doctoral degree by the University of New Brunswick," said Prof Sankat immediately after the ceremony. "In receiving this honour, it is also recognition of our St. Augustine Campus and of our UWI and its growing international reputation."

Prof Sankat was one of seven honorees at the UNB's three ceremonies held from May 19-21. His accomplishments were formally recognised at the ceremony, where he was identified as former Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards — and a catalyst in the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology — he led a task force on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Ministry of Trade & Industry in 2000. He was also Chair/lead author on the report of the Vision 2020 Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Innovation for Trinidad and Tobago. He has been active on the Board of Directors of the Metal Industries Company Limited; the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation; and the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. His scholarly achievements were recognised in 2001 by the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence for his contributions to Research, UWI, and Public Service.

"Clement Sankat has had a distinguished career as a scholar, an academic administrator and as a public servant," said Dr Dan Coleman, UNB Fredericton's Dean of Business Administration and one of Prof Sankat's nominators.

"UWI St. Augustine is responsible for operating ROYTEC, UNB's partner in education and business administration programmes in Trinidad and Tobago. Prof Sankat has for many years, been actively involved in the application and promotion of science and technology in Trinidad and Tobago and in the region. He is very deserving of this honorary degree."

In delivering the citation, UNB's Orator Gwendolyn Davies, referred to the "history of communication and exchange between the West Indies and the Maritime Provinces" that goes back to the 18th century, and noted that education was always valued as central to social advancement.

"A graduate of Queen's College, Georgetown, Guyana, Dr. Sankat won the Award for Best Mechanical Engineering student at UWI in 1972. Recipient of an international CIDA fellowship for doctoral studies at the University of Guelph, he was subsequently awarded an NSERC Research Associateship in food engineering at Laval University. What has followed is a career of teaching and research at UWI in areas such as the processing of tropical crops, food engineering, and post-harvest technology," she said.

"Dr. Sankat has published over 100 papers in his field, many of them related to technological innovation in agricultural production and processing in the Caribbean (for example, his research has had a practical impact on the sugar industry in Trinidad and Tobago and on the nutmeg industry in Grenada). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers of the United Kingdom, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and the Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineers. Dedicated to raising the profile of both research and graduate-training at UWI, Dr. Sankat has worked through his various administrative positions over the years to raise both the university and the national profile in these areas," she said, before ending on a salutary note.

"UNB is proud to welcome this distinguished academic colleague, a leader in Education, Research, and Engineering in Trinidad and Tobago, who, since becoming Principal, has been a staunch advocate of UNB's partnership programmes in Business and Education with his campus of The University of the West Indies."

"Over the years, we have developed a strong partnership with the UNB to deliver programmes in Business Administration and Education in Trinidad and Tobago through our ROYTEC Agreement," said Prof Sankat. Recently, he said, this was expanded to include the delivery of a Masters in Education degree. "My hope is that through this growing partnership we can extend this to other areas of education and training, for example, Forestry and the Management of our Natural Resources and the Environment."

"I have always had close ties with the educational and research sectors of Canada through my earned doctoral degree at the University of Guelph and this honorary Doctor of Letters will further strengthen my own relationships with Canada's higher education institutions and in particular the UNB, for the benefit of The UWI, ROYTEC and the people of Trinidad and Tobago," said Prof Sankat.

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