UTech, Jamaica Recognizes Highest Achievers from its 2020 Graduating Cohort

 ica presents the Edwa
Professor Colin Gyles, President (Acting), University of Technology, Jamaica presents the Edward Seaga Award to high achiever Melesha Hill, BSc Actuarial Science graduate, Faculty of Science and Sport (FOSS) who obtained the highest GPA of 3.86 from the University’s 2020 Graduating Class.  The presentation was made at a special ceremony in honour of  President’s Honour Roll awardees on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at the University’s Papine Campus.

Following from its virtual Graduation Ceremony streamed live on November 22, 2020, the University of Technology, Jamaica today (Tuesday, December 22) convened a special awards ceremony at the University’s Papine Campus, in honour of the highest academic achievers from is Graduating Class of 2020 who qualified to be named to the prestigious President’s Honour Roll. 

The President’s Honour Roll recognizes students from the graduating cohort who have attained qualifications of a grade ‘A’ and GPA of 3.75 – 4.00. Also presented on the occasion, was The Edward Seaga Award honouring the memory of the late former Prime Minster and Chancellor, UTech, Jamaica,  in recognition of his outstanding national service and contribution to the development of the University.  The award is presented to the First Class Honours undergraduate student with the highest overall GPA in the academic year.

Acting President, UTech, Jamaica, Professor Colin Gyles presented the President’s Pin and the Edward Seaga Award to top-tier Honour Roll graduate Melesha Hill, BSc Actuarial Science graduate, Faculty of Science and Sport (FOSS) who obtained the highest GPA of 3.86.  The other Honour Roll awarders are Belize native, Kevin Gutierrez, BSc. Surveying and Information Science, Faculty of The Built Environment with a GPA of 3.82, Josan Munroe, BSc. in Actuarial Science, who obtained a GPA of 3.81, Rayion Sawyers, Bachelor of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computing with a GPA of 3.79 and Shanique Orr, BSc in Economics, College of Business and Management who earned a GPA of 3.77.

The award ceremony also included the posthumous presentation of the Bachelor of Science in Midwifery with upper Second Class Honours earned by high achiever Judene Henry who  lost her battle with ill health on May 12, 2020.  Her award was collected by her Mother Ms Novelette Phillips.

Professor Gyles in his welcome heartily congratulated the top performers, emphasizing the high value UTech, Jamaica places on quality education and on excellence.  Noting that although the presentation of their awardees was not being presented in the customary pomp and pageantry of the physical Graduation Ceremony, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Gyles noted that the University was pleased “to recognize the excellent work that you have done.” 

He stated that notwithstanding the innovation of the hosting of a virtual Graduation Ceremony, “we believe that the personal touch is important especially in recognizing excellence.”  He hailed the awardees as ambassadors of the University of Technology, Jamaica and encouraged them to continue to excel in their chosen fields even as they remain mindful of their social responsibility and service to others as underscored by the UTech, Jamaica Core Values.    “The success you have gained here, we expect that it will give you a certain level of confidence to be successful wherever you go, knowing that you are at the top-tier”  Professor Gyles stated.

The UTech, Jamaica star graduates all expressed sincere gratitude to the University for going the extra mile to host a ceremony in their honour.  Josan Munroe who is now employed as an actuarial analyst at Sagicor Group Jamaica Ltd. expressed that “this award means a lot to me; it proves that hard work pays off, because over the four years I really worked hard and had a lot of sleepless nights, so it feels very nice to be recognized today.” 

The sentiment was shared by Rayion Sawyers who currently works at UTech, Jamaica as a Lab Technician in the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.  He noted that he denied himself sleep and other pleasures to ensure that his assignments were turned in on time and praised UTech, Jamaica for giving him the platform to achieve his academic goals.   Double awardee Melesha Hill who is poised to continue post-graduate studies in Mathematics,  expressed surprise and gratitude at receiving the Edward Seaga award plaque, noting that “no one should ever forget their university experience, but to have something to look at to remember all that you did.. all the hard work, sometimes feeling that you cannot go on.. I am truly grateful and I feel very proud of myself,” she said, adding that it was truly meaningful to receive the award in person.  Shanique Orr who currently works as part of the auditing team at PricewatherhousCoopers shared that her four year university journey was not without challenges but she remained motivated to achieve excellent grades and to obtain her degree in the timeline she set for herself.

Sharing in the special occasion were University Registrar, Mrs. Mercedes Deane whose Division hosted the special awards ceremony, other members of the Office of the Registrar and Deans of the respective Colleges and Faculties who came out in support of their high achieving graduates.

Professor Colin Gyles, President (Acting), University of Technology, Jamaica presents the President’s Pin award to outstanding students named to the President’s Honour Roll from the Graduating Class of 2020.  From left are Rayion Sawyers, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Josan Munroe, Faculty of Science and Sport, Melesha Hill, Faculty of Science and Sport, Shanique Orr, College of Business and Management.

Professor Colin Gyles presents the Bachelor of Science in Midwifery earned by the late Judene Henry, to her mother Ms Novelette Phillips (2nd left).  Sharing in the presentation are Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly (left) Dean, College of Health Sciences and Mrs. Mercedes Deane, University Registrar.

L-R: Dr. Kamilah Hylton, Dean, Faculty of Science and Sport, Josan Munroe,  Dr. Garfield Young, Dean, Faculty of The Built Environment (who collected the President’s Pin award on behalf of his undergraduate student, Kevin Gutierrez), Melesha Hill, Professor Colin Gyles, Shanique Orr, Rayion Sawyers, Mrs. Mercedes Deane, University Registrar and Dr. Andrea Sutherland, Dean, College of Business and Management.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm