ECC touts Professional, Commercial and Personal Solutions on Research Day

Principal and Vice Principal with guests on Research Day 2018(L-R) Philmore McCarthy, principal of Excelsior Community College; Owen “Blakka” Ellis, guest speaker;  Dr. Orville Beckford, chairman of the Council of Community College; Dr. Zaria Malcolm, vice-principal of Academic Affairs & Institutional Advancement. 

Excelsior Community College was converted into a research village on its sixth staging of Research Day. As a signature event, Research Day focused on research-driven solutions to personal, professional and commercial problems, echoing the theme, Applying Innovative Research: Exploring Professional, Commercial and Personal Solutions.

Presenters, including students, probed current problems ranging from poor performing schools, nutrition, internationalization of higher education, teaching and learning, polygraph testing, Rethinking the BPO industry, overcoming barriers to publication, sexual harassment, skin bleaching, health, renewable energy and business practices.

According to Vice-Principal of Academic Affairs, Dr. Zaria Malcolm, “Research Day 2018 happens at a time when Jamaica in particular and the Caribbean in general are hard-pressed to find innovative ways to mitigate against the daunting challenges confronting individuals, professionals and corporate entities.”

She explained that ECC, as a community college, has a strategic role to play in offering solutions to the communities within its sphere.

“Research can be applied to any aspect of our lives and is really about searching for answers to different problems,” she said. She continued, “Research helps curiosity-seekers to make decisions at the institutional and organisational level. It is very important for industry to use research to guide their decisions.”

From Theory To Product

Many corporate entities such as T Geddes and Grant as well as supervising writer of the Ity & fancy Cat Show, Owen “Blakka” Ellis, discussed how research continued to guide their product development.

Philmore McCarthy, principal of the institution, noted that part of the College’s vision was to ensure that it remains a research-driven institution. He explained that the College, at all levels, is aggressively using research to guide its own product development especially in terms of programme offerings, ensuring that world-class graduates are being produced who can strategically address problems plaguing the country, region and the rest of the world.

According to Dean of Research and Innovation, Mrs. Cynanie Sawyers-Haylett, “This year’s staging was a collaborative effort involving corporate entities, government-entities, other tertiary institutions and educators to move research from theory to action.

She noted that the School of Aesthetics & Cosmetology was able to develop and monetize hair and facial products. In the School of Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), students, guided by lecturers, are conducting research about water irrigation. They have also developed products from local produce, and showcased solar panels made from local material.

The multidisciplinary research conference underscored the research driven culture being cultivated by the institution as well as its industry partners. “This is fostered through forging new partnerships with industry players in an effort to use applied research to meet solve industry problems while providing practical experience for the nation,” Mrs. Sawyers-Haylett.

The St. Andrew-based institution was a research village with over 60 presentations, exhibits and workshops.