The Pelican Award is given to a graduate of the University of the West Indies who has contributed greatly to the development of the university and or to the Caribbean. The awardees below have certainly done this in both their professional life and in their voluntary effort.
The 2023 Pelican Awardees
DR. BEVERLY FRAY completed a BA (Hons.) in languages and politics at the University of the West Indies (1987), a BSN (2003) and an MSN (2006) at the University of Miami, Florida and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing at Florida international University (FIU) in 2020. Dr. Fray is board certified by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community & Public Health Nursing (PHCNS-BC).
While she was a doctoral candidate at FIU, Dr. Fray helped to organize, execute and evaluate a colloquium (major seminar) for the PhD students. She was also a member of the group representing the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), that traveled to Washington D.C to lobby house representatives for Title IX funding for nursing programs.
Dr. Fray has worked in several specialties of nursing including clinical/nursing education, chronic pain management, at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMSCCC), inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and mental health nursing, general medical-surgical, home health, and shared governance in nursing. As adjunct faculty in the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at FIU, Dr. Fray taught Community and Public Health Nursing, Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and general Medical-surgical Nursing in the Foreign Physicians’ Bridge Program that trained doctors as undergraduate nurses. She is currently the corporate manager for the Center for Academic Partnerships at Jackson Health System, Miami, Florida, where she started almost seventeen years ago as a member of the Center for Nursing Excellence/Education & Development.
An accomplished researcher, Dr. Fray has presented papers at several research conferences, published peer reviewed articles, completed book reviews, and is peer-reviewed for the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (JANAC) and the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
Dr. Fray is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International (nursing’s honor society) and is involved in other nursing and civic organizations. She chairs the Jamaica Diaspora Health Taskforce (JDHTF) and was president of the University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies Alumni Association for two and a half years. In April 2023 she was presented with the Community Action Award from the Southern Region of the Florida Nurses Association.
Dr. Fray is the proud mother of Francesca Fray-Nelson and grandmother of Phoenix Ivory Nelson.
DR. CARMEN NICHOLAS is an Applied Developmental Psychologist and Early Childhood Education and Family Development Specialist. She completed a BSc. (First Class Honors) in Natural Sciences at University of the West Indies-Mona Campus, a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Developmental Psychology PhD at Nova Southeastern University and Management Skill for Child Care Administrators course at John E. Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
Before emigrating to the US in 1980, she taught Chemistry and General Science at her high school alma mater, St Jago and later served as Chief Chemist of the Banana Board (Jamaica). In the United States, Dr. Nicholas served as a research laboratory technician at Meharry Medical School Research Unit in Nashville Tennessee.
After moving to Florida to pursue graduate studies, Dr. Nicholas went on to forge a 35+ years distinguished career marked by visionary leadership. This included sixteen(16) years as the Director of the Division of Head Start/Early Head Start and Children’s Services under the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners. Under her leadership, the program grew, more than tripling the number of children and families served and earned the coveted status of National Head Start Association (NHSA) Program of Excellence. Dr. Nicholas developed Broward’s first Therapeutic Day Care program for Neglected and Abused children while working at Family Central and taught as an adjunct professor in undergraduate and graduate programs in Early Childhood Education and Family Support Studies (NSU and FIU).
Dr. Nicholas has served as the president, and treasurer of the UWIAA-FL Chapter, and is currently serving on the board as an at large member and chair of the Scholarship Committee. She has also served as the UWI Alumni Representative, representing UWI Alumni globally on University Senate and Council bodies at meetings held in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados. Dr. Nicholas is passionate about helping current students attending UWI and she donates an annual scholarship of $1000 to a UWI student working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Family Development. Other areas of service include: reading to children in early childhood classrooms; Friends of Jamaica Basic Schools (FOJBSS) conducting training for administrators, teachers and families and bringing resources to assist basic schools in impoverished communities in Jamaica; Abeng Book Club serving on the Management Team.
Dr. Nicholas has received many Honors and Accolades including: For Women Expo Education Award; Palm Beach County Golden Palm Award; Johnson and Johnson Management Fellowship award; The Helen Taylor Excellence in Management Award and UWIAA-FL Outstanding Leadership Award.
Dr. Nicholas is the proud mother of Hernando & Rohan and grandmother of Talia and Trevor
DR. SHARON PORTER graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management in 1995. She completed a Master’s degree in Family & Consumer Science/Community Education in 2006, a specialist degree in Educational Leadership in 2012, and a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership in 2017 at Barry University. She is also a graduate of Shortwood Teachers’ College.
Dr. Porter has worked as a Culinary Instructor, an Early Childhood Education Teacher, and has used her education and leadership skills to prepare, observe and evaluate students for their Culinary and Early Childhood certificates. She currently works as an Exceptional Student Education Support Facilitator at William Dandy Middle School in Ft. Lauderdale.
Dr. Porter has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help others in the Jamaican, Floridian and African communities. Her projects are geared towards not only improving education for inner city students in Florida, but also in Kenya where she is the patron of a girls’ support center established in 2013, known as the Sharon Porter Girls’ Support Center. In August of 2022, she also became the patron of another educational center in Zambia, known as the Sharon Porter Educational Institute, with approximately 200 kids ages 6 to 14.
Dr. Porter volunteers with Life Net 4 Families that helps to feed the less fortunate. She functions as the director of Women's connection, and as the vice president of the outreach ministry program to the local community. Through outreach efforts, Dr. Porter contributes to the establishment of a local pregnant mother’s outreach program called Embrace Grace, a national organization. Along with her husband, Dr. Porter is the founder of the Single Parent Initiative Program geared towards the support, education and encouragement of single parents. She is also a founding member of BACE, the Broward Alliance of Caribbean Educators.
In January of 2018, Dr. Porter received an award from the Clergy Women United for Outstanding Dedication and Commitment to Local Church and Community.
OTHER RECENT PELICAN AWARD RECIPIENTS
Dr. Sandra Schrouder
Mr. Justin Vincent
Ms. Jean D’Costa
Dr. Dwight Benjamin
Ms. Miriam White
Dr. Justin Peart
Mr. Eric Hammond
Mr. Donat Grant