By |Published On: September 28th, 2017|Categories: Alumni, University Communications|

Fielding Program at University of Virgin Islands

Fielding Graduate University has partnered with the University of the Virgin Islands to launch the latter’s first PhD program, a doctorate in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change.

Students in UVI’s inaugural PhD cohort with their professors and administrators on St. Thomas Campus

“In the Virgin Islands, we are the university to nurture creative leaders,” said UVI President David Hall. “When we think about the future, if we can be a resource for the development of powerful creative leaders, then many of the issues that we face could be addressed.”

Fielding is proud to be a part of this multidisciplinary program to educate the next generation of leaders capable of addressing complex problems with creativity and fortitude.  According to Provost Dr. Raj Parikh, in this program “students will study humans as individuals and as members of systems, learning to optimize interpersonal relationships and empower themselves and others to become change agents for social and ecological justice.”

Shauna Matthew, UVI Ph.D candidate,  introduces herself to fellow students in the inaugural cohort of the Ph.D. program.

UVI’s PhD candidates include education, business and private sector leaders who are in different stages of their career. Some participants have been waiting for a PhD in Creative Leadership to be developed, while others have been waiting to advance their education, but did not find a program that fit their professional goals. Some were waiting to be able to do this at an Historically Black College or University such as UVI.

“This seemed like the perfect step in expanding what the field of curatorial practice is,” said Rhea Beckett, who recently completed a Master of Fine Arts in Curatorial Practice at Maryland Institute College of Art.  Beckett is entering the program with her mother, Monica Rae, who comes from a long line of educators. Rae is the chief education officer for a publishing company. “I am really excited to be here with this cohort,” said Rae. “I look forward to learning and contributing 200 percent as we matriculate through.”

UVI Alumna Patricia Williams traveled from St. Maarten to participate in the program’s launch. Williams also earned her bachelor and masters’ degree from UVI. Currently, Williams works as a policy officer who is involved with innovation and change in the education system in St. Maarten. She said she is really looking forward to earning her PhD in innovation and change at UVI.  “We will be the first 50,” said Williams to her classmates. “We will do it together.”

Fielding VP Dr. Orlando Taylor at the opening ceremony of the inaugural residency

The PhD Program in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change is designed to offer extensive leadership knowledge toward developing innovative practices in leading institutions and other complex human organizations. Learners are encouraged to study organizations from a trans-disciplinary perspective that would transform communities in local and global venues.

UVI’s PhD program offers three specialized tracks:

  • Creativity and Leadership For Change
  • Organizational Development and Leadership
  • Educational/Academic Leadership for Change

Program participants in the Organizational Development and Leadership Track will receive a PhD from UVI and a graduate certificate from Fielding Graduate University. Participants in the Creativity and Leadership for Change track will receive a PhD from UVI and a graduate certificate from Buffalo State University. Students in the Educational/Academic Leadership for Change track will receive a PhD from UVI.

Dr. Maddirala said he would like to see all 50 candidates graduate together. The University is expected to be able to offer this new PhD program globally, including in India and China. The PhD in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change and the University of the Virgin Islands are accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education.

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