Jamaica needs your leadership, UTech president tells graduands
The newly installed president of the University of Technology (UTech), Dr Kevin Brown, has urged the graduating class of the institution to consider themselves leaders, stressing that Jamaica needs their leadership to achieve first-world status.
Brown, participating in the first graduation since he took up the position as the institution’s fifth president in September, told the hundreds of students who braved poor weather conditions in the Corporate Area on Friday to attend their graduation ceremony at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium, that this goal of achieving first-world status is critical to Jamaica realising its Vision 2030 target.
The graduands, who were attending the first of two days of graduations at the institution, were successful in achieving certification at various levels, ranging from certificates to associate degrees, diplomas, and undergraduate degrees.
Graduands were drawn from the faculties of Engineering and Computing; Joint Colleges of Medical, Oral Health and Veterinary Sciences; College of Health Sciences; and Law.
On Saturday, a second ceremony saw graduands from other faculties receiving their certifications.
“Graduands, you should all consider yourselves leaders, and Jamaica needs your leadership,” Brown said.
“The country is relying on tertiary graduates to advance our nation into realising Vision 2030, the goal of achieving developed-country status. You will be critical to Jamaica being a place to live, work, raise families, and do business. As you move on to the world of work, entrepreneurship or to further your studies, I am confident that you will use your newly acquired University of Technology certification to make a valuable contribution to your chosen profession, your community, and your country.”
Agents of transformation
Brown, a Utech alumnus who enrolled at the institution in 1997, used his achievements as examples to spur the new set of professionals to further success. After completing his studies in mechanical engineering at UTech, Brown has realised his dreams and has gone on to become a renowned aerospace engineer and academic.
He said the graduands’ “life-changing accomplishment” was a huge step towards their future dreams and aspirations.
“You are now well on your way to being agents of transformation and adding value wherever you go,” he said.
Utech, formerly the College of Arts, Science and Technology, is this year celebrating 65 years of existence and boasts over 60,000 graduates since its inception, who have gone on to impact development in various sectors of Jamaica, the Caribbean, and beyond, he noted.
Also addressing the graduands before the handing out of certifications began, UTech Chancellor Lloyd Carney urged the group to embrace artificial intelligence or be left behind.
According to Carney: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is here and we have to embrace it. Technology changes rapidly, and those who don’t get on the train get left behind; and the good news is, it’s never too late because with the education you’ve garnered here, the skills you have here, the technical competence you have here, you can engage in whatever technology change comes along. You have the fundamental skills to embrace it and be successful with it.”
Using Bob Marley’s lyrics, ‘ Don’t worry ‘bout atomic energy, none of them can stop the time’, as reference, Carney added: “When people worry about technology and the impact of technology, and AI [is] going to take people’s jobs, and AI [is] going to take over the world and all this foolishness, none of them can stop the time. Embrace it, it is here, use it to your advantage.”