Author: MCC Release | Date: 20 May 2015
The Board of the Montserrat Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Vernie Clarice Chambers Barnes as Principal of the Montserrat Community College.
Professor Barnes brings to the post over forty (40) years as an educator contributing to Formal and Non formal Education in Montserrat, the wider Caribbean, UK and Africa. She received her early education at the Montserrat Secondary and the Mundella Grammar School in Nottingham UK.
This was followed by undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Birmingham where she obtained a B.Phil. Child Psychology; M.Ed. in Education Psychology with a dissertation on Pastoral Care in the Montserrat Secondary School for which she received the Annie Deakin Award for outstanding research. Her Ph.D. research was a combination of Non-Formal Education and Psychology with a thesis entitled “The Montserrat Volcano: A Study of Meaning, Psychosocial Effects, Coping and Intervention”. She has produced several papers and book chapters from this work which is regarded as a valuable contribution to Disaster Studies and Humanitarian Education. Professor Barnes has presented at many conferences regionally and internationally to include the World Volcano Conference in Ecuador in 2006 where her paper entitled “Psychosocial Effects of the Montserrat Volcano and Coping: Some Reflections Ten Years On” was regarded as bridging an important gap in understanding/managing the human aspects of volcanic disaster. Additionally, she developed and was Academic Director of a Study Abroad programme of the School of International Training (SIT) entitled The Montserrat Volcanic Disaster: Identity and Reconstruction.
Professor Barnes brings to the college wide ranging experiences as a creative, innovative educator and manager. Previously, she was Professor of Education at the William V S Tubman University in Liberia educating teachers traumatised by war. Here in Montserrat she created the Pupil Support Unit with programmes catering for the personal, social and emotional needs of primary and secondary students living with an active volcano.
At the same she contributed to the management of education as a member of the senior management team of the Ministry of Education. Earlier she was a Programme Officer of the University of the West Indies Women and Development Unit (WAND); Training Officer of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation; Health Educator Ministry of Health British Virgin Islands; Honorary Senior Lecturer in Community Youth and Play University of Birmingham and Visiting Lecturer –MPH in Developing Countries, School of Public Health University of Birmingham. Professor Barnes is also a cultural activist who was one of the architects of the Montserrat Cultural Policy.
The College welcomes the leadership of Professor Barnes as it seeks to realise its mandate to provide quality, inclusive post sixteen and adult education.