UWI Mona Announces Valedictorians for 2023 Graduation Ceremonies


Four remarkable students are set to share messages of hope, grit and pure ‘Pelican Pride’ when they address The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus’ graduation ceremonies scheduled for November 3 and 4, 2023. Excelling in their studies and communities, these four students serve as a beacon of light for their peers and the nation and will represent their faculties as valedictorians for The UWI Mona’s Graduating Class of 2023.

All ceremonies will be broadcast live via UWItv. 

The class of 2023 valedictorians are:

1. Aundrene Cameron - Faculty of Law
2. Charm Evans - Faculty of Social Sciences – The Mona School of Business and Management
3. Jamar Grant - Faculty of Humanities and Education
4. Sadeika Smith - Faculty of Medical Sciences


Valedictorians represent the best of The UWI Mona’s graduating class. Each year, nominees are selected on academic performance, and involvement in extra and co-curricular activities. The Selection Committee looks for graduates who are creative and critical thinkers, good communicators, versed in technology, strong in their Caribbean identity, and guided by their ethics and values.

The UWI Mona congratulates our valedictorians as well as the entire graduating class of 2023 and wish them all success. We look forward to them making a positive impact on their communities and by extension, society.

Please also see breakdown of the four ceremonies and the valedictorians who will address each:

Friday 10 A.M.: Valedictorian: Aundrene Cameron (Law)
Faculties: Faculty of Social Sciences (Except MSBM) & Faculty of Law
Honorary Graduands: Her Excellency Ambassador Audrey Marks and Honourable Lascelles Chin (posthumous) - Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Friday 4:30 P.M.: Valedictorian: Jamar Grant (H&E)
Faculties: Faculty of Humanities and Education & Faculty of Science and Technology
Honorary Graduand: Mr. Beresford Hammond - Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Saturday 10 A.M.: Valedictorian: Sadeika Smith (UWI School of Nursing)
Faculties: Faculty of Medical Sciences & Faculty of Sport
Honorary Graduand: Professor Dale Abel - Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc)

Saturday 4:30 P.M.: Valedictorian: Charm Evans (MSBM)
Faculties: Faculty of Engineering, IGDS and Faculty of Social Sciences (MSBM only)
Honorary Graduand: Ms. Rachel Manley - Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Bios of Valedictorians

Charm Evans
Ms. Charm Evans was very clear about what she wanted to accomplish on her journey to academic success. She was also always cognisant of the fact that her family and community were counting on her to succeed.

"I'm going to make you proud, no matter how scared I am or what obstacles stand in my way. If it means I have to do it scared, I will make you proud," Ms. Evans vowed to her family.

Hailing from Grange Hill, Westmoreland, Ms. Evans is the third of six children. She is a graduate of The Manning's School, where she was involved in various extracurricular clubs such as the Girl Guides, United Nations, and the Inter-Schools Christian Fellowship (ISCF). At the end of Sixth Form she was selected as the top recipient of her school's AAP Scholarship Programme.

Despite not getting off to the start she had hoped for in her first year of university, Ms. Evans' hunger for greatness remained steadfast. Driven by her desire to support her family and uplift her community, she quickly blazed a path to academic excellence and good leadership.

During her time at The UWI, Ms. Evans made the Dean's List, and received several scholarships and awards. She was awarded the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation Scholarship on two occasions, and was also a recipient of the BGLC Scholarship.

In her capacity as Secretary of the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) Guild Committee, Ms. Evans worked with a team to help students navigate the different facets of their academic experience. She went on to serve as Department Representative in 2022, at which time she and her team created the MSBM Guide to help new students navigate their way through university. Ms. Evans and her team also collaborated to establish the 'MSBM Student of the Month Programme’, to highlight outstanding MSBM students excelling in academia and leadership.

Ms. Evans also served as Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications of the Mona Guild, Vice President of Services and Special Projects (VPSSP) committee, and Public Relations Officer/Publications Committee Chairperson of the Mary Seacole Hall’s Great Block. She went on to develop an Honour’s Society for the "great women" on her block who excelled academically. Her unwavering dedication and ingenuity earned her recognition and awards for her contributions to block life and for being an exceptional committee member.

Ms. Evans' future plans includes developing a youth-focused programme in her community that connects young people to leadership, educational, and career opportunities. Guided by her grandmother’s maxim, “If it’s meant to be for you, it’s going to happen”, Ms. Evans continuously puts herself forward to take on new challenges that benefit society.

Ms. Evans graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management with a minor in Psychology with First Class Honours.

Aundrene Cameron

Ms. Aundrene Cameron has a deep love for volunteerism, nation-building, advocacy and women's rights.

As a student in the Faculty of Law, Ms. Cameron demonstrated remarkable leadership skills and a commitment to making a positive impact on her community.   She was recently crowned both the Miss St. Catherine Festival Queen, and the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen for 2023. These titles have further fuelled her passion for advocacy, allowing her to serve as a cultural ambassador to promote the rich heritage and traditions of Jamaica.

As a student-leader, Ms. Cameron has held various positions, including Vice President of the Mona Law Society, UWI Mona Guild External Affairs Committee, and the University Dance Society. Her drive, determination and the confidence of her peers in her abilities to effectively represent them propelled her to many of these roles. 

Beyond her academic pursuits, Ms Cameron is a passionate advocate for women’s rights. She actively contributes to organisations such as UpliftHER Jamaica, and WomanUp, which both focus on empowering women and promoting gender equality.

In addition to her leadership and advocacy work, Ms. Cameron is also skilled in public speaking; receiving numerous awards in this area. She has represented Campion College, The UWI, Mona, and Jamaica in public speaking and debating competitions.

Ms. Cameron's ability to inspire confidence and motivation wherever she goes is what drives her to keep unlocking her multifaceted talents. She lives by the belief that life is about empowering others – through giving back – and maximizing her God-given talents and potential.

Ms. Cameron graduates with a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours.

Jamar Grant
Jamar Grant lives life by the sage advice found in James 2:26, which states, "Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works."

As the first in his family to attend university, Mr. Grant attributes his accomplishments to his humble beginnings. Growing up in More-Rock Sheffield, a deep rural community in Westmoreland, Mr. Grant's upbringing taught him that, in a simple way, he can and will change the world. Although Mr. Grant prides simplicity as being one of his greatest assets, he has never felt limited in his pursuit of greatness and has lived a life that affirms the premise "success is not final."

He entered Godfrey Stewart High School in 2013 as a top Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) scholar, and left in 2018 with the coveted title of Head Boy.  As a UWI, Mona student, Mr. Grant maintained his place on the dean’s honour roll. In fact, his scholastic performance earned him The UWI Visa Card Scholarship, and the Claire Whyte Academic scholarship, which he held since high school. He also served as a WIGUT ambassador, having received The UWI MONA WIGUT bursary.

Earlier this year, Mr. Grant was among a group of six students selected by the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) to participate in a three-month internship at the FOX 5 Media Group and BET in New York. This was a part of a pilot project organised by the US Consulate in New York, and the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

During his time at the Mona Campus, not only did Mr. Grant continue to perform at an exceptional level in academics, he also excelled in service and leadership.  He was a volunteer teacher for the Taylor Hall Mentorship Programme, working on weekends with children from volatile communities in the Township to improve their mastery in various subject areas. At his church – Sheffield New Testament Church of God – he currently serves as the director of The Royal Princes, training an all-male performing arts group to successfully pull off speech and drama items.

Mr. Grant has since returned to his alma mater where he works as a literacy teacher. The 22-year-old aspiring speech language pathologist has a strong desire to work with children. This drive aligns with his belief that the outcomes of a society are dependent on how it treats its children.

Mr. Grant graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Linguistics, with First Class Honours.

Sadieka Smith
Sadieka Smith's journey is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering faith. Hailing from Palmers Cross, Clarendon, Ms. Smith spent her formative years in an extended family home where she learned the values of hard work and perseverance. As the second of four children raised by her single mother, Ms. Smith's passion for healthcare blossomed at an early age. She enjoyed tending to the needs of the children in her community who sought help for their scraped knees and bruised elbows.

This early calling was not just a personal aspiration; it became a beacon of hope and a promise to herself and her family to overcome any obstacles that came her way.  From the outset, Ms. Smith understood that knowledge was the key to unlocking her dreams. It was this understanding, coupled with sheer determination that led her to this day. 

Her educational journey commenced at the Cross Primary and Junior High School, where she quickly gained a reputation as a dedicated and exceptionally bright student who made the principal's honour roll. Ms. Smith gained a place at Vere Technical High School, where she continued her academic excellence. She consistently ranked among the top three students in each grade, and maintained her position on the principal's honour roll.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Ms. Smith was a model for service and leadership. She was a member of the Teens Against Drugs Club, a US Youth Ambassador, Form Prefect, and Student Council President.

Her dream of entering the medical field was almost derailed due to financial constraints, and she flirted with the idea of joining the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JDF). She had already successfully passed the JDF’s exam and was awaiting a panel interview but fate stepped in. With the support of family, friends, and financial aid, Ms. Smith continued on her original path.  She successfully applied to The UWI, where from her very first semester she consistently made the Dean's List and the honour society. In 2022, her performance earned her the prestigious Sheryl Lopez Award for Outstanding Clinical Performance and the title of Most Outstanding Academic Performer in the BScN Program. Additionally, she served as an integral member of her class's Executive Body.

Ms. Smith achieved a significant milestone when she became the first person in her household to earn a degree. Her ultimate ambition is to work as a Family Health Practitioner and an Entrepreneur.  Her life is a testament to her unwavering belief in the adage, "Walk by faith and not by sight".

Ms. Smith graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with First Class honours.