The Faculty of Social Sciences wishes to recognize Dr Heather Ricketts, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Mona Campus, for having been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in the category of Outstanding Service to the University Community for the academic year 2020/2021.
Dr Heather Ricketts is a Sociologist, and holds a PhD in Development Studies. She is a former Head of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work. Dr Heather Ricketts is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work and has given over 20 years of service to the University of the West Indies. Dr Ricketts entered the world of academia after years of working in the public sector where she gained invaluable insights in the areas of social policy, research, development and analysis. This real world exposure has influenced the depth and breadth of her knowledge and experience, which Dr Ricketts has used in teaching, research and service to the UWI.
Dr Ricketts has a deep affinity for the needs and emotional wellbeing of the University’s students as expressed in this statement, “I embrace a caring and nurturing style because I am aware that students’ backgrounds are varied and so too their routes to UWI. I believe that the role of lecturer is not simply academic, but rather broader, helping students achieve their potential but without committing ethical, procedural or legal breaches. This stance, I admit might be a function of my discipline and the training my Department delivers, but also an awareness of the tremendous amount of stress that many students carry.”
She has also given to research and development at the UWI that has impacted policy and development in Jamaica and the region. Her research and publications are in the area of applied sociology, focusing on gender in the labour market, parenting, and the analysis of living standards, - with implications for social policy. More recently, her research has been focused on the measurement of time use in Jamaica, paying specific attention to gender and time use, - particularly of males’ and females’ participation and time spent engaged in unpaid care and domestic work; and to the issue of time poverty.
As it relates to the wider UWI Community, Dr Ricketts has served on many committees and boards at the Mona Campus, which she has done with integrity and commitment. These most recently include being an Academic Representative on the UWI Appointments Committee; a member on the Sub-Committee preparing Standard 5: Faculty for the UWI Mona Re-accreditation, the UWI Mona Representative on the Open Campus Academic Board & Council; the UWI Mona Representative on the Vice Chancellor’s “Reimagining the UWI 2020/21 and Beyond Committee; a member of the Academic sub-committee reporting on Teaching and Learning, Student Development, Research, Relationship with Colleagues, Quality Assurance & Overseas Students; a member on the Student Disciplinary Committee; a Board Member for the Mona Social Services company and Chair of the FSS Examinations Committee.
In the wider UWI system, Dr Ricketts has served as Internal Academic for the Quality Assurance Review of the Open Campus’ Consortium for Social Development and Research, and currently she serves as the University Examiner for two social policy and administration courses at St. Augustine. Dr Ricketts also serves as either supervisor or advisory committee member for MPhil and PhD students at the Sir Arthur Institute for Social and Economic Studies Mona and the St Augustine campuses, and the Institute for Gender and Development Studies Mona.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence is one of the highlights on the University’s calendar, the Awards recognise high achievement by academic, senior administrative and professional personnel throughout the regional university. The 2020/2021 Awards, which marks the 28th year, will be held virtually—similar to last year’s ceremony—due to regional COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, and will take the total number of awardees to 161. It takes place on November 25, 2021 and will be broadcast via UWItv.
The Faculty of Social Sciences sends congratulations to Dr Heather Ricketts for her years of hard work, dedication and commitment to the University of the West Indies.
We Salute You!