Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 18, 2024 (SKNIS): In a significant milestone for educational collaboration, Ike Innis, a distinguished teacher from the Washington Archibald High School, has become the first resident of St. Kitts and Nevis to benefit from the ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the local Ministry of Education and Southern University (SU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
The MOU, signed in September 2023, allows citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to enjoy in-state tuition rates at SU, making it the most accessible U.S. institution for those seeking advanced degrees. Furthering this collaborative spirit, the Ministry of Agriculture also entered an MOU with SU in December 2023, aiming to enhance agricultural research and programmes.
Mr. Innis, a respected educator since 2008, recently embarked on his journey at SU’s main campus, focusing on Urban Forestry within the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources. His pursuit of a PhD aligns with the national objective of fostering sustainable development in urban spaces across St. Kitts.
During the recent Southern University Board of Supervisors meeting on January 12, 2024, Mr. Innis shared his aspirations.
“I am both proud and humbled to be the first (hopefully of many students from St. Kitts in the years to come) to undertake this journey where the acquired skills, concepts and knowledge would be used to further the Federation’s development,” said Mr. Inniss. “In order for citizens to pursue higher education in relevant fields of study, a trail must be blazed and it starts with me. I intend to bring developmental ideas and leave with some, also leaving a positive imprint and standard for other nationals to emulate.”
He further elaborated on his mission.
“Acquiring up-to-date knowledge and eventually implementing the necessary sustainable development goals, principles, and best practices is essential for utilizing urban spaces, both built and natural, in St. Kitts and Nevis. This is particularly crucial given the challenges posed by local population growth and distribution. My utmost effort is required to address these needs effectively,” he said. “I aim to set high standards and will do the best that I can to achieve success, represent the Federation positively, and upon returning, make meaningful contributions where necessary. This includes making the lives of the residents easier through effective planning, policy management, utilization of green infrastructure, and stewardship of urban spaces.”
Mr. Innis extends heartfelt gratitude to the academic Board of Directors at Southern University and A&M College, the Government of St. Kitts, and especially Her Excellency Hadiya Claxton, Special Envoy for Investment, Development, and International Business Relations, for facilitating this landmark opportunity.
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