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2011 Events

Visit of President of Manhattanville College

March 17, 2011
Dr. Smith addressing students at The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) (State Department)

Dr. Smith addressing students at The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT)

Dr. Molly Easo Smith, COSTAATT President Mr. Emmanuel Gonsalves, Dr. Duane Smith with COSTAATT staff (State Department)

Seated: Dr. Molly Easo Smith, COSTAATT President Mr. Emmanuel Gonsalves, Dr. Duane Smith. Standing: COSTAATT and Embassy staff

Dr. Molly Easo Smith, President of Manhattanville College, visited Trinidad on March 12-16, accompanied by her husband, Dr. Duane Smith, and one of her students, Keston George, who is from Trinidad.   During her visit, Dr. Smith accompanied the Ambassador on a meeting with the Acting Prime Minister; the Minister of Science, Technology, and Tertiary Education; and the Minister of Public Administration.  During this meeting the government of Trinidad and Tobago expressed a desire to identify areas of collaboration, particularly in the form of mutually beneficial exchanges of students and faculty.   The Minister of Tertiary Education also requested a trip to the U.S. to tour college campuses.

Dr. Smith also met with the Presidents of UWI, UTT, and COSTAATT, to discuss in more detail areas of mutual interest and possible models for exchange agreements.  At UWI in particular, President Professor Sankat would like to see UWI collaborate with Manhattanville in the areas of film, creative and festival arts, and pre-med.  At UTT, Dr. Smith addressed a group of approximately 15 students on the topic of “Women and their Progress in Higher Education”, sharing her personal journey.  This talk was well received and furthered the Embassy’s Women’s History Month message.

At the secondary level, Dr. Smith met with a number of guidance counselors at the Ministry of Education and a group of students at ISPS.  At both visits she spoke about the benefits of the American higher education system and in particular of liberal arts colleges, as well as the American university admissions system in general

Dr. Smith further met with the Executive Director of the local American Chamber of commerce.  During this meeting Dr. Smith learned about AmCham’s work with various universities as well as secondary students through the Productivity Forum program. 

Finally, Ambassador Welters invited Dr. Smith and her husband to a personal dinner and also hosted a luncheon at her Residence in her honor.  Guests at the luncheon were selected for their involvement with Trinidad’s educational system.  There were representatives from each of the major universities, as well as from the government. Dr. Smith shared her inspiring personal journey at this event as well.