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Service Civil Servant Graduates Make The Grade

Service Civil Servant Graduates Make The Grade
First row, l-r: Indrani Tahal, Dawn Evadne Ebanks, Cherry Whittaker, Hilary Cordeal-Christian, Mollyann Moore. Back row l-r: Shawn Bazil, Diane Dey-Rankin, Winsome Prendergast, Sandra Robinson, Shamua Spencer, Barrington Hart, (missing from picture) Dorisley Jackson, Joey Scott, Damian Thaxter and Ave Watler-McField).
(Media credit: Elphina Jones, GIS)

GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman (GIS) -- Thirty-one government workers graduated from the Cayman Islands Civil Service College with family and friends at the University College of the Cayman Islands recently.

Among the group, 22 graduates earned honours or merit, achieving GPAs of 3.5 or 3.0 and above, respectively.

The graduates who obtained their career-relevant certificates and associates degrees in public administration were in high spirits following the successful completion of their studies.

Many government entities represented among the graduates included: Customs, Immigration, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Shipping Registry, the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports; the Health Services Authority and Cayman Airways Limited.

Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson and the Chief Officer of the Portfolio of the Civil Service, Gloria McField-Nixon attended the ceremony at the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall.  Both senior civil servants congratulated this year’s cohorts and expressed their pleasure at the numbers who had passed with honours in the associates degree and with merit in the certificate programme.

In all, 16 civil servants gained certificates in public administration and 15 graduated from the more advanced associates degree programme. The curriculum for both courses included history and government of the Cayman Islands, ethics in government, elements of public administration, basic communications in the workplace and computer applications in government.

Mrs. McField-Nixon said: “The results of our Civil Service graduates are particularly impressive given that they all held full-time jobs while studying in the evenings.

 “Embarking on career-oriented study, such as that offered to government employees, is undeniably challenging but can result in enormous benefits for both the employee and the employer.”

Assistant Registrar at General Registry, Evadne Ebanks earned the highest marks of all the students on the associates course. The West Bay resident’s impressive 3.92 GPA meant that she was the class valedictorian.

A senior staffer in the section dealing with applications for companies, partnerships and trusts; Mrs. Ebanks she said “jumped at the chance to enroll” on the course in 2012 to improve both personally and professionally. 

“I knew attending the Civil Service College would be a challenge in balancing work, school, church and family responsibilities,” she added. “But I decided that with God’s help and the support of my managers, family, and friends I would take on this challenge.

“Long sleepless nights, early mornings before work and long weekends were all part of this sacrifice.  Even during my recovery from surgery in Florida I ensured that my assignments were emailed in order not to fall behind in class. There were times when it was only one or two of us in class with the professor but I did not let that discourage me. I was there to learn and better prepare myself for the next step in my career and continued progress as a public servant.”

She, as well as several of her cohort, cited having a support network as key to staying on track, especially when things got tough.

“The support that I received from my family was tremendous, especially from my husband, Armando, who would stay up with me all hours of the night while I studied or completed an assignment just so I wouldn’t be alone,” she noted.

“Before all this I simply did my work and went home to repeat the process the next day. Now I’ve a far deeper appreciation of my job, and how it fits in with other aspects of government work and this has increased my job satisfaction and my competency.”

Mrs. Ebanks found the course so rewarding that she has been encouraging other staff to enroll.

The Deputy Governor said that the valedictorian’s work ethic was an example to colleagues throughout the service.

“Her obvious dedication and hard work, balancing the rigours of academic life, working  in a busy department while maintaining a comfortable home-life and outside commitments is a tremendous achievement; and shows what can be done if one sets out to excel and takes the practical steps to do so.”

He encouraged civil servants interested in enrolling on professional courses to contact the Cayman Islands Civil Service College at