Successful Collaboration Celebrated by Scripps College and Guyana Officials

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“With a little bit of money, you can change the world,” said Dr. Paloma Mohamed, director of the University of Guyana’s Center for Communication Studies. “I am deeply thankful from the bottom of my heart.”

On Tuesday, May 1, Dr. Mohamed joined Scripps College of Communication staff and Guyana’s ambassador to the United States, Mr. Barney Karran, Esq., in celebrating a recent collaborative project between the University of Guyana and the Scripps College of Communication.

During “The Guyana Experience 2008-2011” Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication faculty and staff worked to upgrade the University of Guyana’s communication curriculum and course content.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the project to revamp the University of Guyana’s communication school, which, according to Dr. Mohamed, was on the brink of closer. Several American universities competed for the grant project but the award went to the Scripps College of Communication.

The program also advanced the education and experience of the University of Guyana’s faculty through master’s degrees and professional workshops and worked to upgrade the education and skills of Guyanese journalists and media professionals.

Vibert Cambridge, professor in the Scripps College and coordinator for the project, thanked the many OU faculty members that traveled to Guyana to share their knowledge and experiences with the University of Guyana staff.

According to Ambassador Karran, such projects can make lasting impacts on countries such as Guyana.

“Many nations today are still behind the curve in designing strategies to employ modern means of communication as tools in advancing growth, development and prosperity,” said Karran.

Karran went on to say “In Guyana, information, communication and technology is set to play a transformative role in the educational sector as well as in social-economic development. Ties between Guyana and the United States are very strong, and these ties have been strengthened by the role of the United States as a partner in Guyana’s development.”

Changes made to the program with the help of the Scripps College of Communication have already made an impact on the University of Guyana’s reputation within the Caribbean.

“In three years we went to a cutting edge curriculum. Our curriculum went from being 20 years behind everybody and leap-frogging to a futuristic approach,” said Dr. Mohamed.

“We now have three other universities in the Caribbean who want to use our new curriculum.”

With the help of Guyanese students, Eric Williams, interim director of the School of Media Arts and Studies, completed 12 short documentaries.

The films were screened at the Athena Cinema Tuesday afternoon.