Who is Shernelle Fullerton?
I am a social worker, an educator, wife, and a mother. I am passionate about education and I am delighted when persons fulfill their career goals. I love quotes (inspirational sayings) and many years ago my grandfather shared with me … good better best, never let them rest, until your good becomes your better and your better best. These words motivate me to always aim higher.
Tell us a bit about your day to day.
My days during this pandemic are very different than a few months ago but my goals remain the same. In my professional role I provide daily assistance for my students and as a mother I support my children in online school. As the coordinator of the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) – Barbados Campus, enhancing the student’s experience is a daily commitment. This can involve contacting various organizations for student internships or reaching out to community and other organizations to form partnerships and market our programmes. In addition, various tasks are completed to ensure that students are on track with their programme and I also work on strategies to enhance operations at the Campus and student life.
Tell us about your career journey.
In 2003 I graduated from Caribbean Union College (now University of the Southern Caribbean) with a degree in Behavioural Sciences. I did not find a job initially and signed up to become a volunteer with The National Council on Substance Abuse. I highly recommend that persons spend some time each week or month in volunteer work; I had a fantastic experience. I learnt team work, professionalism and a greater love for my community. After a while I started teaching and taught both primary and secondary school. I really enjoyed the experience and loved my students dearly.
During this time I was unsure what direction to take as I broaden my career in the helping profession. I did a lot of internet research, sought advice and asked many questions from past lecturers and knowledgeable professionals. I then decided on a Master’s in Social Work which I completed at Howard University in Washington, DC. I have not regretted that decision.
After teaching at the primary and secondary level I really wanted to move on to tertiary instruction. This took some time as my focus shifted when I became a mother and stayed home for about seven years. When the opportunity finally opened up at USC and other learning institutions, the experience was just as rewarding as I anticipated. I absolutely love teaching at the tertiary level as I get to focus on a specific area of study.
I was very happy and fulfilled teaching university courses when another opportunity presented itself and now I am the Coordinator of The Barbados Campus - University of the Southern Caribbean. In this role, I utilize my Social Work training daily. I advocate for the students, manage their individual career journey and utilize best practices with the aim of continued improvement of the Campus.
We know that the University of the Southern Caribbean offers online learning. Tell us a bit about that.
Yes, the online platform is one that we have embraced for many years and since Covid-19 we are widening our scope of distance learning. Some degrees can be completed fully online (like Business Administration, Psychology and others) which allows a student to work and still attain their educational goals. Other programmes like Nutrition and Dietetics and Family and Consumer Sciences are blended as they contain practical courses. We offer undergraduate degrees and certificate programmes and you will learn a lot more about our offers on our website.
Our classes are small so we have a personal touch in our entire operations. We have highly qualified lecturers who work with each student closely as they pursue their degree. We are a Christian University offering holistic development.
We know you're a very busy professional. What keeps you motivated?
The end result! Knowing that each student is on a journey of excellence and that in a few years they would have gained their bachelor’s degree.
How can our readers connect with the University of the Southern Caribbean?