ST. THOMAS – Dominicans are known to a creative people who are not ashamed of displaying their talents wherever they go and for the last couple of months, Dominican students attending University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) St. Thomas campus have been doing just that. They have had an impressive representation on the Dean’s List for 2009 and 2010 and members have been recently inducted into honor societies.
On Apr 19, they will join others in celebrating their literary and creative talents during the launching of Perspectives: A Collection of UVI Voices, an anthology of poems, short stories, personal essays, in-depth research papers and visuals arts.
The book is published by Buzz Media, a student organization led by Dominican Leslyn Tonge and will feature some of her own work along with that of other Dominicans including Ezra Williams-Daniel, Derron Ambrose, Cleveson Daniel, Delia Bruno, Tarsia Luke and Leechang DeFraites.
According to Tonge, a sophomore majoring in Communications and English, she along with Dr. Dolace McLean, Esq. an English professor at UVI had been toying with the idea for some time. However, it was after reading an essay submitted by fellow Dominican, Cleveson Daniel that she was further motivated to put some serious actions behind the talk.
“Cleveson’s essay, ‘An Eighteen Wheeler Ride to Success,’ to me was written from the heart. After reading it, I felt that there needed to be a way for writings like that to be shared with others,” Tonge said.
After three semesters of planning and weeks of editing, the final product is a 165-page book, which features the work of thirty UVI students on topics ranging from homelessness, religion, racism, and everyday life experiences.
Derron Ambrose, a graduating senior, majoring in psychology submitted a research paper, which provided an in-depth look at the symbolisms in Rastafari. His essay allows readers to take a deeper look into the Rastafari culture providing for better understanding. His articles are expected to be used as a tool to motivate other students to expand their creative skills.
Ezra Williams-Daniel, also a graduating senior submitted a speech she delivered in one of her classes entitled, “Happy One Hundred” a witty and inspiring homage to aging as told through the eye of an elderly woman.
When asked how she felt about the publication, Williams-Daniel indicated, “I applaud Leslyn and Dr. McLean for such a brilliant idea. When our students do well, it is essential that we showcase what they have to offer for the world to see.”
Tonge, who is very active in campus life at UVI, is currently the secretary of the Student Government Association. She is also the President of the Student Technology Fee Committee and a senator in the UVI Senate.
After her term as secretary ends this April, she intends to run for the office of SGA President.
“I enjoy being part of the overall development of my peers and so, I am extremely honored to use my creative skill-set as the vehicle that will motivate others to strive for excellence in whatever they do,” Tonge said.
‘Perspectives’ is just one of the publications published by Buzz Media. The organization also published a bi-weekly electronic news magazine called, ‘The Buzz’.
‘Perspectives’ will be officially launched in a lunchtime reception at the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library on the UVI St. Thomas Campus.