Born to Venezuelan and Jamaican parents, Dr. Luz Longsworth is a quintessential Caribbean national whose life and life’s work have taken her all over the region from Belize and the British Virgin Islands to Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago. She began her University career at a very young age, starting first as an Assistant Lecturer in Spanish Language and Literature at the Department of Spanish at the Mona Campus. Her career then led to her moving into University Administration initially as an Assistant Registrar and then working in the Office of the Principal at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) as Executive Assistant to the now retired nuclear scientist and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Mona Campus, Professor Gerald Lalor. After leaving Jamaica to settle in Belize to raise a family, her professional work continued in private business and in academia through teaching and mentoring.
With the transformation of the University’s outreach sector in the late 1990’s she was tapped to lead the University’s Centre in Belize as Resident Tutor. Soon after, she succeeded the retiring Director of the School of Continuing Studies, Professor Lawrence Carrington. With the advent of the Open Campus in 2008, Dr. Longsworth was appointed the Director of the Open Campus Country Sites, leading the merger of the School of Continuing Studies and UWI Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) operations. She then returned to the Mona Campus to lead the new Western Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay from 2012 until 2015. Her considerable leadership skills in transforming higher education were duly recognized by the current Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who appointed her to act as the third Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus of The UWI in March 2015. Dr. Longsworth was formally appointed to the position a year later at the April 2016 meeting of the University Council. Dr. Longsworth’s main research interests include leadership development, change management and organisational development and transformation. In November 2016, The Commonwealth of Learning bestowed the title of Honorary Fellow on Dr. Longsworth in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education, distance and online learning.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus is one of the four campuses that make up the pillars of The UWI, which was established in 1948. The institutionally accredited UWI serves the people of the region by offering higher, distance and continuing educational products, research and innovation and outreach services from all of its locations across the Caribbean region.
A true beacon of hope for Jamaica and the Caribbean. Continue to shine!
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