Meet Samantha Porter. She is a hardworking, critical and creative thinker, who is also a passionate and engaging teacher and learner. Samantha is a Lecturer at the Division of Teacher Education at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College. In every aspect of her academic sojourn, Samantha has exemplified the best of UWI attributes. It is no wonder then that she graduated in 2011 with a B.Ed. in Mathematics Education with First Class Honours.
Porter is now a proud Fulbright Fellow, having received a Fulbright Faculty Development Scholarship to read for her Masters in Mathematics Education at the North Carolina State University. When asked about how she would describe her time at The UWI Open Campus, she instantly replied, “a great experience”. Importantly, she also wanted it to be known that her involvement at The UWI “was on par with the rest of the world…it was indeed a stepping stone for [my] next educational journey.”
Porter notes that the performance of students in mathematics at all levels of the current education system has been of great concern to parents, teachers and policymakers alike. She further stated that over the past decade or so, statistics from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) reveal a constant decline in the pass rate in mathematics, ranging from 35 percent to just above 20 percent.
It is against this background that Porter emphasizes that there is greater need for more trained Mathematics Educators in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the region as a whole. She hopes that completing a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education will not only serve to further her personal development, but will also expose her to new research and development in the subject area. As a result of her continuing academic work and research, she hopes to capture the best practices occurring in other learning environments and therefore be able to apply those knowledge and skills locally and regionally. Most importantly however, Porter has a strong desire to contribute to the transformation of Mathematics Education in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by assisting teachers to acquire adequate training and inspiring them to develop a passion for teaching and learning mathematics.
There is yet another reason why Samantha Porter is inspired to continue climbing the ladder of academic pursuits and success – her children. According to her, she wants to set a positive example for them to emulate. She wants them to know, in no uncertain terms, that ‘hard work brings success’.
Upon her return to the Caribbean in the near future, Porter hopes to pursue doctoral studies with The UWI – her alma mater. For her, there is no doubt that pursuing higher education is one of the best decisions that anyone can make. According to her: “It is the gateway to tremendous opportunities such as job promotion, personal development and the ability to impact your world in a meaningful way.”
The UWI Open Campus wishes Samantha Porter much success in her academic pursuits.