After not finding stable employment at home, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell gets job at Howard University

After not finding stable employment at home, Dr.  Rhoda Arrindell gets job at Howard University

Dr. Rhoda Arrindell signing the guest book at Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley's residence last week.

PHILIPSBURG--After encountering challenges securing stable employment on her beloved island, linguist, author, academic consultant and former Minister of Education Dr. Rhoda Arrindell was forced to seek employment elsewhere and has landed employment as a lecturer at Howard University in Washington DC, USA.

    Howard University is regarded as one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world. “After not being able to find stable, sustainable employment, I sent my resume to a number of schools abroad. I had some really good interviews and was eventually made an acceptable offer by Howard,” Dr. Arrindell, who amongst others holds a doctorate in English specialising in Caribbean Linguistics, told The Daily Herald on Monday.

    She accepted a one-year contract, with an option to extend every two years up to three times. Dr. Arrindell will be teaching rhetoric, writing and Caribbean Literature during the first year and she is excited to embark on the new journey. “I see this as a great opportunity to grow and expand on the work I have been doing, especially in the area of people empowerment,” Dr. Arrindell said.

    At this moment, she does not have any plans to relocate to Washington DC and says she sees it more like commuting to work.

    Asked what this would mean for the One SXM Association to which she is affiliated, Dr. Arrindell said it will not have any impact. “Thanks to our structure and the great team we have, the work with One SXM will continue uninterrupted. As vice-president of the Caribbean Studies Association, I see this post as complementary to the work we’re doing with the Caricom Reparations Commission and the African diaspora, especially as it regards reparative justice,” she said.

    She was also asked about sentiments that her working at Howard University will contribute to the brain drain on the island. “I don’t subscribe to the notion of brain drain in this instance because my brain will continue to work for St. Maarten, so there will be no drain. What concerns me more is the direction the island is heading where we are importing more foreign labour for higher level positions rather than use our own talent or train people to move up the ladder,” she said.

    “I don’t think people in charge of higher education institutions on the local landscape have an appreciation for academic talent because too many see the work in academia as merely showing up to teach classes and attend meetings.

    “When you ask if I feel I was appreciated here at home given my qualifications and experience, I would say I felt appreciated by those that matter. I know that some people have issues with my politics and may have used that against me, but I’ve never had any complaints about the quality of my work,” she said.

    “I would add that I see this opportunity as a door that was opened for me, and I’m stepping into it based on faith, confidence, and the knowledge that this has been how I’ve managed to make it this far in life.”

The Daily Herald

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