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Senator, Dr. Trevor Munroe, Professor of Government and Politics at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus was conferred with an honourary doctoral degree – Doctor of Social Science – by the Florida International University (FIU), during the Fall Commencement at the Miami campus, on December 19.
Dr. Munroe, who is also President of the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU), is the first person from the English-speaking Caribbean to be honoured with this distinction by the University.
Commending Dr. Munroe, President of the FIU, Dr. Modesto A. Maidique, lauded him for his long-standing involvement with labour unions and his contribution to strengthening Jamaica’s system of governance.
Describing him as Jamaica’s leading labour unionist, Dr. Maidique commended Dr. Munroe for his efforts at the forefront of a mixture of notable, distinguished intellectual, political and labour contributions, transforming him into a model scholar, activist and politician, not only for his native Jamaica but for the Caribbean and beyond.
Dr. Munroe began a long and distinguished career in the Jamaican political arena, after completing his education at the University of the West Indies (UWI). A Rhodes scholar, he completed his doctorate at Oxford University, London.
With vast knowledge and expertise in Caribbean democratic governance, constitutional reform, narcotics trafficking and labour market reform, he has written and co-authored numerous scholarly works, including eight books. His academic career has allowed him to be the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships conducting research fellowships at universities in Canada and Europe.
Dr. Munroe has been commended for his notable contribution to the public service, and this is evident in his ongoing commitment in civil society and the parliamentary arena.
He is now serving a second term in the Jamaican Senate, having been appointed by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson in 1998. During his legislative tenure, Senator Munroe has paid particular attention to issues of transparency, accountability and legislative reform in strengthening Jamaica’s system of democratic governance.
A key player in critical partnerships involving the island’s private sector, trade unions and government, he continues to serve as Director of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, and a member of the Jamaica Labour Advisory Council. He also continues to serve as a consultant on several international academic and policy agencies.
Dr. Munroe was also founding member of the now defunct political party, the Workers’ Party of Jamaica (WPJ).
In accepting the award, Dr. Munroe praised the college administration for the diversity in its enrollment, as nearly 80 per cent of students are minorities. Many Jamaicans also attend the college.
He encouraged the nearly 600 graduates to play their part in the process of change, which was facilitated by the struggles of previous generations.
Regardless of race, religion or language, Dr. Munroe told the students that “as one human kind, you must recognize, tolerate and value our diversity”.
With a student population of over 37,000, Florida International University is the largest tertiary institution in South Florida.