The UWI Promotes Three New Professors

by April 5, 2024

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is pleased to announce the promotion of three new professors. These professors have dedicated their careers to conducting research in various fields such as curriculum, teacher preparation, and school leadership, mental wellness, body image and disordered eating in Caribbean and cross-national contexts, and sustainable construction.

The new Professors are:

  • Professor Carmel Roofe – Professor of Curriculum Studies, Mona Campus
  • Professor Caryl James – Professor of Eating Disorders, Body Image and Mental Health, Mona Campus
  • Professor Festus Olutoge – Professor of Structural Engineering, St. Augustine Campus

The promotion of these professors to The UWI’s highest academic rank was the result of a rigorous review of the quantity and quality of their research, publications, teaching, and other professional activities by both internal and external assessors. All three new professors received commendations for the practical applicability of their research and potential impact value for industry and societal sectors within the Caribbean region and globally.

More about the Professors

Professor Carmel Roofe

Professor of Curriculum Studies at The UWI Mona Campus, and UWI alumna, Carmel Roofe, is an internationally recognised scholar, educator, and expert in curriculum and instruction.  One assessor commented, “Her research not only contributes to the field with innovative, cutting-edge studies, but it also integrates scholarly excellence and rigour with a provocative, unique research agenda for social change.”

Her publication record is described as distinguished and original and provides “ample evidence of the role her work has played in advancing knowledge about the historical and contemporary experience of school education in Jamaica, the necessity of bringing greater scrutiny to school curriculum development/implementation and school leadership in the Caribbean.”

Professor Roofe’s publications include four books – The Lived Curriculum Experiences of Jamaican Teachers: Currere and Decolonising Intensions (2022); A cross-cultural consideration of teacher leaders’ narratives of power, agency and school culture:  England, Jamaica and the United States (2020); Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education: Inclusivity, equity and Lifelong Learning for All (2019); Intercultural studies in curriculum: Theory, policy and practice (2017). She has also edited five special issue journal volumes, published 17 peer reviewed book chapters, 28 peer reviewed journal articles, two peer reviewed conference proceedings, and presented 90 conference papers regionally and internationally. She has served as a member of the International Editorial Board, Curriculum Journal (2019-2023), and as a peer reviewer for several other journals in the field. In 2019, she was appointed Chair of the Taskforce on the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies, American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies. She is also cofounder and President of the Caribbean affiliate of the association. Outside The UWI, her professional work has included consultancies with the World Bank and the Governments of Belize, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia.

Professor Roofe has supervised five MPhil/PhD and 21 Masters research students to completion. She has served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield, England and a University Fellow with the Charles Darwin University, Australia. Her international collaborations have included work with experts from Turkey, Malta, Canada, United Arab Emirates, England, Indonesia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, and the USA.

Professor Roofe has twice been awarded The UWI’s Distinguished Teaching Award—in 2018 and 2022. She also received the 2021 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award for the book, A Cross-cultural Consideration of Teacher Leaders’ Narratives of Power, Agency and School Culture: England, Jamaica and the United States.


Professor Caryl James

Mental well-being, mental health, body image, and disordered eating in context of Caribbean culture and cross-national comparisons are at the centre of Professor Caryl James’ research agenda. One assessor noted, “Her research provides an emic lens through which we can better understand eating disorders and body image in Caribbean cultural settings.”

Professor of Eating Disorders, Body Image and Mental Health at The UWI Mona Campus, Professor James is also a proud alumna who holds her BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Clinical Psychology from The UWI. She was certified as an Eating Disorder Specialist by the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals in 2014.

Her substantial body of scholarly work includes a co-authored monograph The Political culture of democracy in Jamaica (2007); the book Traditional and Western Medicine – Voices from Jamaican Psychiatric Patients. six book chapters; 21 published refereed journal articles with more than ten in progress. She has served as a reviewer for several journals, supervised 25 postgraduate researchers and partnered internationally for research. This work has included collaborations with Utrecht College; Johns Hopkins University contributing to the UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report 2021; the University of New Orleans and the Caribbean Institute for Health Research.

Professor James served as Chair of the Jamaican Chapters of the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (2019-2021) and pioneered the first International Eating Disorder Conference in Jamaica in 2012. She chaired the conference ‘Dying to be Beautiful? Body Image, Eating Behaviours, and Health in the Caribbean’ in 2012 and co-chaired the 2014 and 2017 editions.

Outside of academia, Professor James has served as Honorary Consultant, Department of Child and Adolescent Health Faculty of Medical Sciences at The University of the West Indies Hospital since 2011. She has trained community health aides to administer problem-solving therapy to patients in underserved communities; has delivered several workshops and training sessions; and has also been featured in international and local media. These activities were commended by one assessor as outreach which “brings her knowledge to an audience outside of research and academia [and] in support of professional organisations and activities aligned with her areas of focus.”


Professor Festus Olutoge

Professor of Structural Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Professor Festus Olutoge’s work and research has significance for the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One assessor said that of his 30 years of accumulated research experience, “Dr Olutoge’s work is of very good quality with potentials for making significant impacts in both theory and practice. This is especially as his studies focus on applied research that develop strategies, solutions, metrics, and framework that could be adopted by industry practitioners, researchers and students to develop sustainable construction materials.”

Professor Olutoge’s research activities have included exploring concrete production using sustainable aggregate substitutes such as sawdust, rice husk ash, and palm kernel shells. He has also researched the ‘Structural Characteristics of Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) as Reinforcement in Concrete slabs’. His ‘in-progress’ research includes replacement studies on alternative materials to produce sustainable concrete emphasising the use of agricultural waste.

Professor Olutoge’s outstanding publication record includes over 80 journal articles, 18 conference presentations, three patents for sustainable concrete products, and the co-authored chapter “Combating the Guinea worm Scourge in Nigeria: An engineering Approach” in the book Traditional and Modern Health Systems in Nigeria (2006). In addition to this published work, Professor Olutoge has served as a reviewer for 11 academic journals including the British Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Cleaner Engineering and Technology (Elsevier) and the West Indian Journal of Engineering.

Across his career, Professor Olutoge has supervised 79 MSc students, 7 PhD and two MPhil candidates. His academic and teaching activities have included his role as an external assessor for International Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Engineering candidates at the Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa; Anna University, India; and Acharya Nagarjuna University, India. He has also served as an external reviewer for programmes at the University of Belize.

Professor Olutoge has served as Post-doctoral Fellow, Structural Engineering Research Centre, Chennai, India (2009-2010) and Research Scholar, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of the West of England (2015). In 2017, he received the Seal of Excellence for Research and Innovation with a >90% grant application score from the European Union Framework for Research. Professor Olutoge joined The UWI in 2018. He previously held the designation of Professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

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