School of Communication Professor Receives a National “Medal of Merit”

One of the most prestigious national awards from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean went this year to Dr. Humphrey A. Regis, a professor in the School of Communication and the former dean of the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College here at Texas Southern University.

The Saint Lucia Medal of Merit (Gold) went to Dr. Regis for his “long and meritorious service in Education and Journalism,” an official release from Saint Lucia said.
The bestowing of that honor from the Office of the Governor General was part of the celebration of 38 years of the independence of the island nation after more than 150 years of continuous and direct colonial domination by Great Britain.

It recognizes just under 50 years of initiatives as a teacher, more than 45 years of reports in the print media and broadcast media, and more than 30 years of research and scholarship on journalism and mass communication, by Dr. Regis, including one commended contribution he made in collaboration with colleagues at TSU.

Dr. Regis started as teacher at an elementary school even before he received formal training in education, but after he completed his studies at the Saint Lucia teachers College, he combined teaching at a secondary school with service as a reporter for Radio Saint Lucia and service as a contributor to The Voice of Saint Lucia.

He later applied lessons from his studies of journalism and mass communication at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels when he served as the news director of Caribbeana, broadcast on the public service WPFW-FM in the Washington, DC area.

Doctor Regis presenting his books to the Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy

Dr. Regis (right) presented his books Africans Before Caricom (left) and Liberated Academics in Studies of Caricommoners (center) to Her Excellency, the Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy

He was a member of the Caribbeana team that won from the National Endowment for the Arts a special award that funded the production by the team of the nationally circulated radio series Caribbeana: History in Sound.

One of the longest-running contributions of Dr. Regis is a project that introduces the millennia-old history of what he calls the “World African Community” to students in secondary schools, learners in adult education, and members of the general public.

One reviewer more than 10 years ago hailed the initiative and the publication by Dr. Regis of the related volume Africans Before CARICOM as a “one-man revolution” in education in the island, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Greater Caribbean.

Another contribution includes more than 30 years of research and publication by Dr. Regis on the relationship between on the one hand mass communication and on the other hand such imperatives as cultural definition, cultural continuance, cultural change, cultural domination, orientation to reference groups, and location in global social space, in the island, sub-region, and region.

Yet another is the collaboration of Dr. Regis with Dr. Andrea Shelton of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University in the initiation last July of the “study abroad” of education in health and service in health in Saint Lucia.

The book that presents the results of the more than 30 years of research, Liberated Academics in Studies of Caricommoners, was prepared by Dr. Regis with the help of then School of Communication masters degree student Emmanuel Nwachukwu, then Honors College faculty administrators Dr. Candy Ratliff and Dr. Gloria Batiste Roberts, and Miami Dade College professor Dr. Leroy Lashley.

One reviewer called the book a “scholarly, authoritative, remarkable” volume that among other things advocates a potential Caribbean “creolism” that may serve as a model for world “globalism.”

The proceeds from the sale of the book go toward the Cheikh Anta Diop Awards Program that Dr. Regis has established at his former secondary school, Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School.

The Diop awards help students pay for their books and examinations in history, in an attempt to normalize the study of the subject from Caribbean perspectives as a key to the Caribbean understanding of the Caribbean self, and as a result the key to the Caribbean imagining and Caribbean realizing of Caribbean destinies.