Priya N. Kissoon

Dr. Priya Kissoon was appointed a lecturer in Human Geography at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, in January 2012. She earned her Ph.D. from King's College London, University of London, in the U.K., examining the experiences of homelessness in Toronto, Canada and London, England from refugees' perspectives of displacement and settlement. She went on to conduct Postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia, exploring and documenting the housing experiences of irregular migrants in Vancouver and Toronto. Both her Doctoral and Postdoctoral studies were funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Priya arrives to UWI with experience as a Lecturer at UBC in Social Geography and at UofT in Urban Geography.

In the Caribbean region, her research will continue to explore topics related to migration and destitution, such as the socio-economic re-integration of unsuccessful refugee claimants and criminal deportees, ethnic diversity and social cohesion, vagrancy, and street-dwelling. She will also continue to cultivate her research on housing cultures, conditions, and experiences in the Caribbean, including developing geographically relevant research on homelessness, which is sensitive to vernacular architectures and local indicators of poverty.

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Both Dr. Kissoon's research and teaching are strongly rooted in community action. Her approach to teaching builds from the idea of the classroom as a microcosm of society. As such, student-oriented instruction, active-learning, critical engagement, and respect for oneself and one's peers are key to academic excellence. Moreover, since the university classroom is a dynamic space defined by the relationship between the instructor and students, Dr. Kissoon considers higher-education a two-way process of dialogue and debate on theories, concepts, and issues that are critical to understanding society and place. Every student becomes a teacher-- what we have learned we will teach.

Scholar's prayer: From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth • From the laziness that is content with half-truths • From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth • O, God of truth, deliver us. • 

Human Geography, St. Augustine

Geography brings together Earth's physical and human dimensions in the integrated study of people, places and environments. There are two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography. Human geographers work in the fields of urban planning, transportation, marketing, real estate, tourism and international business. Physical geographers on the other hand study climate patterns, land forms, vegetation, soils and water. Geographers also examine linkages between human activity and natural systems. They study issues of global warming, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding. Geography is an attractive major as its theories and methods provide marketable skills and the broad perspectives on environment and society that are applicable over a broad spectrum of occupations. Geography also provides a sound foundation for students who plan to enter graduate work in a variety of fields, from geography to business, land use planning, law and medicine.

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