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Gain An Edge: Ub Graduate Has Designs On Leadership

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Deanya Knowles, designer of the UBFIT logo for the inaugural UBFIT Fun Run Walk Skate at University of The Bahamas.

On May 25, University of The Bahamas will host its historic first commencement ceremony since its charter on November 10, 2016 . . .

Growing up in the tranquil, picturesque settlement of Bunches, Long Island, Deanya Knowles enjoyed painting the beauty surrounding her and one day thought she might become an artist.

With more and more exposure to new media, she began to embrace her growing interest in computers, cameras and editing. Today, her creativity is infused in the visual arts.

Upon graduation from NGM Major High School in 2013, Ms Knowles enrolled at the then College of The Bahamas (COB) and majored in Media Journalism. Her excitement and creativity grew each semester along with her skills in directing, cinematography and editing.

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Deanya Knowles with friends Jasper Williams Ward and Georgette Albury at the UBFIT Fun Run Walk Skate.

“I can recall in my video class my lecturer, Henrietta Cartwright, asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated. I said to her, ‘Honestly, I don’t know. It’s either graphics or film.’ She said to me ‘Don’t limit yourself to just one. You can do both.’ Today, I am aiming to do just that,” she recalled.

That advice served her well. Even before graduating with a bachelor’s degree she has laid the foundation for a successful career. Ms Knowles is a graphic designer with Three Amigos Media, also known as 3AM, a company that three ambitious University of the Bahamas (UB) graduates founded which specialises in graphic design, photography and videography. This spring, she will graduate with a BA degree in Media Journalism, one of the fastest growing fields in the country.

Last November, the same month COB transitioned to UB, she also made history: she was a part of a team of media and communications professionals from the Bahamas and Belize who won the Caribbean’s first mediathon hosted by Compete Caribbean. Compete Caribbean is a private sector development programme that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean.

“It was fun getting to know people from different countries and working on a project that we all seemed passionate about,” she said. “The process consisted of us creating an idea, pitching it, and implementing it. Our idea, ‘So You Wanna Be STEM-tastic!’, is an augmented-reality book aimed at inspiring children ages seven to 11 to become interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The book, when the photos are scanned with smartphones, turns into mini-videos of successful Caribbean persons working in Science, Technology and Engineering. I gained so much from this experience and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.”

Recently, Ms Knowles - a former Public Relations Director for UB’s Student Government Association - made her mark again in the creation of the branding for the highly successful UBFIT Fun Run Walk Skate. “When asked to come up with a unique brand for UBFIT, I did some research as to what makes a fun run event special, what would draw the eye. I wanted to incorporate the University colours and the words ‘UBFIT’ as part of the actual design. The right font is crucial and so I added movement by incorporating persons running and walking. The end result is a simple, clean design I’m very proud of. I’m happy that I was able to contribute to my institution and such a memorable event, leaving my mark behind for others to see.”

Ms Knowles intends to enter the workforce with a goal to save money and seek scholarships to enter graduate school in Spring, 2018. She represents one of the student leaders that UB has been intent on developing for more than four decades and if her recent accomplishments are any indication of future success, there is more to come.

• “Gain An Edge” is a weekly collaboration of the Lyford Cay Foundations, Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and University of The Bahamas aimed at promoting a national dialogue on higher education. To share your thoughts, email gainanedge@tribunemedia.net.

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