“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” – Oprah Winfrey
To some degree that quote spotlights the life and achievements of Professor Doris Rogers who passed away on September 22, 2016. She was 86.
Professor Rogers had a love for art and she found a way to share that love with many others during her tenure as a teacher of science, and later as a lecturer of fine arts at the University of Guyana.
Her undying contribution to the enrichment of art education in Guyana was recognized at the last convocation of the Institute of Creative Arts where she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and was admitted as a Lifetime Fellow of the Institute.
Dr. Rogers has also been recognized as “a distinguished national expert in the fields of Art Education and the preservation of the oral traditions.” She has been classified as a painter extraordinaire, a Professor of Art and an Art Educator.
Dr. Rogers’s academic accomplishments saw her being honoured with the status of Professor Emeritus by the University of Guyana following her retirement from that institution in 2008.
In her early years, Professor Rogers was a teacher in Berbice— a teacher of science before the opportunity to study art became available. That decision not only benefited the professor but it caused a paradigm shift from science to the fields of Fine Arts, university administration, research, and art education.
Her academic accomplishments include her receiving a UNESCO Fellowship to the South Australia School of Art, she then studied Art at Howard University followed by a Doctorate in Art Education at Penn State University.
Professor Rogers had an overseas career which saw her assuming the position of Programme Coordinator at the Paul Robeson Cultural Centre, Instructor in Art Education at Pennsylvania State, and senior academic at the University of Benin in Benin State, Nigeria from 1981 to 1988.
When she returned to Guyana, Professor Rogers served as Art Specialist to the Ministry of Education and taught at The Bishops’ High School after which she started her distinguished service to the University of Guyana in 1988.
Her unique contribution to the development of the university included her design and introduction of the Bachelors of Art Degree programme in Fine Arts in 1990, and the important establishment of Art Education on both the Turkeyen and Berbice Campuses while she was Coordinator in the Division of Creative Arts from 1988 to 2003.
While at the University of Guyana, Professor Rogers worked on improving the image of the institution while at the same time enhancing the quality of the graduates (art students) by starting up an attachment programme for final year art students at the
Tugaloo College, Mississippi.
An annual public exhibition by University staff and students was also initiated.
Professor Rogers also established the Bachelor’s Degree in Art at the University to allow graduates of the Burrowes School of Art to complete a full degree at UG in two years.
She was an executive of the Guyana-Suriname Friendship Society and was instrumental in cultural exchanges between the two societies. She was also the founder of RAPAHA an East Berbice cultural organization.
Emeritus Professor Rogers’s value to the University of Guyana and to the nation was also enhanced by the fact that she was an exceptional painter, celebrated among the foremost national artists of Guyana.
She has researched the art and its techniques in Nigeria, and led a small team of leading University of Guyana artists namely Bernadette Persaud and Philbert Gajadhar on a professional visit to India.
As a painter, she has been exhibited extensively in India, Nigeria, Guyana and North America. (Taken from GNNL)
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