Published: Wednesday | August 15, 2012 - Jamaica Gleaner
Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
their names were announced as the only married couple receiving their Doctor of
Philosophy degrees in in Education, loud cheers erupted. And rightly so. It's
not every day that a couple achieves this feat at the same time. Even louder
cheers filled the sweltering gymnatorium at the Northern Caribbean University
(NCU), when upon receiving their diplomas, the happy graduates sealed the
achievement with a kiss.
But, just how did they arrive at this feat? The Gleaner spoke to Drs Phillip and Donna
Powell-Wilson about the journey.
The Wilsons have been married for four of the 10 years since
they met. They opted to tackle their doctorates in 2002 after completing their
master's degrees together. "My husband wanted a study partner so he asked
me to do it, she revealed. They selected different topics, and she also
completed a second master's degree during the period after getting a
NCU President Dr. Trevor Gardner (left) presents Dr. Phillip Wilson while his wife Dr. Donna Powell-Wilson looks on
"He continued in the field of leadership, and I focused on
curriculum instruction," Powell-Wilson, a Kingstonian said; her husband is
from Wait-A-Bit, Trelawny.
Currently head of the Mathematics department at the Shortwood
Teachers College, Mrs Wilson said she is characterised as someone who cannot
remain quiet for long. "It is a milestone achievement," she said of
the PhD, but with both of them coming from large families, and being the only
ones to attain that level of education, they had ample motivation.
"It is my philosophy that education is the only path out of
a humble situation. Through education, I will be able to achieve
anything," she stressed. The journey for Powell-Wilson has been fraught
with adversity as she lost her mother during her second year of teachers'
college and three of her nine siblings later. But, she said there were some
very supportive persons around, chief among them her church family at Elim Open
Bible in Portmore, St Catherine.