My dream of attending the University of the Virgin Islands came to fulfillment in August of 1981. As a student I was granted a work-study contract with the Office of Public Information. I later heard of an opening in the Registrar and the Accounting Office for an assistant. I will never forget the gentleman that hired me, Mr. Robert Chen. He was very pleasant and spoke with a strong West Indian accent. He spoke well of the University and the opportunities it could provide for me and my family if I were hired for the position. I was hired in the University’s Accounting Office in November of 1985.
I completed my Associates of Arts in Accounting and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Business Administration and moved up the ranks from Assistant to Accounting Supervisor and from Grant Accounting to Operations. I have served in several positions within the Accounting Office. The staff sees me as the go-to guy. The University offered me an opportunity to go to school and work at the same time. It has been over twenty years of giving to and receiving from the University.
My most memorable times at the University were in 1989 and 1995 when we suffered two severe hurricanes that cause extreme damage to the university facilities. Both my home and work place were severely damaged from hurricane Marilyn in September of 1995. Despite the tremendous amount of damage, my payroll assistant, Janice Henley, and I, along with a few other faithful and courageous employees from the Administrative and Finance component, came to work. We worked long hours to make sure the payrolls and emergency checks were processed to assist the many university employees who were displaced because of the hurricane. Many of the buildings were damaged. We were able to work on our computers only by generator power some days. Yet, despite the degradable conditions, we managed to have checks done. Some evenings we worked so late, we were offered a room to stay on campus because during this time there was an island-wide curfew in effect. However, my assistant and I would maneuver the dark damaged roads to our homes every night. Some people would say it was a sad time, but I believe there is a time for everything; a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to work and a time to play. Things in life happen for our learning.
|Sharleen Fahie in office in 1992|
I believe in working hard, and giving back a little of what was given to me. Giving back to my community is positive and rewarding in many ways. My job is more than that ‘a job.’ It is a career and a profession which through UVI has allowed me to do so much for the students, faculty and staff. I believe in the University’s mission and vision “… dedicated to student success, committed to excellence, and pledged to enhancing the social and economic transformation of the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Ms. Sharleen A. Fahie is the Accounts Payable and Payroll Supervisor at UVI.