Barnes, Vernie Clarice


Dr Vernie Clarice Barnes has contributed to formal and informal education in Montserrat, the wider Caribbean, UK and Africa for over 40 years. She is currently Principal of the Montserrat Community College and formerly Professor of Education and Psychology at the William VS Tubman University, Liberia.

Her engagement with educational and psycho-social and cultural issues has paralleled Montserrat’s experience over the past several decades. Her work on the effects of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 led her into the field of Gender and Disaster. She was thus well prepared to help on the ground with counselling training workshops for community leaders, women, children and churches when the volcano blew in 1995.

From 1997-2000, based on her experiences in Montserrat and her work with the voluntarily evacuated in the UK, she successfully pursued a PhD at the University of Birmingham. Her thesis The Montserrat Volcano: a Study of Meaning, Psychosocial Effects, Coping and Intervention has been the basis of several papers, book chapters and regional and international presentations. She has also researched and publicised the life and work of Olaudah Equiano, contributing her findings and insights to a major travelling exhibit mounted at the Montserrat National Trust.