By Zuleika Lewis
TAIPEI — In 2013, Vincentian James Campbell began his academic journey of becoming an architect.
Six years later, he holds a level 2 certificate in Mandarin Chinese, a Bachelor of Architecture from the Chaoyang University of Technology and a Master of Architecture, specialising in urban design from the Tunghai University.
Campbell pointed out that receiving the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarship was an amazing opportunity.
“I not only got to learn academically, but I got to see the outside world and experience different cultures while I was at it. It give me an opportunity to go outside and learn new things, thing that I can now bring back to develop SVG,” he said.
Campbell’s academic successes were historical in Taiwan, a nation of 23 million people, as he is the first Vincentian to graduate from both institutions.
“I feel extremely proud as a Vincentian and as a black man. I was able to create many firsts and to date I am the only black graduate of the Chaoyang University of Technology.
“For the first year of my bachelor’s degree, which was taught entirely in Chinese for four years, I wondered why there weren’t any other black students at the school, but then I realise it was like a blessing to be the first, and told myself I must leave my mark,” he said.
While he stressed the importance of a good education, he also encouraged persons to get involved in extra-curricular activities.
This, he said, has afforded him the ability to represent his schools in various competitions, including dragon boat team, track and field, exhibitions and a trip to Indonesia.
Campbell is a graduate of Barrouallie Secondary School and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Division of Technical and Vocational Education.
He was born in Spring Village and thanks his mom, Ethel Campbell, for being his support system and Peggy Carr, a Taiwan-based Vincentian, for her guidance while living in Taiwan.
“My mom is my number one motivation. If there was anytime I felt like the journey was too hard, I would always remember all the sacrifices she made for me and that kept me pushing.”
Having completed his studies, Campbell hopes to continue his career in architecture after accumulating experiences in both St Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan.
He thanked Vincentians Moulton Mayers and Hermus Nelson for giving him the opportunity to work with them. His experiences included his first stint as an intern draftsman, formulating designs and working on multiple construction sites.
Campbell is setting his sights on owning a business and assisting other young and upcoming Architects.
“I am in the process of fine tuning my new business Camative Architectural Designs (CAD) which offers architecture, interior and landscape services.
It was officially registered in early this year and can be found on Facebook and Instagram @CamativeDesigns or via email through firstname.lastname@example.org.