Trellor Fraites Recognized With Women In Science Award

Mar 13, 2023
Trellor Fraites Award

On Wednesday, March 8, the St. Kitts Department of Gender Affairs, in collaboration with the Women Empowering Girls organization, presented Trellor Fraites, director of the Division of Laboratory Services, the Prime Minister’s Award for Women in Science. Fraites was presented with her award during a celebratory International Women's Day ceremony hosted by Her Excellency Dame Marcella Liburd, the first female Governor General of St. Kitts, and attended by the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

The annual awards recognize Kittitian and Nevisian women for their outstanding contributions in the areas of science, technology, economic impact, and to building a better St. Kitts and Nevis. Thanks to some teamwork among her laboratory services staff, Fraites was invited to and attended the ceremony completely unaware she would be recognized for her contributions mentoring young women and laboratory staff members throughout her career with RUSVM and beyond. 

“Honestly, I just wanted to cry,” shared Fraites as she described the mid-ceremony realization that she would be receiving an award that night. “I'm from humble backgrounds. My mother is a farmer, and she is always pushing me to work hard. For me in that moment, I said to myself, ‘this is for you mom’ because I've seen her struggle and make sacrifices just to get me where I am today. I couldn't do it without her.” 


Trellor Fraites

Fraites served as director of lab services for 10 years, but her journey with RUSVM extends further to her first job on campus as a diagnostic technician. As she gained experience with the laboratory services department, one of her mentors at RUSVM suggested she move to the United States to pursue a degree in medical technology. At this suggestion, Fraites left her job, enrolled into the medical technology program at the University of Houston, and later transferred into the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center clinical sciences program to complete her degree. 

She returned to her native St. Kitts to marry her husband, and after settling back into her new family life back home, she returned to RUSVM in a senior diagnostic technician role. She credits Mary Anna Thrall, DVM, MS, DACVP, professor ex-officio of clinical pathology, and Sean Callanan, MVB CertVR PhD FRCPath DipIECVP FRCVS, dean of RUSVM, as two of the many mentors she has learned from on her journey to where she is today. Now a decade later, Fraites oversees all daily operations of the biomedical sciences laboratories, including anatomy, diagnostic, pathology, and histology labs as director in the Division of Laboratory Services. 

“When I got into this role, I made a promise to myself that it's not going to be just about me moving forward; I need to bring others with me,” said Fraites. “I wanted to be a leader to help persons to advance their careers. I think when we talk about embracing equity, it takes all of us women and men to assist each other in getting there.”

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