All posts by Above Prestige Public Relations

Above Prestige Public Relations is a boutique public relations firm based in the Washington, DC metro area. The firm speciaizes in publicity, brand management, event management and lifestyle marketing. The founder is, LaDàna Drigo, an International Communications & Public Relations professional. LaDàna is available for project work both domestic and abroad.

Dominican-born Dr. Arlyne Simon Among Women in STEM Exhibit at Smithsonian During Women’s History Month

By Natalie Grim and Nicole Neuman on March 14, 2022

Photo Credits: Monthly Portland (MICHAEL NOVAK)

Originally published on &

Dominica born biotechnology inventor, Dr. Arlyne Simon, along with other prominent scientists was honored in the Women in STEM statue in The Smithsonian’s “If Then/She Can” Exhibit, which boasts the largest collection of all-female statues ever in one place.

Simon moved to the US to attend college at age 17, eventually landing at Georgia Tech as a chemical engineering major and working in biomimetics—the study and emulation of nature to solve problems.

A job offer at Intel brought her to Oregon, where she currently designs CAT scan and ultrasound machines. Meanwhile, she juggles roles as a mentor and speaker. As an ambassador in the If/Then program, she’s creating a set of STEM trading cards for kids to learn about real-life women scientists. She’s helped Girl Scouts in Atlanta develop business ideas and spoken at the Eugene
Science Center.

During her PhD studies in bioengineering at the University of Michigan, she says she “really gave birth” to her creativity. There, she worked on a blood test to detect when a cancer patient is rejecting a bone marrow transplant—a project for which she was issued her first patent in 2011.

While still in her doctoral program, she launched a biotech start-up called PHASIQ with her professor and adviser Dr. Shuichi Takayama and a classmate, securing funding from the National Science Foundation.

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Where Eagles Dare: Dominica-born Ethiopian Airlines captain blazes trail in African skies and beyond – Dominica News Online

By Gabriel J. Christian, Esq

Photo Credit: Dominica News Online

Originally published on September 22, 2021

Dominica-born Ethiopian Airlines’, Captain Ronald Hodge, is a  1981 graduate of the Saint Mary’s Academy. In the summer of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gabriel J. Christian (President of Rebuild Dominica, Inc.) shared that he called Rwanda Airlines pilot David Johnson of Dominica: a distinguished and experienced aviator.

After their usual chat about the governance of our island and related matters, Christian reminded David that they must do an interview. He and Irving Andre always felt it the duty of Pont Casse Press  to record Dominican people’s history – especially those who have accomplished much.

Dominica-born Ethiopian Airlines Captain Ronald Hodge

Such an interview with David would inspire young people to greatness by following role models such as himself. Christian urged David towards such an interview by stating, “David, you must be the only Dominican pilot flying African skies.” “No,” Johnson quickly responded. “I am not. Another Dominican is doing what I am doing. Captain Hodge of Ethiopian Airlines flies all over Africa and beyond,” Johnson went on.

Christian had not heard of Captain Hodge’s aviation exploits and was so fascinated that he  immediately researched his profile online. Within minutes Christian had found Hodge on Linked In. He quickly messaged Hodge and in no time, Christian’s phone rang. A very resonant and authoritative voice came on. “What’s going on, Gaibu?’ Johnson said. It was Hodge.

Time and distance may have dimmed Christian’s memory, but Hodge was on target. Hodge reminded Christian that they knew each other and that Johnson’s mother, Agnes Hodge, had been a nurse. Johnson further stated that his mother had worked with Christian’s mother, Alberta Christian, when they were young nurses in the early 1960s. Hodge was born in 1965 from the union between Agnes Hodge and bus driver Joseph Hodge.

“How did you get to be a Captain at Ethiopian Airlines, ” Christian asked? Captain Hodge went on to tell a fascinating story. Hodge was born at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Goodwill, Dominica. He then related his time at Teacher Rose’s famous Fields Lane Kindergarten in Roseau, Dominica. Then it was off to Roseau Boys School, Goodwill Junior High School, and the forbidding Common Entrance, which one needed to pass to enter High School back in the day. Hodge passed and gained entry to the well-regarded Saint Mary’s Academy over which principal  Egbert Germaine and the Christian Brothers linked to Iona College in New Rochelle, New York preside.

It was an excellent education that Hodge received, and he appreciated it. A 1981 graduate of the SMA, Hodge worked with the Ministry of Communications and Works, Post Office and then Customs. He associated with local pilots flying Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) such as Captain Derek Perryman, David Armour, and others such as Paul Edwards, Ian Pringle, and CK Shillingford. Hodge credits these men, especially Perryman and Armour,  for encouraging his growing desire to embark on a career in aviation.

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First responders on the Commonwealth of Dominica will soon benefit from a new supply of face masks donated by the US non-profit Rebuild Dominica. The 6000 masks, costing about $10,000 USD were gifted to Rebuild Dominica by the Caribbean Disaster Relief & Recovery Alliance of which Rebuild Dominica was a founding member. According to CDRRA Treasurer Loughton Sargeant of St. Kitts, “Rebuild Dominica was an early member of the CDRRA which was formed to assist our region in 2017 after Hurricane Irma struck St. Thomas and Tortola.

Now COVID-19 is on the rampage we have to heighten awareness of safety measures and so we are happy to aid our home islands to ensure our people remain safe.” The Chief Administrator for Rebuild Dominica Major Francis, former Commandant of the Dominica Cadet Corps stated in response to the donation, “This fine gesture towards the people of Dominica is most welcomed at this time. We are determined to keep the rate of infection on Dominica low and we promoted the use of sneeze shields early on. Now with this donation we can make sure our nurses, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians and police have protection against this pernicious virus. We thank Loughton Sargeant and the CDRRA for acting in the best spirit of Caribbean unity.”

According to Rebuild Dominica Medical Director Dr. Sam Christian “We believe in the science of masking and other elements of hygiene to fight this Covid 19 pandemic and are gratified that our Caribbean Diaspora is rallying to the cause of the public health emergency in the region.”

Rebuild Dominica wishes to thank the CDRRA, its members, supporters, allies and boosters for this generous gift to the people of Dominica.