Dr. MoniKa Lawrence holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies. She has also studied in the USA, South Africa and Israel. She joined the Department of Arts and Humanities as an Adjunct Lecturer and was later appointed Assistant Professor and Artistic Director of the Performing Arts at UCCI. Since joining UCCI, she has developed dance courses for the Associate Degree, Certificate and Continuing Education Programmes. Dr. Lawrence brings a wealth of experience in teaching, performing and artistry in the development and introduction of courses in dance and related areas. She was instrumental in initiating an Annual Spring and Christmas Concerts at UCCI involving the community and students since 2011.
Prior to joining UCCI, Dr. Lawrence taught as an Adjunct Lecturer and Artistic Director for the Centre for the Performing Arts at University of Technology in Jamaica. She has also worked extensively with the Government of Jamaica in developing creative concepts, choreography and costume designs for most major Government functions in Jamaica, such as The Independence Grand Galas, The Prime Minister's Awards functions, and The Opening Ceremony for Cricket World Cup in 2007. She has worked as creative consultant for private enterprises such as J Wray and Nephew Ltd, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Guardian Life Insurance Company.
Dr. Lawrence is founder and Artistic Director of The Stella Maris Dance Ensemble of Jamaica, which was founded in 1994 and is renowned for its innovative presentations both internationally and locally. Stella Maris is the first and only dance company from Jamaica that was selected twice to tour Japan. She was also a Principal Dancer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica under the direction of the late Hon Prof Rex Nettleford and currently is a choreographer with the company.