Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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The United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) says that Vincentian national Dr. Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ James-Lyttle will be inducted, along with five other new members, into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 7, 2021 during the academy’s Hall of Fame Banquet.

She is the first Vincentian to be so honoured.

“This is a remarkable slate of inductees from top to bottom, and their athletic accomplishments resonate on a national level,” said Dr. Dan Rose, USCGA Director of Athletics. 

USCGA said that Chateaubelair-born Dr. James-Lyttle was a two-time All-American on the track, earning the honor during the indoor season in 1999 in the 100 meters, before placing second in the 55 meters during the 2000 indoor season. 

She holds the school record in the 100 meters outdoors (12.22) and previously held Coast Guard Academy records in the 55, 100 and 200 meters. 

The Coast Guard Academy said James-Lyttle was a school record holder in two relays when she graduated, and was the 2000 New England 100-meter champion. 

She also won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Award for scholarship and athletic prowess.

Awards and Honours 

When James-Lyttle arrived at the academy for “swab summer” in 1996 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as an international cadet, little was known about her.  In her 4-year stay, she would come out for track and during her collegiate athletic career, she won numerous track and field awards and honours. 

She was awarded the Women’s Auxiliary Fleet Award for greatest impact on varsity athletics by a female cadet at the Coast Guard Academy; the Eastern College Athletic Conference Award for scholarship and athletic prowess; the United States Coast Guard Academy Coaches Award for outstanding contributions in women’s indoor track; the United States Coast Guard Academy Athletic Association Monogram Award for outstanding participation in women’s outdoor track; and All American in Track and Field in both 1999 and 2000. 

This list of awards is rarely collected by a single athlete, Dr. Rose stressed.

Academic excellence 

In addition to her outstanding student athletic career, Dr. James-Lyttle excelled academically. 

She was an outstanding civil engineering student and, in 2000, was the first Black female engineering graduate from the USCGA, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering (Summa Cum Laude).

In furtherance of her education, James-Lyttle moved on to the University of Miami where she received her Master of Science in Architectural Engineering, and a Ph. D. in Civil and Architectural engineering from the same university. 

During her time at the University of Miami, James-Lyttle was honored with the title Featured Graduate in 2005 for her contributions to ‘Novel Work on Sustainability’.

From 2005-2006, Dr. James-Lyttle returned to USCGA on the Booz- Allen Hamilton, Visiting Faculty Fellowship and taught as a visiting professor in the Civil Engineering Section, Rose said. 

While there, she also volunteered as an assistant track and field coach.

When her fellowship ended, she returned to Miami, where she began her lucrative professional practice and blossomed as an entrepreneur. 

Entrepreneurial accomplishments 

In 2007, Dr. James-Lyttle founded IMARA Engineering Consulting, and currently practices in South Florida. 

In that same year, she started co-managing her husband’s, Kevin Lyttle,  musical career and co-founded, with him, Tarakon Records. Lyttle is a Vincentian-born multi-platinum-selling, international soca artist.

In addition, she founder and is co-owner of: KidsVille, a unique indoor playground, babysitting and tutoring concept being developed to be offered at malls in the US; Chill’n Restaurant in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Imara Engineering; Universal EME; and Global 27 LLC, a development company aimed at responsible community development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

She is currently designing a massive, premiere entertainment complex in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Honours and recognition continue to pour in for James-Lyttle:  2011 –  honored as a trailblazer by the Miami Commission on the Status of Women; 2012 – recognised as one of the women who have made outstanding contributions to the University of Miami community; 2014 – named one of Miami Dade County’s 25 most influential and prominent Black women in business and leadership; 2015 – presented with the Visionary Award by the Brooklyn, New York-based, Vincentian philanthropic group, Vincy Cares, Inc; 2017 – honored by DDEA organization as a humanitarian for work done with the Janice Lyttle Foundation. 

She also sits on the board of Recapturing the Vision and The Galleon Foundation.

Dr. James-Lyttle told THE VINCENTIAN on Monday that her induction in the USGCA Athletic Hall of Fame would be “quite an honor. 

“I got involved in track and field because I was told that I was ‘fast’”, she said. “It became my ticket to acceptance into the academy on account of being good at the physical part of the Coast Guard Academy’s entrance exam. 

“It, thereafter, became a part of who I am, because it provided me with the discipline, personal growth, leadership skills and confidence I needed to succeed at the academy and beyond,” she added. “I am so blessed.”


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