Following his graduation at MSU Jean joined the coaching staff while still competing in the Long and Triple Jump events. During this time he represented St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Central American and Caribbean senior Championships, the North American, Central American and Caribbean Area Association (NACAC) Under 25 Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Pan American Games.
Jean Cummings has always been a very successful academic student. At the St Martin’s Secondary School he was most outstanding leading by example. He always managed a happy balance between his athletics and his academics, ensuring under the guidance of his parents and with yeoman support of his brothe
r, that he never neglected either.
When he sat the Caribbean Examinations Council in 1997 Jean readily passed 10 with relative ease. It was no surprise therefore that when he undertook the SAT that he would excel there as well. This latter success saw him leave the St Vincent Community College for MSU after only one year of study, having considered himself sufficiently mature for the challenges posed by university education.
As a student at MSU Jean majored in biology. Later he decided to add a special focus on molecular and cell biology.
Jean’s outstanding academic prowess saw him attaining eight (8) consecutive semesters on the Dean’s List of Excellence. In 2002 he graduated with highest honours.
In August 2003 Jean enrolled in a PhD Program in Molecular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed his Doctorate in 2008 having paid special attention to the impact of HIV infection on a particular class of T-cells.
His athletics career completed after more than 11 years, Jean accepted an offer to do Post-Doctoral research on a vaccine for HIV at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, where he now lives with his wife, Aliyah.
Jean-Saville Cummings remains a very proud Vincentian. He loves his homeland. He has understood the importance of his athletics career to the man he now is.
Perhaps the best way to conclude this Column is to quote from a piece penned on him by his colleagues:
Jean describes his career in athletics as having been fortunate. He counts himself lucky to have been able to work with patient and knowledgeable coaches, and with having a supportive family who always encouraged him to push himself on and off the track. Jean is well on his way to achieving the scientific success he has long craved, but he admits that he does not know how his life would have turned out had it not been for his involvement in competitive sports. He encourages the young athletes of all sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines to continue to strive for success on the field of competition, as well as in the classroom.