UB Launches Master’s in Educational Leadership in Orange Walk
The University of Belize (UB) officially launched its new Master’s in Education Leadership at the Gala Lounge in Orange Walk Town on Friday, March 8th, 2019. This program was developed jointly with the Vancouver, Canada based Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
The Master’s of Education Leadership aims to advance Belize’s existing framework in education, with a focus to incorporate broad contemporary concepts of leadership, which can be applied to the educational sector, especially our schools and colleges. Therefore, the program will develop the capacity of Belize’s existing and future teachers and administrators into competent and effective leaders who will guide our schools and educational institutions for national development. The addition of the Master’s program complements UB’s Education programs at the Associate and Bachelor level.
The launch saw the participation of UB’s many stakeholders, including the program’s first cohort of thirty-eight students, the Ministry of Education, and various government and quasi-government agencies. Informational and insightful presentations were made from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Education, the Mayor of Orange Walk, the focal point officer for the Commonwealth of Learning in Belize, the President and the Dean of Faculty of Education and Arts of the University of Belize.
UB Hosts ICJ Youth Forum
The issue of the ICJ is one of national importance and one which will impact every Belizean, present and future. As such, the University of Belize (UB), as the national university, recognizes the importance of ensuring all Belizeans are informed on this matter, particularly our young people.
Within this context, UB hosted an ICJ Youth Forum, where it made presentations to delegations of 300 students from junior colleges, the ITVETs and several youth- rehabilitation centers. The forum aimed to allow students of this voting age to become knowledgeable of the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute and to discuss the merits/demerits of submitting the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the ICJ.
Students were also able to vote in a mock referendum, where they were asked to vote in favor of or against, taking the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the ICJ.
Of an audience of 300 participants, a total of 120 voted. The votes were are as follows:
64 – YES
56 – NO.
The University of Belize is pleased to see students provide thought and direction on Belize’s path forward and would like to thank its partners in education for a successful forum as well as our sponsors, who saw the importance of ensuring our leaders of tomorrow have a space to voice their opinions.
As Belize’s national university, the University of Belize is committed to the principle of representative democracy and will continue to champion spaces such as today’s youth forum that will strengthen and provide a space to reflect the voices of Belize’s young people.
Indian High Commissioner Tours the IBCE
The Indian High Commissioner, Ambassador Muktesh Pardeshi, who is based in Mexico City, made a visit to UB’s Belmopan Campus to inspect the progress being made on the India-Belize Center for Engineering’s buildings and the receipt of the engineering equipment from India. The Ambassador was pleased with the progress made by UB to date to get the Engineering Centre developed. A work in progress.
UB President Participates in Prime Minister’s Forum
The President was invited to participate in the Prime Minister’s Forum held on February 21, 2019 at the Belize City Civic Center. The President was asked to speak on “The Digital Ecosystem Framework: The National University of Belize’s Commitment to Human Development”. The President noted that to propel innovation, “The prerequisite for creating an innovative society is education of its citizens. Investing in education, and tertiary education in particular will drive the innovativeness and competitiveness of a nation through training of high level professionals. Knowledge in their disciplines but ingrained with a culture of critical and creative thinking, with a spirit of inquiry and problem solving and who are empowered to implement change – to execute.
The ecosystem that supports higher education and innovation should encompass the public sector – the Government of Belize, the private sector – business, industries and the training, research and development institutions – with the national University of Belize being a critical element. This must be a partnership, as individually none can succeed alone for Belize’s advancement.”
UB receives BZ$ 900 from three Canadian Student Interns to Plant Trees on the Belmopan Campus
Canadian student interns Joe Renton, Paige Crowell and Joanna Dicks donated Canadian $200 each to purchase trees. This is part of a Canadian government initiative to purchase and plant trees in the University where the students intern. They were in Belize for a semester at the Environmental Research Institute, UB as part of the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The UB Campus Beautification Committee and the University’s President thank the interns for their generous and thoughtful donation.
UB’s History Students Participate on ICJ Panels
Our History Department had four (4) students representing the University of Belize in two ICJ discussions February 27th, 2019– one was held at the Bliss Institute in Belize City (broadcasted by Love FM) and organized by the Rotary Club and one at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio (broadcasted by KREM Radio). We had three student representatives in Belize City, one for the yes vote (Ian Young), one for the no vote (Christian Cansino) and one alternate (Kevin Berganza) if in case one student was unable to be a panelist. We had one student representative (Abbie Godoy) in San Ignacio; she was there as a University student and to be the voice for her generation.
Ms. April Martinez who coached the students attended the one at the Bliss Institute and twelve (12) History students accompanied her to support our panelists. These panelists were there to be the voice of the students, educate the audience and present their views on the ICJ. The interaction from the audience was a positive one and our students were well prepared for this discussion based on their statements and answers to the audience.
Students and lecturers from the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) and the Faculty of Education and Arts from the Belize City Campuses were in the audience accompanied by the Dean, FMSS and Chair (FEA) Belize and the Dean of Student Affairs. The University of Belize congratulates our History Department students on a job well-done.
UB Meets with CEO Dr. Percival Cho
Dr. Percival Cho, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration, visited our campus and met with Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon and Mr. Arnulfo Knatun of the Institutional Advancement Office. The meeting focused on how the Ministry and the University can collaborate on Research and Development projects that can impact on sustainable development and preservation of our environment. A suitable Memorandum of Agreement is being developed to foster this work and relevant Faculty will be informed more on this development.
UB Early Childhood Stimulation Center Celebrates Childhood Stimulation Month
“Hug Me, Listen to Me, Read with Me, Help Me Grow!” is the theme for this year’s Child Stimulation Month and the UB Early Childhood Stimulation Center is celebrating with fun activities for the young children.
Bird banding and Birding activity at UB Belmopan Campus
Bachelor Biology students in the Natural History of Vertebrates class were treated to the bird diversity of Belmopan campus on Saturday February 2nd. Ms. Abidas Ash from ERI, along with Mr. Eduardo Barrientos, Field Technician, Science Dept., Mr. Alson Ovando, NRM student and Dr. Latha Thomas, FST lecturer assisted in the activities. Birds were trapped using mist nets and after careful observation of their features such as sex, age, health; they were banded and released. A walk through the campus revealed around 25 species of birds including to the excitement of everyone, a group of early migrant visitors from USA, the Cedar Waxwings.
Students Celebrate International Mother Language Day
The Inno’on La Oh Student Club celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 27, 2019 at the Belmopan Campus. The event included stories in the Mopan Maya, Que’ Chi and Yucatec languages and also harp music. The attendants also had the opportunity to enjoy the traditional sweet tortilla.
HR Department Trainings – Supervisor and Customer Service
The session for supervisors was to assist them in recognizing and understanding their roles as Human Resource agents as a part of their regular functions. The session covered the basics of Human Resource Management and allowed for supervisors to take a deeper look into the University’s Faculty and Staff Handbook specifically as it relates to discipline and performance appraisals. The session targeted senior and middle managers and was conducted by our HR Director Ms. Hertha Gentle.
As it relates to customer service, the session was geared towards improving the customer service skills of our front-line personnel, including but not limited to secretaries, accounts personnel, Records personnel and general admin staff. The staff were exposed to topics like telephone etiquette, dressing for the office, handling difficult customer etc. The session was very interactive and saw staff involved in roles plays. The session was conducted by Ms. Sharett Yearwood – Lecturer and Chair from the Faculty of Management and Social Science -Belize City.
Meeting with Police Regarding Campus Security
The President and the Acting Chief Public Safety Officer, Mr. John Salam, have been following up on the matter of increased security in and around the Campus. The President, Mr. John Salam and Mr. Francis Burns have been touring the Belmopan Campus and evaluating potential areas of vulnerability. Increased lighting and traffic control through the Campus were identified as areas to be worked upon. The Department of Public Safety also had a meeting with Inspector Santiago Pott of the Belmopan Police Department and the President also met with him.
Semester Kick Off 2019
Semester “Kick Off” was held on Wednesday February 20, 2019 at the Gazebo commencing at 1:30 p.m. and culminating at 5:00 p.m.
The purpose of Semester Kick off is to contribute to the improvement of Student Life on Campus. Promoting Students Participation/Involvement in order to enjoy a memorable Student life on campus.
This event is held for the participation and the benefit of all students, faculty and staff of the University of Belize. This year we had the participation of 16 Booths displaying student organizations that students can join on Campus. The booths highlighted student clubs, services and opportunities at the University of Belize.
The “Kick off” was closed with an ice-cream eating contest sponsored by Christians on Campus along with hot dogs sponsored by Student Government.
UB Students Participate in Youth Mainstreaming Conference
On February 27 – March 1, the University of Belize was offered the opportunity to send youth representatives for the three day “Youth Mainstreaming in Development Planning” conference held at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. UB was represented by Tivi Ramos, Tara Scarborough, Danay Chavarria and Elaida Coc. Each participant acted as a consultant in the achievement of the overall objectives of the conference which were:
1. To arrive at an increased understanding and consensus on the principles, approaches and outcomes of youth-centric national planning.
2. To enhance participant capacities in the use of tools and techniques of analyses, planning and implementation and monitoring and evaluation for youth mainstreaming.
3. To arrive at a discussed and agreed strategic framework for youth mainstreaming in Belize, for initial directions for the Commonwealth Caribbean.
4. To identify key stakeholders and first steps for an accountability mechanism for Belize.
UBFSA holds ICJ Presentation
The presentation on the Belize-Guatemala dispute that occurred on February 20, 2019 was a collaborative effort between The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association(UBFSA) and the History Department. On April 10, 2019, Belizeans will be asked to vote on whether or not they want to go to the International Court of Justice to resolve the Belize-Guatemala Dispute. Consequently, the UBSFA felt that it was part of their obligation to ensure that faculty and staff were well informed on Guatemala’s claim to Belize and the proposed settlement of submitting the issue to the International Court of Justice. The presenters for the session were Mr. Cesar Ross, lecturer of the History & Anthropology Department at the University of Belize and Ambassador Alexis Rosado, Belize’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala. Following the opening ceremony, Ms. Erica Aguilar, director of ceremony, asked everyone for a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Joseph Sampson (UB’s history lecturer), Masaki Yanai and Dwayne Cummings (UB’s students).
As part of the informative session, Ambassador Rosado presented facts about Belize Guatemala dispute and Mr. Cesar Ross shared the historical context. Among others, the question and answer session included questions about the treaties, the legitimacy of Belize’s borders, the trustworthiness of the members of the International Court of Justice, and the risks and benefits about submitting the dispute to the ICJ. Overall, the session was very informative and interactive.
Creative Mural Painted at RLC Building
The National Student Union of Belize (NSUB), in conjunction with artist Everett Reynolds from Waukegan Illinois, decided to paint a mural depicting Belize’s Mayan and African Heritage. The artist has been living in Chicago for the past 11 years but grew up in Belize prior to. Everett is a self-taught artist who has gained international recognition for his talent and passion for art. He was visiting his home country for a period of two weeks when he painted this mural at the University of Belize Central Campus. The Student Union heard of his visit by word of mouth and thereupon made contact. Nonetheless, the mural serves as a prelude to a series of other murals that will highlight other aspects of Belize’s multicultural heritage and will be painted across other campuses in Belize. The Union hopes to collaborate with other Belizean artists that reside both in the country and abroad and to encourage students to express their artistic talents being a part of this activity. The NSUB believes it important to promote Belize’s national identity in an ever changing society. The union would like to thank the ISCR (The Institute for Social and Cultural Research) for financial support, the staff at the University of Belize’s Physical Plant Management and to all the students who participated in making this mural a reality.
UB students also displayed their creativity by painting the flags of the different countries that are represented at UB. The President congratulates all who made their creative displays on our campus possible.
President with Department of Youth Services and Commonwealth to Discuss Education and Crime
A team representing the Government of Belize and Commonwealth visited the University of Belize on February 25, 2019 to get the University’s perspectives on priorities for Youth Services in Belize. There was a strong focus on education and training for young people, especially those young males in our urban centres and who may fall prey to criminal activities. Education and skills training, employment opportunities, new housing opportunities for neglected communities were also discussed, from a Caribbean perspective also.
UB Meets with UT Tyler
A team from the University of Texas at Tyler led by Dr. Thomas Guderjan visited the University of Belize including the Department of Engineering in Freetown Road. The UB and University of Tyler have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is focused on partnering in key new developmental areas of Archaeology and Anthropology in the History Department and possibly Engineering, from Faculty of Science and Technology. It is expected that this MOU will be signed by the Presidents of Tyler and UB in May/June of 2019.
Recruitment Meeting to Review Strategies
The President summoned a meeting of UB’s team on recruitment led by Admissions Coordinator Mrs. Camilla Barker and Registrar Mrs. Rose Pineda on February 26, 2019. Recruitment strategies for all of our programs were reviewed. The President noted that all at UB are Ambassadors of our University and hence promoting our University.
Meeting with NICH to Follow Up on MOU
Having signed a MOU with National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) in 2018, there was a follow up meeting on February 26, 2019 with representatives of NICH to treat with pressing areas of collaboration in the Creative Arts and in History. Dr. John Morris, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, and Mr. Gregory Vernon, Director of Institute of Creative Arts represented NICH, with a representative from the Ministry of Education (Culture) also present. President Sankat, Mr. Arnulfo Kantun and Chair in the Faculty of Education and Arts represented UB.
President Meets with Representatives from University of Edinburgh Napier
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon met with Mr. Grant Mackerron, Academic Director of The Business School of Edinburgh Napier, and Mr. Andrew Cawley, CEO of Southpoint Education International on March 7, 2019. This meeting explored areas for potential collaboration with the Scottish University.
President Visits Agricultural Schools in the North
The President along with Mr. Arnulfo Kantun and lecturer Mr. Francisco Tzul paid a visit to the Belize High School of Agriculture (BHSA) in San Lazaro, Orange Walk and met with its Principal Ms. Lisbeth Delgado. The President also had the opportunity to speak to the Fourth form students and some Faculty members. He explained the importance of food and agriculture and encouraged some to continue their studies at the University of Belize, with opportunity from Certificate through Associate Degree to a Bachelor’s Degree. President also toured the faculties with the Principal, herself an UB alumna.
President, Mr. Kantun and Mr. Tzul also made a similar tour to the ITVET in Corozal, and met with its Principal, Mr. Elbert Worrell and some Faculty, at least one of whom was a graduate of the UB Central Farm Campus.
UB Meets with the Resident Representative of JICA in Belize
The purpose of the meeting was to follow up on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported programme at the Regional Language Center, in Spanish Language Education. This facilitates the training of Japanese students who come to Belize. The President thanked JICA for its support of our RLC Language Program.
Taiwanese Ambassador Visits UB
The new Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Remus Chen, brought a delegation from the Taiwanese Hospital Group, including Li-Chen Liu – Director, Chi Mei Medical Center International Affair Department; Yu-Feng Tian, MD – Medical Deputy Superintendent and Ying-Chieh Su so as to give them an appreciation of the University of Belize and its current and future work as a Faculty of Health Sciences. The Group heard from the Dean of the Faculty, Ms. Leolin Castillo and Dr. George Gough, President of the Belize Medical Council. Dr. Fred Shyu, member of the UB Board of Trustees facilitated the visit, and for this the University of Belize is very appreciative.
Ambassador of Cuba Pays Courtesy Visit to UB President
The Cuban Ambassador H.E. Lissette Perez Perez along with Counselor Orestes Hernandez made a courtesy call on the President of UB on March 12, 2019. Future areas of collaboration between UB and the Cuban Embassy were discussed, beginning with the Cuban movie entitled, “Forbidden Flights” which was screened at UB at the Jaguar Auditorium on March 14, 2019 as part of the NICH’s “VIII Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase”.
UB Holds Candle Light Vigils in Honor of Masaki and Dwayne
Masaki Yanai and Dwayne Cummings both promising students of the University of Belize were recently murdered. This was devastating for many UB students, faculty and staff who had in one way or the other interacted with Masaki and/or Dwayne. The students got together and held a vigil in Belize City and another in Belmopan in honor of their friends.
The President thanks the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Jean Perriott and her staff for their efforts of organizing this event at the Belmopan Campus and Chair of the Engineering Department and his colleagues for their efforts in Belize City.
Students Hold Rally Against Violence
Students of the University of Belize held a peace rally against the crime situation. The murders of Masaki and Dwayne along with others who have suffered because of crime motivated the students to take action and start finding solutions. They invited speakers Mr. Louis Wade Jr. and Ms. Audrey Matura to speak. A recorded speech from Mayor of Orange Walk Town (Dwayne’s community) was also played. They spoke on the importance of realizing how real crime is and how it can affect anyone if action is not taken. The speakers also spoke on the importance of being educated and identifying the root causes of the crime problem in Belize.
Ms. Aleesi Chun, the UB student who came up with the idea of the rally, also spoke to the students, encouraging them to join the efforts not being silent to crime.
The students then proceeded to march to the National Assembly building where they also held a brief ceremony.
On a recent issue, the Marketing and Communications department sent out a Security Alert on Friday, February 15, 2019 with tips on how to treat with personal security in these challenging times. Please review at https://www.ub.edu.bz/security-alert-crime-and-safety/.
Student’s Music, Chat, and Talent Hour
The event was well attended with approximately 40 students excluding the guest artists and program coordinators.
Attendees found the event enjoyable and expressed their desire to return to the next edition.
Future plan for the Student’s Music, Chat, and Talent Hour if the program continues to be a success is to have the event streamed live across all campuses to have full students’ participation.
The University students extend their sincere appreciation to Student Affairs Department for supporting the launch of this event.
Human Resource Department Trains Staff in Records Management
A Records Management Training was held for all Secretaries in the University on February 1, 2019. The purpose of the training was to provide our Secretarial staff with the guidance needed to implement and support a University-wide Records Management System. This will allow for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about the University.
This session was attended by 26 Secretaries, three Chairs and one Dean.
UB President Meets with CARICOM Youth Ambassador H.E. Kris Miller
H.E. Kris Miller was recently appointed as CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Belize. He met with President Sankat and Dean of Student Affairs to express a desire to work closely with UB students and the student government. The President congratulated Mr. Miller on his appointment and assured him of the University’s support – one area that the President indicated that needed more communication was on the opportunities for Belizean students/graduates presented by the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
H.E. Miller is a UB student and has also been part of the student government.
UB-Texas A&M Study Abroad 2019
At the opening of 2019, the University of Belize hosted student groups from Texas A&M International University and Texas A&M University in Kingsville who visited Belize to engage in a culturally immersive experience while working with the students, teachers and principals of various Belizean primary schools. Their objective was to study communication disorders exchange knowledge of tools and techniques for speech therapy and teaching practices.
Texas A&M students & professors visited various schools throughout the country as far as Santa Anna Government School, in the Toledo district. Students also spent two days at the Belmopan pre-school on the University of Belize´s Central Campus, and a total of two weeks at the Stella Maris Primary School in Belize City.
While on the trip, the group also visited some of Belize’s most popular destination towns such as San Ignacio, Caye Caulker and Placencia. Groups from Texas A&M have been visiting Belize for the past six years.
NRM Students Visit Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve to have an on the ground experience about Coastal Zone Management
As part of the Bachelor Natural Resources Management (NRM) program at the University of Belize, the students and lecturer of the Coastal Zone Management and Policy course visited the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve on February 4th 2019. This field component was funded by the Turneffe Atoll Trust’s (TAT) awareness campaign program of their recent document entitled, “Risking the Atoll”. The lecturer of the course, Ms. Cecy Castillo took this opportunity to illustrate to students the “on the ground activities” occurring in ecologically sensitive coastal areas in Belize thereby giving students an opportunity to assess the current coastal zone management plan guidelines with current practices. Mr. Eden Garcia, Marine Biologist also accompanied the group and brought a rich experience to students as he highlighted the impacts of development on Permit fish, one of our valuable fish species in the sport fishing industry.
UB Board of Trustees Welcomes Ambassador of Republic of China (Taiwan) H.E. Remus Li-Kuo Chen
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. Harrison Pilgrim and a few members of the Board of Trustees of UB, together with Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat welcomed the new Taiwanese Ambassador H.E. Remus Li-Kuo Chen. Both Ambassador and members of the Board of Trustees expressed a great desire for steady collaboration between the Government and people of Taiwan and the University of Belize.
The Ambassador reminded that the Regional Language Center (RLC) was financially supported in its building by the Government of Taiwan and he hopes that the Institution is delivering on its mandate. He wanted to know more about UB and the President shared a lot on our Transformational Plan. He also expressed the desire to work closely with UB in the immediate future. President Sankat also invited him to visit our Belmopan Campus so that he can gain insight into our challenges and opportunities. Chairman, Mr. Pilgrim subsequently thanked the Ambassador for his kind hospitality.
UB President Meets with Student Governments
The President met with Student Government leaders on February 15, 2019 at the Belmopan Campus. In attendance was Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Jean Perriott; Director of Physical Plant, Projects and Facilities, Mr. Francis Burns; and Vice President, Dr. Mariot Simon. The Student Governments presented their projects which they hoped to have completed before demitting office at the end of the Academic Year.
At the Belmopan Campus the students were keen to have a “palapa” constructed by the bus stop to facilitate students. They also expressed a desire to have a water fountain on campus. The President gave the green light for Mr. Burns to begin work on the palapa.
Belize City students wanted classrooms ABC at the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) renovated with new dividers and air conditioning. Again, the President gave Mr. Burns the green light to proceed. Students also wanted the parking lot at the Faculty of Education and Arts paved with the support of the Mayor of Belize City, Mr. Bernard Wagner. A meeting will be convened by the Belize City Student Government with the Mayor to discuss this matter. The President reminded the students on the need to cover the Basketball court of FMSS. In Punta Gorda, the need for a Café was raised and Dr. Perriott and Mr. Burns are to follow up.
Finally, the students raised the matter of Adjunct Lecturers not delivering on their duties, especially in Belize City. The Vice President was asked to follow up with Deans as a matter of urgency.
UB President Presents on Opportunities for Collaboration at COBEC Conference
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat made a presentation at the 31st Conference of the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) held at a San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) on February 7, 2019. The presentation was entitled “UB and Opportunities for Collaboration” and can be accessed at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/cobec-presentation-ub-and-opportunities-for-collaboration/.
In attendance was also the Vice President of UB, Dr. Mariot Simon who also attended the subsequent business meetings. Bernard Watler, Dean of the Faculty of Management of Sciences (FMSS) and Ms. Ethel Arzu, Quality Assurance Officer were also present. On the first day of the conference a workshop on Entrepreneurship was attended by some faculty members of FMSS.
The University of Belize will be the hosts to the next Winter Meeting of COBEC.
UB Meets with the US Embassy Belize, Military Liaison Office
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat along with Business Development Officer Mr. Anulfo Kantun; Director of Physical Plant, Projects and Facilities Mr. Francis Burns; and Technical Assistant Mr. Xavier Novelo met with CPO Alison Fabrao, Operations Coordinator and Ms. Cruzita Cadle, Budget Analyst, from the Military Liaison Office (MLO) of the US Embassy in Belize. The meeting discussed how the MLO can assist the University in its infrastructural projects. Guidance was given to UB on how to apply for such funding and what the priorities are. In the immediate time, UB will be applying for support to build some infrastructure on the PG Campus. The President thanked the MLO for their interest in supporting UB and he looks forward to working with the USMLO in the immediate future.
Agro Processing Stakeholders’ Forum at the Ministry of Agriculture and Belize Marketing and Development Corporation – Developing and Enhancing Small Scale Agri-processing Capacity in Belize
The President attended both the opening and closing sessions of the Agro-Processing Stakeholders’ forum in Belize City and in Belmopan. The objective of the workshop is essentially to prepare a roadmap to invigorate the processing of agricultural commodities into new value added products in Belize. Training in Food Science and Technology as well as Research and Innovation are key drivers for this and there is a role and opportunity for UB here as stated by the President.
Students Have Started their Classes in Educational Leadership
Students enrolled in the Master in Education Leadership attended an orientation session on Saturday January 26, 2019 to discuss plans for the new semester and to become oriented with the first two core courses in their program of study. This informative session also provided an overview of the Student Handbook, Navigating Moodle, Payments and payment plan and an introduction to the use of Ebsco host.
Classes for the M.Ed cohort of thirty eight students commenced on February 2, 2019. A review of students’ perception of the two core courses: EDLD 5022 “Trends and Issues in Education” and ELD 5021 “Foundations of Educational Leadership” revealed that students are of the view that both courses will provide the rigor and skills to create meaningful changes and hone their leadership skills.
President Tours the University Lands in Belmopan
The President along with the Director of Physical Plant, Projects and Facilities Mr. Francis Burns and Director of Public Safety Mr. John Salam, as well as Mr. Arnulfo Kantun, toured the University’s lands on the Belmopan Campus. The President noted the extensive road works being undertaken, as per the approved land use plan, by the Belmopan City Council.
The President through the Office of Institutional Advancement is looking at how some of these lands can be brought into productive use, so as to raise income for the current and future use of the University of Belize. He reiterated that UB’s lands are a prime asset of the University and must be maintained indefinitely for its sustainable use and for generations to come.
The University of Belize Thanks CEO Felix Enriquez for BDF’s Assistance
Mr. Roy Polonio, Punta Gorda Campus Administrator, presented on behalf of the University of Belize a Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Felix Enriquez, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security. The certificate was in recognition of his tremendous assistance through the Belize Defense Force – Light Engineering Company Support & Service Battalion in the demolishing of the old metal barrack at the PG Campus.
Painting of Basketball Court/Discounted Tickets for Bandits’ Games
UB Welcomes Back Students, Faculty and Staff to Second Semester (2018-2)
In his welcome statement sent to all he said, “I am confident that in this new year 2019, as one UB Family, we will continue to put UB in the pantheon of teaching, research and public service for national development.”
UB welcomes as of today welcomes 4, 579 students (4, 393 returning and 186 new students). We also welcome the new faculty members who have joined the University.
UB Holds its First Capping and Striping Ceremony for Third Year Nursing Students
The University of Belize held a historic welcome back to the third year nursing students at its First Capping and Striping Ceremony on January 18, 2019. The students are ready to start clinical practice and the Faculty saw it as the opportune moment to start a new tradition at UB. Nursing Lecturer, Mrs. Cynthia Guild, welcomed everyone to the grand event by speaking on the importance of striping and capping the students.
UB President Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat reminded the students to always keep in mind why they chose this noble profession and not see it as a mere paycheck. He noted, in his keynote address, “As nurses, you interact with people at their most vulnerable of times… This is a sacred place… the most important… [as] you will have to be able to listen to your patient’s fears and concerns; you will have to be able to communicate with them and for them when they cannot.”
The Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Allied and Health Mrs. Leolin Swift-Castillo also took the opportunity to share words of encouragement and advice to the students.
Dr. Marjorie Parks, former Deputy Director of Health Services and the first nurse in Belize to earn a Doctorate was the Guest Speaker. She took everyone down memory lane as she presented photos of former nursing students including some who are now nursing lecturers at UB. She also reminded the students that their hearts need to be in the service and caring of others.
The nursing faculty members also took part in the ceremony by reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge and the Nurse’s prayer.
The highlight of the ceremony was the capping and striping of the proud students. The six males were “coated” and striped by the two male nursing lecturers. Mrs. Ann Matute, Deputy Director of Health Services, capped the 41 female students while the female faculty members took turns in striping them.
Ms. Ashli Swift was the student with the highest cumulative grade point average and had the opportunity to deliver the honor student remarks.
Dr. Somanadevi Thiagarajan Publishes Research Paper on Performance of Commercial Banks in Belize
Dr. Somanadevi Thiagarajan, Assistant Professor and Chair in the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences recently published a research paper in the Journal of Finance and Bank Management. The research paper is entitled “An Analysis of Performance of Commercial Banks in Belize during Post Global Recession Period”.
Professor Sankat congratulates Dr. Thiagajaran on this publication.
The research paper can be accessed at http://jfbmnet.com/journals/jfbm/Vol_6_No_2_December_2018/3.pdf.
UB Welcomes Delegation from Bridgewater State University
The University of Belize held a meeting with a delegation from Bridgewater State University (BSU). The purpose of the meeting was to review the Memorandum of Understanding between BSU and UB. What was interrogated in detail was the student exchange program between the Universities and the challenges that have been faced in this program.
New areas of collaboration that go beyond the Faculty of Education and Arts were also discussed.
The delegation from BSU was led by Dr. Lisa Battaglino, Dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies. She was accompanied by Dr. Wing-kai To, Founding Assistant Provost for Global Engagement, and Ms. Jennifer Currie who is the Associate Director of Institute for Global Engagement. Chief Education Officer Dr. Carol Babb along with Mr. Marvin Kellyman, General Manager of Government Primary Schools represented the Ministry of Education.
This is work in progress.
UB Team Meets with Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business from the UWI, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, UB President; Dr. Mariot Simon, Vice President; Dr. Bernard Watler, Dean of Faculty of Management of Sciences (FMSS); Dr. Somanadevi Thiagarajan, Chair in FMSS and Ms. Sharrett Yearword, Chair in FMSS met with Dr. Kamla Mungal who is Director of the Leadership Institute at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, University of West Indies, in Trinidad and Tobago. They were also joined via video conference by Mrs. Nirmala Maharaj, Director, Internationalisation and Institutional Relations of Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business.
The meeting explored opportunities for collaboration between ALJGSB and UB in the areas of business, management and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Watler and Dr. Simon will be following up on this.
UB President Meets with Dr. Thomas Guderjan from the University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler)
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat along with Business Development Officer Mr. Arnulfo Kantun met with Dr. Thomas Guderjan on January 8, 2019. A Memorandum of Understanding has already been approved for the Presidents of both universities to sign. It is expected that this will happen when the President of UT Tyler visits UB, very soon.
UT Tyler is already collaborating with UB’s History department on the proposed programs in Archaeology and Anthropology. The programs are expected to be ready for the next academic year once they have been approved by the Board of Trustees.
UB President Presents Transformational Plan to ATLIB Members
President Sankat at the invitation of the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB) presented to the gathering of ATLIB members UB’s Transformational Plan. The presentation was made at Muffles Junior College in Orange Walk on January 22, 2019. The President of the ATLIB, Dr. Sharmayne Saunders who is also a member of the UB Board of Trustees, was thanked for ATLIB’s kind invitation.
President Sankat Visits ITVET in Orange Walk
Professor Sankat at the invitation of Mr. Armando Gomez, Manager of the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ITVET) in Orange Walk, was delighted to visit the Institute. He congratulated the manager and staff on the work they are doing. He was given a tour of the library, workshops and computer lab where he also had the opportunity of informally engage with students.
President Sankat looks forward to collaborate with ITVET in the area of Technical Education. He was accompanied by Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon and Business Development Officer Mr. Arnulfo Kantun.
President Sankat Gives Update on UB’s Transformation at Open Your Eyes Show
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat appeared on Channel Five’s Open Your Eyes morning show on January 24, 2019 to provide an update on UB’s Transformational Plan. He also spoke on the financial challenge that UB faces.
The show was co-hosted by Marleni Cuellar and Kevin Arthurs and the President was very appreciative of the invitation to appear.
UB Receives Equipment for the India-Belize Center of Engineering (IBCE)
Over the holidays work continued on the IBCE. The buildings are now about ninety percent completed. The University has also received the first shipment of equipment from India for the IBCE on January 16, 2019.
More equipment is to arrive very soon to be followed by experts from India who will install them.
Meeting New Infrastructural Needs – The Board of Trustees Visit
In treating with the infrastructural needs of UB and specially in the Belmopan Campus the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) Mr. Harrison Pilgrim along with Board members Mr. Lynn Young, Mrs. Michelle Longsworth and Dr. Fred Shyu visited the dorms and were also given a tour of the IBCE on January 17, 2019.
The BOT is actively considering funding for increased space required for the new Faculty of Health Sciences – Medical School and the Engineering School that will be relocated to the Belmopan Campus once the facilities are in place, as well as enhanced infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing student/faculty/staff population and that of a modern University. The President has described the matter as urgent.
UB Acquires 100 New Chairs for Students in Belmopan and Belize City
The numbers of students at UB has increased; there is the need to accommodate the new students. Therefore, the University saw fit to acquire 100 new chairs to accommodate students in Belmopan and Belize City.
President Sankat thanks Mr. Francis Burns and his team for the steady support and vigilance in these matters.
Old Barracks in Punta Gorda Campus is Demolished
President Sankat commends Campus Administrator Mr. Roy Polonio for the work done. He also expresses gratitude to the Belize Defence Force and Mr. Bismark Ranguy for their assistance in demolishing and clearing the debris.
A new building will be erected on the existing floor slab once the funding becomes available.
UB President Meets with IDB to Discuss Capital Assistance
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat met with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Belize City and through video conference with the IDB representative in Washington DC (Ms. Christina Simon from IDB Invest) on January 24, 2019. The meeting was to explore opportunities for capital assistance from the IDB, which is led in Belize by Dr. Cassandra Rogers, a former Engineering Colleague ¬of the President at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.
UB Student Kris Miller is the New CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Belize
The Department of Youth Services under the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture announced the appointment of Mr. Kris Miller as the second of two CARICOM Youth Ambassadors to represent Belize.
Mr. Miller is a 22-year-old youth leader and advocate from the City of Belmopan and is pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Social Work from the University of Belize. He was also one of Belize’s representatives at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Commonwealth Youth Forum held in London, United Kingdom. Mr. Miller is the most recent recipient of the Youth Minister’s Award for Leadership and Advocacy.
His Excellency Kris Miller will serve a two-year term from January 2019-January 2021.
A Tribute to UB Lecturer – Mr. Joseph Sampson
The Faculty of Education and Arts held a tribute for Mr. Sampson on January 8, 2019. At his funeral the following day, Chair of the History Department, Ms. Francine Sabal paid a tribute to him.
Below is an extract from Ms. Sabal’s personal reflection on Mr. Sampson. It sums up, in essence, who Mr. Sampson is and was to UB.
“He has helped the university tremendously, not only though his teaching and media appearances but also by giving of himself emotionally and financially to students, staff and lecturers. He was an advocate for young people… He believed in empowering them, showing them the possibilities, and giving them opportunities. One of his favourite songs was by Whitney Houston, the Greatest love all. The first couple lines was the reason he loved the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside.” Mr. Joseph Sampson truly lived by these words. Even though he is no longer here with us, the wisdom he shared will live on in our hearts.
For Ms. Sabal’s full reflection on Mr. Sampson, kindly visit https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/reflection-on-mr-joseph-sampson-by-francine-sabal/
Happy New Year and welcome back to the University of Belize! I trust that you and your loved ones had a safe and joyous holiday season. I always find the beginning of each new year and new semester to be exciting and filled with much promise. 2019 is no exception. As we embark on a new year and new semester, I pray that you return with renewed energy and enthusiasm, ready to engage anew.
If you are one of our new students this January – Welcome to UB! We wish you every success and hope you will enjoy your time at UB. We are delighted that you have chosen UB as the institution to advance your education.
Every year brings new challenges and opportunities for us as individuals, as an institution and as one UB community. And as we embrace 2019, I want to thank every member of our UB community for continuing to distinguish the University of Belize as a place where individual passions fuel a collective purpose. 2018 was marked by some noteworthy achievements and changes. Your continued investment in the University and your commitment to creativity and innovation ensured this. I am confident that in this new year 2019, as one UB Family, we will continue to put UB in the pantheon of teaching, research and public service for national development.
Great opportunities await UB, and I look forward in collaborating with each one of you closely as we recommit ourselves to transforming this University. Let us stay focused on our Vision 2022 Transformation Plan, despite the challeges we face. More importantly, we are ready for a semester that brings even more student, faculty and staff achievements and opportunities.
So to my colleagues and my dear students, welcome back and I offer you my best wishes for a rewarding year and semester at UB. Our individual successes at UB will facilitate the collective transformation of this University.
Let us build UB together!
UB Black Jaguars Lead in the Basketball Court
The Lady Black Jaguars competed in the ATLIB nationals on December 8th, 2018 in Dangriga. The team entered the nationals with high expectations after finishing second last year. Their first game was against the Lady Stallions of Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College (CEMJC). The game proved to be too much for CEMJC as UB won very easily 50-2. The championship game was warm-up for the Lady Black Jaguars who crushed the Lady Wildcats of Saint John’s College Junior College 36-0 to once again become champions. Delta Flores was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
The Black Jaguars had a tougher day at the nationals. Their first game was against Muffles Junior College. The game was a back and forth affair until the lads asserted themselves in the fourth quarter. UB eventually pulled away to earn a hard fought victory 61-50 to move on to the finals. In the finals, Wesley Junior College led by six NEBL players easily defeated the Black Jaguars 79-65. Our boys played well but after two game ending ankle injuries the team could not recover.
The season for both teams was deemed a success as the Lady Black Jaguars are once again National Champions and the Black Jaguars returned to the national scene after a five-year absence.
Indian Executive Visits UB for Final Plans on the India Belize Centre for Engineering
Last year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of India for the establishment of India Belize Centre of Engineering (IBCE) at the University of Belize. The construction of the IBCE is on its final stages and was financed by the Government of India. The Government of India signed an agreement with HMT (International) Limited who would be the direct overseers of setting up the IBCE.
Mr. J. Naresh Kumar Deputy Manager, of the Marketing division at HMT(I) visited Belize during December 3-7, 2018. Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat welcomed him to the University of Belize.
Mr. Naresh visited the project site in the Belmopan Campus and reviewed the infrastructure facilities under construction. They met with the Ministry of Education regarding the final steps of implementation of the project including the shipment of supplies.
The University of Belize and the Government of Belize thanked the Government of India and High Comission of India to Belize for their support.
UB hosted its 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at its Belmopan Campus
This year’s event, hosted by the University’s Environmental Club on November 28th, 2018, featured a 10 feet Christmas tree made out of 1,852 recycled plastic bottles. UB’s President, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, who spoke at the ceremony, remarked that “the tree stands as a symbol of peace and goodwill; and one that should always remind us of the meaning and importance of Christmas as a universal festival.”
President Sankat, on behalf of the University of Belize (UB), would like to commend the Environmental Club for not only demonstrating to the UB community but also to Belize, the tremendous leadership that our young people are showing for the care of our environment and the importance of recycling. Their efforts in erecting this special Christmas tree, he noted, demonstrated “innovation and creativity and the importance of team work in achieving change that benefits all.”
This initiative was done in partnership with Bowen and Bowen Limited, who has aided UB’s Environmental Club with the creation of a recycling center on Campus for plastic bottles and also with the donation of recycling bins, which are to be placed strategically on the campus.
UB Student Publishes Research Paper on Antibiotic Resistance Patterns
Viola Tuyud, a student of the University of Belize, recently published a research paper entitled “Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Pathogens Isolated from Surgical Site Infections at Public Health Facilities in Belize”. The research paper was published in Volume 2 Issue 2 of the Journal of Antibiotics Research. Ms. Tuyud was guided by Professor Thippi Thiagarajan who has experience in research and publication.
The research was a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Health, Mr. Diomar Salazar from the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work.
Surgical site infections are amongst the leading cause of morbidity, mortality and cost due to increased hospital stay by patients. A study was conducted to understand antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of major pathogens isolated from surgical site infections in Belize.
A study was conducted utilizing existing data for a nine-year period collected through the Belize Health Information System, Ministry of Health. Raw data from 2009 to 2017 was compiled and arranged in an orderly manner and a detailed statistical analysis was carrying out using SPSS and Microsoft-Excel. Descriptive analysis was conducted to extrapolate sensitivity patterns of isolates. From the 630 samples that were cultured only 50% (315) had pathogen growth. A single pathogen was isolated from 93.3% of the samples while multiple pathogens were isolated from 6.7% of samples. The most common pathogen was Staphylococcus aureus (31.1%), followed by Escherichia coli (17.6%), Klebsiella spp (13.5%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (9.7%) and Enterobacter spp. (6.45%). Aerobic Gram negative bacteria accounted for 58.1%, while aerobic Gram positive bacteria accounted for 38.4%. Cesarean procedures accounted for the highest number of infections with 28.3% while the age group most affected was between 20 – 29 years of age. Sixty-two percent of Staphylococcus aureus isolates were resistant to Erythromycin whereas all of Escherichia coli isolates (100%) were resistant to Erythromycin. The antimicrobial resistant patterns of the pathogens showed that more than 20% of all isolates were resistant to most antibiotics in all the years of the study with some isolates were seen multidrug resistant. More than 50% of all isolates during the study period showed resistance to erythromycin. Continuous surveillance of SSIs and compliance to regulations is essential and a reduction in antibiotic usage must be targeted as this will help to reduce the development of antibiotic resistance in pathogens.
IFSA Students Plant Mahogany and Pine Trees at Belmopan Campus
Students from the International Forestry Students’ Association-UB held their first monthly replant session on December 10th 2018 along with some of its members. They planted 20 trees (5 pine and 15 mahogany) to jumpstart this wonderful venture. They collaborated with the Forest Department who donated the trees and a member from REDD+ who documented the momentous occasion. The goal of this project is not only to provide a basis for a more sustainable future, but to also get students more involved in their environment. Look out for more replant sessions with IFSA-UB!
UB President Discusses Health Education with KHMH CEO
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat along with Mr. Arnulfo Kantun, Business Development Officer, recently met with Mrs. Michelle J. Cox Hoare who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). They discussed medicine education possibilities and partnering with the hospital.
Education Students Create Literacy Centres at UB Early Childhood Stimulation Centre
The literacy centres were developed by the 35 students enrolled in the course EENG2151 – Language Arts Methods for Primary Teachers 1, Belmopan Campus. This final assignment is in lieu of an examination. Each student is expected to create two games targeting an assigned Language skill. The purpose of the literacy centre is to nurture the Language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and thinking) through play.
UB and Colombia Meet on Development of New Programs and Research
Among the key priority areas discussed during the session are the following:
• development of new programs to be delivered at the University of Belize, within the scope of language, art and culture
• mutual educational and cultural exchange opportunities,
• utilization of technology as a means for added collaboration
• opportunities for research and publishing
Intercultural awareness and immersion in the spirit of mutual collaboration and partnership. All parties will continue to work together with the aim for formalizing a partnership between the University of Belize and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana de Colombia.
UB and the University of Nicaragua meet on Development of UB’s Medical School
The University of Belize hosted Dr. Charles Wallace of the University of Nicaragua’s Faculty of Health Science. Dr. Wallace along with Dr. George Gough from the Belize Medical Council are providing technical support to assist UB with developing program specification documents for its proposed Medical program.
This visit builds on a collaboration that was established between the Ministry of Health, Belize Medical Council, the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and UB.
UB Partners with UNCHR to Teach English as a Second Language
Help for Progress through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and UB have partnered to pilot an ESL certificate program catering for young refugee status new migrants to Belize. The students selected for the pilot program had started their secondary or tertiary level studies in their mother country but were forced to discontinue their studies due to migration to Belize. They have been given the opportunity to complete an ESL certificate through UB/RLC to facilitate their transition into local secondary and tertiary level educational institutions or into the work environment, thus into the productive sector.
The first cohort of students has now completed their ESL training at a beginner level and will now transition into an Intermediate intense ESL course. UB has approved the continuity of the program with the primary objective to improve the student’s competence in the English Language to an intermediate to advanced level. The RLC will receive two new groups of students for our January entry and welcome further cooperation with our partners at UNHCR.
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat commended the students for their courage and determination.
UB-ERI recognized as a US Public Charity
The University of Belize (UB), through its Environmental Research Institute (ERI), obtained its Equivalency Determination (ED) Certification from NGOsource, who certified that the UB-ERI is organized, operated, and funded like a U.S. public charity.
NGOsource is a recognized body in the United States, who assists U.S. grant-makers with making grants to non- U.S. Charitable Organizations outside of the United States. This equivalency status is important for the ERI, which relies primarily on grants and charitable contributions to support its work. This status will also assist the University to meet its academic objectives and financial sustainability goals through additional options for funding as US-based grant-makers will now be able to directly contribute to UB.
UB President Mets with DFC to Discuss Supporting Students with Financial Need
UB President met with Mrs. Claudia Elena from the Development Finance Corporation on December 3, 2018. The meeting was to discuss how the two organizations can work together to better support UB students who are experiencing financially difficulties. A second meeting will be held in January 2019, where a Memorandum of Understanding is to be agreed to and signed.
UB joins another Interregional IAEA Project and participates in Project Coordination Meeting in Cuba
Mr. Joaquin Magaña of the faculty of Science and Technology has joined the project “INT0093 – Applying Nuclear Science and Technology in Small Island Developing States in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals and the SAMOA Pathway”. The project is a three-year interregional project funded through the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The project aims to strengthen human resource capacities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the application of nuclear science and technology for effective management of coastal zones and marine environment.
UB’s Mr. Jair Valladarez receives Ocean Acidification Training in Kuwait
Mr. Jair Valladarez of the FST participated in a two-weeks training course on the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques in ocean acidification research at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research from 18-29 November 2018 in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
The participation of Mr. Valladarez in this meeting will strengthen UB’s capacity to perform ocean acidification (OA) research and monitoring and will complement work under project BZE7002. During the training, Mr. Valladarez acquired knowledge in experimental design applied to ocean acidification research, as well as nuclear and non-nuclear techniques used in ocean acidification laboratory experiments.
UB Collaborates with the National Oceanography Center of the UK in studying the Impacts of Land Use Change on the Aquatic Environment
The University of Belize and the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) of Belize have established collaboration with the National Oceanography Center (NOC) of the UK to execute multidisciplinary program of fieldwork in Belize that aims to help characterize the impacts of changes in land-use management on the fresh water and marine environment. This is a collaborative research program through the UK Government funded Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) Program.
Faculty and students from the FST as well as technical personnel from the CZMAI joined scientists from the NOC and from the Center of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) of the UK for one week of field work to collect water samples from the Belize River Watershed (BRW) and from coastal waters of central Belize. These samples were preserved and then shipped to the NOC for analysis of DOC/DIC/POC, organic matter composition, oxygen consumption, and suspended sediments. Other water quality parameters were measured in situ.
Additionally, as part of the collaboration, Dr. Abel Carrias from the FST and Mr. Samir Rosado from the CZMAI visited the National Oceanography Center of the UK in Southampton England from October 1st to the 12th to attend an aquatic biogeochemistry workshop.
UB’s Cecy Castillo Attends IAEA Workshop in Jamaica
UB’s Mrs. Cecy Castillo of the faculty of Science and Technology (FST) attended a regional workshop on project design based on the Logical Framework Approach and Best Practices under the technical cooperation project RLA0061 “Supporting Human Resource Development and Implementation of Strategic Activities for Nuclear Technology and its Applications in the Caribbean Region”. The event took place in Kingston, Jamaica from 12-16 November 2018. The purpose of the workshop was to share practical information and discuss the designs of the national projects presented to the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for funding consideration for the 2020-2021funding cycle.
The University of Belize holds its Second Open Day
On November 21, 2018 it was a fun-filled day at University’s central campus in Belmopan. UB’s Second Open Day was held under the theme “Empowering Inquiring Minds for Higher Education at UB”. High school students came to learn about the opportunities they have at UB and also experience what the students are learning. The day was filled with activities including:
• Marketing Expo
• FST Expo
• Central Farm Sales
• Health Fair
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat encouraged the students to enjoy the day and learn from the different activities about the University of Belize and the opportunities it provides for high school students who wish to pursue a University education. He also told them he looked forward to welcoming them as UB students in the near future, as a university education was an investment to secure their future well-being.
Professor Sankat commended Mrs. Camilla Barker, Admissions Coordinator, and her team as well as Physical Plant and Public Safety Office for supporting this effort.
UB Students Demonstrate their Entrepreneurial Skills at Marketing Expos
Marketing students from the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences held their annual Marketing Expo in Belize City, Toledo and Belmopan Campus.
In Belize City the Expo was held on November 15 at the Belize City Civic Center. The Keynote Address was delivered by Mrs. Kim Aikman from the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The students from Small Business also participated in the Belize City Expo.
The following day the students from Toledo Campus held their Marketing Expo.
In Belmopan the expo was held in conjunction with Open Day. Students had the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired at the University.
In Belize City and Belmopan, the students were judged by experts in the field and the most creative projects were recognized. The awards were as follows:
Most Creative Product/Service
|First Place||Bam Bottle||JAMazing (Golden Plum Jam)|
|Second Place||Body Blessings||Tapa Tapa (Fruit Pepper Sauce)|
|Third Place||Disc Go||Tropical Body Bloom|
Most Attractive Booth
|First Place||Bombalicious Bubble Blast||JAMazing|
|Second Place||Shower Power||Dream Cream|
|Third Place||Xstrawdinary||Tapa Tapa|
In Belmopan students were also awarded in an overall category where JAMazing placed first, followed by Tapa Tapa Pepper Sauce and Crapine Beer earned third place.
Professor Sankat commended all the students for their creative and entrepreneurial efforts. He also acknowledged the lecturers who guided the students. He commended the Dean, Dr. Bernard Watler, Chair Ms. Sharret Yearwood, Ms. Audrey Pascascio, Ms. Eda Arzu, Mr. Glen Enriquez, Ms. Shaunna Sanchez for their sterling efforts.
UB Holds its Annual Entrepreneurship Symposium
The University’s Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) in partnership with BELTRAIDE held its 6th Annual Entrepreneurship Symposium on Thursday, November 15th, 2018 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. The symposium, which highlighted several young Belizean Entrepreneurs discussed the role the University of Belize plays or could play in the development of business for Belize’s economic development. It brought together key stakeholders, who promoted and encouraged youth entrepreneurship among University students.
The symposium began with a stirring welcome from the UB’s President, Professor Emeritus, Clement Sankat, who noted the importance of entrepreneurship by stating, “given how the economy has changed and the uncertainty of the job market, entrepreneurship is something we should be teaching at an early age.” A copy of President’s Sankat remarks can be downloaded at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/presidents-remarks-at-entrepreneurship-symposium-2018/
Participants included Dr. Leroy Almendarez – the Executive Director of Beltraide, Mrs. Monique Usher – Acting Manager of Small Business Development Center, Mr. Jaime Williams of Development Finance Cooperation and Mr. Ramon Salgado – Business Banking Manager of Scotia Bank; as well as several Belizean Entrepreneurs, who all provided guidance and mentorship to UB students on small business development and who discussed the importance of engaging youth in entrepreneurship for the country’s development.
The key messages emerging from this seminar can be summed up in four points:
1. The collective promotion of youth entrepreneurship
2. The increase in collaboration and shared information between UB and the business community
3. The enhancement of support for young entrepreneurs
4. The increase of entrepreneurship programs within the University
The symposium concluded with closing remarks and vote of thanks by the Dean of FMSS, Dr. Bernard Watler.
UB is an Integral Part of the ICJ Referendum Education Campaign
On April 10, 2019, Belizeans will head to their respective polling stations to vote on whether to refer the Guatemala claim to Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or not. The University of Belize, as the national university, is pivotal is helping the citizens make an informed decision. The Consortium of the University of Belize and the Social Sector Senators are hosting a lecture series aimed at bringing awareness on Guatemala’s claim to Belize and the proposed settlement of submitting the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a final and peaceful settlement.
Each lecture in the series features three presentations, including Ambassador Alexis Rosado from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/International Boundaries Unit, who’s presentation is entitled, “The Facts of the Claim”; Assad Shoman, Author of “Guatemala’s Claim to Belize: the Definitive History”; and the Belize Peace Movement and other stakeholders presenting the “No to ICJ” position.
The series began on November 20th at 7:30 pm in Belmopan at the University of Belize’s Jaguar Auditorium and will proceed to all the municipalities across the country over a three-week period.
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat in his welcome address said that the University, “is embarking on a continuing conversation, started long ago but now one that will be intensified so that it can facilitate the decision that will be made at the national referendum to be held on 10th April, 2019. We invite you to listen keenly, ask your questions and that whatever decision you make will be done with all the information available to you. The University of Belize as the national University, is committed to providing knowledge and information for Belize’s advancement.”
Professor Sankat thanked the Chair of the History Department, Ms. Francine Sabal, for being instrumental in the organization of the lecture series. The general public and students are invited to attend these meetings, and to listen to the lectures that will together present a balanced viewpoint in this most important matter.
UB also hosted an “ICJ Be Informed” Youth Forum on November 12, 2018.
UB Hosts Historian Assad Shoman at the Belmopan Campus
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat along with Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon and Chair Ms. Francine Sabal, Chair of History Department, welcomed Belizean historian Assad Shoman to the University. They spoke briefly on the importance of the ICJ referendum educational awareness program.
This was followed by; history students, many from the History Club, who took advantage of the opportunity to have a “sit-down” with Mr. Shoman where he shared some perspectives on the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute and answered questions on the merits/demerits of the ICJ referendum.
UB Officially Launches its Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Certificate in Geographic Information Systems Programs
The University of Belize (UB), once again, demonstrated its ability to shape higher education in Belize and to foster the development of Human Resources that are relevant to addresses the needs of Belize. On November 8th, 2018, UB, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), launched its Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
As noted by the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology, Mrs. Julianne Pasos, in her presentation, “both programs were developed to build the existing capacity of the NSS agencies as well as generate a well-trained pool of future employees for the public and private sectors.” As well, SIB’s General Director, Dr. Leopold Perriott, IADB’s Country Representative, Dr. Cassandra Rogers, and UB’s Vice President, Dr. Mariot Simon, each spoke to the importance of these two programs for Belize’s development and the importance of partnerships for development.
The launch, which was held at the Radission Hotel, was well attended by the representatives from Belize’s various development partners, including non-governmental, civil society and governmental agencies; and informative presentations on both programs, the admissions procedures for the University and the application process for the three IDB-funded scholarships were made.
Engineering Students Make UB Proud at Macaroni Competition in Mexico
After winning the internal Macaroni Structural Competition at UB, the top three teams went to represent the University of Belize at the Macaroni Competition held in Instituto Tecnologico de Chetumal, Mexico during November 14-16, 2018. One of the teams placed second and was recognized for an excellent job. The three teams made it in the top ten of 36 teams that participated.
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat congratulates the students and the Engineering Department chaired by Mr. Leonard Mortis for their outstanding performance.
UB Black Jaguars Win in ATLIB Basketball Tournament
The University of Belize Black Jaguars are now competing in the ATLIB Basketball Tournament. The UB Lady Black Jaguars opened up their campaign on Thursday November 15 against the Eagles of Galen University. The Lady Black Jaguars crushed the Eagles by a score of 43-14. They next played against the Scorpions of Sacred Heart Junior College on Friday November 16. The UB females had their best game in this early season winning 46-4 and holding the Lady Scorpions to 0 points in the second half.
On November 21, they continued to dominate in the Western region by defeating the Lady Scorpions of Sacred Heart by the score 38-11.
The Black Jaguars also had their season openers the same days. They lost their first Wednesday night game 56-66 to the Galen Eagles. The team rebounded against the Scorpions in the Friday night thriller that saw the Black Jaguars trailing at halftime but fought furiously to triumph 56-52.
The Black Jaguars also won their second game of the tournament in another exhilarating fashion. Despite playing in a partisan environment the team jumped out with the lead from the get go to hold a halftime lead 47-34 over the Scorpions of Sacred Heart. The fourth quarter was pivotal for the Black Jaguars as they were able to hold off a furious charge from their opponent to win 75-71.
UB IT Student Team Places First in Belizean Apps for Development Competition 2018 hosted by Directorate General for Foreign Trade
On November 14th, 2018, University of Belize Information Technology student team (Technocrats) comprised of Tara Thomas, Kendesha Armstrong and UB graduate Niam Villanueva participated in the Belizean Apps for Development Competition 2018, organized by Directorate General for Foreign Trade and Belize Coalition of Service Providers and the Belize Association of I.C.T. The event took place at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza, and team Technocrats placed first in the “Application to Facilitate the Birth Certificate Application Process” category. The team created a web-based/ mobile application that provides updates on the application process and its related costs; documentation scanning and submission; and appointments/ pick up dates for birth certificates for Belizeans nationwide. The application also included a feature to apply for marriage and death certificates.
The President congratulates the winning UB team. Well done!
University of Belize’s Bachelor of Social Work Accepted in US
Former and current graduates of the University of Belize’s Social Work Program can now seek advanced degrees in the United States. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the recognized body by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for accrediting social work education in the United States, approved and acknowledged the University of Belize’s Bachelor of Social Work’s academic credentials as comparable to accredited baccalaureate degrees in social work in the United States. This international recognition is necessary to provide pathways for the attainment of advanced degrees in the US for social work graduates of the University of Belize (UB).
It is important to note that according to CSWE, ‘recognition is based on the general comparability of the program objectives (as stated in the program catalog or program’s official memorandum) and the level of the applicant’s social work education to social work education in the United States.’
Students at the Belmopan Campus Learn about Technology in Accounting and Entrepreneurship from Experienced Entrepreneurs
The Faculty of Management and Social Sciences organized a lecture series on the November 7th, 2018 at Jaguar Auditorium to enhance the students’ exposure to real world experiences from business partners. There were two presentations: The use of Information Technology (IT) in accounting, presented by Mrs. Irene Tuyud-Garcia, proprietor, Innovative Accounting Services, Belmopan; and Entrepreneurship and Challenges by Mr. Terrence Punjabi, Proprietor, Marenco’s Fast Food, Belmopan. The presenters brought a wealth of experience in their respective areas and shared their knowledge and challenges with the students.
Mrs. Garcia explained that companies develop and use computerized system to track and record financial transactions. IT networks and computer systems have shortened the time necessary by the accountants to prepare and present financial reports to the management. She explained that when you are honest and hardworking, customers will seek your service. To be successful you must also be able to work hard in the face of obstacles, boredom, fatigue, stress, and the desire to do other things. These are the attributes of a true entrepreneur.
Mr. Punjabi narrated his struggle to establish and successfully run the fast food restaurant. He also presented the characteristics of an entrepreneur, experiences and challenges faced by the entrepreneur and pros and cons of being an entrepreneur. He emphasized that taking care of employees, listening to customers concerns, quality of service and products offered were the reason behind his success. He highlighted the hard work and dedication that is needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
Both presentations were well received by the students and faculty members. They had the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the presenters.
Lecturers Jose Hernandez, David Garcia, and Farshad Rabbani Publish Their Work on Generalization for Data De-identification in Top Russian University Research Journal
On November 7, 2018, Jose Hernandez, David Garcia, and Farshad Rabbani, Information Technology lecturers of the Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Information Technology, research article entitled “Tree Traversal to Achieve Generalization for Data De-identification”, was published in the Theoretical Informatics and Computer Science section of the International Journal of Open Information Technologies (ISSN 2307-8162, Vol 6, No 11 (2018)). The International Journal of Open Information Technologies (INJOIT) is an all-electronic journal that publishes the most recent and unpublished research and development results in the area of information technologies to the scientific and technical societies, and is published by the OIT Lab (Open Information Technologies Lab, Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics, Lomonosov Moscow State University). Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) is the highest-ranked coeducational and public research university in Russia, founded on 23 January 1755.
Every day data is published of different types and from various sources. Data de-identification protects the privacy of most of this data before its publication. Over the recent years, a technique proposed by Dr. Sweeney, known as k-anonymization as a means for privacy protection has gained great popularity. There has been intensive research involving this method and many alterations, in the hope to find an optimal solution in real-time to the generalization problem. To achieve either generalization or suppression, researchers have used different types of heuristics, most of them being tree-based. Although this is a heavily investigated area, there is no simple method to prepare data for generalization; in theory, there are infinite methods for data preparation and partitioning. In this research, we first propose the use of commonly known algorithms to prepare data and achieve generalization. We then introduce the use of tree-based algorithms and tree traversal as the mechanism to achieve data generalization. We further investigate them, by comparing the quality of generalization sets obtained in each traversal method, in the hope to determine which method is best.
Students in Belmopan Continue with Beautification of Campus
Students take pride in beautifying the Belmopan campus! They worked hard throughout the semester weeding, planting, fertilizing, pruning plants and keeping the campus beautiful. President along with the Beautification Committee applauds the hard work of the students.
Let this be an inspiration also for students, faculty and staff in Belize City and Punta Gorda Campuses. Let the transformation continue!
IFSA Student Introduces “Forest Education”
The International Forestry Students’ Association – UB held a mini seminar on November 15, 2018 entitled “Forest Education”. The presenters were Denver Cayetano, Brian Lopez, Liborio Santos, and Daril Avila who spoke on the Herbarium, Nursery, Wildlife, and Composting projects respectively.
The Application of GIS Technology in Belize
The Faculty of Science and Technology held its annual GIS Symposium on November 16, 2018 at the Belmopan Campus. It was held under the theme “The Application of GIS Technology in Belize”. The presentations were made by persons who work with GIS on a daily basis. They demonstrated with evidence the advantages GIS has in data collection which in turn aids in better planning and development.
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat spoke on the advantages of GIS and encouraged those present to pursue their Certificate in Geographical Information System (GIS) at the University of Belize.
Environmental Club Partners with Bowen and Bowen to Recycle
The Environmental Club has stepped up its recycling initiative by partnering with Bowen and Bowen in order to recycle more plastic bottles. Professor Sankat attended the program ceremony on November 13, 2018 and commended the students on the creation of a recycling center on Campus for plastic bottlers, with recycling bins to be placed strategically on the campus. He commended both the students and Bowen and Bowen for the partnership that will also generate some income to the club. He also thanked Mr. Francis Burns and his team for facilitating the work of the students.
The club is advised by Assistant Professor, Dr. Saqui and UB Field Technician, Ms. Justine Myvett.
UB Donates Hair for Cancer Patients
In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the University of Belize held it is Second Annual Hair-a-ton on November 7, 2018 at the Gazebo in the Belmopan Campus. Students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to donate part of their hair to the Belize Cancer Society.
REDD+ Talk at UB
The Faculty of Science and Technology and Environmental Research Institute, in partnership with the Government of Belize and its associated Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Program, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, the Forest Department and the National Climate Change Office held a special talk on REDD+ by Ms. Federica Bietta of Coalition for Rainforest Nations on Thursday, November 15th. Ms. Bietta is the co-inventor of REDD+ and is currently working on an initiative called the REDD+ Catalytic Fund.
In addition to defining deforestation and forest degradation and its implications for development, the main thrust of Ms. Bietta’s presentation was to discuss the importance of forest conservation, sustainable management of forest and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in an effort to enhance Belize’s land-use sector’s readiness for addressing climate change.
FST Holds Presentation on the Influence of Land Use on Coastal Water Quality
The Faculty of Science and Technology held a presentation delivered by Dr. Claire Evans of the National Oceanography Center of the UK on Thursday November 8th, 2018 at the UB Gym. Dr. Evans’s presentation was titled, “Land-ocean coupling in the Belize river catchment; the influence of land use on coastal water quality”. This presentation presented an overview of a project led by the National Oceanography Center of the UK in collaboration with the University of Belize and the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute of Belize to look at land use changes within the Belize River Watershed and how it impacts water quality and coastal processes.
UB Staff Members Participate in ERASMUS Plus Staff Exchange in Spain
Mrs. Rose Pineda, Registrar, along with Ms. Sheena Zuniga, Production Assistant, and Mr. Griffith Gabourel, Senior Information Technology (IT) Technician recent returned from a visit to the University of Valladolid, Spain which was funded by the Erasmus + European Project.
Staff Receives Training on Fire Preparedness and Use of Fire Extinguisher
On Friday, November 16, Mr. John Salam from the Public Safety Office along with Ms. Eldora Rubio, Officer in Charge, from the Belmopan Fire Station held a quick training on Fire Preparedness and how to use a fire extinguisher. The staff members present were able to learn on the importance of quick evacuation in case of an emergency, fire classification and practice extinguishing a fire with a fire extinguisher.
Professor Sankat Joins Parliamentarians in Paying Tribute to late Cuban President Fidel Castro
The House of Representatives at its meeting on November 23, 2018 paid tribute to former President of Cuba, Comandante Fidel Castro, on the second anniversary of his death. Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat at the invitation of Honourable Laura Tucker Longsworth, Speaker of the House of Representatives, attended the tribute.
Photo: President Sankat (center) met Hon. Tracey Taegar-Panton (left), Minister of State in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, and H.E. Lou-Anne Burns (right), Ambassador of Belize to Cuba.
Message from the President
The President is pleased to be back after a very challenging period in the circumstances of his family and appreciates the prayers of many, both in and outside of the University.
There was a hiatus in this publication but he is also pleased also that this is now back on track.
The University of Belize Presents its Annual Report 2016-2017 to the Press
On November 1st, 2018, President Sankat held a press conference to present the University’s 2016-2017 Annual Report to the media, which outlined key information about the University’s activities, achievements, statistics, operations and financial performance including audited financial statements for 2016-2017. He also took the opportunity to acknowledge former UB President Mr. Alan Slusher for his tenure as UB President. The President, in addressing the gathering, said that the academic year 2016-2017 had set the stage for transition leading to transformation, which was evident in the new programs it subsequently implemented and the actions it took and is taking to make the University more efficient and productive operationally and bridging the financial gap.
The Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Ms. Deborah Domingo was also present and she assured the University of the continued support from the Ministry and extended her congratulations to the University for being accountable and compliant, through its financial report.
Chairman of the UB Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, also commended the University of Belize for the transformative path it has taken in meeting the developmental needs of Belize and urged all of Belize to support the efforts of the UB towards creative change.
President Sankat was accompanied by the Senior Management, Deans and Directors of the University.
UB Meets with Medical Council to Discuss Proposed Medical Programmes at UB
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat accompanied by the University’s Business Development Officers, Mr. Arnulfo Kantun and Mr. Ricardo Gongora, received Dr. George Gough, President of the Belize Medical Council (BMC) on October 24, 2018. This meeting was to discuss the University’s efforts towards establishing a program of Medicine in an expanded Faculty of Health Sciences. This exploratory meeting looked at the different routes and curriculum standards for accreditation for the proposed Medial Science Program and for ways in which BMC can support UB in this initiative. The meeting concluded with the proposal for a technical working group of external partners that would work together with UB, towards the development and execution of the Medical program.
15 Students Win Macaroni Competition and Will Represent UB in Mexico
Eight teams participated in the competition which challenges student teams to design framed structures given limitations in time, size and type of materials (macaroni, wooden dowels, glue, drinking straws, plastic bottles) and built to specifications. These models are rated according to efficiency in loading and best design.
The Engineering Department would like to thank the University of Belize, the Office of the President, Director of Student Affairs, Dean, Faculty of Science & Technology, the Belize City Student Government, Engineering Department Competition Coordinator Mr. Lloyd Carrillo, faculty, staff and students of the Engineering Department. Special commendations are also in order for our “Gold” sponsor Atlantic Bank Limited as well as Maria Chang & Sons Limited and Fultec Systems Ltd. for lending support to this initiative.
The winning teams are as follows:
• First Place: Steve Anthony, Varsha Landerverde, Jefferson Spencer, Adam Dawson and Jaime Pook.
• Second Place: Romeo Reyes, Javier Chan, Estephanie Perez, Justin Tesecum, Asah Bernard
• Third Place: Jahrel Dawson, Kevin Martinez, Miekah Mohammed-Ali, Halle Spence and Kaidy Duarte
This year the top three teams will be representing the University of Belize at the “XX Concurso De Diseno Y Construccion De Modelos Estructurales, VII Su Fase Internacional”, hosted by the Instituto Tecnologico De Chetumal (ITCH) in Quintana Roo Mexico from 14th -16th November 2018. The President of UB, himself an Engineer congratulates the winning student teams and their Academic Advisors/Staff, and wishes them well in the competition in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
UB ERI: Making Partnerships Work
The University of Belize Environmental Research Institute (UB ERI) hosted its Open Day and Partner Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development, Belmopan.
Representatives individuals from the public and private sectors as well as from the NGO community attended the event, which marked the Institute’s first open day and its second partner recognition ceremony. Special invited guests included Dr. Percival Cho, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Immigration and Chair of the UB Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim.
The welcome remarks were delivered by UB President, Professor Clement Sankat, who applauded the UB ERI for hosting this event, stressed the need for financial sustainability and partnerships for the continuity of Institute’s work and encouraged the Institute to make its impacting work more visible to the general public.
As well, Dr. Ricketts delivered a presentation on UB ERI’s strategic direction over the next 5 years. This strategic direction is focused on achieving financial sustainability with the continued support of partners, developing and delivering graduate programs to increase research output, and fostering public-private partnerships for research in the agriculture and tourism sectors.
The event culminated with closing remarks from UB’s Vice President, Dr. Simon, and the open day, which featured exhibits of the Institute’s work. A display of over 20 UB ERI past volunteers, interns and student assistants and the impact the institute has had on them both personally and professionally also formed part of the exhibits.
PlayFutures/ Lego Foundation and the University of Belize
PlayFutures is “a unique community that advances Learning through Play and elevates the importance of the topic within family communities, education systems and policy agendas around the world.” https://www.playfutures.net/
The University of Belize and PlayFutures (Lego Foundation) hosted a webinar entitled, Green Blue Innovations and Initiatives: Where Play and Learning are Natural. This was held on Wednesday, 17th October 2018. Dr. Priscilla Brown Lopez Assistant Professor and Mrs. Monica Neal, from the Early Childhood Stimulation Center, were speakers representing the University of Belize.
The purpose of the webinar was to share the value of play and learning through natural settings, as well as to demonstrate the Green/Blue capacity building with the University of Belize Early Childhood faculty and teachers in training.
UB Male Black Jaguars Continue to Be ATLIB Volleyball Champions
The University of Belize (UB) hosted its final home game in the ATLIB Western Regional Finals on October 19th and 20th, 2018, where the two teams emerged as the Western Regional Champions. On the 19th, UB’s Lady Black Jaguars triumphed against Galen University in 2 sets – 25-20 and 25-16. While on the 20th, the Black Jaguars played their final two games, where they easily defeated Pope John Paul II Junior College 25-11 and 25-12 and the Eagles of Galen, 25-15 and 25-12.
This allowed out Jaguars to advance to the ATLIB championship games, which was held on October 27th, 2018. UB’s Lady Black Jaguars easily defeated the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College (CEMJC) Stallions 25-8 and 25-12 to advance against their national rival the Wildcats of Saint John’s College Junior College (SJCJC) in the finals. A valiant effort by the Lady Black Jaguars fell short in the end losing in straight sets 25-16 and 25-19. UB had to settle for second place for a second consecutive year.
While the Black Jaguars defeated the Independence Junior College (IJC) Predators 25-8 and 25-6 in the first game to face the Wildcats in the finals. This match has become the main highlight of the nationals for the past 4 years. This year was no different as the Black Jaguars were a player short but still defeated the Wildcats of SJCJC in a tough match of 25-21 and 25-22 to extend their national winning streak to 10 years, while losing only 1 set in all play over the past 4 years.
The President salutes both the men’s and women’s Volleyball teams for their winning campaigns, first and second place winners, that has brought credit and reputation to the University of Belize. These teams continue to have our support.
UB along with Police Department Conduct Fire Drill
On Thursday, October 25th, 2018, UB conducted a fire drill at its Belmopan Campus for the Kinkajou, Iguana and Scarlet Macaw building as well as the Faculty of Education and Arts building. The specific goal of the drill was to prepare students on how a building should be evacuated in the event of an emergency. Also, it was to evaluate the evacuation time to ensure that is fast enough and to identify any problems with the University’s emergency systems and evacuation procedures.
The drill included the active participation of the Belmopan’s Fire Department, Police Department, Police K9, NEMO, the Belmopan Emergency Response Service and members of the UB’s staff as well as the Office of Public Safety, whose responsibility it is to ensure that fire evacuation drills are carried out. Mr. John Salam, Acting Chief Public Safety Officer, and his officers were congratulated by the President for their diligent work.
Dr. Arlenie Continues to Publish in Research Journals on Her Work on Sea Cucumbers
On October 26, 2018 Dr. Arlenie Roger, Marine Fellow at the UB Environmental Research Institute, received the news that a research paper that she co-authored was published in Check List The Journal of biodiversity data. The paper is entitled “Eulimids (Gastropoda, Eulimidae) on the Sea Cucumber Holothuria mexicana (Ludwig, 1875) (Holothuroidea, Holothuriidae) in Belize”. Below is the abstract for her paper.
This study presents new records for 4 eulimid species (Gastropoda, Eulimidae) including Melanella eburnea (Megerle von Mühlfeld, 1824), Melanella hypsela (Verrill & Bush, 1900), Melanella sp., and Eulimostraca encalada Espinosa, Ortea & Magaña, 2006 found on the body wall of the sea cucumber Holothuria mexicana in Belize. Three of these records (M. hypsela, M. eburnea, and E. encalada) represent a first for the Western Caribbean ecoregion and close a distributional gap for these species in the Caribbean. The geographic distribution of M. eburnea is thereby expanded by ~800 km; M. hypsela by ~1,200 km and E. encalada by ~970 km in the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic province. This article presents for the first time H. mexicana as a new host record for E. encalada.
President Sankat Presents Transformational Plan to COBEC
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and Dr. Mariot Simon met with Dr. Emilia Hodge, Co-Chair of the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) through her courtesy call on November 6, 2018. President Sankat took the opportunity to present to her the Transformational Plan Vision 2022 Booklet to Dr. Hodge, and assured her of UB’s support for the Winter Conference.
Presentation of Two Computers to UB
The presentation of two generously donated desktops to the University of Belize was made by Mr. Yu-Cheng Yang, lecturer in Mandarin at UB’s Regional Language Centre. One of the computers was presented to President Sankat and the other was presented to the Regional Language Centre.
Continuing the Infrastructural Transformation
On, October 23, 2018, the President together with Mr. Francis Burns, Director of Physical Plant, Projects and Facilities, took a tour of the many physical works being undertaken at the Belmopan Campus, so as to enhance the environment for our Students, Faculty and Staff.
New Students are Welcomed at UB’s Belmopan & Belize City Matriculation Ceremonies
The University of Belize held its matriculation ceremonies for its Belmopan and Belize City students on August 22 and 29th, respectively. The Matriculation Ceremony is to officially acknowledge and formally welcome new students to the University and provide them an opportunity to meet the leadership team of the University.
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat assured the students that, “everyone at the University is keen to guide and support [them] and provide… all the encouragement that [they] will need to successfully complete [their] studies.” He concluded his message by wishing students his very best wishes for a great and productive year and assures same, they will enjoy their time at UB.
The keynote speakers were Ms. Jacklyn Burns and Mr. Bernard Wagner, graduates of the University and members of the Belmopan and Belize City Council respectively. Ms. Burns reminisced of her first experience at UB and encouraged all including the President, Faculty and Students to do their best to make their experience a good one.
Dr. Mariot Simon, Vice President, then led the students in the Matriculation Oath, where subsequently two students from each of the four faculties signed the Matriculation Register. The rest of the students had the opportunity to sign the register after the ceremony.
This year the University welcomed 1, 295 new students, and together with the 3, 812 returning students, it has a record number of 5, 107 students.
President Sankat Visits Punta Gorda Campus and Meets with Students, Faculty and Staff
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat visited the Punta Gorda Campus on September 3, 2018, where he took the opportunity to meet with Faculty and Staff. He commended and lauded the campus’s well-organized graduation ceremony in June and engaged in discussions to maximize classroom space and revise existing programs. He also encouraged the Faculty and Staff to work together to continue the fundraising efforts initiated last year.
He also met with news students and oversaw the matriculation oath taking for new students. He encouraged them to make the most of their experience, building both their technical and non-technical skills. At the end of the ceremony, Mrs. Gillian Flowers, Lecturer and Student Government Assistant Coordinator, led the students in the Matriculation Oath taking. The singing of the UB Song was led by students of the campus’s Composing Process class, while the Student Government President for the PG Campus delivered the Vote of Thanks.
International Belizean-American Journalist Lennox Samuels Presents at Fifth Silvaana Udz Lekcha
The Fifth Silvaana Udz Lekcha was held on September 4, 2018 at the University of Belize’s Jaguar Auditorium. The Lecture Series is hosted by the Faculty of Education and Arts (FEA) in honor of Dr. Silvaana Udz, a former Assistant Professor at UB and one of Belize’s preeminent Kriol activists. The main objective of the Silvaana Udz Lekcha series is to introduce students to noteworthy Belizean authors, poets and intellectuals, so that students may be inspired to pursue a life of writing and critical reflection.
In the welcome remarks, Dr. Virginia Hampton, Chair of the Language and Arts Department in FEA, set the tone for the presentation as she spoke on journalism and the importance of being accurate and objective.
The highlight of the day was the key note speaker, Mr. Lennox Samuels, renowned Belizean journalist. His presentation was entitled, ” ‘Enemies of the People’ and ‘Fake News’: How the Assault on the Media by Demagogues Like Trump Threatens Democracy and Makes the World More Dangerous.” Mr. Samuels spoke on the trend of discrediting the media press as a way to silence it. He shared his extensive experience in countries such as Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Philippines, Uganda and Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia), particularly as it relates to freedom of press within tyrannical regimes.
Among the audience there was the notable presence of Robin Schaffer, daughter of Dr. Udz. Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, President, and Dr. Mariot Simon, Vice President.
Lennox Samuels is a reporter, writer, editor and media consultant based in Bangkok, Thailand. His 40-year career includes stints as an education writer, investigative reporter, fashion editor, city editor, news executive, and foreign correspondent. He has travelled to scores of countries on every continent except Antarctica, and reported from many of them. His international assignments have included covering the long-running conflict in Somalia and the war in Iraq, and serving as chief of correspondents in Mexico.
Engineering Department Establishes New Advisory Councils
By Mr. Leonard Mortis
The Engineering Department from the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) convened the first meeting of joint Advisory Councils on August 28, 2018 at its campus on Freetown Road, Belize City. Three Advisory Councils were formed to assist in the strengthening of existing programs and the development of new ones, which will prepare students to enter into industry and further studies.
The Advisory Councils consist of representatives from industry and other stakeholders from outside the institution, who have special knowledge and expertise and who will assist in the planning, development and evaluation of proposed Bachelor of Technology Degree programs in Engineering.
University programs, students and employers exist in a rapidly changing world and this pace dictates that UB’s curriculum and practices must be relevant to national needs as well as assuring that graduates will be capable of performing entry-level skills needed by employers. Simultaneously, programs must have international currency and provide an easy path for matriculation into advance studies. One way to gauge if these expectations are being met is through the Advisory Councils.
Department Chair Mr. Leonard Mortis along with the faculty and staff of the Engineering Department and members of the councils were honoured by the presence of the President of the University of Belize, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat who gave the meeting’s keynote address. Professor Sankat is a Chartered Engineer (CEng.) and a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (FIAgrE) of the UK as well as a Fellow of the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago (FAPETT).
The President’s presentation titled, “An Opportunity to Rethink our Engineering Programs at UB to meet National Development and Global Standards” was well received and gave the impetus needed to go forward on the right path. In his presentation, the President expressed that this is an opportune time despite all the challenges to take a look at UB as a whole and to make it serve the national development needs and to meet global standards.
He continued by saying that “there is a need for market surveys to hear from the industries like those present, and the response should look at both the national development needs and to meet global standards. The University needs to produce graduates that have the ability to be internationally and regionally mobile and with the Advisory Council this can certainly be looked at”. He ended by challenging the Advisory Councils to … “rethink our programs with external benchmarks of quality and international/regional accreditation as paramount”.
The Engineering Department aims to fulfill its mission of providing specialized higher educational experience that forms the basis of quality training of Technicians and Engineers to meet the developmental needs of the students and country. The formation of these new Advisory Councils is a positive step toward achieving this mission.
UB Holds its Second Successful Endowment Fund Fete
The President of the University of Belize, Professor Clement Sankat wishes to thank the many staff, students, alumni and our many friend and well-wishers from the Public & Private Sectors who came together to this our second fundraising event. Proceeds from this event will go to making scholarships/bursaries available to deserving students to pursue higher education at UB.
Our President wishes to pay particular tribute to our many sponsors of this event, without whose generous support success would not have been achieved. The feedback from our guests, who were all VIPS, was that the food, the music and the environment allowed all to have a very good time. We were pleased to have Belize’s own ELJAI backed by Gilhary 7 together with the singers Oscar B from Trinidad and Pluto Shervington from Jamaica performing. The event was graced with the presence of the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar and the Chairman of the UB Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim.
The President wishes to thank all his faculty, staff and students who worked tirelessly to make this event a success.
Thanks to all who purchased tickets for this worthy cause and we look forward to seeing you again in September 2019!
UB Faculty Participates in Training Course on Microplastic Analysis Using Mirs Technique
Dr. Abel Carrias of the faculty of Science and Technology participated in a Training Course on Microplastic Analysis by using MIRS Technique carried out at the Laboratório de Radioecologia e Alterações Ambientais, Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal Fluminense – UFF, between 13 August 2018 and 17 August 2018, in Niteroi – RJ – Brazil. The participation of Dr. Carrias in this meeting arises from his involvement in IAEA TCP project Regional project RLA7022 “Strengthening Regional Monitoring and Response for Sustainable Marine and Coastal Environments (ARCAL CXLV)”.
The training is part of the efforts to build human and laboratory capacity at UB through participation in national, regional and inter regional projects funded by the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Currently, the University of Belize is executing National Project BZ7002 “Strengthening National Capacity for Measuring and Monitoring Marine Pollution and Studying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems”.
The participation of Dr. Carrias in this meeting will contribute to the development of UB’s capacity to perform studies on microplastics and to assess its impact on marine ecosystems. During the meeting, Dr. Carrias learned sampling protocols and methodologies for determining abundance, distribution and to perform physical and chemical characterization of microplastics. Significant outcomes of the training course include:
- The development of a standardized sampling protocol that will be used regionally to perform microplastic studies.
- Commitment from the project to fund the chemical characterization of 20 microplastic samples from Belize to be carried out at the Laboratório de Radioecologia e Alterações Ambientais, Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, using MIRS technique.
- Submission of a list of sampling equipment valued at $6,000 euros for funding consideration under project RLA7022.
UB aims to work alongside the TCP to establish a long and fruitful relationship for building capacity at UB and of its stakeholders that will lead to meaningful scientific contributions for solving problems of national interest and significance.
UB Lecturers Publish Chapters in Bioelectricity Book
Lecturers in the Faculty of Science and Technology Dr. Santos Chicas and Mr. Jair Valladarez recently published chapters in the book entitled Microbial Fuel Cells Technology for Bioelectricity. They also take the opportunity acknowledged Ms. Justine Myvett for the graphic image 3.1 Cross section of a plant microbial fuel cell system.
This chapter summarizes the general architecture of plant microbial fuel cells with a focus on the utilized anodic and cathodic materials. An elaborate discussion on the potential of various plants and significance of microbial communities toward the generation of power has been provided. In addition, the recent improvements and limitations in plant MFCs and also the futuristic explorations have been discussed. The book is available for purchase at https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-92904-0.
UB Meets with Ambassador Alexis Rosado and Senators Lizarraga and Salas on Public Awareness Seminars for ICJ Referendum
Dr. Mariot Simon, Vice President, accompanied by Dean of the Faculty of Education and Arts, Dr. Nestor Chan, met with Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado; Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Belize Business Bureau; and Hon. Osmany Salas, Senator for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). They discussed ways to increase awareness on the upcoming referendum where the people decide on referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice.
The UB will partner with the Business Community, NGOs and Civil Society to present a public awareness program designed to inform the general public on the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute.
It is anticipated that this program will provide a forum for dissemination of information on the dispute so that the people of Belize will have a greater understanding and be more informed going into the referendum on April 10, 2019.
Learning More about the Roots and Routes of Guatemala’s Dispute
The Belize History Association with support of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the University of Belize held its Fifth Annual September Lecture entitled “Belize Disputes Guatemala’s Claim – Roots and Routes” on September 13, 2018 in the Belmopan Campus. Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, UB President, welcomed the audience and spoke on the importance of History Education and rethinking the way history is taught so as to make it more exciting to students and so that it can assist with developing critical thinking skills and an appreciation of where we have come from and where we are going as societies.
The presenters were David Gomez , who presented on Canals and Borders: Economic Diplomacy and the Territorial Claim to Belize, c. 1820-1870; Ambassador David Gibson, who presented on Key Considerations for a Juridical Resolution of the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute by the International Court of Justice (ICJ); and Carlos Clarke, who presented A Comparative Analysis of the Guatemala-Belize Dispute and Three IJC Cases: Cambodia v. Thailand (1962), El Salvador v. Honduras (1992) and Libya v. Chad (1994). The moderator of the lecture was prominent Historian Dr. Angel Cal.
UB President and President of CSUCA Professor Sankat Attends Meeting in Costa Rica
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, as President of CSUCA and also of the UB, attended CSUCA meetings in San Jose, Costa Rica on September 5-7, 2018. The meetings treated with (i) The Final Report on the HICA Project (Harmonisation and Innovation in Central American Higher Education Curricula: Enhancing and Implementing a Regional Qualifications Framework). Also present at this meeting was Ms. Lynnette Pascascio – student in the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (ii) A meeting of the Board of the Central American Accreditation Council (CCA) on which CSUCA is represented by its President and Secretary General (iii) The IX Foro del Consejo Centroamericano de Accreditacion de la Educacion Superior (Ninth Forum of the Central American Accreditation Council of Higher Education). The President was advised that UB was a signatory to the Central American Accreditation Council, but not participated in recent times. As a follow up to these meetings the President met with UB’s Academic Council.
The President also took the time to make a brief visit to Earth University on the invitation of the Costa Rican Ambassador to Belize. He met with the Provost there Dr. Daniel Sherrard and a few Belizean students pursuing their degrees in Agriculture. Earth is a very impressive agricultural University.
UB President Presents on Central American Framework of Qualifications for Higher Education to Academic Council Meeting
The Academic Council, composed of the academic leaders of the University and chaired by the Vice President, convened on September 12, 2018 and Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat took the opportunity to share a presentation developed by CSUCA (the Central American University Superior Council) on the HICA Project. The Framework of Qualifications for Higher Education in Central America which has three main objectives:
a) promote curricular innovation by defining and focusing on the key expected learning outcomes for each level of higher education of the region.
b) promote regional academic harmonization by defining common regional standards.
c) promote clarity and understanding of diplomas and degree qualifications offered in the region
The framework seeks to focus on learning outcomes rather than content so as to better prepare well-rounded students with the necessary technical and soft skills for the world of work.
The Framework document is now completed and academics are invited to view it at http://hica.csuca.org/.
The Central American University Superior Council with the support of the University of Barcelona established an alliance with six different universities in the region and Europe, undertaking two projects funded by the European Commission (Alfa PUENTES, Erasmus Plus HICA).
UB Celebrates its 18th Anniversary
The University of Belize held a small ceremony on August 18th at the Belmopan Campus to commemorate its anniversary. In his address to faculty and staff, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat said, “Today, 18 years later on the occasion of our anniversary, it is an appropriate time for pause and reflection by all of us as a community – individually and collectively – on our achievements to date, where we are as a National University and where we are going in the years ahead in advancing our vision.” President Sankat’s complete address was published in the recent issue of UB Imprint and is also available at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/presidents-statement-on-the-occasion-of-our-18th-anniversary-belmopan/.
The University of Belize Welcomes over 1, 200 New Students
The University of Belize held orientation for the new students that joined UB for the 2018-1 semester. This year the University welcomed 1, 279 new students, and together with the 3, 813 returning students, we have a record number of 5, 092 students.
The Faculty of Education and Arts has 1, 240 students; 1, 975 students are enrolled in the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences; 1, 121 are in the Faculty of Science and Technology; and the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work has 692. The University of Belize also has option for Adult Continuing Education (ACE) and Transient which 62 students chose.
UB Receives Visit from High Ranking Officials of the Technical Cooperation Program of the International Atomic Energy Agency
The Deputy Director General of Technical Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr. Dazhu Yang, and the Section Head of Technical Cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr. Saul Perez Pijuan, visited the University of Belize on August 6, 2018. They met with Dr. Mariot Simon, Dr. Abel Carrias, Dr. Aaron Lewis and Mr. Jair Valladarez. Dr. Yang and Mr. Perez were updated on the two projects that IAEA has funded at UB. They also toured the laboratory housing the equipment donated by IAEA.
The University of Belize, through the Faculty of Science and Technology, has benefited from two IAEA TCP projects: BZE7001 “Using Nuclear Techniques for Geological Applications and Environmental Monitoring of Soil and Water” and BZE7002 “Strengthening National Capacity for Measuring and Monitoring Marine Pollution and Studying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems”.
Project BZE7001 was completed in 2017 and through it equipment for detection of radiation (Portable Radon – Thoron Analyzer in soil, air and water) and an experimental kit for gamma spectrometry and radiation monitoring were obtained. This equipment will be used by the Physics Program for teaching purposes to demonstrate the use of nuclear based equipment in environmental research applications.
Project BZE7002 is ongoing and will be completed in 2018. Project BZE7002 has focused on building human and laboratory capacity at the University of Belize; for subsequently applying nuclear technology to perform studies and monitoring of aquatic environmental pollutants. Laboratory capacity for water quality analysis, organochlorine pesticide residue analysis and ocean acidification research will be established under this project.
In related news, the University of Belize is happy to report that a concept paper submitted by Dr. Abel Carrias for TCP cycle 2020-2021 has been approved for the next stage in project design and is undergoing full project proposal design. Although funds are not guaranteed, acceptance to the full proposal phase is a milestone in the project funding process of the IAEA TCP.
84 International Students will be Studying at RLC
The Regional Language Center held an orientation ceremony for the students who will be pursuing a Certificate in English as a Second Language for the academic year on August 10, 2018. RLC’s Director, Mr. Noe Agreda, along with faculty members welcomed the students to the University of Belize. This year the RLC will host a record number of 84 students from Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Republic of China (Taiwan).
UB Lecturer Mr. Leonard Mortis Represents UB in Technical Exchange on Disaster Management
Mr. Leonard Mortis, Chair of the Science Department in the Faculty of Science and Technology, participated in a Technical Exchange on Disaster Management in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA during July 24-26, 2018. This three-day event was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in Latin America and the Caribbean Region (USAI/OFDA/LAC). This was in conjunction with the Regional Disaster Assistance Program (RDAP), whose principal objective is enhancing the capacities of institutions in an effort to reduce community risk through the strengthening of their resilience to disasters.
The program was facilitated by the Louisiana State University’s (LSU), Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI) and involved 14 participants from institutions of Higher Education from Latin America and the Caribbean.
As expounded by T.M. Callahan and B.Michell of USAID/OFDA/LAC and LSU respectively, the major focus during the exchange was looking at … ”ways to incorporate Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) in the university structure through development of internal security programs, evacuation plans, hazard simulations and institutional emergency operations center and other administration structures to help respond to disasters when they occur.”
During the training, participants had the opportunity on several occasion to combine classroom presentations and discussions with visits to locations within the City of Baton Rouge linked to LSU and SDMI to understand and appreciate how best practices are applied in the field.
The greatest takeaway from this experience, according to Mr. Mortis, was that Flagship/National Universities must lead in research and education in regards to disaster management. Universities through their programs and faculty must lend their academic expertise to the needs of the disaster management community such as NEMO, CEMO’s and other allied Ministries and NGO’s.
To this end, in late August Mrs. Beryl Armbrister, RDAP Sub-Regional Manager (Caribbean), will be in Belize for the extension of talks to expand on, and to provide technical support on potential collaboration and expression of interest from the University of Belize in projects for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) small grant program.
Joining this discussion will be Mr. Jose Zuniga, of the Ministry of Education and Belize’s Disaster Risk Management Specialist (DRMS) for USAID/OFDA/LAC. This discourse should lead to strengthening the capacity of the University of Belize towards full integration with the disaster management community in emergency and disaster preparation, prevention, response, recovery and mitigation. This will also offer the prospect for income generation for the university and increase brand recognition.
Mr. Mortis thanks the Office of the President for the opportunity to attend the exchange and representing the University of Belize.
UB President Assumes Leadership of the Council of Central American Universities CSUCA
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat has assumed the Presidency of Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano (CSUCA – Central American Higher Education Council) for this academic year (July, 2018 – June, 2019).
CSUCA is the Council of Higher Education Institutions in Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and is based in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
President Sankat chaired his first meeting on August 6-7, 2018 at the Autonomous University of Chiriqui (Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí – UNACHI) in David, Panama. While there, he also attended the installation for a second term of the “Rectora” (President) of UNACHI, Ethelvina M. de Bonogas.
In his welcome address (available at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/cxii-112th-meeting-of-csuca/), he reminded those present that our Universities, “shape a new destiny of wellness and sustainability of our countries through education and training and research and knowledge dissemination. Peace, Progress and Prosperity should be the watchwords of all our countries and our Universities have a vital role to facilitate such understandings.”
The Council also issued a statement on the social unrest in Nicaragua and encouraged the authorities to re-establish dialogue and peace. This statement can be seen at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/declaration-of-support-for-the-people-of-nicaragua/ as well as a statement from the Student Governments of CSUCA (Federación de Estudiantes Universitarios de Centro América y el Caribe (FEUCA)) which available at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/declaration-of-support-for-the-people-of-nicaragua/.
It is proposed that the 113th Session of CSUCA will be hosted by the University of Belize in March 2019.
Taiwanese Students Visit and Assist at the Punta Gorda Campus
Thirteen student volunteers from National Tsing Hua University, Republic of China (Taiwan), made their second annual visit to UB’s Punta Gorda Campus last week. They conducted a summer camp training in computer technology at Julian Cho Technical High in the Toledo District. They also visited with management of Claver College Extension in Punta Gorda Town, made a short presentation to students at UB – Toledo Campus, featuring their country and the volunteer work they do in Cayo and Toledo Districts. The Taiwanese volunteers also engaged in a brief cultural exchange session with our Business students and had the opportunity to visit a nearby farm located just outside of Punta Gorda Town. They also donated materials in support of our on-going painting project.
The Work has started for the India-Belize Center for Engineering (IBCE) in the Belmopan Campus
A ground breaking ceremony was held for the IBCE building at the Belmopan Campus on August 2, 2018. Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat in his address (available at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/remarks-at-ground-breaking-of-the-india-belize-center-for-engineering-building/), outlined the history of the the project and how it is finally coming to reality. He also shared with the audience the Engineering equipment the Government of India is donating, which amounts to approximately BZ $ 1.09 million (FOB).
Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) were signed last year December, 20th between the Government of Belize (GOB) and the Government of India (GOI) and between the Government of Belize (GOB) and University of Belize (UB) – a three-way partnership for what is called the ‘India/Belize Centre for Engineering”, IBCE Project.
Belize Essentials Limited of Belmopan has been contracted to build the three buildings to host the workshop facility. One building will house two class rooms/offices/restrooms and the other two for the Workshops/Lab equipment. The buildings are expected to be completed by the end of November, 2018.
At the ceremony were the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, Senior Managers of UB, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize were present. Pastor Lance Lewis dedicated the grounds.
The University of Belize Strengthens Partnership with Love FM
The University of Belize signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Love FM on August 16th to foster the advancement of the country’s tertiary level education, through subsidized promotions, collaboration in the development of innovative marketing strategies, training and capacity building for employees of both institutions.
The partnership will also firmly establish UB as the hub for communication education in Belize, by creating a unique partnership with Love Foundation where students can obtain practical, hands on experience in media to complement their studies at the University. The two organizations will leverage each other’s strengths to ensure a successful joint venture delivering, uncompromising standards and techniques in communication.
UB and NICH: Partnership in History
The University of Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History, On August 15th signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on matters of education, history and culture. The MoU focuses on institutional cooperation, where both parties will be partnering to make research and education more dynamic. It is a collaboration that will see resources, knowledge, data and information shared between the two institutions, which will not only help strengthen common interests and missions of UB and NICH, but ultimately help in nation building.
UB Students Win Medals at the 2018 North American Powerlifting Regional Championships
The North American Powerlifting Regional Championships were held in Mexico City from August 1, 2018 to August 4, 2018. Two UB students Khalid Usher (FST) and Ryan Bood Usher (FEA) were members of Team Belize. Khalid Usher won bronze in his category and Ryan Bood Usher won two gold medals in his category. In doing so, Ryan set a North American Power Lifting record. He also won the Best Overall Junior Lifter Trophy.
These two young men with UB FST student Kevin Aké have also contributed to the creation of Belize’s Powerlifting Association (BPA) which is recognized by the Belize Sports Council and the International Powerlifting Association. Kevin Aké is the current BPA President. Students interested in this sport can meet these trailblazing students at our annual Belmopan Semester Kick Off scheduled August 29, 2018. Congratulations Kevin, Ryan and Khalid!
Professor Sankat Meets with Representatives of the People’s United Party
On August 16th, 2018 Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees met with the People’s United Party’s Hon. Johnny Briceño, Hon. Francis Fonseca and Stuart Leslie. At this meeting, the President, along with his Academic Chairs and Heads of Departments, presented the University’s Strategic Plan, Transformation Leap: Vision 2022, to the team of the Opposition leader. Topics discussed were the role of the University in Belize’s national development, the expanded capacities and resources the University needs to address current and future development challenges, as well as the strategies needed for its development in a global context and positioning the University for high performance including Accreditation.
This meeting provided a valuable networking opportunity for the University of Belize, as the PUP representatives pledged their full support to the national University and is one that further sets the stage for future cooperation between the University and its key stakeholders.
Punta Gorda Campus Undergoes Repairs
The Punta Gorda Campus has been undergoing physical renovation these past months. There were ceiling repairs, working on the Student Center, entrance of Administration building and repairing of AC unit in the Computer Lab. Toledo Campus Administrator Mr. Roy Polonio spearheaded these projects and received support from the Town Council and business partners, as well as from the Office of the President, UB.
Professor Sankat congratulates Mr. Polonio for the excellent work.
President meets with Assistant Professors
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat met with the Assistant Professors of the University of Belize on August 2. He mentored and encouraged them at the start of the academic year so that they can grow and develop themselves in teaching and research. He emphasized this was the group of Faculty that had to lead the UB’s Research effort and that the Research and Post Graduate Committee that has been established will also help to drive this effort. He also mentioned that the Institutional Advancement Office was there to help support the applications for research grants.
Professor Sankat also acknowledged the presence of Professor Dr. Thippi Thiagarajan, Chair of the Research Committee and UB’s first Professor.
UB Leaders Met to Reflect on the Way Forward at President’s Retreat
The 1st President’s Retreat was intended to be a time to reflect and a time for leaders to share their plans for Academic Year 2018/19 for their respective areas. Participants were encouraged to openly engage each other, in an informal setting; the President encouraged all to focus around the larger developmental issues and the progressive changes that we expect to see in all of the University’s Faculties, Institutes, Centres, and Administration.
The top administrative priority for the University of Belize for the upcoming year is the transformation of the University’s HR policies, procedures, and practices. Last year’s top priority as repeated but the President was the balancing of the budget, which falls as this year’s close second. Other priorities for the University for this upcoming year include improving the academic programs to be made more attractive and marketable; advancing the cause of research and innovation; creating a more student-centred Institution; and creating an environment that is more conducive for our staff/faculty/ students and visitors and one befitting that of a respected University.
Leaders presented their plans for 2018/19 and there was considerable discussion and enthusiasm for these. Cross-functional areas were also identified that can strengthen UB’s offerings. The President expressed his pleasure with the deliberations of the day, one which augured well for the future of the University of Belize.
President Sankat meets with Mrs. Karen Ysaguirre-Lewis from Scotiabank
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat along with Mr. Arnulfo Kantun, Business Development Officer, met with Mrs. Karen Ysaguirre-Lewis, Director, Retail and Small Business Banking at Scotiabank on August 2, 2018.
The purpose of the meeting was to develop partnerships for mutual success.
UB Positions Itself in the Caribbean through its Focus on Agricultural Education at Caribbean Food Crops Society 54th Meeting
Contribution from Mr. Ricardo Gongora Special Assistant to the President for Inter-Institutional Collaboration within the Office of Institutional Advancement.
The Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS) held its 54th Annual Meeting in Belize at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City during July 8-13, 2018. The meeting was held under the theme “Multi-functionality of Agriculture in the Caribbean Basin in Countries with Predominant Tourist Industries”. The formal inauguration was held on July 9 where key speakers welcomed the participants. Senator Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Immigration was the speaker to deliver remarks. He was followed by the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Manuel Otero. Director General of the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Mr. Barton Clarke; Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, and Chair of the CFCS Dr. Wilfredo Colón also welcomed everyone, the vast majority being from the Caribbean (English, French, Spanish and Dutch) countries and the Americas.
Professor Sankat commended CFCS for their commitment to be the “one umbrella organization that brings Caribbean researchers/scholars/professionals/practitioners in Agriculture together annually, sharing our knowledge, research and best practices to advance the cause of the Agriculture Sector in the Caribbean.” He also noted that this was the very first time that Belize hosted the CFCS Meeting in its 55-year-old history. The President thanked the Minister of Agriculture Senator Honourable Godwin Hulse and his technical team from the Ministry in hosting this event, with planning taking place in only a few months.
The second day was marked by the President giving an insightful presentation which served as the capstone of the morning session. He spoke concisely on the history of the University’s engagement in agriculture and its current development initiatives in this area.
The primary focus of President Sankat’s discourse highlighted the importance of agricultural programs in the region and within the University of Belize. He highlighted how the University of Belize is responding to the needs of the Agricultural Sector characterized by:
• Programs that promote self-employment, knowledge and skills development for the practice of entrepreneurship and market driven agriculture, meeting the human resource needs of the private sector and a lessened focus on the traditional training for the public service.
• Enhanced rural development and poverty reduction, providing educational opportunities for the at risk youth – flexibility and opportunity
• Placing sustainable development and natural resource management, environmental and climate smart themes into our training
• Learning and interrogating food and agriculture as a system of production and opportunities – from ‘farm to table’.
• Strengthening leadership, knowledge and skills – through communication, farm/agribusiness management, community and industry engagement, project management training together with the development of personal values and attitudes.
The President’s welcome speech is available at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/presidents-remarks-opening-ceremony-caribbean-food-crops-society/.
Powerpoint presentation: https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/undergraduate-agricultural-training-at-university-of-belize-cfcs/
On the opening day, courtesy of the CFCS, twenty students of the University of Belize were invited to attend. Students from other Caribbean countries, were also present.
The Central Farm Campus Faculty were also present and had posters displayed. The titles of the posters were:
“Cultivating Success at UB: Preparing 21st Century Students for Market-Driven Entrepreneurial Agriculture | Crop Production” by Francisco Tzul, Zoe Zetina and Jenilee Donis
“Livestock Training at UB” by Luis Hernandez and Trinidad Mendez
“UB Generating Entrepreneurs: Using an Innovative Model to Deliver a Social Good” by Zoe Zetina, Francisco Tzul and Jenilee Donis
“Micropropagation for Production: Quality Banana, Pineapples, & Sugarcane Planting Material in Belize” by Marco Cordova, Kenny Balan, Selvin Vidal and Rene Cerde Jr.
The posters are available at: https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/central-farm-posters-presented-at-caribbean-food-crops-society-meeting/
The Central Farm Campus also welcomed the delegation from the Caribbean and the Americas on Friday to the Campus at Cayo, where they learnt of the work UB is doing in agricultural education and toured the farm facilities, which was described as a “living laboratory for agriculture”.
The President wishes to commend the UBCF team lead by Mrs. Zoe Zetina, Mr. Francisco Tzul, Mr. Luis Hernandez, and Mr. Trinidad Mendez for the excellent work they did in mobilising and supporting the CFCS Conference. Also for making the Central Farm Campus welcoming and attractive, and for which UB was given a lot of compliments.
UB Becomes a Member of the Caribbean Council of Higher Education in Agriculture (CACHE)
President Sankat was invited to address the Opening of CACHE’s Annual General Assembly on July 10, 2018 at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Belize City. President’s address focused on “Agriculture, and the Undergraduate education offered at UB.” His address is available at https://www.ub.edu.bz/download/presidents-remarks-at-xxi-agm-of-caribbean-council-of-higher-education-in-agriculture/.
At the meeting, CACHE’s Chairman Dr. Wayne Ganpat who is also Dean of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture of The University of West Indies, Trinidad, and the Executive Secretary of CACHE Dr. Cesar Cruz of the Dominican Republic, welcomed the UB and its Central Farm Campus into the CACHE organization. This may allow the UB to attract resources to teach/research through the CACHE network.
CACHE also recognized the group, Nago Bank Cooperative of the Belize District for their contribution to the Agricultural Development in Belize on the recommendation of the UB Central Farm Campus and the Ministry of Agriculture.
President Sankat meets with Brazilian Ambassador
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federative Republic of Brazil to Belize, H.E. Luciano Helmond Macieira. The focus was on both undergraduate and post graduate scholarships and programs of study in Brazilian Universities. These opportunities were recently circulated and information is available at:
The President also encouraged the Ambasador to get Brazilian students to UB especially for English Language training and education. There was also a desire to support Brazilian cultural activities at the University – music, song, dance etc, for which Brazil is every well known.
UB Signs Contract for the Construction of the India-Belize Center of Engineering (IBCE) at Belmopan Campus
After nearly three years of trying, the project, a tripartite agreement between the Government of Belize, Government of India and the University of Belize (UB), is set to commence at the Belmopan Campus. The President noted that “it has been a steady/unrelenting journey to make this happen since December 2017, and the UB is now poised to erect the buildings to facilitate the Engineering workshop equipment that is being donated by the Government of India. It is expected that the facilities and equipment will be in place by the end of 2018.”
UB Welcomes the Secretary Generals of CSUCA and SICA
The new Secretary General of CSUCA (Central American Higher Education Council) Dr. Carlos Alvarado Cerezo, formerly Rector of the University of San Carlos (USAC), visited Belize. He represented CSUCA at the recent meeting of SICA (Central American Integration System). Dr. Alvarado also met with Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, who will be chairing his first meeting of CSUCA in Panama during August 5-8, 2018 as the new President. Professor Sankat, Dr. Alvarado and the Secretary General of SICA, Marco Vinicio Cerezo paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow on July 21, 2018.
UB – FST Lecturers Complete Consultancy Service on Insect Pests and Diseases of Sugarcane in The Northern Sugar Belt Region
Faculty of Science and Technology lecturers, Dr. Latha Thomas, Dr. Thippichetty Thiagarajan, Dr. Caroline Herron and Ms. Karen Bautista have successfully completed a consultancy with Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) on ‘Biological Composition and Ecological Assessment of the Northern Sugar-Belt Region’. The consultancy involved assessment of major insect pests and fungal diseases affecting sugarcane in the northern sugar-belt region and was carried out over a period of six (6) months. Some of the Insects and fungal diseases that were identified during the study are new reports to Belize. This initiative paves the way forward for future collaboration between University of Belize and SIRDI to study the pests and diseases of sugarcane.
The President congratulated the team on the work and looks forward to more UB Faculty engaging the private sector, formally through the UB.
Library Holds a Successful Summer Reading Program for 42 Children
The University of Belize Library, Belmopan held another successful Summer Reading Program under the theme “Read to Succeed”. The program’s overall objectives were to help students: build self-esteem, and improve their reading speed, phonics, fluency, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and attention span. The program was held for two weeks starting July 16th and ended on July 27th, 2018 with a closing ceremony. A total of 42 students successfully completed the program.
The Guest Speaker at the ceremony was Mrs. Zoi Marin who has been a facilitator of the Reading Program for many years. The teachers were recognized for their dedication and taking time from their vacation to help the students. The teachers were Concepciona Theus, Alpha Ramos, Charlene Stevens, Faith Arthus, Zoi Marin, Denisha Marin, Luvia Castillo, Elda Martinez and Albertha Garcia.
Chief Librarian Mr. Erwin Woodye Jr. also thanked those who helped in different ways to make this program a success including Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and Dr. Mariot Simon along with their administrative staff for supporting the program. He highlighted Mrs. Arlene Conorqui who was instrumental throughout the program, and all other library staff namely: Mrs. Othelia Cal-Choc, Mrs. Kayla Arthurs, Ms. Michelle Anderson, Ms. Eveyln Crespo, Mrs. Jacqueline Castillo, Ms. Indira Chiac, Ms. Nicole Gabb, Mr. Danny Deras, and Mr. Dwight Crawford; Mr. Jadon Foreman a student volunteer from Independence High School; and Ms. Vanessa Diaz from Records.
President Sankat meets with Students from San Pedro who are in the Education Methodology Summer Course at FEA, Belize City
Professor Sankat made a spot visit on Friday, July 27, 2018 to the Faculty of Education and Arts Campus, Belize City to inspect the Campus for its readiness for the new Academic Year 2018/2019. Much is required there in terms of the maintenance of the grounds and parking lots. The Director of Physical Facilities has been informed on this and is taking the necessary actions.
Dr. Kevin Tucker, Assistant Professor, introduced Professor Sankat to some of the Education students (teachers) taking classes this summer.
UB President meets with Representatives of the University of South Florida, USA
President Sankat met with representatives of the University of South Florida (USF), led by Dr. Maya Trotz, Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The UB and the USF are interested in signing a collaborative agreement that will focus on faculty/student exchange, training and research in the environmental area.
President Sankat Congratulates The UWI on its 70th Anniversary Celebrations and on Being Ranked on the Times Higher Education 2018 Latin America University Rankings
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat congratulates The University of West Indies (UWI) on its 70th Anniversary and its recent ranking in the Times Higher Education (THE) list of top universities in Latin Caribbean and the Caribbean – it placed 37th out of 139 Universities rated.
The President, an UWI alumnus of St. Augustine, applauds the regional UWI on its contribution to Human Development and Research in the English Speaking Caribbean, including Belize and wished it more success in the years ahead. He also noted that while the UB is still a young institution, it must nevertheless set its sights to also being regionally ranked.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, is currently participating in the 70th Anniversary celebrations. He himself is a distinguished two-time alumnus of The UWI (Mona and Cavehill).
For more information on this story kindly visit: https://www.breakingbelizenews.com/2018/07/20/university-of-the-west-indies-best-in-the-caribbean/