The “turning on” of the University’s Christmas lights has now become an annual event on the University’s social calendar that everyone anticipates, especially at the 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.
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.
Dr. Roxana L. Alvarez
New Director of the UB Central Farm Assumes Office
Dr. Alvarez is a graduate of the Belize College of Agriculture, the forerunner to the UBCF and holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of Granma in Cuba. She has been engaged in Teaching and Farming activities at the Tumul K’in Centre of Learning from 2003 to 2010. Most recently, she was the Manager of the Stann Creek Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Yesterday, the President, the Vice President, and the Acting Director of UB Central Farm Campus, Mrs. Zoe Zetina, and the faculty and staff, welcomed the new Director of the Central Farm Campus of the University of Belize.
The University of Belize as a whole welcomes her to our community.
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/
Five Students Receive Bursaries from the UB Endowment Fund
The University of Belize awarded five bursaries to deserving students on June 21, 2018. The bursaries will assist the students in pursuing their current Bachelor degrees. The awardees are:
Delroy Coc – Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
Rocio Calderon – Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Maria Chun – Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education
Zamarie Griffith – Bachelor’s Degree in Biology
Roberto Melendez – Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology
They are shown from left to right in the centre of the picture above.
Zamarie, one of the recipients commented: “As one of this year’s recipients, I am grateful for the opportunity this award will provide as, I rely on financial aid or grants to help finance my education. Receiving this award will reduce my financial burdens and provide assistance for me as I continue pursuing my education, which will place me one step closer to my goals.”
The funds for the bursaries are from the net profit of the 1st President’s All-inclusive Endowment Fete held last year at Bird’s Isle. President Sankat thanked the sponsors for their support in the fete. The President also announced details about the 2nd President’s All-inclusive Endowment Fete which will be held on September 1, 2018 at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino beginning at 9:00 p.m. The lead performer will be Pluto Shervington from Jamaica. Oscar B from Trinidad and Tobago will also be present this year along with ELJAI who is a Belizean artist. The accompanying bands will be Gilharry 7 and Youth Connection Band.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, and President, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, also thanked the family of Hon. Laura Longsworth-Tucker, Speaker of the House of Representatives, for her contribution to nursing education to UB in the form of a scholarship.
Travellers Limited, one of the sponsors of the Fete was represented by Mr. and Mrs. Gabb and Mr. Gabb endorsed the importance of giving students an opportunity to pursue their education at UB.
President Sankat also spoke on the Anil Sinha Memorial Scholarship for a student pursuing an Associate Degree in Agriculture. Anil Sinha (deceased) was the CARDI Country Representative in Belize.
Congratulations to the five students and we urge them to continue excelling.
UNAN visits UB to examine the possibility of Medical Education
The Representatives of the Faculty of Medicine from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (Drs Charles Wallace and Margarita Perez) visited the University of Belize on June 18 – 20, 2018, together with representatives of the Minister of Health of Belize, Dr. Natalia Beer and Mr. Andrei Chell and the PAHO/WHO Institutional Advisor Ms. Claudia Pescetto. The Representatives held meetings with the Dean of Faculty of Nursing Allied Health and Social Work and Faculty of Science & Technology and toured our teaching and learning facilities as well as looked at our curricula in these faculties. The purpose of this fact finding visit was to examine the possibility of UB embarking on a program in Medicine with the support of the Ministry of Health, FAO and Ministry of Education. A preliminary exit report by the representatives indicated a very good possibility for us to move in this direction. More detailed studies are expected to be conducted.
UB Early Childhood Stimulation Center Holds “Moving On” Ceremony for Baby Black Jaguars
Salima Savery, daughter of Dr. Sherlene Enriquez-Savery, Chair of the Math, Physics and Mathematics Department, passed on the torch to Abrielle Staine, daughter of Ruth Cardenes, Accounts Receivables Clerk I.
The goal of the center is to provide children with authentic activities that will stimulate their learning in an enjoyable way that is developing children holistically. The Administrator of the UBECSC is Mrs. Kathleen Zuniga and she is assisted by Mrs. Monica Neal, Mrs. Patricia Tzul, Mrs. Angela Neal and Ms. Ellise Luna.
The President congratulated the School on its work in supporting education at this level in Belmopan and on a very special end of year graduation ceremony, one that was very well attended by parents, guardians as well as members of the internal and external community.
Students Learn from Leaders on How to Prepare for a New Beginning
The Faculty of Education and Arts through the Educational Leadership and Administration class held a leadership panel on July 5, 2018 under the theme: “A new beginning belongs to those who prepare for it.” The invited leaders were Mr. Kevin Hall, Principal at Garden City Primary School in Belmopan; Mrs. Maria Hutchinson, Principal at Belmopan Comprehensive School; Mr. Eric Neal who is a Captain in Belize Defence Force and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Belize; and Mrs. Shelly Usher, General Manager of Builder’s Hardware.
The leaders shared their experiences and words of wisdom for the future leaders. The event was organized by the students of the course guided, by lecturer Mr. Leonardo Pott.
Deputy Ambassador of Israel Alon Laví pays courtesy visit to UB President
Deputy Ambassador of Israel Mr. Alon Lavi and the Consul for Israel in Belize, Mrs Rose Wischenka paid a courtesy call on the President on June 27, 2018. The representatives and the President engaged on possibilities for support to UB, especially in the area of Agriculture, Food Technology etc.
President meets with Belizean Author Frantz Smith
Mr. Frantz Smith, author of “A History of Enterprise in Belize” met with Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and Business Development Officer Mr. Arnulfo Kantun. The author presented a copy of the book to President and also spoke on his upcoming publication “BELIZE Facts and Figures”. Mr. Smith has education background in agriculture and spoke of his different projects. Professor Sankat encouraged him to continue to publish through the academic press and congratulated him on his thoughtful works on the possibilities of enterprise creation in Belize, emanating from our natural resources and agriculture.
Dr. Wagnon Presents International Classroom Initiative Journal to UB
Dr. Mariot Simon, Vice President, along with Mr. Arnulfo Kantun, Business Development Officer met with Dr. Deborah Wagnon of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) on July 2, 2018. Dr. Wagnon presented a copy of the International Classroom Initiative (ICI) Journal Volume 1 to the University. The ICI journal is a compilation of the research and writing of students and an attorney/professor working together in an international environment, for the purpose of learning and contributing to the media and entertainment infrastructure of a developing market. The current journal is focused on Belize and looks at the unique character, relevant international and national intellectual property laws, and industry infrastructure for media and entertainment. The UB and MTSU had previously signed a MOU in August 2016 with the stated goal to “Exchange ideas and information to further mutual understanding and cooperation”, between our global student communities, as put into action by the International Classroom Initiative. Dr. Wagnon is an Associate Professor at MTSU.
More Lights for a Safer Belmopan Campus
In order to provide a safer environment for students, the University has installed more LED Solar lights along the walkways of the campus. President Sankat thanks Mr. Francis Burns and the Physical Department team for their good work.
UB Holds Graduation Exercises for 1,147 Graduates
The University of Belize honored 1,147 Graduates during its Commencement Exercises which were held on Thursday,14th June, 2018, and Saturday, 16th June, 2018 at Punta Gorda Town and Belize City respectively. The keynote address in Belize City at the new Civic Center was delivered by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sports Hon. Patrick Faber. Mayor of Punta Gorda, Ashton Mckenzie, an alumnus of UB, delivered the keynote address for the Punta Gorda ceremony.
The graduates by faculties were as follows; Education and Arts – (461); Management and Social Sciences – (349); Science and Technology – (210); and Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work – (127). Of the total number of graduates 743 (64%) were females and 404 (35 %) were males. 140 of the graduates received Certificates from the project: Improving the Quality and Relevance of Early Childhood and Secondary Education in Northern Belize, done in partnership with the Government of Belize and funded by the European Union.
The Board of Trustees, Management, Faculty and Staff of the University of Belize congratulate the graduates on their achievement, and extend best wishes to them as they work to become catalysts for change and development in Belize.
The top Achievers for this year’s graduation were Christina Aldana, Associate Degree in Architecture, Shaquila Vernon – Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Camille Ellis – Diploma in Education Methodology.
UB Continues Its Efforts to Build Capacity In Ocean Acidification Research
The Faculty of Science and Technology congratulates Mr. Jair Valladarez for his participation in a three weeks’ fellowship at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure, from June 4-22, 2018. The participation of Mr. Valladarez in this meeting arises from his involvement in project INT/7/019 “Supporting a Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network towards Increased Involvement of Developing States”.
The training is part of the efforts to build research 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). In addition to building capacity through this training, 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 Mr. Valladarez in this meeting will strengthen UB’s capacity to perform ocean acidification (OA) research and monitoring and will complement work in other projects.
IT Lecturer Teaches Computer Basics to Primary School Students
As a part of the on-going initiative by the Information Technology faculty, to increase computing competencies at the primary and secondary levels of education; from June 5th to June 15th, Mr. David Garcia, IT Lecturer from the Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Information Technology, conducted a “Microsoft Office Basics” course for Standard 6 students of Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School in Belmopan. The objective of the course was to build computer literacy and foster computational thinking skills of the primary school students. This was achieved through interactive sessions with the students on the use of the Microsoft Office applications to automate everyday tasks such as document creation, numerical computations, and the presentation of information. Woven into the delivery of the application concepts were computational thinking activities that provide insights into problem-solving and how this relates to life inside and outside of the classroom.
The President congratulates Mr. Garcia and the Faculty of Science and Technology for the commendable outreach work.
Mr. Mathias Vairez Jr. Publishes in Administrative Issues Journal
Mr. Mathias Vairez Jr., lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Arts at the Punta Gorda Campus has once again published in a research journal. Mr. Vairez along with Dr. Douglas Hermond and Mr. Tyrone Tanner from Prairie View A & M University, Texas conducting a research entitled “Enhancing the cultural competency of prospective leaders via a study abroad experience” and it was published in the Administrative Issues Journal.
The publication can be accessed at: https://aij.scholasticahq.com/article/3641-enhancing-the-cultural-competency-of-prospective-leaders-via-a-study-abroad-experience
Once again the President congratulates Mr. Vairez on his research success.
Engineering Lecturer Attends Electrical Vehicle Workshop Held in Barbados
Engineering Lecturer Mr. Cleavon Diego represented the University of Belize in a two-day Electric Vehicle workshop held in Barbados during June 20-21, 2018. The workshop was conducted by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.
Mr. Diego found the workshop to be very constructive and a great learning experience in matters of Energy, Policy, Renewable Energy, Know How and Maintenance of Electric Vehicles. The workshop challenged the creative abilities of the participants.
The President thanks CARICOM for giving UB this opportunity.
UB holds Awards Ceremony for Graduands
On Monday June 11, 2018, in the presence of administration, faculty, staff, parents and guardians, the University of Belize recognized graduands who excelled academically, provided tutoring services and/or served on Student Governments across campuses. President Sankat awarded medals of academic excellence to top overall academic achievers by faculty. The University’s Vice President Dr. Simon and Faculty Deans presented students graduating with academic honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude) with honor cords. Students were not only recognized for academic excellence but also for service to UB and the community. These students received service medals and certificates of appreciation. The University of Belize thanks the Student Governments for their contribution to the success of this event.
Senior Management and Executive Members of UBFSA Met on June 12
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat welcomed the incoming President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association (UBFSA), Dr. Ethel Arzu, and members of the executive, Dr. Pio Saqui and Dr. Apolonio Aguilar, and congratulated them on their recent successes. He urged all to let’s work together to build the UB and he also shared with the UBFSA the existing policy document on promotions at UB. President Sankat was accompanied by the Senior Management Team comprised of Dr. Mariot Simon, Mrs. Sherlene Julien, Ms. Hertha Gentle and Ms. Denise Robinson.
Brighter Buildings for Faculty and Students
When students of the Belmopan Campus return to classes for the new academic year they will be treated to freshly painted buildings. The Physical Plant department has been painting the Scarlet Macaw and Jabiru buildings with our UB colors.
The President thanks Mr. Francis Burns and his team for the work that is in progress.
Prize awards and luncheon with Ambassador of ROC (Taiwan) and RLC Faculty
Ambassador Charles K. Y. Liu of the Republic of China (Taiwan) kindly invited the President, Vice President and Faculty of the Regional Language Center to lunch and to celebrate the success of a few language students from Taiwan. The President thanked the Ambassador for his steady support of the RLC and asked for wider support to enable the UB to achieve its transformational goals.
Ambassador Liu noted that several UB graduates were receiving scholarships for graduate studies in Taiwan and strongly supported human development of Belize.
President Sankat Attends the CTA Board Meeting in Brussels, Belgium
The President attended the 33rd Meeting of the CTA Board between June 7-8, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture. CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.
The Board also met with the Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Dr Patrick Gomes (Centre in photo) at ACP, House, Brussels and reviewed the work of the CTA and its future in the context of the Cotonou Agreement which will be coming to an end.
Photo: Chairman, Professor Augusto Manuel Correia (third at back) and Vice Chair Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat (first at front).
The Board of Trustees of the University of Belize met on Monday June 4, 2018 and agreed to a recommendation emanating from the Promotions Committee of UB, and which was supported by the President that Dr. Thippichetty Thiagarajan, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Technology be promoted to the rank of Professor in Biology. The Promotions Committee which convened recently and consisted of both internal as well as external reviewers all agreed that Dr Thippi, through his long and distinguished service to UB in Teaching, Research and Service had fulfilled the criteria for promotion.
The President noted that Dr. Thiagarajan was an exemplar at UB in terms of his scholarly research and its output in peer reviewed journals. This together with his contributions to teaching and new programme development in Biology in particular, must be applauded and recognized.
On behalf of all at UB, the Board of Trustees, the President and Senior Managers of UB, its Faculty and Staff we express our congratulations to Professor Dr. Thippi and wish him continued success at UB.
About Dr. Thippi
In August 1993, Dr. Thippi Thiagarajan was recruited from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica as a Biology Lecturer to enhance the Biology Education program offered at the former University College of Belize, a precursor of University of Belize. He came to UCB with a few years of teaching experience at UWI, where he was the first one to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biotechnology in September 1993. Since 1993, he has been involving his undergraduate students in research activities. He was instrumental in establishing the teaching labs for the Biology and Chemistry programs at UCB. In 1997, he along with some key faculty colleagues like Dr. Leopold Perriott and Dr. Eve Aird, upgraded the undergraduate Education Degree programs to a full-fledged undergraduate degree content oriented programs with option of minors to improve the marketability of the graduates and to attract more student population to make the programs more viable. Many of UB’s current undergraduate programs follow similar model in which undergraduate thesis was made mandatory to expose students to research skills relevant for the development of Belize. In 1998 he applied for a promotion for Senior Lecturer and was promoted to that rank in May 1999 by an independent tenure and promotions committee that comprised of external experts. He was elected as a program coordinator of science programs in 1997 and became the chair of the Science, Education Arts and Technology (SEAT) department in 1999. During this period, he worked as a co-investigator for a research project valued at $ 350,000 Canadian, a project executed between then Malaspina University College, now known as Vancouver Island University and the University College of Belize. This research investigated the physical, chemical and biological properties of the entire Belize river from Black Rock to Haulover Creek Bridge. He also conducted water quality research work on the Haulover creek along with Ms. Karen Bautista and underground water quality of Calabash Caye along with Dr. Phillip Morgan and both works were published in the Journal of Belizean Affairs.
During the Establishment of the University of Belize by the amalgamation of the five key educational institutions, Dr. Thippi was chosen as the dean designate for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in June 2000. He worked with a heterogeneous group of faculty and staff coming from the amalgamated institutions and made the transition with little or no glitches and made sure the programs and faculty had a smooth transition in to the new institution. He believed in team work and respecting others views if the outcome is good for all the parties concerned. He headed one of the largest faculty at that time. He continued as dean of that faculty until December 2001 and decided to return his passionate area of teaching and research. He was instrumental in improving the teaching labs at the former Technical College campus and lobbied for establishing the position of “Lab Assistants” to help faculty members in preparing labs. In 2003, UB’s main campus was moved to Belmopan Central Campus and during this time he served in some key committees to make the move easier for faculty, staff and students.
Dr. Thippi also became dean once again and served a full term from August 2007 to July 2012 for the faculty of Science and Technology. During this period many programs were enhanced and some underwent a full review process. He encouraged faculty to involve in research and mentored many of his colleagues in designing experiments and writing proposals and articles. During his tenure as dean, he has initiated many faculty and student exchange programs with North American Universities. He collaborated with Dr. Luke Higgins of West Virginia Wesleyan College and sent two undergraduate students for a summer exchange to conduct research on the medicinal properties of Red Mangrove. He also collaborated with Dr. Martina Koniger of Wellesley College and sent two female students for a full summer research internship. The Thompson River University student exchange program has been benefiting many students from UB over the many years. In 2007 he was promoted as an Associate Professor due to the realignment of academic positions at UB.
He is always passionate about students’ academic progress and has taught over dozen different biology courses to a total of more than 5000 students. He expects students to be prepared to handle their courses but works with them in order for them to understand the content. He believes in perseverance, dedication, hard work and most of all acquiring the knowledge and skills that are critical for academic achievements and social mobility. Over the years he has supervised more than 50 undergraduate students for their thesis and mentored many more. Many of those students have gone for higher studies in various fields and are occupying key positions in Government, Non-government and private sectors. He has authored over 20 articles in regional and international journals and made many presentations in local and regional conferences along with his colleagues and students. He continues to assist the department and the faculty in improving the biology program at the University.
He has served in many external committees of national importance such as the National CITES committee, PACT advisory committee, and Board of CZMAI as well as many in-house committees at UB. He has a passion to promote science related activities among school children in order to stimulate young minds towards scientific thinking. He visits primary schools in rural and sub-urban areas to show some hands on activities related to science for the children to overcome the stigma associated with the difficulties of science learning. He believes that a country’s development depends on the science and mathematical skills of its young population. Dr. Thippi has spent all his academic career in Belize serving UCB and UB and made Belize as his home. He is a committed family person from an uneducated agriculture family whose parents believed that education enables social mobility. He is married to a lovely wife and father of two young men. At personal level he strongly believes in doing one’s duty to his or her best ability and only self-analysis can make improvement in a person. We cannot change the world at once, but we can change one person at time and by doing so we can make this world a better place.