From the President’s Desk – December 19, 2019

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2020

Let me, on this last working day of Semester I, wish you all a happy and blessed holidays and my sincere best wishes for the New Year 2020 – one that is special as it will be UB’s 20th Anniversary.
I look forward to seeing all of you refreshed on January 6, 2020 – our first day back to work in the New Year.
I thank all of you for your commitment to UB in 2019.


For Your Tremendous Support – Thank You!

I send this newsletter out today (volume 26) with a sense of considerable sadness as Mr Nectaly Vela of the Marketing & Communications office is leaving UB at the end of today.

Nectaly has been supporting the University for a decade and since being on board as President, has been of tremendous support to me and has greatly lifted the University through his work in the Office. He has been instrumental to the various works of the office, including “From the President’s Desk”, the “UB Imprint” and the Annual Report (2017-18) amongst many other things.

I wish to thank him for his commitment, often beyond the call of duty, in supporting all our efforts to transform our National University. I am sure we will all miss his quiet presence at all our events, with his camera slung around his neck!

We wish Nectaly the best in his future endeavours, including his personal well-being. And though this is not a farewell but an “until we see you again,” it is also a best wishes for his new beginning and the many wonderful discoveries that awaits him on his new journey. We do wish to see him back at UB one day soon.

Thanks, Nectaly.

UNAN-Managua and UB Partner to Establish Belize’s First National Medical School

The University of Belize (UB) signed a first-of-its-kind cooperation agreement with the Autonomous University of Nicaragua – Managua (UNAN-Managua) with the mutual goal of developing Belize’s First National Medical School.

A collaborative effort between the two Universities, the Cooperation Agreement was signed Monday, December 2nd at the UB’s Belmopan Campus Conference Center by the President of the University of Belize, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and the Dean of the UNAN-Managua’s Faculty of Medical Science, Dr Freddy Meynard Mejia.

The Medical School at UB, under the Faculty of Health Sciences, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in August 2019, aims to meet the growing need for developing and training of local professionals and prospective students in the medical field, particularly Belizean trained doctors. This development will also seek to bolster health innovations, open new research pathways, and greatly enhance the exposure and involvement of our Faculty/Staff and Students in the positions of health care for Belizeans.

UB Student – Abbie Godoy – Named 2020 Rhodes Scholarship Winner

On Tuesday, November 27th, 2019 at the Barbados Governor’s House, the Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship Committee announced Abbie Godoy as the 2020 Recipient of the Prestigious Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship.

The first UB student to be chosen for this award and the first female winner, Abbie serves as the Program Director on the University’s Belmopan Student Government and is a final-year Bachelor of Art’s English major in the Faculty of Arts and Education (FEA), where she is expected to graduate in June 2020.

As a Rhodes Scholar, she will join an international cohort of outstanding scholars from more than 60 countries around the world and will pursue a graduate degree in Developmental Economics, which focuses on colonialism and the economy, specific to the developing world at the University of Oxford in England, commencing October 2020.

UB Staff on National Cricket Team Who Won Gold for Belize

Ms Lin Smith, a member of the Administration of the Belize National Cricket Team, went to Costa Rica and brought back gold. The team won 4 out of 5 games to clinched the first spot winning Gold.

The President congratulated Ms Lin Smith and the National Team on their triumph.

UB Releases its Annual Report 2017-18

The Annual Report 2017-18 has been released. It can be read

It was published by an in-house by University’s Marketing & Communications Team.

 UB Students Learn about the Credit Union Movement in the Caribbean and Belize

The Faculty of Management and Social Sciences organized a lecture on the November 21, 2019 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm at Jaguar Auditorium to enhance the students’ exposure to the financial sector as it relates to Credit Unions. The presenter, Mr Leopoldo Romero, is the General Manager of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union and President of the Belize Credit Union League (BCUL). He is also a Director on the Board of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU). The topic of the presentation was “The Credit Union Movement in Belize and the Caribbean”.

During his presentation, he explained about the local, regional, national and international credit union movement. He discussed various credit unions in Belize, highlighted the economic growth of credit unions and their financial performance. He also differentiated the ownership and benefits between commercial banks and credit unions.

UB Welcomes Dr Lisa Johnson as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Lisa Johnson, MBBS, DM (Surg) was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), effective January 6th, 2020. She will also be an Assistant Professor in the Faculty.

As Dean, she will lead the development and implementation of the University’s ambitious plan for the future direction of its FHS – especially our National School of Medicine. She will provide leadership and oversight to grow and strengthen the Faculty’s healthcare programs in Nursing, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory, Midwifery, Social Work and other Allied Health areas and is expected to deepen our partnerships with Belize’s Health Care Industry.

UB Celebrates Garifuna Explosion

The Department of Student Services hosted its Garifuna Explosion under the gazebo at the Belmopan Central Campus on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day. The event included the sale of Garifuna cuisine, displays on different Garifuna cultural wear, musical instruments, etc. Booths from various local institutions such as the Institute for Social and Cultural Research and the Belize Archives and Record Services were also present to provide information on the history of the Garifuna. The highlight of the evening was the musical performance by “Lil Jun” as well as the drumming group.

The President congratulated the organizers of this event for showcasing the history, art, culture and cuisine of the Garifuna Community.

UB Students Learn about Customer Service

FMSS lecturer, Ms Audrey Pascascio, hosted a free four-week training on Customer Service, “Delivering Customer Service with Excellence”, which took place at the Belmopan Campus on November 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2019. A total of 32 students, from across faculties, successfully completed and received a certificate of participation upon completion.

The main objective of the program is to provide students with a more concentrated learning approach on specific topics that are directly relevant and can be applied to their professional lives after graduating. Training topics included Customer Service with Excellence, writing resume & cover letter, preparing for job interviews, key marketing techniques, interpersonal skills, goal setting and professional etiquette.

President Sankat congratulates Ms. Pascascio for the training of our students.

UB Hosts 2019 Hour of Code

The University of Belize Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter hosted an Hour of Code event on December 13, 2019. Primary and secondary students participated in the event and learned that coding can be fun. The students were shown videos of celebrities like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg speaking on the importance of computing; the ACM students also presented on the everyday use of computer science. The highlight of the event was when students were given tutorials at the “beginner” and “intermediate” levels. Each student was given a certificate after completing their tutorial.

UB Celebrates Diabetes Day 2019

On November 14th, the University celebrated World Diabetes Day to increase diabetes awareness among students, faculty and staff and to promote early diagnosis and a better adherence to lifestyle modifications and medications.

The event included posters depicting the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options available for diabetes patients. Students also distributed sugar free foods stuffs, natural fruit juices safer in diabetic patients and exhibited few vegetables and traditional diabetic dietary options proven to be effective. As part of health screening activity, students promoted self-monitoring of blood glucose using glucometer and calculated their body mass indices.

The day was also enriched with presentations by some of our partners – Ministry of Health, Belize Diabetes Association – Belmopan Branch, Pathlight, Ministry of Agriculture and also the Belize Marketing and Development Cooperation. Some demonstrations included a few simple physical examination skills that could help pharmacist students to assess diabetes complications such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic neuropathy and educating and encouraging the UB community on how to garden for healthier eating habits.

PAHO Donates Medical Books to UB

On November 20, 2019, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) signed an agreement with the University of Belize for the donation of medical books for the University.

The agreement was signed by President Sankat and PAHO/WHO representative in Belize, Dr Noreen Jack.

The textbook name is Medical-Surgical Nursing 13th Edition, which was written by Janice L. Hinkle and Kerry H. Cheever.

UB Lecturer, Dr. Romaldo Lewis, Publishes Book

Dr Romaldo Lewis, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management and Social Science recently published a book entitled “Enterprise classification. A Financial perspective.”

His book discusses the need for statistical census for enterprises, including the need for financial indicators that can be used to classify firms for statistical validation from an analytical perspective, with an aim to identify the major constraints, determine the nature as well as the constraint levels that limit the creation, promotion, and growth of the Enterprises in Belize.

UB Central Farm Meets with World Bank to Discuss Climate Smart Agriculture Training

A team from the World Bank has been engaging the University of Belize and in particular the University of Belize’s Central Farm (UBCF) on possibilities for the University’s involvement in a project related to training in Climate and Agriculture. They made two visits on October 2, 2019 and on November 13, 2019, accompanied by others of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development. The UBCF also received officers from the Resilient Rural Belize Office, led by Soulemane Fofana, who provided guidance on a possible project also designed to assist with Climate Smart Agriculture for Belize.

Annual Senior Management Meeting with Deans, Senior Managers and Student Government Leaders

The President met with Deans and other administrative managers at the Annual Senior Management Meeting held at the beginning of the semester. Some student government leaders were also invited.

The meeting also focused on the challenges our students were facing with tuition, infrastructure matters and adequacy of teaching services, as well as new program developments, new sites for delivery and opportunities. The President urged Deans and Chairs to monitor and ensure that our students receive the assistance necessary for quality education.

UB Hosts First Annual GIS Symposium

On November 15th, the Faculty of Science and Technology, along with its partners, held its First Annual GIS symposium, demonstrated the exciting and innovative ways that geographic information science and its technologies are contributing towards to Belize’s development in areas such as public health, telecommunications, agriculture and natural resource management. The symposium promoted the deliberate integration of GIS and its technologies in research, education, and application activities at UB and with our non-academic partners and how same can be used to address societal issues. The day was filled with presentations of individual projects and lines of scholarly activity being undertaken by Faculty and students that model the specialty’s convergent practices and included presentations by some of our partners – Ministry of Health, Belize Telemedia Limited, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and the Environment, Belize Electricity Limited and Coastal Zone Management.

The President congratulates Dr. Santos Chicas for his steadfast commitment to the GIS and its applications in Belize and for all his efforts in training in this area.

UB President Attends CICan Meeting in Winnipeg, Canada

The President represented UB at the meeting of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) that was convened to further advance the Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE) Project. There were representations from other Caribbean Institutions like Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica, and St Lucia.

At this meeting, the President, together with Dr Margarita Gomez of the Ministry of Education (representing ITVETs) interviewed three Canadian Groups of Institutes, so as to select a Canada partner for the UB/ITVETs Project.

From these three, the CICan contracted Vancouver Island University of Nanaimo, Parkland College of Saskatchewan and Marine Institute – Memorial University of St. John’s as our partners for the 3-year project to support training in Climate Smart Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from the ITVETs to the UB (Associate Degree level). The project moves now into a more detailed planning phase with all the partners.

UB Black Jaguars Basketball Team Wins 2019 ATLIB Championships

The University of Belize’s Black Jaguars won the national female basketball championship for the second year in a row. The competition, which was organized by the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB), was hosted by Independence Junior College on November 23rd.

UB dominated the Southern Regional Champions, Ecumenical Junior College, 44-2 and the Central Zone champions, St. John’s Junior College, 50-4 in the finals.

UB’s No.7 Delta Flores won the Most Valuable Player award for the second year in a row! The team was presented with a team trophy and individual medals.

The President congratulated our female basketball team on their stellar achievement, and also thanks the coach and the Dean of Student Affairs for their support of this successful effort.

UB Engineering Students Participate in Macaroni Competition in Chetumal

For the 9th year in a row, UB’s Engineering students participated in the the “XXI Concurso De Diseno Y Construccion De Modelos Estructurales, VII Su Fase Internacional”, hosted by the Instituto Tecnologico De Chetumal (ITCH) in Quintana Roo Mexico. The objective is to challenge student teams to design framed structures given limitations in time, size and type of materials and according to precise specifications. Models were rated according to efficiency in loading and best design. This year, students had 12 hours to build a first floor platform (slab) from round flag sticks, popsicle sticks, tooth picks, string and wood glue.

UB President meets with UB’s Student Government in Punta Gorda

The President, Vice President and the Director of Physical Plant, travelled to Punta Gorda and met with students of the Student Government Association. At the very fruitful meeting, the SGA outlined the work they were doing in PG to support student activities outside of the classroom. They also indicated what some of their developmental plans were for the immediate future to enhance the campus. The President and the Vice President thanked this group of very dedicated students on their work and pledged the support for their efforts.

The President and Vice President also met with the Campus Administrator and some faculty and staff.

UB President meets with Belmopan and Belize City Student Governments

Similarly, the President and the Dean of Student Affairs met with Student Government leaders from Belize City and Belmopan and reviewed concerns of our students – teaching effectiveness, quality, infrastructure and finances.

All these matters are being addressed.

Presentation of the Book “Chronology of the Americas” XIX-XX Centuries

The President was invited by the Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez, to a book launch. The book “Cronología de América” was published by Siglo XIX. The University of Belize, under former President Alan Slusher, had agreed to support this publication, where Ms Francine Sabal and the late Mr. Joseph Sampson were contributing authors.

President Sankat congratulated them and the Ambassador on this fine output. A set of such books were presented to the President, which are lodged in the UB Library.

UB Hosts Annual Science Open Day

On November 22nd, under the theme “Using Scientific Approach to Improve Stewardship of our Water Resources,” the Faculty of Science and Technology held its Annual Open Day. The purpose of the open day was to display the different, interesting and interactive applications in science to sustainably manage our water resources. Popular stops for many of the day’s visitors included the wine distillery and the yogurt factory. Visitors were also drawn to the electricity and magnetic experiments. An important addition to the open day was the robotics obstacle experiment, which had visitors amazed and entertained as IT students engaged in programming instructions in real time.

Different organizations such as Association of Protected Areas Management (APAMO), Oceana and Belize Natural Energy were also present and aided in demonstrating how the theoretical knowledge and concepts learned in science education translated into application and real world scenarios.

UB’s Lecturers Article Published by the American Research Institute for Policy Development  

UB’s Ms Karen Bautista, Ms Angela Reyes and Dr Thippichetti Thiagarajan produced an article, “Study on the Microbial Quality of Edible Green Vegetables and Methods to Eliminate the Microorganisms by Using Domestic Antiseptic Products,” which was then published in December 2019 by the American Research Institute for Policy Development.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the microbial populations in select vegetable and to find an effective and affordable method to eliminate the microbial contaminants without affecting the taste or quality of the product by using household products.

The full document can be read at:

The President congratulates the authors on their fine effort.

UB meets with Texas Chamber of Commerce 

UB’s Department of Institutional Advancement met with the Texas Chamber of Commerce on December 4, 2019 to discuss possible collaborations for the building of student houses and a University Hotel.

UB meets with Nova Southeastern University

On Wednesday, 4th December, UB’s FEA Administrators and Vice President convened a meeting with Dr. Armando Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Latin American Educational Programs of Nova Southeastern University.

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the possibility of UB supporting Nova Southeastern University with the delivery of a Master’s of Science in Education and Doctor of Education programs.

Dr. Rodrigruez shared his proposal for this initiative, which outlined a number of areas of specialization for both programs. He emphasized that all proposed programs are accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS) and by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Estimated costs and duration for the programs were discussed as well as the extent to which Nova Southeastern University is willing to contribute, in order for these programs to materialized. The major benefit to UB is that our lecturers will be afforded the opportunity to teach in these programs, thus building capacity in the delivery of graduate programs. The meeting concluded with our University team agreeing to review the proposal for further discussion in the future.

From the Marketing & Communications Department
Happy Holidays!