From the President’s Desk – February 5 – March 20, 2020

UB Closure March 20, 2020 – April 20, 2020

The University of Belize closes on March 20, 2020 and reopens on April 20, 2020 because of the threatening COVID-19 Pandemic. Please see the statement from the President on this matter at:

          Video                                         |                            Written Speech          

UB’s Newest Appointments

The following is the University’s Newest Appointments listing as of March 20, 2020:

Last Name

First Name

Job Type

Title Sub Division

Sub Division


Alexander Faculty Music Lecturer

Faculty of Education and Arts

Fernandez – Hernandez

Gretchin Faculty Lecturer – FEA

Faculty of Education and Arts


Denise Faculty Clinical Instructor

Faculty of Health Sciences

Johnson Lisa Faculty Dean – FHS

Faculty of Health Sciences


Ariel Staff Driver/Maintenance Personnel

Physical Plant Department

Bernardez Devon Staff Public Safety Officer

Public Safety Department


Angeneal Staff Human Resource Clerk (HRIS)

Human Resource Office


Mateo Staff Maintenance Personnel (Building Maintenance)

Physical Plant Department


Raven Staff Maintenance Personnel (Housekeeping)

Physical Plant Department


Carrie Staff Counselor – Students

Student Services and Affairs


Samuel Staff Public Safety Officer

Public Safety Department


Desiree Staff Maintenance Personnel (Housekeeping)

Physical Plant Department

Parham Trevor Staff Public Safety Officer

Public Safety Department


Juan Staff Public Safety Officer

Public Safety Department

Young Cristel Staff Public Safety Officer

Public Safety Department

Ramirez Yeltsin Staff Maintenance Personnel (Building Maintenance)

Physical Plant Department

UB Hosts COBEC 2020 Conference

On Thursday, February 6th and Friday, February 7th, the University hosted the COBEC Winter Conference at its Belmopan campus under the theme, “Quality in Higher Education.”  During the two-day session, key topics discussed at this year’s session specifically focused and engaged member universities on:

  1. Sharing and exchanging of information and experiences on critical issues such as standards, practices, mechanisms, and procedures that benchmark quality assurance in higher education among academics, university administrators and government agencies
  2. Exploring and identifying trends and best practices on quality assurance in higher education; and
  3. Promoting strengthened cooperation between COBEC’s member universities in improving quality assurance

Two significant presentations were made by UB’s President, Professor Clement Sankat, whose presentation was entitled “Building Quality in Higher Education – Best Practices from The University of the West Indies Experience,” and by Dr. Carly Wynne of the University of North Georgia, Dr. Marie Young of Independence Junior College and Dr. Karen Martinez of Ecumenical Junior College, who presented on “Best Practices in Data Collection, Organization, Presentation and Storage for Quality Assurance.”  Notable presenters also included Mrs. Deborah Domingo, the CEO in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, who welcomed the participants of the conference, and Mr. Deryck Sachwell, Director of the Tertiary and Post-Secondary Education Services in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, who was the conference’s Keynote Speaker.

UB Meets with the Commonwealth of Learning

The University of Belize’s Vice President, Dr Mariot Simon, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Arts, Dr Nestor Chan, and Coordinator of the Masters in Educational Leadership, Dr Priscilla Lopez, met with Commonwealth of Learning Education Specialist, Dr Mairette Newman, on February 10, 2020, to review progress on the programme. To date, the degree which is offered as a blended programme, has enrolled 37 students who will graduate in 2021. The meeting also discussed plans for continuing the partnership through a capacity building component designed to strengthen the Faculty’s competencies to serve as research supervisors. Dr Simon thanked COL for its continued support of the University as it strives to increase its graduate programmes and build a culture of research, both of which are major priorities for the University’s Transformation Leap as outlined in the 2017-22 Strategic Plan.

In commenting on the partnership, Dr. Newman said, “I see a bright light for this programme. As the nation’s premier degree granting institution, UB’s decision to offer Educational Leadership courses online allows the nation’s educators who wish to lead at the system or school levels to access the programme wherever they reside”.

During her visit, Dr Newman also facilitated workshops with staff and students in which they explored the skills required for supervisors and graduate students working remotely to successfully complete their theses.  

UB Meets on the SAGE Project with representatives of the CICan Consortium – Vancouver Island University, Parkland College, Marine Institute – Memorial University

Meetings with our Canadian partner institutions, the UBCF, with the ITVETs in Toledo/Stann Creek, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MOA), Forestry Department, Environmental Research Institute (ERI), Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), Pine Lumber Co. Ltd, etc. were held over the period of January to March. These were done so as to continue to develop a planning framework so as to execute the project on assessing the skills needed for Agriculture, Agro forestry and fisheries. The project will develop curricula for short, preparatory (ITVETs) and Associate Degree Programs at the UB and will also strengthen themes to gender, student counselling and indigenous inclusivity in our programs.

  Good News Mission and the International Youth Fellowship meet with UB President

On February 25, 2020, Mr. Jermaine Garvey and Jacob Lim, both from the Good News Mission and the International Youth Fellowship in Jamaica, visited the University to discuss the possibility of providing fellowship to students on campus.

The Good News Mission, out of South Korea, preaches the Gospel through Bible seminars, winter and summer retreats, and student camps in various countries. In addition to missionary activities, NGOs are located in over 30 countries to develop youth and young leaders through youth mind education, cultural exchange programs, educational academies, and social service activities.

The Good News Mission has also actively set about missionary work in Africa, Central America, and South America through medical volunteering, building schools, and establishing broadcasting networks.

International Youth Fellowship (IYF) is a Christian-based global youth initiative. With over 90 branches worldwide, the IYF is dedicated to the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth of young people around the world.  

La Ruta Maya – Donation from Koop Sheet Metal for UB’s Black Jaguars Team

On February 26th, 2020, Koop Sheet Metal made a generous donation to the University of Belize’s Black Jaguars Canoe Team. This donation enabled the canoe team to once again participate in this year’s 2020 La Ruta Maya River Challenge commencing March 6th.

The University of Belize would like to thank Koop Sheet Metal for their generous support. The Canoe Team and the University deeply appreciate the willingness of Koop Sheet Metal through which they have continued to champion our student athletes’ efforts in this competitive event.

UB Meets with Professor Dina Borozekwoski – University of Maryland

On February 27, 2020, Dean of the Faculty of Health Science, Dr. Lisa Johnson, along with faculty member Mr Danaldi Husaini met with Professor Dina Borozekwoski, University of Maryland Global Health Initiative, School of Public Health.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the terms of an agreement between the two Universities to collaborate on a project addressing public health needs of the Elderly.  This multiple year partnership looks at collecting baseline data to study and organize interventions supporting seniors to promote public health in Belize.

UB on Krem TV, Wave TV and Love TV

The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and UBCF along with the President and Vice President appeared on Krem TV, Wave TV, and Love TV promoting the work of the University.

Representatives from the ERI along with the Vice President appeared on Krem and Love TV to promote the ERI for its 10th Anniversary. Discussions were focused on the Institute’s work over the past 10 years to increase local capacity for the effective management, sustainable use and conservation of Belize’s natural resources – land, wildlife and marine.

Mrs. Zoe Zetina – UBCF Director, President Sankat and Dr. Darrell Harvey of Vancouver Island University (VIU) appeared on Wave TV to discuss the various initiatives happening at UB under the Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE) project, particularly as it related to the University’s Agricultural initiatives, training and curriculum.

A New Publication by a Faculty of Science and Technology Lecturer – Mr. Jair Valladarez

UB’s Mr. Jair G. Valladarez, along with a group of authors, Mr. Luis M. Mejía-Ortíz, Jesús E. Cupul-Pool, Marilú López-Mejía, Alfredo G. Baez-Meléndres, Juan C. Tejeda Mazariegos, Keith A. Crandall, Marcos Pérez-Losada and Oscar Frausto-Martínez, published a new paper on “The Habitat Types of Freshwater Prawns (Palaemonidae: Macrobrachium) with Abbreviated Larval Development in Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala and Belize)”.

The chapter is downloadable at:

UB Senior Managers Meet with Representatives from Student Governments

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat –President, Dr. Mariot Simon – Vice President, Dr. Martin Cuellar – Dean of Student Affairs and Mrs. Rose Pineda – University Registrar hosted one of its regular meetings with the executive members of the UB Student Governments – Belmopan, Belize City & Punta Gorda on February 28th, 2020. Discussions were focused on the successes of projects by each government as well as the concerns by the student bodies of each campus. Key issues discussed were:

  1. The Parking lot at the FEA campus Belize City
  2. The Quality of Teaching & Evaluation – Senior Administration implored students to be more vigilant and to complete their Faculty & Class Evaluations so as to give the University the necessary feedback on the quality of instruction in the classroom
  3. A way forward as it relates to students’ social responsibility – An agreement was made to put forth a joint communique regarding the University’s support of students to develop and express their social responsibility and social justice.
  4. UB ERI Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

The UB Environmental Research Institute celebrated its tenth year on March 4th, 2020 with a short ceremony on the Belmopan main campus, to highlight its outputs and achievements and to recognize its partners over the last ten years. In attendance were University leaders, members of the UB Board of Trustees staff, NGO community and its government and private sector partners.

As the Institute moves into its second decade, its focus is to build upon their successes and work to expand graduate research within the national university and by extension, Belize. These graduate programs will harness the existing and future research capacity of the UB ERI, as well as its current access to long term data sets in wildlife, fisheries management and marine ecology. Through these expanded graduate programs and research, UB will be elevated as the leading academic institution in the area of research on the environment, which will inform policy but additionally will leverage private sector contributions to sound natural resources management, all in keeping with our Transformational Plan 2020.

  Preparing for COVID-19: An Educational Forum on COVID-19 and Influenza Virus with the Ministry of Health

On March 4th, 2020, the University of Belize in partnership with the Ministry of Health and The National Channel (TNC) hosted a Public Health Forum on the Coronavirus and the Flu. The event was an opportunity for the MOH to inform and to share with the UB community helpful and relevant information on the Coronavirus and the Flu, especially as it relates to the day to day measures students, faculty and staff can implement to protect themselves, their families and each other while at the University and at home.

TNC streamed the event live on Facebook, to the other 3 UB campuses and aired the forum live on its television station.

The President of the University would like to thank the Ministry of Health, The National Channel and all those who attended the event, shared and watched the forum on social media and participated in the forum via asking questions or giving positive feedback.

 The Work of Our UBCF – NEW PINEAPPLE PRODUCTION PEST IN BELIZE Amblyomia bifasciata Stal

Entomologist Adriano Vasquez, Crops Lecturer at the University of Belize identified the new pineapple Coreidae pest Amblyomia bifasciata Stal at the Entomology Laboratory, at the Belize Agricultural Heath Authority (BAHA), in Central Farm, Cayo District.

On 9th March 2020, a site visit was conducted at a Farm in Trio Village, Toledo District to collect specimens of the chinch bug damaging the pineapple fruits. The pest population of adults and immature stages were concentrated at the heart of the pineapple plants. The chinch bug feeds on the sap of the fruits, causing the fruit to turn very soft causing it to falls on the ground.  Mr. Vasquez, Lecturer, is the research advisor to Mr. Solomon Sanchez, a Bachelor student in the Department of Agriculture at the University of Belize. They are conducting this research on the new pineapple pest Hemiptera: Coreidae: Coreinae: Coreini: Amblyomia bifasciata Stal.  This pest is new to pineapple production in Belize. This research is directed to find at least one botanical pesticide to control the pest.

Public Health Department Vaccinations at UB Belmopan Campus

On March 10, 2020, the Public Health Department of the Western Regional Hospital provided vaccinations for Flu, Hepatitis B and Tetanus for the UB Community at the Campus Wellness Center. Arrangements were also made for the Public Health Department to visit the Faculty of Education and Arts Campus in Belize City on March 19, 2020, to provide vaccinations for Pharmacy, Med Lab and Social Work students, and staff who are in the field.

The President thanks the Ministry of Health for their support of the University of Belize in the pressing matter and Nurse Sharon Alamilla for facilitating this.