From the President’s Desk

Sugar Belt Closing Ceremony – Early Childhood and Secondary Education in Northern Belize

The University of Belize (UB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports and the European Union (EU) held a special closing ceremony to acknowledge the achievements of the Sugar Belt project on Saturday February 24, 2018 at the Muffles College High School Auditorium in Orange Walk Town.

The Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young, delivered the keynote address at the Closing Ceremony. He was introduced by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim. Mr. Mads Korn, European Union Project Manager shared special remarks. The President in his opening address commended the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Arts and his Faculty and Staff who participated in this project for a job well done – one that will leave a lasting development in terms of trained teachers for the northern communities and to UB itself in terms of the embedding of new programs in teacher education in our offerings. The theme of the ceremony was “Development through Education”.

The top achievers for the project were recognized for their outstanding academic performance – Sucely Hill completed her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education; Alisa Danielle Puck the Bachelor in Education with Concentration in English; Denzel Anthony Amstrong completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Education with Concentration in Mathematics; Arelie Eunica Mendez Canul the Bachelor in Education with Concentration in Science; Anita Elizabeth Blanco, Bachelor in Education with Concentration in Social Sciences; and Matilda Dorita Mendez, Bachelor Degree in Education with concentration in Spanish Education. Recognition awards were also presented to the Ministry of Education, European Union and the University of Belize.

President Presents Transformational Plan 2017-2022 in Belmopan and Central Farm

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat presented the Transformational Plan to UB students in Belmopan on Tuesday, February 20. They had the opportunity to present their queries and concerns which were addressed by the President and Vice President – Dr. Mariot Simon. On February 22, the Transformational Plan was also presented to students, faculty and staff of Central Farm. In two separate discussion segments, students, faculty and staff were given an opportunity to present concerns and offer suggestions. Dr. Mariot Simon and Dean of Student Affairs – Dr. Jean Perriott accompanied President to Central Farm Campus.

Beautification Committee Meets to Discuss Physical Transformation of UB

The President’s Advisory University Beautification Committee (PAUBC) convened its first meeting on February 23, 2018. The objective of the committee is to work together on the beautification of the landscape at the University and in all of its Campuses. The Committee was charged with not only enhancing the environment but making it also a place for knowledge dissemination on our flora in particular. The Committee comprises representatives from students, faculty, and staff including Physical Plant, with Dr. Latha Thomas as its Chairperson.

Members of the Beautification Committee are (L-R): Ms. Isabel Bennett, Shiyanne Perez, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, Dr. Latha Thomas, Ms. Audrey Pascascio, Mrs. Julissa Lopez, and Mr. Francis Burns.

Briannie Young, Former Student Government Leader

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat along with Director of Physical Plant Mr. Francis Burns met with former Student Government President Briannie Young on February 9, 2018. Briannie is now an alumnus of UB and wants to continue working with the President to build a better UB especially in Belize City.

Briannie completed an Associates in Tourism Management at UB and will be attending the Columbia College Chicago where she will be pursuing Vocal Performance in September 2018. Brianne was a member of the Student Government (SG) for two years. In the first year she served as Administrative Officer and her second year as President.

(L-R) Mr. Francis Burns, Briannie Young and Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat

During her tenure, the Student Government worked along the administration in order to build UB, give students more student life, installed cable TV, repainted classrooms, a mural for FEA campus, donated tables and desks. She feels her role in SG were fulfilling and a unique experience which molded her to become a leader. As a student leader she has words of advice for other leaders. “Leadership allows you to become a confident person, placed in a position where you have to take charge and represent students as long as you are following the proper policies of the University. SG is the voice of the students and the responsibility needs to be taken seriously.” One of the goals of a SG is to project change for the future; Briannie added, “the future is tomorrow; working today for tomorrow”.

Her advice to UB students is to hold on and don’t give up on the Vision 2022. She is certain that, “UB is going in a direction that it is for students. People might not see the change right now but if they work together they will see it.”

She encourages future students by assuring them that, “UB is a very good environment for students. People tend to underestimate UB but once you become part of the environment you will realize it is like any other university. You meet friends that become friends for a lifetime. It is a unique experience which instills values in you for the workforce; it molds you for being an adult.”

Briannie believes in giving back and is currently working along with President Sankat and Mr. Francis Burns to fundraise to help develop the Belize City site. The plan is to reach out and be proactive seeking funds to build new infrastructure for the students of the University; reaching out to the entire nation to Build UB Together. Briannie encourages students and alumni who are already in the workforce to give back for the betterment of their future. Students and alumni who are interested in forming part of this transformation can contact Briannie at [email protected].

Meeting with Ambassador Daniel Guitierrez

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon met on February 20, with Ambassador of Belize to the United States, H.E. Daniel Gutierrez, who is based in Washington DC. The President provided the Ambassador with insights on the Transformational Plan and discussed how the Ambassador and his team can help in building the support of the diaspora and other external partners in order to support the university in the transformational leap.

Meeting the Representatives of BAM 2013 TVET Capacity Building and Professional Development Training Programme

President Sankat is flanked by Dr. Alberto Nagle (left) and Mr. Cipriani Davis of UWI, Trinidad (right).

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat met on the 23rd of February with Dr. Alberto Nagle and Mr. Cipriani Davis from the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) Technical and Vocational Education and Training Capacity Building and Professional Development Training Programme. The purpose of the program is for vocational teachers to receive teaching certification in their specialized area. UB as the National University is playing an important role in continuing to prepare teachers and trainees for the development of this area in Belize.

President Speaks about Transformational Plan on Open Your Eyes (OYE)

On February 27, 2018 the President appeared on the OYE morning show on Channel 5 to discuss the Transformational Plan to inform the Belizean community about the vision of the University. He was interviewed by the well-known journalist Ms. Marleni Cuellar and Mr. Kevin Arthurs.

UB Meets with NICH to discuss New Programs and other Collaborations

President Sankat and Vice President Dr. Simon along with Dean and Chairs from the Faculty of Education and Arts met on February 21 with representatives from National Institute of Culture and History. The discussion was centered on developing a strong partnership that focuses on new academic program development including archaeology, music etc; the upcoming National Research Conference and the National Museum proposals. In summary, the university being an active partner with NICH in preserving, developing and promoting Belize’s cultural and historic identity and attributes. It was agreed that a Memorandum of Understanding will be developed and signed by both institutions as they immediately begin to work together for UB’s and Belize’s advancement.

University of Belize President Meets with Professor James Hanley of Adrian College, Michigan

Prof Hanley is on the left of President along with students and Mr. Robateau (left) and Mr. Sampson (right).

Professor James Hanley, Professor of Political Science, Adrian College, Michigan, United States of America, accompanied by Mr. Joseph Sampson, lecturer of History, University of Belize, paid a courtesy call on Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. President Sankat and Professor Hanley explored ways in which the Professor and UB can collaborate for the mutual interest of Adrian College and UB. Professor Sankat then greeted the students accompanying Professor Hanley.

The visit was coordinated by Miss Francine Sabal, Chair of History in the Faculty of Education and Arts and Mr. Ewart Robateau was charged with developing the Institutional relationships.

President Pays Courtesy Call to Labour Commissioner

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat recently paid a courtesy call on Labour Commissioner Mr. Ivan Williams within the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities. They discussed opportunities for further dialogue and guidance on matters of mutual importance.

NRM Symposium 2018

The Mesoamerican Society for Biology & Conservation (MSBC) in conjunction with the University of Belize held its 11th annual Natural Resource Management and Research Symposium at the Jaguar Auditorium on March 1st and 2nd, 2018. The symposium brought together researchers, managers, students, government agencies and NGOs engaged in natural resource management in Belize, to share research findings and management initiatives.

This year’s symposium covered a range of topics from conservation business and volunteer science to the ecology of Belize’s big cats and sharks.

Mayoral Forum in Belmopan

The three Mayoral Candidates, incumbent Mr. Khalid Belisle, Ms. Tanya Santos, and Mr. Charles Leslie Jr. along with UB representatives.

The Office of Students Affairs, Faculty of Education and Arts and UB Belmopan Student Government coordinated a forum for Belmopan Mayoral Aspirants. The Jaguar Auditorium was filled with students and residents of Belmopan. Each candidate was given a chance to present their policies and answered questions from the very engaged audience. The moderator for this forum was Dr. Leroy Almendarez and Chaired by Ms. Audrey Pascascio, both from Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS).

The forum followed on two successful fora for Mayoral Candidates for the 2018 municipal elections, in Punta Gorda and in Belize City. President Sankat once again congratulated the Faculties of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) and Education and Arts (FEA), the Dean of Student Affairs and her team, and the Student Governments for making these events such a success.

Honouring Dr. Cynthia Thompson for Dedication and Service to UB

On March 1, after the Academic Council Meeting, Assistant Provost Dr. Cynthia Thompson was honoured for her years of dedication and service to the University of Belize. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, President Sankat, and Dr. Mariot Simon took the opportunity to bid her farewell as she goes on pre-retirement leave and best wishes on the start of a new journey. Dr. Thompson has served the University of Belize for many years in different capacities and was thanked by all for her good contributions. Dr. Thompson spoked on her years at UB from the early days of its formation, through her going and furthering her study for the PhD., and returning to UB to serve as Assistant Provost.

Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Thompson for being part of the UB family for so many years.

Mr. Harrison Pilgrim presents token to Dr. Cynthia Thompson.

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat presents plaque to Dr. Thompson.

EU/IICA/UB Banana Belt Project Meeting

The first meeting of Project Steering Committee of the Banana Belt EU project was held on February 28, 2018 at the IICA office in Belmopan. The partners are the Government of Belize, European Union, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Banana Growers Association and the University of Belize. There is significant development expected to support the refurbishment and development of UB’s Micro-propagation Laboratory in Central Farm Campus and support from this laboratory for the Banana Growers in Southern Belize.

Third Lecture in the Presidential Series on Entrepreneurship Education Presented by Dr. Chun-Wei Remen Lin

Dr. Remen Lin is presented with a gift from UB and is thanked by Dr. Fred Shyu who is a member of the Board of Trustees and also Adjunct Faculty at FMSS.

The third lecture in the Presidential Series entitled “Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Higher Education in Taiwan– Asia University’s Perspective” was presented on March 1, 2018 by Dr. Chun-Wei Remen Lin, the Director of the Center for Creative Leadership who is a Distinguished Professor of Industrial Engineering/Business Administration at Asia University in Republic of China (Taiwan). The lecture was presented in Belize City and streamed live to the Belmopan Campus through the Polycom technology. The presentation focused in both the academic and practical formation of entrepreneurs in Taiwan through University education. At the end of the presentation students got an opportunity to ask Dr. Remen questions on the presentation and on opportunities for study at Asia University and Taiwan in particular. Representatives of the Taiwanese Embassy in Belize recommended students who are interested to apply now for such scholarships.

Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, President of the University of Belize, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Asia University which seeks to strengthen collaboration and possible exchanges for Faculty and Students especially in areas related to Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Engineering including Industrial Engineering.

The audience in Belize City

Students and Faculty in Belmopan

President Sankat Welcomes Mr. Arnulfo Kantun to the UB Team

President Sankat takes this opportunity to welcome our new Business Development Officer, Mr. Arnulfo Kantun. His employment is for an initial period of 3 years commencing on March 1, 2018.

Mr. Kantun possesses a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. He has approximately seventeen (17) years of work experience in education, project development and management. Mr. Kantun was previously employed as Project Director for the University of Belize EU Project, February 2016 – February 2018, on “Improving The Quality and Relevance of Early Childhood and Secondary Education in Northern Belize”.

Mr. Kantun has worked as a Consultant and Project Manager for several projects both in Belize and the Caribbean.
Let us welcome Mr. Kantun who can be contacted at [email protected] or 822-1000 ext 189.