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UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 2 www.ub.edu.bz Table of Contents University of Belize Collaborates with Texas A&M University 3 UB Receives Agricultural Equipment Donation 4 Welcome Students 5 Educational Trends 6 UB Receives Donation of Technological Equipment 6 7 Preserving Red Kidney Beans via Science 8 BSU President Visits UB 8 UB Scientist Spearheads Research on Dung Beetles 9 Students Enhancing Campus Landscape 1 0 US Graduate Student on Internship at UB 1 0 New Year, New Uniform 1 1 UB Black Jaguars Coach Receives High Level Training 1 1 Bringing Smiles to Children 1 2 Mandarin Class Hen Hao 1 2 Welcome to the UB Team 1 3 Free Laboratory Testing 1 4


2 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 3 A group of 17 international Students and two professors from Texas A&M University, Kings ville (TAMUK), Texas during a 13 day Study Tour which was developed and coordinated in cussed the possibility of establishing a formal agreement or Memorandum of Understand ing that would include various academic activities. The focus of this years Study Abroad Program focused on communication disorders and involved 10 graduate students from TAMUK led by Dr. Alan L. Seitel, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and seven undergraduate students from a sister school, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) led by Melissa Garcia, Assistant Profes sor of Communication Sciences & Disorders. Students involved in the academic component of this Study Tour participated in a four day Service Learning/Practicum at the Stella Marris School in Belize City. They also took the opportunity to visit popular destinations such as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; San Ignacio; Xanantunich Maya Ruin; and the Belize Zoo. The professors from TAMUK envisioned that the Study Abroad Program to Belize would become an annual event. Further aspirations from both institu tions involve a possible collaboration in a program in Speech Pathology and other possible areas of interest. The University of Belize believes that these types of international partnerships will contribute positively to the Belizean community and expand areas of exper tise within the university. The visiting delegation arrived on the eve of the new year. University of Belize Collaborates with Texas A&M University UB History Lecturer Mr. Joseph Sampson, teaching about Belizean History


UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 4 www.ub.edu.bz UB Receives Agricultural Equipment Donation The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) has donated, through the CARICOM Education for Employment project(C-EFE), equipment to the Agriculture De partment of the University of Belize. The equip ment forms part of enhanced facilities for the introduction of a demand driven, skill based cur riculum scheduled for July of 2015. The donation, valued at approximately $32,000, is part of $80,000 worth of capital items that the proj ect will provide to Central Farm to enhance the delivery of skill based training in soil, agronomy, livestock husbandry, and food processing. The presentation was made at the College of Agricul ture of the University on January 23, 2014 to the Acting President, Dr. Wilma Wright, by Ms. Marie Legault of DFATD (formerly CIDA) on behalf of the C-EFE project. The equipment will be used to de velop hands-on skills in soil sampling, soil charac terization for crop production and management, and land evaluation. The Institutional Partnership Component of the C-EFE project was launched on April 11, 2013 and is scheduled to last for three years with a total budget of $1.63M(BZ). Funding is provided by DFATD ($0.88M), the Association of Canadian Community Colleges ($0.47M), and the University of Belize ($0.28M) and is part of a regional initiative supported by Canada to realign education with the needs of industry. Dr. Wright, on behalf of the University, expressed her appreciation to DFATD for their valu able support through Ms. Legault and members of the visiting team which included Dr. Linda Cooke, the regional coordinator for C-EFE; Ms. Pat Bidart, senior C-EFE advisor to Jamaica and Belize; and Mr. Phil Westman, the Canadian Rep in Belize. Also on hand at the event were members of the UB Management team and the chair of the projects steering committee, Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim of IICA, who used the occasion to discuss achievements of the project to date. He also gave an outline of the projects work plan for 2014. This was all done within the context of a 5-year development plan for the Central Farm Campus of the University. Dr. Wilma Wright, Dr. Gordon Holder, and Ms. Marie Lagault


4 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 5 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 4 Welcome Students 3, 538 students registered for this semester Students Registered by Campus Students Registered by Faculty Students Registered according to Gender The University of Belize welcomed the new students on January 3, 2014. Of the 190 students entering the University 97 enrolled as full time and 93 part time. Welcome to the University of Belize! Males Fe males63% 37% 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Pr of essional Dev elopment FNAHSW FST F MSS FEA FEA Faculty of Education and Arts FMSS Faculty of Management and Social Sci ences FST Faculty of Science and Technology FNAHSW Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work Professional Development Transient and ACE 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 San Pe dr o Orange W alk Ce ntral Fa rm Pu nta Gord a Belize Cit y Belmopan


UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 6 www.ub.edu.bz sium on Education was held on January 3, 2014. It was designed as a means of collaboration among educators and students and to provide an opportunity for them to discuss diverse topics of interest. The Educational Symposium was also a means through which materials were donated to local organizations working with young children in Belize. University students from Dr. Judith McConnellFarmers Study Abroad in Belize Program at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, as well as professors from the University of Belize, Galen University, Canada, Mexico, and the USA participated in the Educational Symposium. The theme for this year was Educational Trends: Past, Present & Future. Presenters spoke on other topics as well. Dr. Silvaana Udz presented Towards Improving English Usage at the University of Belize, and Mrs. Feliciana Torres, UB Early Childhood Stimula tion Centre (UBECSC) Director, also took the opportu nity to discuss the goals of UBECSC. Educational Trends The University of Belize received donations valuing over US $300, 724.00 from Mount Vernon Nazarene Univer sity. The package includes several optics and jumpers. This equipment will allow for the upgrade of the Uni versity's network backbone to 1 gbps, effectively making it ten times faster than what it is today. UB will now boast a network which is in par with most International Univer sities. This equipment will be installed over the next couple weeks after which faculty and staff will enjoy faster network speed. The University of Belize remains grateful to MVNU. UB Receives Donation of Technological Equipment Information, Communication and Technology


6 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 7 UB Distributes Micro Propagated Planting Materials to Benet the Agriculture Sector The University of Belize, as a catalyst for change to enable socio-economic transformation and sustain able development in Belize, is producing high quality Its current focus, at its micro propagation labora tory at the Central Farm Campus, is Belizes sugar cane industry. To date, the University, in collaboration with the Sugar Industry Research & Development Institute (SIRDI), the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), and individual cane farmers of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), has dis tributed close to 30,000 micro propagated plants to the sugar industry to establish demon stration plots in the Corozal and Orange Walk areas. Such plots are to be used by these organizations as trial nurseries to produce quality cane seed for farmers. Spearheading the activities at the Bio-propagation laboratory is Dr Stephen Williams, Micro propagation Laboratory Manager. Speaking about the project, he explained that the demonstration plots will serve as a practical example, for cane farmer organiza tions, of the advantages of using this type of planting materials for establishing plots for seed production as well as encourage them to acquire micro propagated plants for the 2014/15 produc tion years. Micro-propagation is a technique used in biotechnology whereby a very small piece of tissue (shoot apex, leaf section, or even an individual cell) is excised and placed in a sterile culture medium and is used for rapid multiplication of plants. The technology can be used to produce large amounts of high quality planting material at key times of the year and to introduce large quantities of newly selected varieties into an industry. funded by the European Union and the University of Belize, was inaugurated in 2011. The technology is tural sector through the Universitys collaborative links with institutions in Cuba and Mexico. sugar cane farmers


UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 8 www.ub.edu.bz Red Kidney Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), a major staple food source in Latin America and particularly in Belize, plays a sig The legume, high in protein content and very popular on daily menus across Belize, is faced with on-going challenges due to increased soil salinity, global warming, and its effect. It is in this context, that the experiment was carried out in an effort to develop a salinity resistant variety of red kidney beans. The experiment was carried out, said Associate Pro fessor in the Faculty of Science and Technology of the Univer sity of Belize, Dr Thippi Thiagarajan, to test the ability of Red Kidney Beans to form callus and undergo organogenesis under in vitro saline conditions. Grain legumes have been noted to have a poor regeneration capacity under in vitro con ditions, and in light of the recent sea level rise and its effect on soil salinity, developing a variety that can withstand saline conditions will be an advantage for countries like Belize where climate change can have drastic negative effect on salinity of soil in the near fu ture. Research is being conducted in generating full plantlets from callus under saline con ditions that can tolerate moderate saline conditions that may result from rising sea level. Kudos to Dr Thiagarajan for leading the research and to the students he supervised dur ing the research, namely Helly Recinos and Arlitta Tillett who have since graduated from the University of Belize. The research was conducted between 2008 to 2012 and was pub lished in vol 9, No 33 (2013) Preserving Red Kidney Beans via Science BSU President Visits UB Bridgewater State University President Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, along with his delegation, visited the University of Belize in January. He met with the Acting President of the Uni versity of Belize Dr. Wilma Wright and other members of the University. In September of last year, a BSU delegation visited the University to discuss collaboration. High on the agenda was UB Study Abroad Program and a Student Exchange Program that would allow BSU students through their international study at UB to embrace an inter national educational experience in a multicultural society. Dr. Wilma Wright (3rd) and Dr. Dana Mohler


8 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 9 Dr. Latha Thomas of Depart ment of Science, Faculty of Science and Technology com pleted her Ph. D. in Entomology from the University of Cali cut, India. Her research was on Systematics and Ecology of Dung Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in the Nelliampathi region of South Western Ghats. The research provided new scien onomy of dung beetles and tion and degradation on their community structure from a region of Western Ghats which is a global biodiversity hotspot. Nine species endemic to the Western Ghats and three recorded. Her study also revealed that se vere habitat degradation in the region led to the establishment of generalist species and synanthropic species of dung beetles in the region. During the course of her re search work three new species were also discovered. Dr. Thomas also conducted research on dung beetles in Belize to collect baseline information. The research projects included Taxonomy & Ecology of Dung Beetles of Guanacaste National Park which focuses on the use of dung beetles as biological indi cator in determining the effects of forest fragmentation and hu man habitations on the national park. The other is Taxonomy & Ecology of dung beetles of Big Falls, Belize. This research Big Falls as a biological corridor linking the protected areas to the north and south of Belize. Dung beetles are useful as biological indicators of habi tat change as they are sensi Dung beetles also play a remarkable role in agriculture as they are great recyclers and increase the content of organic car bon, nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil through their dung burial activity, explained Dr. Thomas. UB Bachelor students majoring in Biology participated in both research. The University of Belize congratulates Dr. Latha Thomas on the completion of her Doctoral degree. UB Scientist Spearheads Research on Dung Beetles Dr. Latha Thomas Students setting up a beetle trap


UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 10 www.ub.edu.bz Students Enhancing Campus Landscape Students from the class of Environmental Conservation and Development NRMP 1014 (section 4) demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the environment at the University of Belize last semester. Guided by their profes sor Dr. Arlenie Rogers, the students fundraised by sell ing recycled bottles, and they bought white lime to paint decorative rocks and seedlings to plant around campus. Mahogany, Teak, Zericote and Rosewood as well as eight different species of palms that were planted around cam pus. The students also donated a total of $238 cash to the future to further enhance UBs natural environment. Many thanks to these students who made extra efforts in this project: Jacqueline Canul, Simeon Coc, Rackel Reneau, Jinelle Pott, Mariela Yupit, Javan Grant, Rohan Haylock, Adrian Rogers, Ihjani Puerto, Leroy Matura, Knissa Geban, Shakera Bucknor, Shanelli Cal, and Ida Martinez. US Graduate Student on Internship at UB Phillip Lindey, a graduate student from Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Georgia, a UB partner institution is in Belize to do his internship in Social Work at the Womens Department in Belize City during the Spring 2014 Semes ter. UBs Faculty of Nursing and Allied Healths Assistant Professor Fermin Olivera is serving as the students supervisor. The University of Belize and Kennesaw State University signed a Student Exchange Agreement on February 6, 2013. Several students from KSUs Faculty of Education teaching experience in Belize. Several faculty members grees at KSU. For potential opportunities for faculty, staff and stu dents at KSU and other UB partner institutions, interested dent Affairs. Development


10 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 11 New Year, New Uniform The new year has delivered new uniform for the hardworking females of the Uni versity. The uniform consists of three combina tions: i. jacket, blouse, and pants ii. jacket, blouse, and skirt iii. jacket and dress UB Black Jaguars Coach Receives High Level Training UB Basketball Coach, Darren Bovell, recently returned from a Olympic Level held in Chihuhua, Mexico. Coach Bovell along with 33 other coaches from 24 countries attended this intense course. The training was designed to improve methods of teaching and coaching Basketball at every level, and was delivered by two world renowned instructors Prof. Victor Ojeda and Prof. Mario Pesquera. Coach Bovells training was funded by Belize Olympic Committee. Coach Bovell will be able to showcase his coaching skills in the upcoming ATLIB Basketball tournament where our Black Jaguars seek the Championship. Congratulations to Coach Darren Bovell.


UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 12 www.ub.edu.bz The Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work, along with with the UB Library, held a successful toy drive over the recent Christmas holidays that brought smiles to childrens faces. Gifts were donated by kind individuals; then the UB team went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hopsital Paediatric Ward and distributed the gifts. Kudos to the students, faculty, and staff members who took part in this initiative. Bringing Smiles to Children Mandarin Class Hen Ho Mandarin is poised to be a growing language in Belize, and it is in this context that the Regional Language Centre, in collaboration with the Minis try of Culture of Republic of China (Taiwan) provided free mandarin classes to students, faculty, and staff of the Univer sity of Belize. The classes were held for eight weeks starting in November of last year and ending in January. Students were intro duced to the basics of the language and the taiwanese culture. They also learned basic sentence structures and mandarin characters. As part of the course, students also dialogued in mandarin. The Mandarin teacher was Mr. Bing Chen of the Huaxing Language Center in Belmopan.


12 UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 13 Welcome to the UB Team Name Position Dept./Faculty Campus Arieni Arzu Associate Lecturer FST Punta Gorda Blanca Marroquin Assistant Teacher UBECSC Belmopan Lauren Burn Associate Lecturer FEA Belmopan Dawn Elliott Clinical Instructor FNAHSW Belmopan Angie Moro Lab Monitor ICT Belmopan Olga Piveral Lab Monitor ICT Belmopan Lucerita Torres Lab Monitor ICT Belmopan Antonio Cano Lecturer FST Belmopan Trevelee Williams Librarian Library Belize City Vanessa Parham Library Clerk Library Punta Gorda Carlos Shol Maintenance Supervisor Physical Plant Belize City Egbert Martinez Plumber Physical Plant Belize City Wayne Godoy System Administrator ICT Belize City FST-Faculty of Science and Technology;FEA-Faculty of Education and Arts;FNAHSW-Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work;ICT-Information, Communication and Technology;UBECSC-UB Early Childhood Stimuation Centre


UB Ebulletin Volume 2 Issue 6 14 www.ub.edu.bz Free Laboratory Testing