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2 UB Bulletin Volume 14 Issue 2 O n Sunday, June 22, 2014, at the Father Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo, 41 graduates from the University of Belize participated in commencement exercis es, officially marking the end of UBs June Com mencement Season 2014. This ceremony, along with last Saturdays in Belmopan where 408 grad uates received diplomas, brings the total number of UB graduates to 449 for the month of June, and to 930 for the year when the January 2014 gradu ates are included. Newly appointed President, Alan Slusher, pre sided over both June ceremonies as graduates were awarded diplomas at the Master, Bach elor, Associate, Certificate and Diploma levels. President Slusher congratulated the graduates on their achievement, and advised both gradu ates and the general audience that No matter what your age, you are still educating your self, because education is a lifelong process that stops only when you cease to be. He noted in addition that the UBs 2014 gradua tion ceremonies were one more indication that the institution continues to discharge on its mandate of educating the people of Belize and thereby empowering the nation. Attendees of the graduation ceremony in Belmo pan bore witness to two UB firsts: the conferring of a Master of Science degree in Biodiversity, Con servation, and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean, in collaboration with the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, Anton de Kom University of Suriname and the University of Guyana; and the celebration of the achievement of CeeJay Jammal Young, a young paraplegic confined to a wheelchair, in successfully complet ing the requirements for the award of an Associ ate Degree in Tourism Studies. At every graduation, there are three awards for Academic Excellence. For this June Commence ment Season the following students were honored: UB June Commencement Season Features Firsts Photo on cover was taken by Guadalupe Banman


3 June 2014 at the Bachelor Degree Programs Level, Courtney Camille Weatherburne, walked away with top hon ors based on her 3.95 GPA for the Bachelors in English; the Award of Academic Excellence in all Associates Degree Programs was presented to Biology and Chemistry major Yu-Sang (Monica) Hua, who also achieved a GPA score of 3.95; David Edward Forman received the highest GPA Academic Excellence Award in the Certificate and Diploma Programs group for a GPA of 3.91 with a Diploma in Education Methodology. The two young ladies tied for the Highest Overall GPA score and received awards. Graduates who contributed to building a sense of community by volunteering as members of the vari ous Student Governments and/or by representing UB as Black Jaguar athletes were recognized by the Office of Student Affairs with non-academic awards. Chairman of the UB Board of Trustees, Harrison Pilgrim, presented these awards. The Faculty with the highest number of gradu ates for the June Commencement season was the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) with 153; the Faculty of Education and Arts (FEA) had 130 graduates, followed by the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) with 101, and the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work (FNAHSW) with a total of 63. Two Masters degrees were awarded, although one of the awardees was unable to be present. Of the to tal number of graduates for the June season, 314 were females and 135 males representing 69.9 and 30.1 per cent respectively. Guest speaker for both June ceremonies was Be lize City Mayor, Attorney Darrell Bradley. Invited guests at the event included Members of the Na tional Assembly, Ambassadors and Officials of the Diplomatic Corps, Chief Executive Officers from the public and private sectors, Heads of regional and international agencies, and representatives from a cross-section of the wider society.


4 UB Bulletin Volume 14 Issue 2 On the 29th of August 1992 during the destruc tive super typhoon, Omar, a baby girl was born. Her mother, inspired by the strong winds and even stronger trees overlooking the window, named her Yu-Sang which translates to Rain Sycamore; her mother believed that through the tough rain and storm of life she would stand strong like a sycamore tree. Yu-Sang grew up in a small village in Pintung, Taiwan. In early 2003 she was sent to study in Belize, where she attended Belmopan Junior School and adopted the name Monica for easier pro nunciation. She graduated from Belmopan Junior School as the salutatorian and Belize became her home. In 2011 she attended the Belmopan Comprehensive School and during her first two years she participated in the coun try-wide elocution contest on Independence Day and won second place, she represented the Cayo district for math Olympiad junior division, and her poem was also chosen for the countrywide competition for womens day. Monica, after exploring her creative side, was very curious about the world around her and wanted to know how everything works, so she decided to delve into the world of science. In third form she was chosen as the student of the year and on 2011 she graduated as the valedictorian. On 2012 after debating her options Monica decided to pursue Chemistry and Biology at the University of Belize. She and a few of her class mates even started the Chemistry Club of UB. She and a few of her classmates also managed to conduct a research testing the tumour sup pressor activity of medicinal plants in Belize that was presented early this year in the first Chem istry-Biology Symposium. Monica Hua Top Overall Achievers Courtney believes we all should find and fuel our passion and adapt an unfaltering sense of determination and intrepidity when faced with lifes inevitable challenges on the journey to our future. Courtney Camille Weatherburne was born to parents Barbara Therese Weatherburne and Denmark Bernard Weatherburne on September 29th, 1993 in Belmopan. Courtney was a preco cious young lady and displayed excellent lead ership and public speaking skills from a young age. She would always be the girl in the group to spark a conversation, to break the ice with a joke or anecdote, to be inquisitive and in many cases put someone in place when they got out of line. As they say about Libras, they are the most loving and caring people you will ever meet BUTand I am sure you know how that ends. She has always been an ardent reader and writer and continuously strives to improve her skills and style as a writer. Courtney states that it has been an enriching experience at the University of Belize both inside and outside the classroom. She gives special thanks to her fam ily for their love and encouragement, her dynam ic lecturers such as Mr. Guerra, Mrs. Sangster, Ms. Kelly and Mr. Chan for their thought provok ing and challenging class session that she al ways looked forward to attending and her fellow classmates who filled the class sessions with bright ideas and joy. This is the outgoing mes sage to her fellow graduates: Congratulations to all graduates and never forget to find your power and your passion and lead a life of excellence. Never settle for mediocrity! Courtney Weatherburne (Bachelor Degreee, Associate Degree, and Certificate/Diploma)


5 June 2014 Dave Edward Forman, born in Dangriga and grew up in PG. The son of Thurman Forman and the late Millicent Murrillo. Grew up with two brothers and one sister. Attended Saint Peter Claver Primary School and Toledo Community College in PG. Moved on to Belize Technical College Sixth Form and the University of Northern Iowa, USA where I studied Chemistry at the undergraduate level. Recently completed my pedagogical training in 2014 at the University of Belize, PG campus. I am passionate about teaching and have been teaching for over 21 years. I have been at Toledo Community College for the past 17 years. I encourage all teachers to be the best that we can be.... Dave Forman C eeJay Young smiled as he shook President Alan Slushers hand at his graduation on June 14, 2014; he has reached one step closer to his dream of becoming a consultant in the tourism industry. He is also a trailblazer for persons with, in CeeJays terms,diversabilities, proving that they can also accomplish their goals. CeeJay was born on April 30, 1992, the sec ond of three boys. During his early childhood he was a normal active child until he started having problems climbing stairs, falling often. At the age of 11 when he was in Standard IV, he had to use a wheelchair in order to move around. It was a shocking experience for him; he was depressed for about two weeks. He started receiving counseling, and with the encouragement of his mother Dana Young he was determined to press forward. He was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), and the doctor prognosticated that he would die by the age of 12. According to patient.co.uk DMD is a condition which causes muscle weakness. It starts in childhood and may be noticed when a child has difficulty standing up, climbing or running. It is a genetic condition and can be inherited. The situation forced Ms. Young to find a new primary school for CeeJay. He later attended Wesley College where they made accommodations for him. After graduating from high school CeeJay de cided to attend UB and major in Tourism. The issues that Belize faces in the tourism in dustry mo tivated him to pursue that course of studies. The Univer sity made accom modations so that he was able to mobilize himself on campus. Today, CeeJay admits that there were various challenges, including the fact that sometimes his mother faced financial dif ficulties, but she prayed to God about the chal lenges, and they were solved. His best memory of UB is of an occasion when Ms. Eda Arzus Tourism Marketing class got together to rebuild wheelchair ramps. CeeJay acknowledges his friends and family who always support him. He is also very ap preciative of Dr. Vincent Palacio, Ms. Sharrett Yearwood, Mr. William Neal, Ms. Renee Wentz, and the rest of the UB staff for treating him well during his studies. CeeJay plans to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Tourism Management. His message to other young people is that they should work hard for their education and be good examples in society. CeeJay and his mother Dana on graduation day. CeeJay Young: An Inspiration


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9 June 2014 T he Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville N. Young appointed Mr. Alan Slusher as President of the University of Belize with effect June 1, 2014. This appointment conforms with section 26 (1) of the University of Belize Act under which the Governor General appoints a President on the advice of the Prime Minister, af ter consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. In his role as President, Mr. Slusher will head the senior management team currently comprising an Interim Provost, Director of Finance, and Director of Human Resources. Alan Slusher first came to prominence in Belizes public sector when he was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Belize in 1985. His distin guished service in that capacity ended in 2001 when he resigned to take a position with the Ca ribbean Development Bank (CDB). During his tenure at CDB, Mr. Slusher served as Country Economist/Chief Country Economist, Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank; Director Economics. On his retirement from the CDB Mr. Slusher returned to Belize and was appointed Ad visor to the Minister of Finance. On his return he assumed the Chairmanship of the Board of Direc tors of the Belize Central Bank for a period. He also served on the Board of Directors of Belize Telemedia and is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Belize Electricity Ltd. He brings a wealth of business process and governance ex perience to the University at a time when financial sustainability is paramount to the continued de velopment and expansion of this institution. Harry Pilgrim, Chairman of the UB Board of Trust ees, hails the appointment as a signal move that should serve as a catalyst for genuine transforma tion in the way the national university delivers on the high quality service that it stakeholders pay for and expect. He cited Mr. Slushers public service career as replete with innovation, built on careful planning, creative implementing processes, and the delivery of quality results. Chairman Pilgrim welcomes Mr. Slusher to the university and ex presses optimism that during his tenure the stra tegic objectives of the institution will be realized. The Universitys Board of Trustees had previ ously voted in full support of Mr. Alan Slushers appointment. New President Appointed UB Board of Trustees Chairm Harrison Pilgrim, Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber and UB President Alan Slusher


10 UB Bulletin Volume 14 Issue 2 T oday is happy day for a lot of people in Belize, and particularly here in Belmopan. In many cases, however, the happiness is mixed. First, more than 400 former students are in the final stages of saying goodbye, at least for now, to the University of Belize. For some of those graduates the happiness is mixed with relief: the grind is over for the time being; the last assignment has been handed in and graded; and there will be no more late nights wondering whether sleep will come before dawn. Now the wondering is: when am I going to start earn ing some real money. For others, the happiness is mixed with a bit of sadness and regret: los ing contact with mentors and good friends, and wondering when and where they will meet again (I want to tell you that those campus couples who dont want to risk anything get married very quickly). For parents and guardians, happy that the sons and daughters have finally graduated, the hope is: now that some of the strain has been re moved from the household budget, the issue is how to persuade the new graduate, as soon as he or she finds employment, to start making a substantial contribution to the house money before the marriage talk starts. For the professors and lecturers, there is a great deal of pride in the happiness; pride in seeing the results of having helped another cohort of capable Belizeans take their first major steps in realizing their potential, and happiness that their efforts have paid off. Teachers do work hard, you know! For the University of Belize, it is one more indi cation that the institution continues to discharge on its mandate of educating the people of Belize and thereby empowering the nation. It is a happy day for Belize as well, as the coun try welcomes new productive capacity from indi viduals who are impatient in their desire to make their mark in the world, and, in so doing, helping to develop Belize, helping to expand the coun trys production of goods and services (prefera bly for export), and, again in so doing, expanding jobs and incomes for everyone. It is a happy day for me too, as I join with the staff of UB to re-energise this institution to move it towards its ultimate destiny: a first class source of information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; an institution of which all Belizeans can be proud. In other words, a first class university. This graduation ceremony is one of the formal rituals that help us to acknowledge that we are all part of a larger whole, a reality that we have President Alan Slusher Graduation Address President Alan Slusher at Graduation Ceremony held in Belmopan


11 June 2014 an absolute duty to maintain; for without social cohesion, without a sense of togetherness as a nation, we are nothing. I have a message for the graduates, and I dare hope that the distinguished ladies and gentle men here today may also find what I have to say of some interest. It is not an original mes sage, but I think it bears repeating. It may sound trite, but it is what has guided me through many years. And it is this: No matter what your age, you are still educating yourself, because education is a lifelong process that stops only when you cease to be. First, you acquire information. You get this from what is happening around you, from what your senses tell you, from what you see and hear and feel. You get information in primary and second ary school, in tertiary institutions like UB; from books, newspapers, TV, your friends, and yes, even from Facebook and Youtube. But it is just information, random, unorganized data. Informa tion is the what. Then, if you maintain an open mind, you acquire knowledge. This is the how. How the information you acquire fits together and makes some kind of sense. You then discover that some bits of in formation are more valuable than other bits, and you learn how to fit the important bits together so that they tell you something useful, and you learn how to create the slots and categories in which to classify information to make it useful, and how to continue to organise the information that you never cease to collect. Then, if you continue to persist in this great enterprise of education and learning, you begin to acquire understanding. This is the why. Why things are the way they are, why the world works the way it does. So that you dont just know how to drive a car, or how each part works, but why each part works the way it does, so you can fix it yourself, or perhaps even build one. And if you really persevere, and continue to carry the effort through, never letting that computer in your head rest, because it really doesnt need to, only the rest of your body does, you will begin the process of acquiring wisdom. This is the ability to iden tify the really important whats, hows, and whys, and to apply all that you know, and perhaps do not even realize that you know, to all kinds of familiar and unfamiliar situations. You learn to ask, when faced with any given situation: so what is the problem?. And that is an important aspect of wisdom: the ability to identify the problem. If you dont know what the problem is, you will solve it only by accident. Let me end by saying that we all have a criti cally important self-development purpose in this world. It is up to us never to stop learning, so that eventually we gain the wisdom that we need to deliver on that development purpose. Nothing valuable comes without great effort; you doubtless understand the meaning of the phrase easy come, easy go. It is up to us, to each of us, to sustain the effort that is required to make ourselves great; and if we do that we make our country great. There is only one catch to all of this: the man who laid out this thesis, a great American educa tor, held the view that no one truly starts exhibit ing signs of wisdom before the age of 40, so graduates, most of you, if you thought the read ing, and the thinking, and the analysis were over, you need to think again! I therefore need to wish all of you, as well as the distinguished ladies and gentlemen in the audi ence, a long, happy, educated, and wise life. Thank you for your indulgence. For the University of Belize, it is one more indication that the institution continues to discharge on its mandate of educating the people of Belize and thereby empowering the nation.


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