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WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Watson College News

Susan Catapano Receives Fulbright Scholarship

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Susan Catapano, director of international programs and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at the Watson College, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and conduct research in the area of Early Childhood Development in Belize. She will complete the assignment in the spring of 2016.

Catapano said there are pre-schools in Belize, but developing stronger early childhood programs is a priority of the Belize Ministry of Education.

Over the past seven years, Catapano and Dennis Kubasko have developed an interactive, multi-level relationship with educators in San Pedro Town, Belize, working in collaboration and partnership with Isla Bonita School, the Belize Ministry of Education, San Pedro High School, San Pedro Junior College, Galen University and the University of Belize. Faculty-led field experiences to Belize are offered to graduate and undergraduate students during the spring semester.

Catapano has also worked with Watson College students to develop culturally relevant children's literature for students in Belize. The first books, featuring young children in their home country, were published in 2010 and donated to schools in San Pedro Town.

Catapano said she is looking forward to expanding on this work and hopes to engage teachers to write books about Belize for young students while she is there.

Catapano is scheduled to meet with representatives of the U.S. State Department in June to discuss the specific focus of her work as a Fulbright Scholar.

The Fulbright Program is a program of highly competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. The program was founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and is sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Grants are available in over 125 countries and the program sends more than 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Opportunities in Belize were announced in 2014.