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Susan Catapano, UNCW Conference Featured in COBEC Newsletter

Friday, November 06, 2015

In July, UNCW was host to the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) summer conference. Susan Catapano, Watson College professor and director of international programs, coordinated the event with support from WCE associate professors Michele Parker and Candace Thompson. The conference was held at the Watson College.

Participants included Belize’s Governor General Sir Colville Young, who met with UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli during Young’s time in Wilmington.

COBEC promotes mutual understanding and friendship through a variety of programs and activities that contribute toward higher education in Belize. The organization also enhances global experiences for students, faculty, staff and administrators from member institutions through study abroad opportunities, research, teaching and other educational development efforts.

The summer conference was featured in a lead story titled, “COBEC First Impressions” in the November 2015 issue of COBEC’s biannual newsletter. Also in the newsletter, Belizean conference co-chairs Jean Bennett and Neal McCrillis extended “a heartfelt thank you” to Catapano for her outstanding work in hosting the conference.

Catapano has a long history of partnering with educators in Belize. Over the past seven years, Catapano and associate professor 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.

The faculty members have teamed to offer field experiences to Belize for graduate and undergraduate students of the Watson College each spring semester, and to provide professional development opportunities for Belizean educators in the summer.

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 will return to Belize in January 2016 as a Fulbright Scholar. Her teaching and research will focus on strengthening early childhood programs in the country, a priority of the Belize Ministry of Education.

To view the story in COBEC’s November 2015 newsletter visit: http://www.cobec.org/documents/Nov2015_COBECNewsletter.pdf

A story about the conference titled “UNCW Welcomes Belize Governor-General to Campus” appeared on the UNCW homepage in July. View the story here: https://uncw.edu/news/2015/07/uncw-welcomes-belize-governor-general-to-campus.html