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Belizean born Math professor challenging racial status quo in the US

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2019. 3:43 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Belizean born Arlie Petters, Dean of Academic Affairs for Trinity College, is advocating for more minority representation on University faculties throughout the United States.

The New York Times reported that of the 1,769 tenured faculty in the top 50 math departments there are only about 12 black people, and Petters is in that group.

Duke University’s online publication “The Chronicle” ran an article about Petters this week, detailing his experience as a black professor in the mathematics department of a university, and his wish for other universities to give tenure to more black professors, particularly in the field of math.

Petters, who was born and partially grew up in Dangriga, has used his experiences of facing racial aggression and channeled it into a positive push for minority groups, including becoming a mentor for various minority students at various levels.

Petters is the founder of the Petters Research Institute in Belize, which runs mathematics and science programmes for students. He has also been recognized as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and was also appointed as the inaugural chairman of the Council of Science Advisers to the prime minister of Belize.


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