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Belize Taiwan Association hosts first Belize Taiwan Academic Conference

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Posted: Monday, July 5, 2021. 7:51 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Embassy in Taiwan, in collaboration with Belize Taiwan Association (BTA) and Central America Trade Office (CATO), on Saturday, July 3, hosted the first Belize Taiwan Academic Conference (BTAC).

BTAC was a virtual event entitled Dialogues of Innovation and Ingenuity through which Belizean graduate students in Taiwan shared their research and experiences in Taiwan.

The event was livestreamed from Taiwan and simulcast by various media in Belize.

As she had said previously, in her opening remarks Belize Ambassador to Taiwan Candice Pitts said the BTAC was the brainchild of the Belizean students in Taiwan.

“I immediately suggested, why not organize an academic symposium or conference? This conference we agreed would be beneficial not just to students but to Belize and Taiwan apropos their bilateral relationship,” Pitts said.

Pitts said the Belize Embassy wanted to ensure Belize benefits from the education and training Belizean students receive in Taiwan. She added that the BTAC will also help nurture a culture of research, and create more opportunities for cultural exchange and development between Belize and Taiwan.

“Ultimately, the greater objective of our students receiving any trade or academic studies is to improve the human condition, and particularly so in Belize,” she added.

At present more than 100 Belizean students are studying in Taiwan. Pitts said approximately 500 Belizean students have received Taiwan scholarships since 1999.

Apart from their research presentations the students also made Belize and Taiwan cultural presentations.

The virtual meeting also included the participation of Belize’s Minister of Education Francis Fonseca, Taiwan’s Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yui, Taiwan Ambassador to Belize Chien Kuan-chou, and Deputy Secretary General of the International Cooperation and Development Fund Lee Pai-Po.

Wani Morgan presented on the “Condition Monitoring of the Toggle Clamping System of a Plastic Injection Moulding Machine Using Vibration Analysis.”

One of the conference organizer’s, Elma Chun, touched on “The Internationalization of Taiwan’s Higher Education Institutions: A Belizean Experience.”

Amelio S. Quetzal looked at “The Higher Education Trajectories of Taiwanese Women in STEM: A Longitudinal Analysis.”

Kenya Colliard – Chaves presented on “Perceptions of Why Teachers Feel the Need to Assist Students on Standardized Tests: A look at Systematic Pressures.”

Guillermo Berganza did a presentation on “Colonial Legacies and Democratic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (1982-2018).”

Melody Wagner touched on “Steelbands in Belize: Sustainable Creative Social Program Development.”

Tracy Quetzal talked about “HIV Disability and HIV Adherence During the COVID-19 Among People Living with HIV in Belize.”

Solomon Antonio Jr. had a presentation on “The Role of NADPH Oxidase-Mediated ROS in Mitochondrial Status in Arabidopsis Tapetum.”

Lesbia Cruz presented on “Influences of linear low density polyethylene microplastics on soil properties, bacterial communities, metabolic potential and enzyme activities.”

Delainie Broaster talked on “Implementing Smart Farm Solutions for Sustainable Crop Agricultural Development in Belize.”

Delmi Cornelio did an overview of “Gender, Gender Role Stereotype and Attitude Towards Female Managers: A Comparison Study on Taiwan and Belize.”

And Seidi Quetzal reviewed the “Barriers Women Face When Entering Politics: A Case Study of Belize.”

All the presenters have completed graduate school and a number of them are pursuing doctoral degrees.

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