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Cary Fraser, Penn State Professor, Named Belize University President

on August 12, 2011 2:04 PM

Cary F. Fraser, a prominent Penn State faculty member in African and African-American Studies, has been named president of the University of Belize, in Central America.

The UB Board of Trustees made the appointment within the past couple weeks, according to news reports from Belize. They say that Fraser was appointed upon the recommendation from a search committee.

"Dr. Fraser has pursued a multi-faced career as a high school teacher, a researcher on indigenous and other populations in the Mazaruni area of Guyana, and a project officer for the Caribbean Conference of Churches working in both Guyana and Suriname," the UB board noted in a statement, according to the newspaper Amandala. "He has also served as a Human Rights Observer for the OAS (Organization of American States) in Haiti."

Born in Guyana in 1955, Fraser earned a Ph.D. in history and international relations at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He holds other degrees from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago and from the University of Guyana.

Since 1996, Fraser has been a faculty member in Penn State's Department of African and African-American Studies, housed within the College of the Liberal Arts. From 2002 to 2003, he was director of the Penn State Africana Research Center.

Fraser's appointment at the University of Belize took effect Aug. 1. An official installation ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 24 at the main UB campus in Belmopan.

The University of Belize is a national institution "dedicated to fostering Belize's development by producing graduates who are socially and ecologically responsible, analytical, self-confident, disciplined, ethical, entrepreneurial, and skilled communicators and who are committed to using these skills and values for Belize's enrichment," according to the university website.

Its undergraduate enrollment is about 4,000 students.

StateCollege.com will have more thorough coverage of Fraser's appointment in the coming days.

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