TALLAHASSEE/PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister Silveria Jacobs and her delegation met with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, City Manager Ricardo Fernandez, Assistant City Manager Cynthia Barber of the City of Tallahassee and had very fruitful discussions on fostering new collaborations and exchanges between Tallahassee and St. Maarten in the areas of Culture, Sports and Education as well as Economic development and Infrastructure.
Minster Jacobs and her team then went to Florida A&M University (FAMU) and held meetings with Assistant Vice President Dr. William Hyndman III, Director of International students Agnes Coppin, Provost and Vice President Academics Affairs Marcella David and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Nigel Edwards, to discuss challenges and the future of our agreement to facilitate our students' being able to study at FAMU as well as collaborations with USM.
Next on the agenda was a visit to Lively Technical Center Campus in hopes of gaining insight into programs and collaborations for Advanced Vocational Education here on St. Maarten as well as giving students opportunity to attend LTC. Very fruitful discussions were held and there exists a willingness on both sides to work together.
The delegation also visited one of the facilities falling under Recreation and Parks of (gymnastics and swimming) which is funded by the city. Minister Jacobs is quite interested in finding ways to get such facilities and opportunities available for our communities, for youth, adults and seniors.
The evening culminated back at City Hall where Minister Jacobs met with many students including board members of the St. Maarten/Tallahassee Student Association for fruitful discussions as well as the SXMTAL-FOUNDATION, for brief discussion on the way forward in assisting St. Maarten with our students in Tallahassee. The Minster extends gratitude to the city of Tallahassee and the institutions which continue to collaborate with us to make it possible for our students to study in Tallahassee. She also commended the students for their successes in passing at high levels, maintaining honors and several who had graduated.
On Thursday the working visit continued, Minister Jacobs and her team met with school officials of Tallahassee Community College (TCC), where many St. Maarten students attain an Associates degree before matriculation at FAMU, FSU and other colleges and universities.
The fruitful discussions with Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Sheri Rowland, International Services Coordinator Betty Jensen and her assistant Li Pon in coming to a new agreement amidst the many changes in how the students are able to benefit from the Sister City agreement with Tallahassee in attaining an education. Students have already started the Spring '16 semester, volunteering 20 hours per semester to contribute to the development of TCC and the wider Tallahassee community.