From left: (Front) Lililita Johnson-Forbes, Jessica Rogers, Calvin Mardembrough, Provost Sally McRorie and Cindy Green. (Back) Cherrianne Dangleben York, Betty Jensen, Assistant Provost Stephen McDowell, Kristen Hagen, Ashley Krutz and Jocelyn Vaughn.
Florida State Universityâ€™s Office of the Provost welcomed guests from St. Maartenâ€™s Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Wednesday, Sept. 25, as a part of the 20th anniversary of the Sister City agreement between St. Maarten and Tallahassee.
The relationship was established in 1999 as the territories recognized the mutual benefit and potential partnership, particularly in education and tourism.
Calvin Mardembrough, policy adviser for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS), and his colleague Jessica Rogers, represented the Government of St. Maarten on the visit. They also took part in an anniversary celebration at City Hall and visited Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College during the two-day trip. Lililita Johnson-Forbes of the Tallahassee-Sint Maarten Foundation hosted the officials.
At Florida State, the delegation met with Provost Sally McRorie, Assistant Provost Stephen McDowell, staff members from the Center for Global Engagement, including Director Cindy Green, and CherrianneDangleben York, an FSU student from St. Maarten.
â€œWe are very glad to welcome students from St. Maarten to Florida State University and appreciate their contributions to campus life,â€� McDowell said. â€œWe are also happy to recognize the renewal of the Sister City agreement between St. Maarten and Tallahassee.â€�
Florida State currently has 13 students from St. Maarten enrolled at the university, including some who are supported by the Provostâ€™s Latin America/Caribbean Merit Scholarship. Through this scholarship, the students receive a scholarship of $500 for one or two semesters and classification as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, during the semester(s) of the scholarship.
St. Maartenâ€™s Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Wycliffe Smith, told the local newspaper that the relationship between St. Maarten and Tallahassee is strong.
â€œOur students are given such care and special treatment, it is as close as it gets to having a â€˜home away from home,â€™â€� Smith told The Daily Herald. â€œThis is all possible because of the work done by key persons in both territories over the years.â€�