He is one of the most outstanding nationals and is among an exclusive club of academics who has established himself internationally. Dr. Arlie Oswald Petters was honored with a Caribbean American Heritage Award at its eighteenth gala in Washington D.C. over the past weekend for giving back selflessly to his community. In attendance were dignitaries from the White House, Congress and Diplomats from across the region. Dr. Petters is a Professor of Mathematics, Physics, and Business Administration at Duke University. In 2005 Dr. Petters founded the Petters Research Institute as a way of giving back to Belize. The institute is a center of excellence aimed at developing the Belizean human capital in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and fostering Belize’s national development through environmentally sustainable applications.

Via Phone: Dr. Arlie Petters, Recipient of Caribbean American Heritage Award

Arlie Petters

“Well each year the Caribbean Community in the U.S, they have a gala event in which they honor individuals from a wide area through-out the entire Caribbean for excellence in different fields. And so we were quite honored to see that they had a position in Science and Technology being offered to a Belizean. We have had individuals in acting, politics; for example, Cicely Tyson was one of the individuals that was honored. The current U.S Attorney General, I was informed, Eric Holder. It is quite an honor for me to represent Belize to receive the excellence in Science & Technology Award.”

Andrea Polanco

“I know that receiving an award also helps to underscore the value of what you contribute to the Belizean Society?”

Via Phone: Dr. Arlie Petters

“Yes. I am glad that you mention that because a part of the award dealt not only with my research but also the work we have been doing in Belize particularly in our summer programs touching on a variety of areas in Science and Mathematics and really the involvement to build the Belizean human capital. I believe that in many ways it tells you how this is valued through-out the Caribbean and my hope is that it will inspire other Belizean Americans to continue in their inspirations back home, as well inspire Belizeans on the ground to continue their great work.”

To date, Dr. Petters has received numerous awards and accolades for his innovative research both locally and internationally including one from the U.S. National Academy of sciences as an outstanding African-American in science, engineering and medicine and holds the first Blackwell-Tapia prize in mathematical sciences.

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