On November 23, Dr. Joan Marques, dean of the School of Business, gave a keynote speech at the 25th Anniversary of the Suriname-American Network Inc., (SANI) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. SANI operates throughout the United States to enhance the collaboration among individuals of Surinamese heritage.
Dr. Marques’ speech was titled, “The Value of Diaspora,” in which she presented some unique facts about her native country while she also encouraged all “Suri-Earthlings” to exert their best efforts toward being worthy ambassadors for their nation of origin. Making up less than a million people worldwide, Surinamese form less than 0.01 percent (one-ten-thousandth) of the global population, making them more extraordinary than individuals holding doctoral degrees worldwide.
On this special occasion, SANI also granted the Kankantrie Lifetime Achievement Award to five individuals of Surinamese origin in different categories. Dr. Marques received the award for her lifetime achievements in education. The four other awards were granted for performing arts, sport, healthcare, and community service. The Kankantrie, also known as Ceiba, Kapok Tree, or Sumaumeira, is the largest tree in the Amazon forest, and considered the God of the forest in Suriname.