Karen Benita Bautista was born in Belize, Central America on May 30th 1973. She attended Belmopan Primary School, Belmopan Comprehensive High School, Saint John’s College Junior College and the University College of Belize from where she graduated with a Bachelors in Biology Education.
Ms Karen has over 25 years teaching experience at secondary and tertiary education. She started her teaching career at age 20 at Sacred Heart College (SHC ) where she taught Biology to seniors for 9 years before moving to Bangkok, Thailand where she pursued her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management at Chulalongkorn University. After returning to Belize from her studies she taught 5 more years at SHC before moving to the University of Belize in 2011 where she is presently a Microbiology Lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Technology. At the University she has served as the Biology program Coordinator for 4 years and the Chair of the Science Department for 3 years.
Ms Karen is actively involved in research and has published a number of journals in the area of Water Quality Management and Investigating Anti-microbial Properties of Various Plants in Belize. Each year for the past 9 years she has been working with senior undergrad students in completing their thesis and does academic advising for more than 50 students a year. She also volunteer with a number of environmental organizations in her community.
In her spare time she loves baking and decorating cakes, and advising and mentoring young boys and girls in choosing an appropriate career. As a woman in Science she is keen at promoting young women in Science, but more so encouraging young women to get an education or become a private entrepreneur doing something they love and can benefit from.
She believe that it’s never too late to learn and that learning never ends and so she continues to educate herself in areas of social science such as gender equality, queer theory, sociology of gender and even women in politics. Ms. Karen is the mother of one son, Emil Emerson Waight.