Windward Island Bank Key Sponsor of USM’s New School, Dr. Gittens appointed as Director 


Philipsburg, Sint Maarten – The University of St. Martin (USM) has announced the opening of their new school named The St. Martin School of Continuing Education and Life Long Learning (SCELL) which will officially launch on August 3, 2015. The SCELL initiative was developed based on many successful training relationships that USM established over the past year, in particular the one with The Windward Islands Bank Ltd under the leadership of Managing Director, Derek Downes.

Dr. Natasha Gittens has been appointed as SCELL Director of Customized Training & Human Capitol Development. Dr. Gittens has been with USM since April 2014 in the capacity of a full-time Business & Hospitality Faculty member, in addition to working on special University projects, such as retraining 120 teachers in English as a first language on the island of St. Eustatius.

Gittens holds a Ph.D. in Business Management and taught at over 15 universities and colleges throughout the United States and in the Caribbean, in addition to acting as a Consultant for large well known all- inclusive resorts in St. Thomas & St. Lucia. She has been nationally recognized for her contribution and development of Best Practice Principles for continuous learning and adult education programs.

President of USM, Dr. Francio Guadeloupe stated that Gittens was appointed to the position based on her combined talents as a corporate professional and an academic educator; very few persons embody both traits. One of her many accolades are that she is qualified to offer Certified Hospitality Education workshops form the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). SCELL is the business arm of USM, as such all clients can expect professionalism and a customized translation of their requests in the form of trainings, workshops, and courses that lead to certification. We are delighted that she has formally accepted this appointment and will lead the school in her new capacity.

SCELL director, Dr. Gittens stated “the premise of the School is simple but significant, to provide customized training and workshops for Businesses large and small, Banks, Health Care organizations, Schools, NGO’s, Government Agencies and offer Adult Learner workshops for individuals looking to advance or pursue educational opportunities”.

One of USM’s goals is for SCELL to become “St. Maarten’s vehicle to excellence” by providing St. Maarten’s business community with the tools they need to develop Human Capital and to increase Service Excellence.

Director of the Windward Islands Bank Ltd. Mr. Downes, stated that WIB is extremely pleased to be associated with this very important initiative of USM, given the importance continuing education plays in the development of human resources. Our bank’s middle management has recently benefited from specialized business courses tailored to our needs, which were well executed by USM. We intend to continually take full advantage of this new offering by USM, as we seek to expand the knowledge and skills of our staff and encourage other businesses to do so”.

WIB is the Key Sponsor of SCELL. Their decision to become so illustrates their exemplary commitment to continuous education and learning for their employees and validates their understanding of the value of Education on the island of St. Maarten.  They have committed to offering one local community member an opportunity to attend one workshop and/or training per month to emphasize their Human Interest dedication to members of the local community.


Companies interested in becoming a Sponsor or in scheduling trainings and workshops of The USM’s School Of Continuing Education and Life Long Learning, can contact Dr. Natasha J. Gittens at

photo: SCELL Director, Dr. Natasha Gittens