Wroxton experience inspires alum to write children’s book for a cause

By Catherine Krawiec 

“I used to own a flower shop in Ridgewood, N.J.,” says Jennifer Burns Katafigiotis, BS ’91(Ruth). “One spring day I had the door open after I had cut all the new flowers and I watched a bumble bee come in and visit each different type of flower, and thought ‘that is the luckiest lost bumble bee ever,’ Katafigiotis explains.
Belinda
 
“Fast forward a few years and after returning to school to pursue a graduate degree, I learned about colony collapse disorder which was just being discovered,” continues Katafigiotis. “That little bumble bee popped into my head and I knew it needed to be the voice of this issue. So Belinda was born!” 
 
Belinda Bumble Bee: Where Have All the Bees Gone?” is the story of a little bumble bee that flies away from home and needs help getting back. Her children’s book is a whimsical look at the very serious matter of colony collapse disorder.
 
“Bumble bee conservation is very important in the UK, and since my time studying at Wroxton College was so very special, I decided to incorporate a British countryside feel to the illustrations,” Katafigiotis explains. “I was fortunate to find an illustrator that had lived in England and was able to capture the feeling of the Oxfordshire country side.  
 
“You instantly feel the same magic that you experience while walking across the Abbey grounds through the artwork,” Katafigiotis continues.
 
spring class 1989
Wroxton spring class of 1989, Katafigiotis pictured back row second from the left 

 

After attending Wroxton in the spring of 1989, Katafigiotis graduated from FDU’s Rutherford Campus in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She became an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, where she obtained a Master’s of Science with a dual concentration in nutrition education and food science. Katafigiotis recently opened The Weight Wellness Center in Lyndhurst, NJ.  
 
A portion of the profits from sales go to global bumble bee conservation efforts.