University of the Philippines Los Baños
Monday, 03 July 2017 16:39

Colleges honor graduates in testimonial programs; Sen. Villar graces CVM hooding

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A few days prior to receiving their diplomas at the 45th UPLB Commencement Exercises on June 24, the members of the Class 2017 shared their last few moments in the University with their respective colleges in intimate testimonial programs held in their honor.

The candidates for graduation, honor graduates, and recipients of awards took the spotlight in these programs. Distinguished guests served as keynote speakers most notable of whom was Hon. Cynthia A. Villar, senator of the Republic of the Philippines and a UP Diliman alumna, who spoke before the graduating students of the College of Veterinary Medicine at 9 AM on June 24 at the DL Umali Hall.

 ‘Improve the dairy industry’ 

Sen. Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, recognized the role of veterinarians in the growth of the country’s agriculture, particularly in the development of the poultry, livestock, and dairy sectors. “I hope that you will help in bringing about change in our dairy industry so that we can produce more milk in the near future, so that our Filipino children will have the chance to be nourished by milk products which we produce in the Philippines,” Sen. Villar said.

Sen. Villar also took part in giving awards to the graduates, including the Manny Villar Excellence Award given to the top 10 of the 48 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine graduates. Leading them was Larry Xerxes B. Capuno, Jr., who also received five other awards, including the best undergraduate thesis in ruminant animals.

 ‘Remember the farmers’ 

In the testimonial program of the College of Economics and Management (CEM) on June 22 at the DL Umali Hall, Class Valedictorian Reymond Denver Q. Buenaseda, magna cum laude, reminded his fellow 219 graduates to remember the plight of the farmers and the Filipino people as they pursue their respective careers.

“Remember the farmers whom you had interviewed. Let us remember their stories so that when asked the familiar question ‘para kanino ka bumabangon,’ we will answer ‘para sa bayan!’” urged Buenaseda, who earned BS Agricultural Economics. Another agricultural economics graduate, Hendel Herminio P. Cabral, vice president for sales of Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation of the Aboitiz Equity Ventures Food Corporation, was guest speaker of CEM.

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Photo courtesy of Stoix Nebin S. Pascua

‘Teach others’

Dr. Ma. Esmeralda C. Silva, associate professor at the UP Manila College of Public Health, alumna of the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), and speaker at the CPAf recognition rites on June 23, emphasized the value of learning and teaching among the 38 students who received their masters and doctorate degrees. “We must take advantage of any opportunity to influence someone to be more critical and more discerning; this is one of the ways by which we can help in shaping the future generation,” she said.

Awards were given to outstanding students for academic excellence, and best dissertation, thesis, and field study. Annica V. Quakenbush (MS Community Development) and Jaime Angeli A. Gutierrez (Master of Development Management and Governance) received the Academic Excellence Awards for having the highest general weighted average. Quakenbush, who has returned to her home in the United States, delivered her valedictory address through a recorded video.

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‘UP alumni are survivors’

At the College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology (CEAT) testimonial program on June 23, Engr. Adrian S. Arias, president of the UP Alumni Engineers, Inc. and member of the board of directors of Anglo Philippine Holdings Corporation, assured the graduates that UP prepared them well to face the “real world.”

Arias, a UP Diliman alumnus, said that UP has taught him to be a survivor and to overcome challenges in life. “Anyone who can survive a melting pot [of cultures and perspectives like in UP] can survive the boondocks or the condominiums of Makati.” Leading the 340-strong CEAT graduates was Jamila Aria G. Macagba, BS Electrical Engineering, cum laude.

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‘A holistic learning’

Leading the 41 graduates of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) were Jessa Aquino and Rowena Sazon for MS and PhD graduates, respectively. Both delivered their addresses during the SESAM testimonial ceremony on June 23 at the SESAM Lecture Hall.

Aquino said that SESAM has broadened her knowledge and has provided a holistic lens in understanding environmental science. Meanwhile, Sazon thanked SESAM for the ‘ridge to reef’ learning experience, reiterating that she was able to conduct field works in various ecosystems during her PhD coursework. Sazon is also UPLB’s academic excellence awardee for being the overall top PhD graduate this year.

Joining the SESAM graduates were four students who graduated in the Professional Masters in Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management, the inter-constituent university program of UP that involves UPLB, UP Diliman, and UP Visayas.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who graced the CVM and CEAT programs, reminded the graduates to uphold the principles of being a UP graduate. “Never lose sight of UP, what it stands for, and what UP graduates can be,” he said. He also expressed confidence that the graduates will become leaders in the future in their own ways.

Other colleges also held their own testimonial programs: the College of Human Ecology on June 20; the College of Arts and Sciences on June 21; the College of Development Communication on June 22; the College of Forestry and Natural Resources on June 23; and the College of Agriculture and Food Science on June 24. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria, Amelia L. Bello, Melanie P. Maullon, Stoix Nebin S. Pascua, Jessa Jael S. Arana, and Thaddeus P. Lawas)