University of the Philippines Los Baños
Friday, 08 December 2017 17:21

SESAM honors two of its pillars at 20th anniv

SESAM anniv2 edited

From its beginnings as a transdisciplinary research program on natural resources management in the 1970s, the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) has become one of the country’s most reputable institutions in environmental science and interdisciplinary studies.

This year, SESAM is celebrating its 20th year as a full-fledged School of UPLB.

As it looks back to its humble beginnings, SESAM honored two of its founding pillars – Dr. Percy Sajise, past director, and Dr. Enrique Pacardo, professor emeritus – through a tribute lecture at an intimate program on Dec. 4 at the SESAM Grounds.

Dr. Asa Jose Sajise, son of Dr. Percy Sajise, and Dr. Mari-Ann Acedera, former advisee of Dr. Pacardo, testified to their character and contributions to SESAM.

The younger Dr. Sajise talked about how in its early years, SESAM’s transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches were faced with strong opposition due to the perceived “blurring between disciplines” and the “seeming loss of expertise.” He said that during such times, his father put a premium on the people, and implemented both approaches with his colleagues like they were a big family.

Dr. Acedera, on the other hand, told about how Dr. Pacardo’s patience and guidance given to his students helped people like her realize their capabilities.

In response, Dr. Pacardo shared his teaching values to the audience during the open forum. According to him, a teacher’s task is to guide and encourage students to reach their full potential. He emphasized the importance of always assuming that a student can be good; thus, to give up on them, according to Dr. Pacardo, is to deny them their potential. “You have objectives, [but you also] have obstacles,” he said. “Climb the wall, try another way, but don’t turn away.”

Among those present during the event were Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr.; Dr. Decibel F.  Eslava, dean of SESAM; Dr. Serlie B. Jamias, vice chancellor for community affairs; and deans of other colleges, namely: Dr. Felino P. Lansigan (arts and sciences); Dr. Raden G. Piadozo (human ecology); and Dr. Jose V. Camacho (Graduate School).

Also present were Dr. Juan Carlos T. Gonzales, director of the Museum of Natural History; Dr. Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon, former vice chancellor for research and extension and dean of SESAM; and Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III, NAST Academician.

The celebration also served as a venue to launch the official website of SESAM’s Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM): The website contains all of JESAM’s published articles and has a feature that enables online article submissions. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)