“We are confident that the students we are training have been equipped with knowledge and skills that they will need for their future careers,” said Dr. Maria Cynthia R. Oliveros, college secretary of the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) and one of the speakers at the CAFS Student Council-initiated activity called “CAFS n’ coffee.”
Dr. Oliveros said that this fact was affirmed by assessors of the ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) who reported that they were impressed by the ability of the CAFS student representatives to be engaged in intelligent discussions during the assessment of the BS Agriculture (BSA) program for AUN-QA certification held last January. The College recently received news that it succeeded in obtaining the said certification for the BSA program.
Dr. Oliveros emphasized to the students the importance of developing the right attitude, especially when they begin their careers. The importance of emotional maturity, character, and good health among students was also underscored by another speaker, Dr. Perlita A. Nuevo, research assistant professor at the Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center.
“CAFS n’ coffee” served as a venue for the CAFS students to interact with UPLB and CAFS administrators on Apr. 10 at the Institute of Weed Science, Entomology, and Plant Pathology (IWEP) Auditorium.
Dr. Enrico P. Supangco, dean of CAFS, said that the CAFS graduates are the future drivers of Philippine Agriculture 2020, the science community’s medium-term strategic plan for the modernization and development of the agriculture and natural resources sectors. He said that quality students are supposed to be the outcome of CAFS’ continuous quest for improvement.
He also recognized how the University administration supports this pursuit, particularly with the PhP 30 million-budget that it has provided to CAFS for the past two years to improve its laboratory facilities.
Likewise, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his message read by Dr. Susan May F. Calumpang, assistant to the vice chancellor for research and extension, expressed his hopes in the CAFS students. “We envision the University to be actively encouraging, developing, and inspiring students to become future leaders who will someday also help us here in UPLB, to further advance inclusive growth in our country through education, research, extension, and public service endeavors,” Dr. Calumpang said.
Other speakers related the changes that have taken place in their units in line with CAFS’ restructuring from its five clusters to a nine-unit and much stronger College, as well as updates in instruction, research, and extension.
The speakers were: Dr. Edna Y. Ardales and Don Johnson S. Neri, faculty members at (IWEP); Rainie Rich Chuckie S. Yambao, a researcher at the Dairy Training and Research Institute (DTRI); Maria Fatima O. Mercado, faculty member at the Institute of Crop Science (ICropS); Dr. Katherine Ann C. Israel, faculty member at the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST); and Dr. Nuevo.
In an open forum following the talks, CAFS students, including Jomar Taguba, CAFS-Student Council chair, asked about UPLB-CAFS’ actions that pertain to issues of land conversion, plant genetic resources research, and extension service to Filipino farmers. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria, with reports from Ma. Leoloura C. Fernandez)