Despite being miles apart, officials and personnel of UPLB, and new and continuing international students gathered together via video conferencing for a welcome program on March 24.
Organized by the International Student Relations (ISR) of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), the welcome program was opened by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Janette H. Malata-Silva.
Dr. Malata-Silva welcomed the students to the university, thanked them for choosing UPLB, and said that OVCSA will listen and provide them with much-needed support.
Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. delivered an inspiring message, saying that as COVID-19 cases get lesser, the campus will gradually reopen soon, including to international students.
He said that the temporary closure of the campus has become an opportunity for improving systems and processes to future-proof the university.
He introduced the new UPLB research and development agenda called AGORA or Accelerating Growth through One Research and Extension in Action, and its four pillars: food security and sovereignty, One Health, resilience and sustainability, and future communities and institutions.
According to him, UPLB is developing partnerships around the world to expand its global engagement.
Dean Jomar F. Rabajante of the Graduate School (GS) said that even with the distance, the international students are very much part of the GS family. He announced in his message the plan to hold a blended hooding ceremony so that those who cannot be physically present can still take part in it.
Sheryl B. Posadas, ISR coordinator, introduced the mandates and programs of the office, such as leadership trainings and inter-school cultural exchange activities.
Kasmir Nema, president of the International Students Association (ISA), stated that the decision to pursue academic greatness at UPLB was a great one. He enjoined the students to be receptive to possibilities and be humble enough to learn new things. He ended his speech by introducing the ISA Team of 2022.
An audiovisual presentation of the UPLB campus tour was then played after which the students expressed their gratitude and appreciation to ISR and their hopes to set foot on the UPLB campus.
Lijian Qiu, vice president of ISA, encouraged the students to be part of the activities of the organization. She also said that she hopes to go to the campus to enjoy the programs and activities with her fellow international students. (Kyle Ramiel Dalangin)
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