In the midst of the pandemic and natural calamities that beset our country last year, it was the indomitable spirit of UPLB personnel and research and extension teams that enabled the university to continue to serve with honor and excellence.
On the occasion of the celebration of its 112th founding anniversary, UPLB recognized 11 personnel and four teams who stood above the others in doing the work to accomplish the university’s mandated tasks.
The Convocation and Awarding Ceremonies for the 2021 Outstanding Personnel and Programs was held on March 6 at Baker Hall.
Dr. Mark Angelo Balendres of the Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Science (IPB-CAFS) and Dr. Vachel Gay Paller of the Institute of Biological Sciences-College of Arts and Sciences (IBS-CAS) were both awarded as outstanding senior researchers in the natural sciences.
Dr. Maria Ana T. Quimbo of the Institute for Governance and Rural Development of the College of Public Affairs and Development was also given the outstanding senior researcher award in the social sciences while Darlon V. Lantican of IPB-CAFS was named outstanding junior researcher in the natural sciences.
Dr. Celia dR. Medina of the Institute of Weed Science, Entomology, and Plant Pathology-CAFS was named outstanding extension personnel.
The Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines or Project SARAi is this year’s outstanding research team. The team is headed by Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon of the School of Environmental Science and Management.
For the Outstanding Extension Team, the “Off-the-Street, On-to-School” program under the Office of Counseling and Guidance of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) received the award.
Special Recognition was also given to the UPLB Coconut Genomics Program of IPB-CAFS and IBS-CAS, and the UPLB Biomathematics Research Team of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics-CAS.
Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo of the Department of Humanities-CAS was recognized as the Outstanding Artist Award recipient.
For the outstanding administrative personnel, this year’s awardees are the following: Engr. Donny Rey Camus of the University Planning and Maintenance Office (UPMO) as outstanding professional; Richard Eduarte of UPMO as outstanding field supervisor; Sheryl Posadas of International Students Relations-OVCSA as outstanding office personnel; Maria Javier of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology as outstanding administrative aide; and Delfina Soriano Iringan of the Mykovam Laboratory under the Biotechnology for Agriculture and Forestry Program of BIOTECH as outstanding laboratory technician.
In his message, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion gave meaning to the future-proof theme of the Foundation Day.
“Kung atin pong susuriin ang ating tema, naghahanda tayo at ang unibersidad upang mabisang tugunan ang anumang hamon na ating haharapin sa mga susunod na taon at dekada. Kaya nais nating maging future-proof ang UP upang makasabay sa mga pagbabagong teknolohiya, kalakaran sa daigdig, climate change, o maging mga hindi inaasahang krisis tulad ng pandemya,” said President Concepcion.
For his part, Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. explained the meaning of the Foundation Day celebration logo. “It is an acknowledgment of our staff from the sectors of the faculty, research, extension, and administrative personnel who have exemplified the spirit of dedicated service.”
Chancellor Camacho also highlighted his mission to future-proof the university. “There will be changes rippling in our society which we have to adapt to. Let us continue to future-proof our university for the sake of our nation and the generations to come.”
In his inspirational message, the Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko championed the Philippine-Japan partnership and commended the university for its future-proof initiative. “Future-proofing is our goal in partnerships to help build a promising society where there are opportunities to grow and learn. I trust the Filipino talent and wisdom that UPLB cultivated will trailblaze not only future-proofing universities but also to future-proof the Filipino nation,” he concluded.
On behalf of the outstanding personnel, Outstanding Artist Aguinaldo read brief acceptance speeches of his fellow awardees. In his own message, he encouraged the UPLB workforce to thrive with the culture of mentorship and compassionate heart.
A virtual multimedia exhibit featuring the contributions of UPLB units to national development is also showcased and may be viewed on https://exhibit.uplb.edu.ph/. (John Glen S. Sarol)