“We may be physically apart due to COVID-19, but we are grateful for the technology that allows us to be together…… there is so much to be grateful for even in this time of the pandemic,” was the upbeat and encouraging opening statement of UPV Chancellor Clement C. Camposano during the Graduate Orientation Program held on 27 March 2021 via Zoom. He then proceeded to share his 5-point agenda and his vision for UP Visayas. His agenda includes 1) building on strengths in teaching, research, and public service; 2) deepening engagement with our communities; 3) leaning towards meaningful change in education; 4) defending and promoting diversity and inclusion in our campuses, and 5) reinvigorating democratic governance in the university. Chancellor Camposano also introduced his management team, which is composed of Dr. Philip Ian Padilla (Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs), Dr. Harold M. Monteclaro (Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension). Dr. Rhodella Ibabao (Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development) and Prof. John Lorenz Belanio (Vice Chancellor for Administration).
Vice Chancellor Philip Ian P. Padilla warmly welcomed the 290 participants, including university officials, administrative staff, graduate students, and faculty members from the various UPV campuses, including UPV Tacloban College that was joining for the first time. The Deans of the academic units presented their respective graduate program offerings and introduced their graduate faculty to the 251 new graduate students. The Director of the Graduate Program Office, Dr. Rowena Paz L. Gelvezon, explained some policies, rules, and regulations that affect the academic life of the students in UP Visayas.
This year’s inspirational speaker was Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz, a Master of Management (Public Management) alumnus and currently the President of the West Visayas State University. To better prepare the new graduate students mentally and emotionally for the rigors of graduate studies, he shared his own experiences from when he was a graduate student in this university. Dr. Villaruz went on to say that “graduate school is not just a walk in the park – it requires patience, determination, and commitment, but the rewards are well worth it. The sense of satisfaction and fulfillment after completing the program will allow you to see the world from a much bigger and wider perspective. The world deserves people who do not want to stop pursuing more knowledge”. He also challenged the graduate students to go into research so they can contribute to the generation of new knowledge, which can be used as the basis for policy decisions that are responsive to the needs of our society. Lastly, he reminded the students to have the right motivation by saying... “pursuing graduate studies is not just for yourself, not just for the sake of promotion. Your contribution to society – whatever discoveries or results your studies will yield – will help create a better world. The impact may not be felt in your lifetime but think of this – you have opened the doors for others to follow”.
In his closing remarks, Vice Chancellor Monteclaro acknowledged the vital contribution of graduate students in creating new knowledge and encouraged them to conduct studies that would help solve industry or community problems. The university provides thesis and dissertation grants to graduate students, which according to Dr. Monteclaro, comes with certain obligations on the part of the students, in particular requiring grantees to publish their research findings in a World of Science or Scopus-indexed journals. Said grant is designed to encourage a culture of research in the university.