Highlights of June, 2018

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

STAFF REGENT Analiza Fulvadora reported that the Board of Regents, in its 31 May 2018 meeting, approved four items related to UP Mindanao. The first was the dual PhD program between UP Mindanao and Curtin University, the PhD by Research degree program, was approved. Second was the PhD program between UPLB and University of Reading, wherein UP Mindanao could participate. Third was the hiring of Dr. Rubrico, as Balik-PhD to UP Mindanao. The fourth was the proposal to invest DOST Fortunato de la Pena with an honoris causa degree. The Staff Regent reported that she went to UP Visayas to see and hear the preparations being made for the administrative personnel conference to be held there in July.Finally, the Regent reported on her visit to the new faculty-staff housing constructed for UP Iloilo which she described as a multi-storey building with accomodations for 40-plus personnel, with some units designed for families, complete with air-conditioning and furnishings.

MONDE NISSIN CORP. executives Romeo Marañon and Michael Singson visited on 4 June 2018 to learn more of UP Mindanao's process in producing lactic acid. They were met by Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion, Technology Transfer and Business Development OIC Lynda Buenaobra, and University Researcher Melvin Pasaporte. The team visited the proposed lactic acid project laboratory and listened to a briefing by Dr. Pasaporte. A forum was held with faculty of the Dept. of Food Science and Chemistry, with Prof. Lemuel Calatrava of School of Management, wherein some products from their research were presented. Prof. Noreen Fundador discussed "Bioplastics from Renewable Resources" that are produced from plants, corn, starch, or sugar cane which, when processed, have applications in packaging, textiles, electronics, biomedical use such as in sutures, and mulch for agriculture. She mentioned starch-based films for packaging that are produced from durian and mango seeds mixed with biodegradable polymers that achieve up to 80% reduction in microbial bacteria. Prof. Virginia Obsioma presented their "Product Development Work" that are predicated on food quality, food safety, human health, and benefit to indigenous communities. The products use underutilized agricultural produce such as "ubod ng niyog", squash, banana stem and "puso ng saging", eggplant, "alukbati", "malunggay", and "gabi" to create burger patties, "longgoniza", meatloaf, noodles, cookies, and ice cream. The products infuse vitamin A and iron and other nutrients in the food. She also mentioned lactic acid bacteria work to create starter cultures. Food samples created by students were brought out and tasted by the visitors. Prof. Juma Novie Alviola discussed her research "Local Flours" such as flour made from sago and other underutilized flours made from mung beans, banana, rice, kamote/sweet potato that is Vitamin A-rich, and the studies on their physical and functional properties, such as their nutrition profile relating to protein, fiber, vitamin A, and anti-oxidant activity, and gluten-reduction properties. Finally, the two groups discussed the protocols for possible engagement by the Monde Nissin R&D and new product development teams and the UP Mindanao team. It was agreed that a sample collaborative research agreement would be brought up by the UP Business Development team for consideration by the parties.

"TEDx ROXAS St" featured Professors Jhoanna Lynn Cruz and Lyre Anni Espada-Murao among the speakers in this independelty-organized TED event held at the Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City on 5 June 2018. In her talk “Are Filipinos Low Commitment People?”, Associate Professor Cruz (D/Humanities), examined some Philippine languages and sayings that show Filipinos to be inclined to have low commitment and if Filipinos can possibly reverse this inclination. Associate Professor Murao (D/Biological Science and Environmental Studies), a virologist who leads research on threats to animal and public health, revealed information on backyard farm diseases and wildlife in her talk, "If Poop Could Talk". The talks of professors Cruz and Murao were delivered in the popular style of TED talks, in line with the mandate of UP to reach out as a research and public service university. "TEDx Roxas St" was organized by the team of events organizer Karla Singson.

DEBATE SOCIETY competed in the Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debating Championships held at University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City on 8-13 June 2018. UPMin Team A placed 22nd and UPMin B placed 25th out of 40 teams. UPMin A is composed of Frederick Omalza (3 BS Biology), Renzo Polinar (4 BA Communication Arts), Andres Segovia (4 BA Communication Arts). UPMin B was Bryle Matthew Bacatan (4 BS Food Technology), Nissa Mariel Caderao (3 BS Agribusiness Economics), and Karl Tristan Butalid (4 BA Anthropology). Debate Adjudicators were Sarika Rey (3 BA English) and Wolfe Schievener Ote (4 BA Communication Arts).

LAUNCH OF THE MASTER IN MANAGEMENT (MM) Degree Program was held on 8 June 2018 at the Apo View Hotel, Davao City. Dean Larry Digal gave the Welcome Remarks to the professionals who attended and Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion, in her message, talked of the new role of research being about "giving back to society a better way of doing things." Prof. Glory Dee Romo presented the Revised MM Program with its functional, integrative, and elective courses, and of the culminating strategic plan paper. Five graduates of the MM program shared their experiences. Davao City Councilor Maria Belen Acosta spoke of learning and applying appropriate management techniques to engage persons with different backgrounds, Prof. Thaddeus Acuña and Prof. Lemuel Calatrava related how appropriate data in a strategic plan can create a win-win situation for both the student and the business enterprise, Lecturer Rene Paraba showed how theory combined with experience can create a framework to target a problem, and School principal Jocy So-Yeung spoke about the importance of a process in order to arrive at innovative solutions. Prof. Exegesis Bangcaya told the professionals present to consider partnerships between their companies and the SOM, such as "on-the-job" programs.

DATA PRIVACY ACT Awareness Seminar was held on 18 June 2018 by Prof. Vicente Calag, the designated Data Privacy Officer of UP Mindanao, for faculty and staff. The seminar objectives were to raise awareness about Republic Act 10173 and to familiarize with the provisions, the review current practices in relation to this Act, the rights of data subjects, the threats to data privacy, and to identify the issues and concerns arising from this Act. The seminar participants raised questions that opened up areas of uncertainty and it was agreed to seek or await further guidance from the UP System.

CONFIRMATIONS FROM UPCAT QUALIFIERS who are residing in Davao City were accepted by the Office of the University Registrar beginning on 19 June 2018. Qualifiers who reside outside Davao City sent in their confirmations through e-mail.         

(to be continued)


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