Three Filipino scholars and an Indonesian of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) were awarded at various recognition rites leading to the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Commencement Exercises held last June 22.
Gerald M. Salas, a faculty member of Pampanga State Agricultural University, was the top PhD in environmental science graduate of the UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management. He also received the academic achievement award for PhD graduates presented during the UPLB Graduate School Hooding and Recognition Ceremonies.
On the other hand, Karen Joyce G. Cayamanda who obtained her PhD in development studies, earned the Best PhD Dissertation award at the UPLB College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), while Miko Mariz C. Castro, MS in agricultural economics graduate, bagged the Best MS Thesis award at the UPLB College of Economics and Management. Both of them are faculty members of UP Mindanao.
Imelda Grace Siregar, Indonesian PhD Agricultural Education graduate, received the Academic Achievement Award for garnering the highest General Weighted Average (GWA) among the UPLB CPAf graduates.
Like Salas and Cayamanda, Siregar was also a SEARCA scholar under the PhD Research Scholarship Program, while Castro was a SEARCA scholar supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
They are among 34 SEARCA scholars from eight Southeast Asian countries who completed their MS and PhD programs in school year 2018/2019 at various study posts in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and Australia.
Eight of them are Filipinos, including Ronilo de Castro, swine research manager at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, who obtained his doctorate at Nagoya University, Japan under the Nagoya University-SEARCA PhD Research Scholarship.
These graduates join the ranks of more than 1,500 SEARCA scholarship alumni.
Currently headed by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA has been awarding scholarships to Filipinos and other Southeast Asians since 1968 to build a strong cadre of agricultural and rural development professionals and leaders in Southeast Asia.