Four SEARCA Alumni were recognized by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and the UPLB Alumni Association (UPLBAA) during the 103rd Loyalty Day and Alumni Awarding Ceremony held on 10 October 2021 with the theme “Bigkisang UPLB at Alumni para sa Matagumpay na Pagbangon Mula sa Pandemya.”
Dr. Weerapon Thongma, President of Maejo University, led the awardees as the recipient of the Presidential Award. Dr. Thongma pursued his PhD in Extension Education with a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - SEARCA scholarship. Maejo University also recently became an affiliate member of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC). Dr. Weerapon is the current president of the Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities.
From the College of Economics and Management (CEM), Dr. Catherine Roween C. Almaden, President of Northern Bukidnon State College, was awarded Outstanding Alumna in Higher Education Management. Dr. Almaden took her PhD in Development Studies and was a recipient of the SEARCA PhD Research Scholarship for her study on "Multidimensional Indicators of Adaptive Capacity of Rice-farming Households to Address Varying Conditions of Salt-Water intrusion in Northern Mindanao, Philippines."
From the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), Dr. Sonnie A. Vedra, Professor VI of Mindanao State University, was awarded as Outstanding Alumnus for Research. Dr. Vedra finished his PhD in Environmental Science with a SEARCA PhD Research Scholarship for his study on “Analysis of the anthropogenic-based disturbances among the indigenous goby population in Mandulog river system, Northern Mindanao.”
Finally, Dr. Jose O. Sargento received the 2021 Outstanding Golden Jubilarian Award. Dr. Sargento received a UC Thesis Grant for his PhD in Forest Resources Management and dissertation on “Participation of major stakeholders in the conservation of the Makiling Forest Reserve.”
SEARCA has been awarding scholarships to Southeast Asians since 1968 to build a strong cadre of professionals who can dynamically drive agricultural and rural development in the region. As the Center celebrates its 55th year, the hallmark contributions of its scholars in the region and beyond strengthen SEARCA’s goal of addressing global challenges towards a better and more sustainable future for all.