by Michelle Jeanne C. Caracut
This year’s 47th Commencement Exercises had its graduation speaker the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Secretary, Fortunato T. De La Peña. He addressed 1, 964 graduates from eight different colleges and schools on July 5, 2017 at the Institute Gymnasium.
De La Peña expressed his pleasure to be back in MSU-IIT as guest speaker as he last came to the Institute sometime in 2010-2011 when he was still DOST Undersecretary and visited the Materials Science Laboratory and other facilities supported by the DOST. He told the graduates that he knows the mixed feelings of a graduate. “First, there is that extreme happiness and feeling of relief after completing all those requirements, all those trials that you have undergone…more importantly, there is also that feeling of anxiety and uncertainty with the life ahead of you.”
He then shared his journey as a student who attended college at the early age of 14, going through until graduation, working as an engineer, pursuing graduate studies, and becoming a teacher for 43 years at the University of the Philippines while working at DOST.
In his commencement address, the tall, soft-spoken DOST Secretary emphasized to the graduates that it does not matter where they will start their career. He said that what is more important is they find a place where they enjoy the work they will do. He went on to share his own experience, “I said to myself you can never tell. In fact, I never planned my career. I just went on with whatever I enjoyed doing, doing my best where I am located and trying to weigh things when there are challenges and opportunities ahead of me. I did not look for places to go but when there were opportunities that came my way, I try to weigh and make a decision.”
He further encouraged the graduates by saying, “wherever you are, just do your best and while you are still young, it is okay for you to transfer from one job to another. But make sure when you are already settled down with your family, try to get settled in a career where you are happy.”
He proceeded by congratulating the faculty members, parents, and benefactors who he thinks deserve as much congratulations as the graduates do. He also congratulated MSU-IIT for making quality education accessible to many people especially those who are financially challenged.
He commended MSU-IIT as one of the country’s top-rating universities recognizing the designated seven Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Centers of Excellence and eleven Centers of Development in the Institute, and the only Higher Education Institution in Mindanao identified to be a delivering institution of two DOST scholarship programs: the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRD) and the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT).
Moreover, he said excellent research studies are done as he had seen during his first visit in the Institute in 2009, faculty members obtaining scholarships for doctorate studies abroad, international collaborations, the existence of research laboratories and equipment housed in the Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM), the Technology Business Incubator (TBI), and the Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab).
According to the science chief, when it comes to delivery of education, MSU-IIT is prompt to act on improvements in its curriculum to respond to changing needs. This is evidenced in the offering of the Microelectronics track of the Electronics and Communication Engineering program following the DOST- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD)-funded project “Developing Microelectronics Education in the Philippines.”
Seeing how the Institute has developed and how it has made initiatives to help, De La Peña invites and challenges MSU-IIT to be one of the DOST’s lead partners in implementing their programs and hastening the development of other regions.
In closing, De La Peña conveyed to the graduates the wishes articulated by President Rodrigo Duterte with the hope that these will be kept in the minds and hearts of the graduates wherever they go and whatever career they will have: reduction of inequality, creation of new opportunities, and expansion of potentials for growth. He believes that this year’s theme “Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship” is very appropriate as these are ways of expanding potentials for growth.
The 47th Graduation Ceremonies class was led by Mubarak M. Paingco, a BS Biology major and the only Summa Cum Laude this year, with a GPA of 1.102. Ten students were recipients of Institute Co-curricular Awards, namely: Jahaziel Mark S. Bahan (CBAA), Institute Leadership Award; Lou Ellen L. Antonio (CASS), Journalism Award; Michelle B. Garing (CASS), Music Award; Veniza D. Yamomo (CBAA), Performing Arts Award; Janodin M. Marohombsar, Debate Award; Primo T. Bagasol (CEd), Dance Award (Male); Laurice Jean A. Sator, Dance Award (Female); Paul Mateo Huelma (CBAA), Athletics Award (Male); May Kristine Deang (Ced), Athletics Award (Female); and Lyster Rey Cabardo (CSM), Sikap Award. Seventeen grantees from the Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) were also recognized for their exemplary performance and were awarded medals by CHED-X Regional Director Gersana.
MSU System President Habib W. Macaayong conferred the various titles and degrees on the graduating class in the presence of the members of the Board of Regents, MSU System officials, MSU-Naawan Chancellor Proserpina G. Roxas, MSU-Buug Chancellor Sultan Taha G. Sarip, MSU-IIT officials, and other guests: CHED-X Regional Director Zenaida Gersana, DOST-X Regional Director Alfonso Alamban, Division Chief of PCIEERD-DOST Ermie Bacarra and Executive Director of the Board of Investments in Sri Lanka Upali Senarath.
The 47th Pre-Commencement Exercises and Recognition Ceremonies were held on July 3-4, 2017 with guest speakers Dr. Rey Y. Capangpangan, Research, Development and Extension Center Head of Mineral Resources Research and Training Center, Butuan City (for Cluster 1: CSM, CON); Carlos B. Llamas III, Principal of Lumbatin Elementary School, Iligan City (for Cluster 2: SCS, CEd); ASEAN Engineer Rainaline R. Tan, Assistant Vice President for Refinery, Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation, Leyte (for Cluster 3: COE&T); and Dr. Raymund M. Pasion, Associate Professor of Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (for Cluster 4: CASS, CBAA, SGS, and SDS).