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SESAM's Class of 2019 has 52 graduates


Top grads. Ms. Angelica Magpantay, (MS) and Dr. Gerald Salas (PhD), thanked SESAM during the 2019 testimonials.

The School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) conducted a testimonial ceremony for this year's graduating students on June 20, 2019 at the New College of Arts and Sciences (NCAS) Gallery.

According to Dr. Janice S. Garcia, Associate Professor and SESAM head of Instruction, a total of 52 students- 16 PhD, 33 MS Environmental Science and 33 Professional Masters on Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management (PMTMEM) graduated for the class of 2019.

Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs said UPLB is very proud as SESAM produced the most number of post-graduates this year. With this number of graduates, Dr. Lapitan said that it is evident that SESAM is really pushing towards the UP mandate of being a research graduate university. "Our harvest today- the post-graduates- has able to contribute to the core of environmental scientists, so that the problems in environment will be addressed", Dr. Lapitan stressed. "Carry the cudgels for the environmental fight of UPLB", she added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Dean of UPLB Graduate School (GS), said the graduating class of 2019 is special because this year has the highest number of graduates from GS. He added that SESAM has shown why we should put importance to hard work and perseverance. "Indeed, this year we have a great harvest, especially from SESAM, we have more UP Scientists and new Most Outstanding Scientists that will guide our students", Dr. Camacho said.

For her part, Dr. Marisa J. Sobremisana, Assistant Professor, recalled her student life while taking her PhD Environmental Science and she advised the graduating students to keep focus and continue to work hard as they will go back to their respective work and places. "Don't loose hope", she stressed, as she can relate to those students who were having difficulties in managing their time and doing other equally important duties while studying.

The top MS graduate, Ms. Angelica Magpantay, a Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholar, mentioned the five "P's" that helped her in her graduate school journey-- professionalism, planning, passion and persistence, prayer and people. "We survived SESAM... but we will miss this, it is indeed our home away from home", Ms. Magpantay happily addressed the audience.

Meanwhile the top PhD graduate, Dr. Gerald Salas, a faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, Pampanga Agricultural Colleges, mentioned that this time, his dream came true for him to graduate from UP, after he was convinced before by his parents not to pursue his creative writing program in UP Diliman for his bachelor's degree. "At first I was afraid environmental science was not the program for me, but Dr. Carmelita Rebancos encouraged me to continue", he said. "I learned to prioritize and I got ample support from my family, friends and of course, my mentors here at SESAM, he added.

In her closing remarks, Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, Dean, SESAM, expressed her delight, as this year was really a bountiful harvest for the school, with the most number of post-graduates in the university. She told the graduates that they are 'trained to evolve and adopt'. "Always remind yourself why you chose your respective field", as she mentioned to the class of 2019 the different roles of both MS and PhD graduate that must be fulfilled. Dr. Eslava also thanked the families and love ones of the graduates who attended the testimonial, as well as the UPLB Environmental Society, who co-organized the activity.