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MU celebrates University Day 2021

Article by: Reine Amabel J. Jaruda, Crismhil S. Anselmo, and Goven M. Barrera

Graphics by: Andrea Nicole Recella Villasanta

With the theme “Catalyzing Social Change Through Service and Innovation,” Mapúa University (MU) celebrated its fourth year as a university last May 4 via Facebook Live. The daylong program aimed to reinforce and stimulate MU’s mission of engagement in research, development, and innovation towards nation-building.

Honing excellence and skill

In his opening speech during the general convocation, Mapúa President Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea recalled the institution’s endeavors towards excellence. The CEO highlighted the University’s global competitiveness, community efforts, research capabilities, and research projects with both local and international science and technology departments. “…the most important thing I would say is that we have established a vision which is lofty yet reachable and to an extent also measurable,” he remarked.

Then, in his keynote speech, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson J. Prospero E. de Vera III commended Mapúa University’s quality management and its personnel’s commitment to excellence under Dr. Vea’s leadership. Furthermore, he encouraged the Mapúan community to continuously sustain their efforts in addressing global issues, develop their skills in their field of expertise, and attain inclusive growth for the country together with other professional organizations.

“We, at the Commission [on Higher Education], support the efforts of higher education institutions all over the country in implementing initiatives that promote partnership, cooperation, and integration,” the CHED Chairperson said.

Following this, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara emphasized the significance of research and innovation when she presented the retrofitted DOST innovations being used to address the pandemic.

Purveyor of advancement and innovation

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bonifacio T. Doma, Jr. marked the opening of the Cardinal Challenge 2021–an event that aimed to recognize students’ efforts in cultivating innovation and advancing research. “With this competition, we are highlighting the second and third missions of our University – the creation of knowledge to help our communities to solve day-to-day challenges and problems,” he explained.

Among 44 entries from senior high school and college students all over the country, the University recognized six Cardinal Innovators in the design and innovation competition.

Two groups were from Manuel A. Roxas High School. The first group presented their study entitled “Feasibility of Cardaba Banana Fibers and Milkfish Fish Scales as Fiberglass Fillers”, while the other team’s research is named “Comparative Analysis of the Ability of Mealworm in Decomposing Different Types of Plastics”.

The Southville 1 Integrated National High School also won with their innovation entitled “iDIETS (Intelligently Directed Innovation to Enable Technology for Sustainability)”. The Philippine State College of Aeronautics-Villamor Campus triumphed as well with their study about “Physiochemimechanical, Thermal, Rheological Properties Analysis of Pili Tree Resin as Aircraft Integral Fuel Tank Sealant”. The City of Mandaluyong Science High School was also recognized for their innovation on “Concentrated Solar Thermoelectric Generator”.

Lastly, Mapúa University - Senior High School was also hailed as one of the Top 6 Cardinal Innovators with their study entitled “Arduino-Based Automatic Soil-Profiling Device”.

In his inspirational message as the guest speaker for the competition, Mapúa faculty member and alumnus Engr. Marloun P. Sejera shared his experience as one of the engineers who developed, manufactured, and operated on the recently launched MAYA-2 cube satellite.

Citing Mapúa’s five core values, namely Discipline, Excellence, Commitment, Integrity, and Relevance, Engr. Sejera noted that “All the technical skills I acquired during my  undergraduate years in Mapúa helped me to be a good contributor to the success of the satellite project. […] For that, I am forever grateful to Mapúa University."

Cardinal Community fun

Subsequently, the Council of Organizations (COO) hosted recreational competitions for the Mapúan community. Among these games are Survey Says, I’ve got a blank Space and You’ll Love the Game, and Mapúa Stories of Hope.

Held last April 30 to May 4 via Zoom, Survey Says is a game where teams answered a variety of questions based on popular surveys–much like the game Family Feud. Winners of the said event included Team 321, A Team, and Team DNA with a cash prize of Php 8,333.00 per team.

Meanwhile, COO’s version of the Singing Bee, I’ve got a blank Space and You’ll Love the Game, was held via Zoom as well. Winners for the teaching and non-teaching staff category included Karen Vivien A. Conducto, Jasmine Nadja J. Pinugo, and Gloren S. Fuentes, with cash prizes of Php 5,000.00, Php 3,000.00, and Php 2,000.00, respectively. As for the student category, Jeazelle A. Ruazol, Marc Julian M. Elizarde, and Francis Icel L. Montes each got a cash prize of Php 2,000.00 and Maria Janina Victoria J. Sioson, Christine Jane M. Alfonso, and Aeron Miguela C. Arango received Php 1,300.00 each.

To cap off the celebration, video-essay submissions for the Mapúa Stories of Hope were premiered the following day on the COO’s Facebook page. For the individual category, the winners were Aeron Miguela C. Arango for “Plantheta,” Steffi T. Carandang for “Story of Hope,” and Diana Trisha M. Gonzales for “Courage. Not COVID!” The winners received Php 8,000.00 each.

As for the group category, Team Unite was recognized with their self-titled work, “Unite” and Y&C Creatives with “Hope in the Pandemic Community Outreaches as Youth,” with Php 8,000.00 each as well.

Maintaining its mark for excellence, the University has since obtained ABET accreditations for its programs, distinction from Wiley and Cengage for digital readiness, and recognition from LinkedIn for graduates’ employability all since becoming a University.

As Dr. Guevarra remarked in her speech, “Four years is a short time, but Mapúa University’s four years is the promise of many more good things to come.”

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