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MU DOST Scholars’ Association: Savants of STEM

Article by: Frances Qarl M. Tolosa

Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco

In talks of innovation, the name Mapúa University (MU) does not falter. MU is one of the country’s leading universities in science and technology. With honing students to be built for the world, the university is home to a wide range of audiences. Among these hopeful learners are the scholars under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Bringing a fresh, new organization to the red and gold flare of Mapúa, the Mapúa University DOST Scholars’ Association (MU DOST SA) is an organization of advocacy.

Phase 1: Prototype Ideation

The scheme behind MU DOST SA’s formation is due to the increasing number of DOST scholars in the university. Since the hike in the scholar population, the founding members decided to create and cultivate a community focused on establishing a space to discuss academic hurdles, social responsibility, and the values of a DOST scholar.

MU DOST SA was put into orbit after the current executives attended the Scholars Leadership Boot Camp (2022) and Scholars’ Leadership Camp (2023) hosted by the DOST - Science Education Institute (SEI) under the Filipino Patriot Scholars Program. Their current faculty adviser, Jessie Jaye Balbin, gave his guidance in managing and planning their goals and initiatives.

Phase 2: Project Launch

If the cell has its mitochondria, the organization also has its powerhouse. Founding scholars Alejandro Luis Sabaria, Kristine Gayle Mojica, Charles Brent Santos, Ariston Pelayo, Kyla Denise Roxas, Erica Gacutan, and Andrei Pascual are the reasons behind the organization’s creation. Together with Mapúa’s DOST coordinator Shayren Dela Cruz, the students were encouraged to finally build the foundation of the new organization.

We were inspired by the collective efforts and initiatives of various scholars’ organizations to intersect S&T and volunteerism and decided that we want to establish something that will pave the way for the scholars of the University to reach a similar destination,” said Ariston Pelayo, the organization’s current president. Through the founding executives’ idealistic visions, MU DOST SA was given life.

The organization’s mission is to establish a safe space for DOST-SEI scholars of the university, striving to establish meaningful connections among its members and fostering a strong sense of responsibility. “Together, we embrace the privilege of being scholars of the nation and commit ourselves to having a lasting impact on both the academic community and society.” Pelayo shares. The organization envisions a healthy and inclusive community bound by the shared identity of DOST-SEI scholars. “… we aim to develop leaders who not only excel in their academic endeavors but also dedicate themselves to making a beneficial impact on society.

Phase 3: Distribution

Being a relatively recent addition to Mapúa’s roster of organizations, MU DOST SA has hosted events that combine the challenge of intelligence and camaraderie. One of which was its first-ever battle of brains, the “Uno DOST Tres” Quiz Bee, held last December 11, sponsored by Canon Calculators Philippines. When asked about the organization’s future plans, Pelayo narrates that they are building bridges to connect with other scholar organizations at MU.

… as advocates of S&T and scholars of the nation, we are looking into events that would engage the students into the practice of science for the people,” he later noted. Being a part of a community built by people who share the same sentiments, MU DOST SA hopes to pioneer an era of community-based projects that serve the student body. Since the age of technology is taking over, the organization is a reminder that science was founded by people for the people.

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