Studies on gaslighting, cancel culture among this year’s AB best theses

Behavioral science students Sheenah Jane Caluza, Andrea Faye Casteltort and Ethel Vernadete Liongson receive their Best Thesis Award during the solemn investiture rites held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion on June 5. File Photo

STUDIES ON social phenomena like gaslighting and cancel culture and the plight of women and children were among the theses that were feted during the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) Solemn Investiture last month.

The spotlight was shone on the authors of the winning theses as they went up the stage with their respective advisers to receive their award, a moment most members of their batch —  including the majority of those who graduated summa cum laude — did not have.

AB thesis coordinator Fleurdeliz Albela said the best theses were selected based on the criteria set by each academic program, which weighed 70% and institutional values, which accounted for the remaining 30%.

“Institutional or AB-wide criteria represent the institutional mission vision and learning outcomes. They measure whether the candidates for the award embody the general principles and advocacies of the Faculty of Arts and Letters,” Albela told The Flame in an email interview.

“Good research can also develop lifelong skills that are helpful in the workplace…This positive reinforcement reflects how the students respond to the call to do excellent research work,” she added.

Two of the 13 winning studies tackled experiences related to gaslighting and cancel culture, two of the issues confronting the youth and their relationship with the people around them.

Behavioral science students Sheenah Jane Caluza, Andrea Faye Casteltort and Ethel Vernadete Liongson bagged the best thesis award for their study “The Moderating Role of Gaslighting on the Relationship between Fear of Self-Compassion and Social Isolation Among Selected Filipino Lesbian and Gay Young Adults.” They were supervised by Asst. Prof. John Manuel Kliatchko, then the chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Journalism graduates Jacqueline Martinez and Angeline Tanqueco’s “Journalism and Cancel Culture: A Qualitative Study On Online Self-Censorship Among Filipino Campus Journalists” emerged as the best thesis of their program. Their thesis adviser was Alexis Romero, senior reporter for The Philippine Star and publications adviser of The Flame.

The best theses from the political science, legal management and sociology programs covered topics on women and children.

“Government Agencies and Units in Addressing the Cases of Intrafamilial Child Sexual Abuse through the Implementation of Comprehensive Sexual Education in Dinalupihan, Bataan, Pre-COVID and during COVID-19 Pandemic” by political science gradutes Aubrey Jestine Matitu and Ian Ralph Uytico was recognized as the best thesis in their program. They were advised by political science instructor Jazztin Jairum Manalo.

The best thesis in the legal management program was “Walking through Philippine Legislation: An In-Depth Analysis of the Daughter Clause of Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code” by Maria Gabriela Aquino and Jazmin Cristina Villarosa. They were advised by lawyer Teodoro Lorenzo Fernandez, who also teaches libel law in the journalism program.

Marie Hannah Nichol Narag’s “Kabataang Pilipinong Babae (Young Filipino Women): Selected Film Portrayals of Growing-up Narratives in the Philippines” was chosen as the best thesis for the sociology program. Narag’s adviser was sociology professor Clarence Batan.

“While researchers do not have to zero in and focus on women and children, such topics are important to put forward the need for inclusion which our college (AB) can most understand,”  Albela said.

“AB serves as the main hub for research on social issues where women and children are always upheld.”

Other studies that won the best thesis award were:

– “Masks and Shadows: A Collection of Interactive Short Stories” by AB batch 2023 valedictorian and creative writing graduate Franz Austin de Mesa (Adviser: Asst. Prof. Jennifer Rebecca Ortuoste)

– “The Decisional Power of UNHCR in Thailand’s Refugee Policy Decisionmaking during the Prayut Chan-o-cha Administration: A Case Study on NSA-Government Interaction in Refugee Policymaking” by Asian Studies graduates Ysabella Atienza, Beatrix Rose de Vera and Hannah Gabrielle Tejoso (Adviser: Asst. Prof. Jan Michael Denila)

– “Communication Students’ Digital Footprint and Its Impact on Climate Change: A Mixed Methods Approach” by communication graduate Anne Ysabel Matanis (Adviser: Prof. Maria Rosario Virginia Garcia)

– “Productivity: A Hidden Engine of Growth in Philippine Remittance Inflows under Static Variables and Gravity Model (Pre-Pandemic Period)” by economics graduates Maria Jessica Navarro and Nicole Anne Pe (Adviser: Ederliza Magpantay)

– “Power, Control, and Resistance in Philippine and American Police Interview Discourse” by English Language Studies graduate Ma. Kaela Joselle Madrunio (Adviser: Prof. Rachelle Lintao)

– “The Beginning and Expansion of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Malate, Manila (1929 -1980)” by history program graduate Lourbelle Arafol (Adviser: Assoc. Prof. Maria Eloisa de Castro)

–  “The Spaceless ‘I’: Interrogating the Diasporic Ruptures of Space and Identity in Romalyn Antes “Antiemetic for Homesickness” by literature graduate Nykesha Galang (Adviser: Asst. Prof. Ma. Ailil Alvarez)

– “Problematizing After Identity in Byung-Chul IIan’s Society of Positivity” by philosophy graduate Jaime Serrano II  (Adviser: Anton Rennesland)

Candidates for the best thesis award underwent deliberation at their respective departments and the dean’s office.

The University has been recognizing studies that generated impact here and abroad through the St. Albertus Magnus Award. The Faculty of Arts and Letters launched the best thesis award last year.  – G. Oliveros and J. L. Vicente

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