AB to launch three awards for students, educators

Three new awards will be presented by the Faculty of Arts and Letters administration next academic year during the annual St. Thomas More Excellence Awards. Art by Natalie Reign Pacat/THE FLAME

THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters (AB) administration will introduce three awards in the academic year 2024-2025 to honor students and educators excelling in research, community development and teaching.

The Fr. Valentin O.P. Award for Research, the Fr. Bartolomé de las Casas Award for Community Development and the Dr. Milagros Tanlayco for Outstanding Educator Award will be presented next academic year during the annual St. Thomas More Excellence Awards.

In an interview with The Flame, AB Acting Dean Prof. Melanie Turingan said such awards aim to boost the morale of Artlets and to motivate them to go beyond the faculty’s expectations.

“This is one way of just giving back to those people who have worked hard to promote the culture that we have in Arts and Letters,” Turingan said.

“AB is every one of us, so regardless of whether you’re an administrator or you’re a simple academic staff or you’re an officer or a simple student, we recognize everyone,” she added.

Research papers and presentations that have obtained local and international recognition will qualify for the Fr. Valentin O.P. Award for Research, which seeks to boost the research outputs of UST and AB. It was named after journalist and social scientist Fr. Valentin Marin O.P. who introduced sociology as a subject in UST in 1896.

“If we want the University to be considered as a research university [and a] research and innovation hub of the Philippines, then we have to give credit to the efforts that were made not just by our students but also our academic staff,” Turingan said.

Local student organizations that have made an impact on the Artlets community will be recognized through the Fr. Bartolomé de las Casas Award for Community Development, which Turingan said, serves to remind students of the faculty’s “quality education.” It is named after a Spanish Dominican and an activist who advocated for the rights of the oppressed.

“We are one with the people that we serve to…That’s why it’s important that we also give recognition to the individuals or groups that despite their busy schedules as students or student leaders, they would take time to create an activity or project that would benefit the community,” the acting dean said.

The Dr. Milagros Tanlayco for Outstanding Educator Award will be granted to Artlets academic staff members who have demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness in delivering courses.

According to Turingan, the award would be granted to those who “attained the highest possible standards of teaching performance” based on the faculty evaluation accomplished by students via the MyUSTe student portal every term. The award was named after the late UST literature professor Milagros Tanlayco who taught for nearly 60 years.

“We want to create a culture of excellence, a culture of recognition to where credit is due and to highlight participation—that your voice is being heard by the administration and it is one way of showing you that we hear you. Because we recognize the people that impressed you or were able to conduct their teaching or handled their lecture or class well,” she said.

Aside from the new AB administration’s plans to confer new awards, Turingan told The Flame she would conduct room-to-room visits to offer assistance to all AB sections starting the second term of this academic year.

She began her term as Artlets acting dean last Jan. 1, a year after she assumed the second-highest post in the college. F – Cali Asajar with reports from Carlo Jose Ruga

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