UPOU turns 24, begins run-up to 25th year

| Written by Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo

The UP Open University (UPOU) commemorated its 24th anniversary on March 1 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna with its usual celebratory activities. Memoranda were signed, projects and publications launched, partners recognized, the Gawad Chancellor given, and Family Day celebrated.

 

UPOU 2019 Programs and Projects

Projects and programs that UPOU shall pursue starting 2019. The programs ranged from academic to administrative undertakings.

Posted by UPOU Multimedia Center on Monday, March 11, 2019

UPOU formally launches its projects for 2019.

 

UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria, whose three-year term ended on February 28, also presented her End of Term Report. She remains in a holdover position since the UP Board of Regents is expected to elect the next chancellor on March 28, according to a February 13 memo from UP President Danilo Concepcion.

 

Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria presents her End of Term Report.

 

The day started with UPOU officials signing two Memoranda of Understanding with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Red Cross Youth of UP Los Baños (UPLB). The former, on capacity-building programs specific to the needs of DENR-National Capital Region; and the latter, on collaborative activities, such as blood donation drives.

 

Top photo: From left, DENR-NCR OIC Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Gwendolyn Bambalan and UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria sign the MOU, with witnesses, Faculty of Management and Development Studies Dean Primo Garcia and Prof. Juvy Gervacio. Bottom photo: From left, Christian Bismonte and Cary Olivar of the Red Cross Youth of UPLB, and UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria sign the MOU, with Vice Chancellor for Administration Jean Saludadez as witness. (Photos by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

 

Initiatives were also launched. First was “The Race to Wellness”, a series of open educational resources in health created in partnership with UP Manila (UPM). Next was the “Online Training and Certification Course on Data Privacy” that is aimed to strengthen capacity in the understanding and implementation of Republic Act No. 10173 or The Data Privacy Act of 2012.

UPOU then announced the beginning of the construction of the Multimedia Center Building. Principles of green architecture and engineering will be incorporated in its design. The two-level structure will house video studios, digital audio recording booths, video editing rooms, and facilities for video conferences.

 

UPOU’s chatbot, IskOU, can be found at https://askou.upou.edu.ph.

 

After that, attendees were treated to a demo conversation with IskOU-Iska, the chatbot designed to reply to UPOU-related inquiries. Another project that was launched was the Conversation Paper Series. The first two issues of the series were presented: “The changing profile of UPOU graduates and the changing modes of delivery: a GIS-based analysis” by Faculty of Education Dean Ricardo Bagarinao and Percia Secreto of the Office of the University Registrar; and, “Operationalizing the institutional vision statement of the UPOU” by Professor Emeritus and former UPOU Chancellor Felix Librero.

 

UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria hands a copy of “The changing profile of UPOU graduates and the changing modes of delivery: a GIS-based analysis” to Percia Secreto of the Office of the University Registrar (left photo) and a copy of “Operationalizing the institutional vision statement of the UPOU” to Professor Emeritus and former UPOU Chancellor Felix Librero (right photo). (Photos by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

 

A separate launch and press conference were held in the afternoon for the website of Aruga sa Batang may Cancer. The project aims to improve the capabilities of health professionals and primary caregivers to provide palliative care to pediatric cancer patients. Its telemedicine and cancer registry components are currently undergoing completion.

 

The website of Aruga sa Batang may Cancer may be accessed at https://arugaproject.com/.

 

UPOU also paid tribute to last year’s partner institutions. They were: the Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia; Capiz State University; Childhope Philippines Foundation Inc.; Development Bank of the Philippines; Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University; Home Development Mutual Fund; Philippine Health Insurance Corporation; Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care; Social Security System; UPLB Credit and Development Center; UPM; and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

 

UP Manila (UPM) is UPOU’s partner in a series of open educational resources on health. In this photo, UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria (left) presents tokens of appreciation to UPM Chancellor Carmencita Padilla. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

 

Then there was the highly anticipated awarding of the Gawad Chancellor to outstanding employees. This part of the anniversary program has always been met with much excitement because of the surprise announcement of awardees. This year, the Gawad Chancellor awardees were: Ela Abao of the Office of the Chancellor (administrative staff 1st level); Encarnacion Jaen of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration (administrative staff 2nd level); Emely Amoloza of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (research, extension, and professional staff); and, Prof. Myra Almodiel (faculty), also of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies.

 

From left: UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria, Vice Chancellor for Administration Jean Saludadez receiving the Gawad Chancellor for administrative staff 2nd level on behalf of Encarnacion Jaen, Gawad Chancellor faculty awardee Prof. Myra Almodiel, Gawad Chancellor administrative staff 1st level awardee Ela Abao, Gawad Chancellor REPS awardee Emely Amoloza, and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Melinda Lumanta. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

 

The rest of the day the UPOU community enjoyed Family Day. This is the annual informal gathering where people behind the institution are lauded for their exemplary and loyal service, and their professional and personal accomplishments. Staff members from UPOU learning centers across the Philippines even fly out to join the UPOU community in the celebration.

 

This year’s edition of the annual UPOU “family photo.” (Photo from the UP Open University’s Facebook page)
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