VSU Devcom makes history!

The VSU Department of Development Communication, a CHED Center for Development in Development Communication, produced this year's top academic awardees for both undergraduate and graduate levels during the 69th VSU Commencement Exercises for Academic Year 2021 to 2022. 

Lois Mauri Anne L. Liwanag under the BS Development Communication (BSDC) program led the undergraduate Class of 2022 as Summa Cum Laude while Kathleen Mae B. Valencia finished her Master of Science in Development Communication (MSDC) degree with the highest GPA distinction for graduate students.

Both of them were honored during the President’s Tribute to Honor Students held on August 10, 2022 at the newly expanded VSU Gymnatorium.

“Communication and social science graduates are usually underestimated. Kaya ang tagumpay ko at ng maraming nag-latin honor na nasa social science at humanities ay isang malaking hakbang para sa mga kursong hindi nabibigyang-pansin. Isa rin itong tagumpay para sa mga nagdadalawang-isip na kunin ang mga ganitong klaseng kurso,” the undergraduate valedictorian said. 

Liwanag, VSU’s 11th Summa Cum Laude, obtained a GPA of 1.07, one of the highest weighted general averages ever recorded in the history of the university. Aside from excelling academically, she also was the Managing Editor of the Amaranth, the official student publication of VSU, for two consecutive years.

The 2022 Class Valedictorian hails from Antipolo City who moved in to Leyte because her sister, Dr. Leslie Anne L. Liwanag, was employed as faculty member of the Department of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (DLABS).

Coincidentally, she graduated in VSU together with her father, Mr. George Joseph S. Liwanag, who completed his Master of Science in Animal Science (MSAS) degree.

Liwanag’s father is now 59 years old who admitted to have enrolled in a graduate program mainly to inspire his four children and to productively preoccupy himself while they are in VSU.

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Meanwhile, Valencia who completed her MS Devcom degree obtained a GPA of 1.06. She also graduated Magna Cum Laude in the BS Devcom program in 2019.

After completing her undergraduate degree with flying colors, Valencia was granted the 2020 VSU Scholarship Program for Honor Graduates, to which they were required to maintain a minimum GPA of 1.50 under this grant.

“It's a very humbling experience to graduate top of my class because I had to work my way to get there.  I never wanted to be the star in any of my subjects, but the necessity of maintaining my scholarship pushed me to put in extra effort in everything I did,” Kathleen expressed. 

Valencia, on her part, also acknowledged VSU Devcom’s effort to hone top-caliber graduates being one of the best development communication schools in the country.

“This achievement is more than just a way of being known; rather, it is a testament that DevCom has truly grown to its full potential and a manifestation of VSU-DDC's effort to produce highly equipped students who will walk the talk of a real devcom practitioner,” she added.

Valencia also expressed her thanks to the VSU Graduate School especially to Dr. Anabella B. Tulin, who instituted the special scholarship program for VSU graduates with Latin Honors.

“The VSU Fellowship Grant that I got was very instrumental for me to pursue my graduate education. That’s why I’m very much thankful to the VSU Graduate School headed by our Dean, Dr. Anabella B. Tulin, who was too hands on to all the pioneering scholars so that we can fulfill our obligation of graduating on time. Without this golden opportunity, it would have been impossible to get my graduate education especially in the time of the pandemic,” Kathleen concluded.

Aside from the Fellowship Grant for VSU Graduates with Honors, foreign students from ASEAN countries and other global partner institutions of the university have also been awarded with full scholarship grants as part of the Graduate School’s pursuit for internationalization. 

Dean Tulin is also the prime mover of this locally-funded scholarship program for foreign students, which is a model for other state universities and colleges here in the Philippines.

Dr. Editha G. Cagasan, Head of VSU Devcom and the concurrent Director for Quality Assurance, was proud and delighted to produce the top academic achievers in the university for both graduate and undergraduate levels.

“This is a first for us in the Department of Development Communication here in VSU. The quality of students we produce is a testament to the strength of our small but ever growing department. We hope that this achievement will translate to more students enrolling in our bachelor and master’s degree programs," Dr. Cagasan shared.

Out of 395 graduates with Latin honors of the VSU Class 2022, the VSU Devcom produced 19 Latin honors composed of 1 Summa Cum Laude, 4 Magna Cum Laudes, and 14  Cum Laudes. This is the highest number of honor graduates of the department since it was established in 1982.

[The live event of the 2022 President's Tribute to the Honor Graduates of VSU can be replayed here: https://fb.watch/eZEEURogcU/ ]

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