DOST-SEI Scholars, Encouraged To Become STEM Leaders in the 21st Century

During the 2023 NCR-based DOST-SEI Scholars' Exit Conference, Carl Jason Guevarra, a DOST scholar and graduating BS Psychology student from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, emphasized the privilege and responsibility that come with being a scholar of the nation.

He said, "We are given the privilege na maging iskolar ng bayan, but it also comes with the great responsibility and obligation to flourish beyond what is given to us by the scholarship, to give back even beyond sa kung ano yung binigay sa amin. And this includes serving the nation and future generations."

The conference, organized by the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute, aimed to highlight the commitment of future STEM leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The DOST-SEI Scholars 2023 Exit Conference took place on June 21, 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, gathering approximately 1,600 DOST scholars from the NCR region. Its main purpose was to refresh scholar-graduates on their return service agreement after graduation and inspire them to become influential Filipino STEM leaders who can make a significant impact on their communities and the entire country.

DOST-SEI Scholars, 2023 DOST-SEI Scholars Exit Conference
The graduating DOST-SEI scholars were all smiles as they posed for a photo opportunity with DOST-SEI officials and invited resource speakers at the conclusion of the 2023 Exit Conference.

During the event, Ms. Ma. Nerissa Nicolas discussed the terms and policies of various scholarships, including RA 7687, Merit, and RA 10196. Ms. Charilyn Joy Layus introduced the DOST-SEI's local and foreign graduate scholarship programs, which scholars can avail themselves of if they decide to pursue postgraduate studies in the future.

Dr. Josette T. Biyo, the Director of the Institute, congratulated the new batch of DOST-SEI scholar-graduates and encouraged them to actively contribute to the progress of the nation, recognizing their ability to uplift the lives of Filipinos. DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Sodium, in a virtual message, reminded the scholar-graduates of their commitment to serving the nation and encouraged them to utilize their expertise for the betterment of the people.

DOST-SEI Scholars, 2023 DOST-SEI Scholars Exit Conference
DOST-SEI scholars at the 2023 Exit Conference

Dr. Randolf S. Sasota introduced the institute's TRACER (Tracking Actual Career Experience Report) study, emphasizing the importance of monitoring the career paths of DOST scholars and assessing the impact of the scholarship programs on individual progress and national/international development.

The event was graced by notable individuals, including Dr. Rigoberto Advincula, a Balik Scientist from 2009, Dr. Sheryl Lyn Monterola, Director of the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED), and Mr. Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes, a Senior Labor & Employment Officer from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). They shared their inspiring journeys, valuable insights, and motivations on how to succeed in careers related to Science and Technology (S&T).

DOST-SEI Scholars, 2023 DOST-SEI Scholars Exit Conference
DOST-SEI scholars at the 2023 Exit Conference

The Exit Conference also served as a platform to prepare students for their job applications. Dr. Carmelita Pabiton, a Registered Guidance Counselor, provided scholars with tips on overcoming job search anxiety. Ms. Ruby Chanda Jetomo, Assistant Chief of the Department of Education (DepEd), discussed the hiring arrangements for scholar-graduates under RA 10612 and RA 7687.

All five speakers encouraged the scholars to utilize the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their academic journey to contribute to the development of the nation. They emphasized the scholars' duty to serve the country well.

The future scholar-graduates expressed their satisfaction with attending the conference, as they gained valuable lessons that will benefit them on their journeys. They highlighted how the talks answered their questions and provided insights into the true essence of being an "Iskolar ng Bayan para sa Agham" (Scholar of the Nation for Science).

DOST-SEI Scholars, 2023 DOST-SEI Scholars Exit Conference
DOST-SEI scholars at the 2023 Exit Conference

Russel Toribio, a BS Civil Engineering student and a DOST scholar from the University of the Philippines Manila, emphasized the conference's teachings on the importance of collaboration and unity among the country's S&T experts.

Concluding the conference was Mr. Peter Gerry Gavina, Chief Science Research Specialist of DOST-SEI's Scholarship Division concluded the conference. He congratulated and praised the scholars for their perseverance, consistency, and dedication, recognizing them as the best S&T scholars of their time. Mr. Gavina expressed hope that the talks would ignite in the scholars a desire to serve the country, and he assured them of the institute's continued support. He also highlighted the various graduate scholarship offerings available should the scholars decide to further their science education.

Furthermore, other DOST regional offices have also initiated similar Exit Conferences for scholars in their respective regions.

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