The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) recognized the best and brightest from among the UPLB faculty, research, extension and management personnel at the 106th Foundation Day rites on 5 March. UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, Jr. and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Robert Zeigler led the awarding ceremonies.
Among the awardees were two teams namely the research and extension teams of the ASEAN-Korea Environmental Cooperation Project and the Cereals Section of the Institute of Plant Breeding of the College of Agriculture, and outstanding teachers in physical sciences (Reginald Recario and Liza Comia), social sciences (Gemalyn Lozano and Loida Mojica), and biological sciences (Ivy Amor Lambio).
UPLB has a notable history of developing many of the country’s most important innovations on food production and environmental sustainability in collaboration with the Los Baños Science Community, which includes IRRI.
“The excellent education that many agricultural scientists received at UPLB is fertilizing and penetrating the soils of research across Asia,” said Dr. Zeigler who emphasized the long partnership between IRRI-UPLB. He shared the sentiments of Dr. Randy Barker, one of IRRI’s first agricultural economists and a former head of the Institute’s social science division, who said “the joint venture between our two institutions has been truly beneficial over the years. Indeed, IRRI’s support staff is one of the finest in the world thanks to the UPLB-IRRI connection.” There are 347 nationally recruited staff at IRRI who are UPLB graduates.
Dr. Zeigler also mentioned some outstanding graduates of the University who eventually carved out distinguished careers at IRRI, including national scientist and UPLB professor emeritus Gelia Castillo. Dr. Castillo, recognized internationally for her contributions as a social scientist, is a long-time consultant at IRRI.
UPLB was established in 1909 as the UP College of Agriculture (UPCA). In 1959, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations decided that the Philippines was the most logical location for the IRRI Headquarter partly because the country was—and is—a rice-producing area, but mainly because of the agricultural research excellence of the UPCA.
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