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VPAA, IEMS Director named Outstanding NegOrenses 2017

Ray Chen S. Bahinting | Editor-In-Chief & Meilynne Gem C. Sonjaco | News Writer

Silliman University (SU) Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and Director of
the Institute of Environmental & Marine Sciences were named as Outstanding NegOrenses Awardees (ONA) 2017.

ONA is given to acknowledge men and women from Negros Oriental who have contributed to the development of, or have shown exemplary service to, a community
for having touched people’s lives in love and service.

VPAA Betsy Joy Tan, who comes from the city of Guihulngan, was honored in the field of Educational Leadership; while Dr. Hilconida Calumpong of Sibulan received the
award in the field of Science and Environment.

“This award is for the school, for my colleagues and for the whole team. All of them had a role to play in my journey to where I am today. The whole success was indeed a team effort and I am really thankful to the Lord for these individuals,” Tan said.

She was in the US when she heard about this award.

“When Dr. EJ (Earl Jude L. Cleope) told me about the nomination, I just gave out a laugh. You know, at my age I just kept doing what I wanted to do, did the right things through the motto VIA, VERITAS VITA and that is The Way, The Truth and The Life and trusted God to wherever He may bring me,” Tan added.

Tan has long been serving the University, as professor and Dean of the College of Education, Director of Instruction, before her current post as Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Asked what is her advice to the youth, Tan said they should help the community, be a church volunteer, and to follow your heart.

“That is how you become a leader,” she added.

On the other hand, Calumpong is among the 25 experts from around the world who were chosen to compose the United Nations Group of Experts to do the Regular
Process for the Global Reporting of the State of Marine Environment including Socio-Economic Aspects.

She is the only Filipino scientist in that pool of experts.

A professor in marine biology and Director of the Institute of Environmental and Marine Studies, she has over 40 years of scientific research experience.

“To me, it is just a recognition of the contribution that I have done to the province of Negros Oriental,” Calumpong said of her award.

Despite her notable achievements, Calumpong said that her contributions for example,
in coastal management, giving lectures about marine environment and planting “little trees,” are just “small.”

“I think they just want to recognize champions in Negros Oriental that people can look up to and be inspired,” she added.

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