The University of St. La Salle recently held its first Graduate Research Conference with the theme “Pursuing Culture of Excellence through Relevant Research” on June 8, 2019 at the Mutien Marie Building. The conference showcased all the different graduate theses and dissertations that were conducted by 53 masteral and doctoral candidates in the Graduate Programs of the university. The morning session started with the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Annabelle Balor, who welcomed almost 200 participants, followed by the introductory note of Asst. Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Dr. Romeo Teruel.
In his Introductory note, Dr. Teruel emphasized that the research conference allowed the university to showcase the various researches conducted by the faculty and allow graduating PhD and Masters students to also present their theses and dissertations. The conference was an opportunity for students to learn from senior researchers who have had years of experience in the field. “Through detailed research, students also develop critical thinking expertise as well as effective analytical and communication skills and these are skills that are beneficial and globally sought by employers. It is only through the seamless interface of teaching and research with practical applications that higher institutions can ensure excellence,” said Dr. Teruel.
Dr. Ramon Clemente Lachica, Chairperson of the Psychology Department of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Ana Rosa Carmona, Chairperson of the Elementary Education Department of the College of Education, were invited as plenary speakers in the morning session.
Dr. Lachica, the first plenary speaker, presented his qualitative research on the psychology of natural recovery of Filipino drug dependents. His dissertation, which he finished in 2014 from the University of the Philippines, won the Best Dissertation Award from the Psychological Association of the Philippines the following year. Dr. Lachica’s research dealt on investigating the possibilities of rehabilitation of drug dependents without professional help. Dr. Lachica’s research concluded that natural recovery was indeed possible and cited that family support and spirituality played important roles in his participant’s journey towards recovery.
Dr. Ana Rosa Carmona, who also finished her doctorate from the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna, presented her dissertation on the hydrologic regionalization analysis and assessment of susceptibility and vulnerability to flood and erosion of the major watersheds in Negros Island. In her study, Dr. Carmona assessed 33 watersheds in the island by integrating each of the watershed’s geomorphological, geological, pedological, and land cover characteristics. Dr. Carmona’s study concluded that more than half of the watersheds that she assessed showed moderate to high susceptibility to flood and erosion, owing it to soil and geologic characteristics. Dr. Carmona has presented her research to the various local government units that were stakeholders in the watersheds.
Twelve parallel sessions were participated by students and faculty from the Graduate Programs in the afternoon. The parallel sessions were divided into 9 themes: Teaching and Parenting; Leadership and Governance, Marriage and Family Life, Assessment and Pedagogy, Agriculture and Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Psychology and Guidance, Applied Linguistics, Governance, and Public Management, and Emerging Innovations and Methods in Environment and Information Technology.
The 1st Graduate Research Conference was co-organized by the Center for Research and Engagement and the Graduate Programs Office. It was agreed that the conference will become an annual event.