In line with the 2021 UPLB Loyalty Day and Alumni Homecoming celebration, the College of Development Communication (CDC) held its annual event Speaking of Devcom to showcase the outstanding contribution of its alumni in the theory and practice of Development Communication via Facebook live.

The CDC’s distinguished alumni this year were Dr. Edmund Centeno, Ms. Ruth Lascano Leaño, and Dr. Lulu Rodriguez, who talked about their Devcom journeys during the event.

The distinguished alumnus for Development Communication education was Dr. Centeno. Having obtained his BS (1999) and MS (2007) Development Communication in CDC, he has been a faculty member po CDC for over 20 years. Specializing in the fields of e-learning, educational communications systems, and educational technology, Dr. Centeno now serves as the director of the UPLB Interactive Learning Center (ILC)under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA)

The distinguished alumna for international development communication practice was Ms. Ruth Leaño. A graduate of BSDC in 1981, Leaño currently works with UNICEF India in managing risk communication and community engagement strategies on COVID-19. She explained how Devcom provided her with the core skill sets and values that pushed her advocacies forward.

The distinguished alumna for agricultural and risk communication research was Dr. Lulu Rodriguez. A 1979 BSDC graduate, she now serves as Professor and Global Programs Head at Iowa State University and Director of the Agricultural Communications Program at the University of Illinois. She talked about the existing challenges of science communication research and the importance of a national Devcom research agenda.

Aside from sharing their Devcom journeys, the awardees also emphasized the need for students to maximize their Devcom education during the pandemic through constant knowledge sharing and reflection. Additionally, they said that adaptability to the latest communication technologies will provide students a competitive advantage in a post-pandemic world.

The distinguished alumni also highlighted the values and mindsets that should accompany skills, such as empathy, compassion, integrity, and a nose for new developments.

Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr. personally graced the virtual event with his presence to deliver his inspirational talk. He commended CDC’s communication initiatives to bridge the gap between the University and its various constituents amidst the pandemic.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Maria Stella C. Tirol, CDC dean, said that the event continues the scholarly legacy of the late Nora C. Quebral by creating spaces to tackle the evolving praxis of Devcom. In line with UPLB’s future-proofing vision, she also announced CDC’s proposed establishment of the Center for Science Communication in UPLB.

Meanwhile, as a response to the talk, Ms. Danica Azur, chairperson of the CDC Freshman Council, regarded the significance of Devcom in creating a lasting impact in society.

Finally, in his closing remarks, Asst. Prof. Romel A. Daya, president of the CDC Alumni Association, thanked alumni, faculty, staff, and students who helped materialize the Nora C. Quebral Scholarship Fund Drive, which is intended to financially aid indigent BS Development Communication students.

Hosting the event were Asst. Prof. Rovil A. Espiritu and CDC student Kyla Cryzelle P. Orozco.
The theme of the 2021 UPLB Loyalty Day and Alumni Homecoming is “Bigkisang UPLB at Alumni para sa Matagumpay na Pagbangon Mula sa Pandemya.” Due to pandemic restrictions, this is the second year that the event was held virtually. (Nel Benjamin Magdaleno)