Department of Agriculture staff sharpen their skills on Communicating Research Results

Over the past decades, research has become more vigorous that it is necessary to make research results known to the public and technologies to be made available to its beneficiaries.  Communication is a necessary skill a researcher should have in order to fulfill this role.

Recognizing this need, an online training course entitled “Communicating Research Results” was conducted by IRRI Education, in partnership with the Department of Science Communication (DSC) of UPLB’s College of Development Communication. The training was held from March 16 to 19, with 22 participants from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Offices. The training team from DSC and IRRI Ed crafted a training program to introduce principles and practical techniques on how to communicate agriculture research results. The training is part of the Department of Agriculture project “ Strengthening the Capability of the NARES partners for Research Development and Extension of Climate Ready Information and Technologies to Rice-based Farming Communities in the Philippines (SERVE)” funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and managed by the Bureau of Agricultural Research through IRRI

The DSC training team during their respective training sessions (from top to bottom) Dr. Elaine Llarena, Assistant Professors Avril de Guzman, Reianne Quilloy, and University Extension Specialist Charlene Mae Arkaina

The DSC Training Team is composed of Dr. Elaine Llarena, Assistant Professors Avril de Guzman and Reianne Quilloy, and University Extension Specialist Charlene Mae Arkaina. They designed and served as resource speakers for the training. The training team discussed  and facilitated activities on determining how to communicate research data for specific audiences or stakeholders. Techniques on clear and effective writing of research findings as well as data visualization were also discussed. The participants, in their worksop sessions, applied the techniques they learned on the principles of effective writing and visual design. They were provided with practical tips on preparing a writing plan, editing, and revising their work. Participants were also introduced to using graphic design and editing software tools such as Canva and Grammarly. The participants showcased their work to the training team and IRRI experts Engr. Calling Balingbing, Engr. Joseph Sandro, Beni Hardinero, and Donald Villanueva, who gave their feedback for the improvement of the communication material. The top three designs voted by the participants were recognized during the closing program. 

IIn one of the sharing sessions during the online training, participants reflected on how much they have learned about the importance of communicating research results to different stakeholders. Ms. Manilyn Mondejar of DA Region 10 expressed, “the training helped me become more productive, now that I know how to communicate research results. I am thankful for the resource speakers because of their help throughout the training program. They gave a lot of constructive criticism that is why I was able to develop this material. I was able to learn how to develop a writing plan. I’m in cloud nine. I’m thankful for IRRI for inviting me as one of the participants.”

Althea Joy Casareno from DA MIMAROPA also shared that she learned about new ways to communicate research results or output.  “Before, we used to produce the materials in a crude way (mano mano). I learned some of my colleagues are not yet familiar with Canva. Now that I learned how to use it, I can share to fellow researchers how to use Canva.” She also shared to fellow participants to not feel intimidated in creating communication materials. “Most importantly, think about your audience, before you write,” she said.

Jhumar Loreto, Agriculturist from Region 8, shared about the importance of writing: “writing is not that easy, but it is very important to plan what to do, especially for us on research, after conducting the project, what to do next , to relay results to farmers.” 

Dr. Madonna Casimero, Project Leader of SERVE project was pleased about the output of the training. She further expressed,  “I am happy how confident you have become as an effective communicator after this training course. It is our aim that you are able to communicate about the research and technologies you are promoting for our farmers and fisherfolks.“ (RMQuilloy)

CDC’s Dr. Pam Custodio is new GS secretary

Dr. Pamela A. Custodio, associate professor in the Department of Development Journalism (DDJ), was appointed as the secretary of the UPLB Graduate School (GS) effective 01 March 2021. Her appointment is co-terminus with the new GS dean, Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante. 

When asked about her vision as the new GS secretary, Dr. Custodio said that she is looking forward to making the school’s strategic goal, dubbed #GS202x, a reality. 

She shared that GS is now gearing towards future-proofing its operations that is in line with Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr.’s vision. The GS would ensure that its programs are more flexible and ready for constantly changing conditions.Dr. Custodio also emphasized making GS’ services more accessible and humanized to stakeholders, a nod to her passion for qualitative research.

Concurrent with her appointment at the GS, Dr. Custodio is also a member of the UPLB Ethics Review Committee and the UPLB Academic Personnel and Fellowship Committee. At the CDC, she previously served as chair of DDJ from 10 January 2011 to 31 December 2011.

Dr. Custodio has been with the university since 1993. She started her career at UPLB at the then Office of the Director for Extension, which is now the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE). 

She is also an active faculty-volunteer at the UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, the public service arm of the university. At CDC, she teaches courses on development journalism, communication theory, and qualitative communication research. Currently, she is the  managing editor of Media Asia, one of the international peer-reviewed journals of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC). (Miguel Victor T. Durian with Kabzeel Sheba G. Catapang, and Elaine DC. Llarena)

New UPLB admin appoints four CDC Faculty members to key posts

As the “future-proof” UPLB kicks off, the College of Development Communication (CDC) congratulates its faculty who will serve in the administration of Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. The three new appointees, namely Prof. Mark Lester Chico as Director of the Office of Public Relations (OPR), Dr. Edmund Centeno as Director of the Interactive Learning Center (ILC), and Prof. John Mervin Embate as Director of Office of Student Housing (OSH), began their duties effective November 1, 2020. Dr. Benjamina Paula Flor continues to serve as Director of the Learning Resource Center (LRC).

CDC faculty appointees up close

Dr. Benjamina Paula G. Flor was first appointed director of the LRC in January 2017. Dr. Flor will continue to spearhead the Center’s mandates, which include the expansion of academic-related programs and activities for local and international undergraduate and graduate students.

Affectionately called ‘Ma’am Benj’ by her students and colleagues, Dr. Flor is a member of the CDC’s Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication (DDBT). She obtained her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Development Communication at UPLB. A prolific scholar with wide array of research publications and extension projects in the country and abroad, she was conferred the title UP Scientist 2 under the UP Scientific Productivity System (SPS).

Aside from teaching in CDC, Dr. Flor currently leads the ‘Measuring awareness and perception on NEDA, AmBisyon Natin 2040, and Philippine Development Plan’ project, and is an eLearning facilitator and module developer for the eLearning course on Nutrition Program Management of the National Nutrition Council.

Prof. Mark Lester M. Chico, the new director of OPR, previously served as Head of the Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD) from 2011 to 2014, and director of LRC from 2014 to 2017. 

Prof. Chico is an assistant professor at DDBT. He is currently a PhD candidate under the Media Studies program of the College of Mass Communication in UP Diliman. He finished both his BS (cum laude) and MS Degree in Development Communication at UPLB. 

Aside from his academic duties, Prof. Chico is a broadcast journalist who is actively involved in various multimedia production projects, such as UPLB’s Radyo DZLB and CDC’s community cable TV program ‘Dito Sa Laguna’. He is also a community reporter for Fyt, an independent online media organization. 

Prof. Chico is known as the founder of ‘Gandingan: The UPLB Isko’t Iska’s Multimedia Awards’, an annual university-based media awards organized by The UP Community Broadcasters’ Society that highlights the value of development communication in the practice of traditional and new media in the country. He is currently the Vice President for Luzon of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE).

The CDC’s Department of Educational Communication (DEC) also has two UPLB administration appointees. First from the DEC is Dr. Edmund G. Centeno, appointed as director of ILC under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Prior to joining the administration of Chancellor Camacho, Dr. Centeno served as CDC’s College Secretary.

‘Sir Ed,’ as he is called by colleagues and students, is an associate professor who previously served as Chair of DEC from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2015 to 2018. He is also an Affiliate Professor at UP Diliman’s College of Education, and UP Open University’s Faculty of Information and Communication Studies.

Dr. Centeno obtained his PhD in Educational Communication and Technology at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, and he finished his BS and MS Development Communication in UPLB. A highly sought-after speaker and educator, Dr. Centeno specializes in topics related to learning technologies, instructional design, and ICT for development.

Second from the DEC is Prof. John Mervin L. Embate, who will serve as the director of the OSH, which is under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA). 

‘Sir JM’, to students and his colleagues, started as an Instructor at the Department of Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences from 2012 to 2016. He is now an assistant professor at DEC. Aside from teaching, Prof. Embate is the current Secretary of the Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners (ADCEP) of the Philippines. 

Prof. Embate completed his MA in Communication from the College of Mass Communication, UP Diliman where he was also a recipient of the Best Thesis Award. He finished his BS Development Communication (cum laude) in UPLB. 

The CDC family, lead by Dean Maria Stella C. Tirol, wishes them well as they embark on instituting future-proof systems grounded on “effective communication, collaboration, and malasakit or compassion”.

(Renz Frances Abagat, Charlene Mae Arkaina, Ryan Jay Galang, Elaine Llarena, and Jyasmin Calub-Bautista)