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History Unfolds at ICropS
The Institute of Crop Science, 2017
Staff and students came together on September 4, 2017 for a Welcome Program that will surely go down in UPLB’s history – to welcome the Institute of Crop Science (ICropS) as a unit of the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), and to welcome its first Director, Dr. Edna A. Aguilar.
The institution of the Institute of Crop Science, ICropS, is part of the restructuring of UPLB’s iconic College of Agriculture (CA) into the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS). Harnessing the time-proven curricular and research alliance of the Departments of Agronomy and Horticulture in the 80’s to the 90’s, ICropS aims to address the concerns of the different sectors in value chains of agronomic and horticultural crops from farm to table, and to enhance the industry partnership by responding to the needs of various stakeholders.
ICropS has been particularly active in the initiatives of the College for the off-campus offering of the MSc in Agronomy degree, and in the initiatives of the University such as the PhD joint program with the University of Reading and the academic collaboration with the University of Liverpool.
Dr. Tonette Laude, CAFS Associate Dean for Instruction, delivered the Welcome Message on behalf of Dean Enrico Supangco. She gave a glimpse of the key role that ICropS plays in the College and University initiatives. Dr. Teresita H. Borromeo, ICropS Deputy Director, also gave a short message highlighting the strengths that the disciplinary alliances in the past institutional arrangements in the College bring into ICropS. In fact, ICropS is structured around five themes similar to those it had under the Crop Science Cluster, as reflected by its five Divisions: 1) Crop Biotechnology, 2) Crop Breeding and Genetic Resources, 3) Crop Production and Management, 4) Crop Physiology, and 4) Post Harvest and Seed Sciences.
Along the same vein, Dr. Pompe Sta. Cruz, the immediate past Director – and the last Director of the Crop Science Cluster – shared insightful observations on how past leaders build an institution, and how every new leader fills some of the gaps left by previous ones, towards stronger institutions and better products and services. In a ceremonial turn-over, Dr. Sta. Cruz “turned over” the reigns of administration to Dr. Aguilar by passing to her a bouquet of assorted hybrid hibiscus, courtesy of Dr. Pablito Magdalita.
Even as we approach the last year of Dean Supangco's term as Dean of the College of Agriculture and Food Science, we continue to work together as a TEAM. Together, everybody achieves more.
Dr. Edna A. Aguilar is First Director of ICropS
Dr. Tonette Laude, in her Welcome Message during the Welcome Program, noted that the College and the Institute are very glad that Dr. Edna Aguilar accepted the challenge to serve as the first Director of the Institute of Crop Science. She also relayed Dean Supangco’s personal message to Director Aguilar, particularly emphasizing mentoring of the next generation of faculty members and researchers. On a lighter note, Dean Supangco also gave the advice of not bringing work home – which earned smiles and soft laughter in the crowd of guilty “homeworkers”.
In Dr. Aguilar’s message, the theme of teamwork was reinforced, as ICropS continues to move forward towards becoming what it always sought to be: a key player in a global research University, that is, UPLB.
Concurrently, Dr. Aguilar is also the College Program Development Associate.
ICropS Logo Challenge launched
As a major step towards molding the ICropS brand, the Institute launched the “Fix-this-Logo Challenge” during the Welcome Program. From twenty-two (22) challengers, forty-four (44) entries were on exhibit. Everyone was invited to cast votes as part of the “People’s Vote” on the entry which they felt best represents ICropS’ mandate. The final part of the vote will be the Division vote on September 7, 2017.
The logo prototype design was selected out of several designs developed by Ed Pasuquin of ICropS.
/by Tonette P. Laude and Lorna E. Sister; photos by Maria Emblem O. Grulla