USA to honor 13 Alumni Achievement Awardees
Celebrating 65 years as the first university in Western Visayas, the University of San Agustin will honor13 outstanding alumni who excel in Culture and the Arts; Education; Entrepreneurship and Management; Environment, Science and Technology; Law; Media and Communications; Medicine and Health Sciences; Public and Community Service; and Sports. The USA Alumni Achievement Awards will take place on July 13, 2018 as part of the weeklong celebration of the annual Alumni and Personnel Homecoming.
The following are the 2018 USA Alumni Achievement Awardees:
Nelson Checa (Culture and the Arts)
Nelson Checa is a maestro when it comes to music performance. He was the Artistic Director of the USA Band and a faculty member of the Conservatory of Music for more than 30 years. His breadth of musicality led to his being a resource person in training-workshops initiated by the Department of Education and private institutions. Mr. Checa’s expertise includes the creation of musical ensembles.
Alex Soncio (Culture and the Arts)
Alex Soncio’s popularity is synonymous with Miss Iloilo Dinagyang, one of the country’s tourism and culture pageants. He is a multi-awarded fashion designer, having showcased his creative works in the search for Miss Iloilo Dinagyang, Miss Silka Iloilo, and Kultura: A Showcase of Filipino Customs and Costumes in 2016. Mr. Soncio is an advocate of local tourism activities.
Dr. Ma. Teresa S. Sarabia (Education)
True to the Augustinian value of Caritas, Dr. Ma. Teresa S. Sarabia is among the pillars of St. Therese MTC Colleges and Hospital, providing an opportunity for education and health services. She has also been a Trustee of the John B. Lacson Maritime University. Among the numerous commendations she received is the Ten Outstanding Women of Iloilo City in the field of the Academe and Education and a Presidential citation from the Zonta Club of Iloilo City II. Dr. Sarabia is an active member of the Toastmasters International.
Dr. Eveleth Gamboa (Education)
One of Metrobank Foundation’s Outstanding Teachers in 1995, Dr. Eveleth Gamboa has proven excellence in education. She is the Department of Education Division Superintendent of Capiz as well as Council President of the Capiz Girl Scout Council. Dr. Gamboa’s expertise in education is instrumental in the achievement and milestones of the DepEd Capiz and its constituents.
Nestor Dadivas (Entrepreneurship and Management)
Excellence is Nestor Dadivas’ motto as a Certified Public Accountant. After finishing his bachelor’s degree at the USA College of Commerce, he pursued a Master’s Degree in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management in 1975. Mr. Dadivas spent his golden years working with the Consuji Group of Companies. He became the Chief Finance Officer of Semirara Mining and Power Corporation for 10 years prior to his appointment as the President of DMCI Power Corporation. Currently, he is the President of the said institution’s wholly owned subsidiaries: DMCI Masbate Power Corporation and DMCI Palawan Power Corporation. Mr. Dadivas has been tapped to lead Semirara at the St. Raphael Power Generation Corporation, a joint venture project with Meralco. Through his leadership and direction, DMCI Power Corporation is now the top power provider in the Small Power Utilities Group.
Jerry Opinion (Entrepreneurship and Management)
Jerry Opinion graduated with Latin Honors from the USA College of Commerce, Major in Accounting. In 1981, he was presented the Presidential Award. Through his untarnished career as an entrepreneur, he has been invited as inspirational speaker in various events. Atty. Opinion is an exemplar of virtue and honest service in the management of the various offices and institutions he has served.
Eng’r. Jeffrey Mijares(Environment, Science and Technology)
Eng’r. Jeffrey Mijares is a licensed Chemical Engineer with 35 years of experience in the field of environmental management. In 2001, he was awarded by the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineering (PICHe). He was the former Vice President for Luzon of the PIChE-National. Among his outstanding accomplishments were his appointment as Examiner of the Chemical Engineering Board of the Professional Regulation Commission in 2007, and his election as President of the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PCAPI)-National. He is one of the first 38 Filipino engineers registered in the ASEAN Charter of Professional Engineers Registry.
Dr. Erlinda S. Ganzon-Naret(Environment, Science and Technology)
Dr. Erlinda S. Ganzon-Naret is a University Researcher from the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Institute of Aquaculture at the University of the Philippines Visayas for almost 38 years. She is a recipient of the various international publication awards in recognition of her scholarly articles published in the ISI peer reviewed journal by the UP System. She is also recognized as an Outstanding Miagaowanon by the local government of Miag-ao, Iloilo for her great contribution in the said field.
Jose Mari Benjamin Francisco Tirol (Law)
Jose Mari Benjamin Francisco Tirol graduated Cum Laude both of Bachelor of Laws at the University of San Agustin in 1998 and Master of Laws at the University of Sto. Tomas in 2004.The USA awarded him a certificate of Academic Excellence/Special Recognition for having obtained a general average of 1.5 among the Class of S. Y. 1997-1998, attesting to his dedication, scholarship, and competence throughout the entire four-year Law course in the University. Atty. Tirol is also a sought after resource person having served as lecturer on “Updates in Person During the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Compliance Program for the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Iloilo Chapter” at the University of the Philippines Law Center – Institute for the Administration of Justice, and speaker during the Law Career Orientation 2016 at the University of the Philippines – Visayas. He is currently the Dean of the USA College of Law.
Tara Katherine Yap (Media and Communications)
Tara Katherine Yap is the Regional News Bureau Chief of Manila Bulletin. Her dedication to deliver the news to the Filipino people was recognized through the Salute to Unparalleled People, Endeavors and Resources (SUPER) Award given by the SM Foundation, Inc. for her exceptional coverage of the super typhoon Yolanda and its ravaging impact to the communities. Ms. Yap has also wholeheartedly given her service to government agencies and youth.
Dr. Aurelio Ampig(Medicine and Health Sciences)
Dr. Aurelio Ampig is the first oral surgeon in Western Visayas recognized in the roster of members of the Philippine College of Oral Surgeons. He received the Fellowship in Clinical Pedodontia 1959-60 given by Murray and Leoni Guggenheim Dental Clinic, USA. He became a Life Fellow of the Philippine College of Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgeon and a Fellow of the International College of Oral Surgeons. He is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (Iloilo Dental Society, 2006), Rotary’s Governor Group Representative Award (Rotary International, 1979), Presidential Award (Rotary Club of Iloilo), and Project of the Year Award (Rotary Club of Iloilo, 1973). Among the many advocacies pursued by Dr. Ampig is the free dental service to some of the municipalities in Iloilo.
Gregoria Baterna (Public and Community Service)
Gregoria Baterna is an embodiment of the Augustinian value of Caritas. Her generosity in supporting the education and livelihood of the less fortunate and typhoon victims was greatly appreciated by the local government. She was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Women of Iloilo (TOWIL) in 2013 in the field of Philanthropic Works by the Iloilo City Government. She has also initiated projects that benefited the marginalized sector of the community. She also received awards for excellent performance in sales from the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Lauro Crisostomo (Sports)
A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1991, Mr. Lauro Crisostomo pursued a career in sports. He coached in international and national events, namely, the28th South East Asian Games, 2nd GAC Group ITTF Philippines Open World Tour, ASEAN University Games, 77th UAAP Season, 27th South East Asian Games and 20th Sea Junior Table Tennis Championship, and 48th World Table Tennis, among others.