It is a celebration of institutional resolve and ingenuity for Isabela State University as it welcomed this year’s 43rd Founding Anniversary.
Kicking with the theme: “ISU@43: Serving and Leading in the New Normal towards becoming a Smart University”, the week-long celebration fashions the “new normal” way, which has seen the first-ever virtual anniversary celebration broadcasted via Isabela State University- Official Facebook Page.
The celebration centers on the significant strides ISU made under the prevailing impacts of CoViD-19, coupled with the natural disasters that visited Cagayan Valley last year.
It also cued on the University’s plight towards becoming a Smart University, which is the Way Forward of the University for the next four (4) years under the Presidency of Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino.
CHED- Region 02 Director Dr. Julieta M. Paras related this to CHED’s vision on Education 6.0, as she rendered a speech on behalf of CHED Commissioner and ISU Board of Regents Chairperson Dr. Lillian A. De Las Llagas, during the Opening Program on June 7 (Monday).
Dr. Paras explained: “Education 6.0 integrates the acquisition of 21st Century competencies that will enable individuals to the demands of industrialization, the flexibility to adjust to fast-changing world of life and work, and the disposition to continue learning, and to make sense of the volume of information available at exponential rates as well as relevant ethical and moral values”.
“With the visionary leadership of President Ricmar Aquino, I have no doubt that in no time, Isabela State University will be ready to embrace all the challenges posed unto the [institution]”, Dr. Paras remarked.
President Aquino: Synergy of Love, Respect, and Unity
To University President Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino, ISU’s institutional excellence throughout its 43 years of public service, has been the result of the collective efforts of its workforce and management.
In a statement in the opening program, Dr. Aquino highlights: “I would like to emphasize that at the heart of these efforts and achievements, is our relentless pursuit of quality public service that is aptly characterized in our institutional core values. To simply put it up- it has been our love, respect, and unity that had become the foundational mantra that ushered the growth and expansion of Isabela State University”.
Dr. Aquino called it “utterly impossible” to be handling things alone, saying “it takes a concerted effort, firmly joining hands together, in successfully transcending whatever circumstances that might test our commitment and resolve”.
“I am truly warmed and touched to have you all serving for the good of the University. You are all behind these stories of success, strength, and excellence”, President Aquino exclaimed, addressing the entirety of the University’s workforce.
Looking forward to its new-found commitment as a Smart University, Dr. Aquino called on the continuing support of the staff and employees in beefing up ISU’s performance, especially on the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We are one in spirit, one in dreams, one in aspirations- we are OneISU towards quality and relevance”, President Aquino concluded.
Dr. Aquino also delivered his State of the University Address, where he highlighted the major accomplishments and efforts of ISU for 2020-2021. (See Video: https://bit.ly/2RNYsxY)
Support to ISU from the National Government
Gracing the third day celebration on June 9 (Wednesday), Senator Sonny Angara in a video message nods on ISU’s continuing academic excellence, saying “Asahan ninyo po ang aming suporta lagi sa Senado, at ating kasamahang pro-higher education talaga”.
Early this year, Sen. Angara was instrumental in the on-going major project of ISU in ODeSSEE, or the “Optimization of Decision Support System for Effective e-Governance”, allotting 5 Million pesos for the development of IoT-based (Internet-of-Things) Flood Early Warning sensors from the generated data models of ODeSSEE.
ODeSSEE simulates with the information and profiling features of HealthGuard PH, as well as relevant flood historical data of Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CVDRRMO), together with the Region 02 CoVid-19 Zoning Map by the Office of Civil Defense- Region 02 (OCD-R02), in generating safe/unsafe mapping to determine alternative evacuation areas for flood disaster in the midst the CoViD-19 situation to prevent spread of the virus.
Also in a speech, Senator Joel Villanueva assured support to ISU’s offering of Medicine Program and Smart Campus initiatives.
“ISU has been actively doing its part in training more doctors so that every part of Isabela and Cagayan Valley will have a physician and specialists who can handle the health crisis and prepare for future public health emergencies”, Sen Villanueva said.
Villanueva also added that ISU will get sufficient funding thru “Doktor Para Sa Bayan” Act (RA 11509).
“We also believe that with the allocation we worked hard in the Senate of 3 Billion Pesos for Smart Campuses for SUCs all over the country- with the allocation of 24.780 Million pesos for the implementation of Smart Campus Innovation Towards a Truly Flexible IT Enabled Enterprise Learning System particularly at ISU Cabagan Campus, you can continue to ensure high-quality learning continuity amid this pandemic”, the Senator explained on the support to the Smart Campus roll-out.
Meanwhile, Senator Win Gatchalian addressed the University’s achievements amid the pandemic, saying the University “did not only survived, but you have actually thrived”.
“You’ve made innovations an integral part of your vision and mission to continue providing universal access to quality and relevant education. That’s an even more outstanding accomplishment”, Sen. Gatchalian continued.
To Sen. Gatchalian, the post-pandemic scenario is as equally significant as the current onslaught of the health crisis, thus sharing what he calls as the “4 As” which stands for Adaptability, Agility, Accessibility, and Anchorability.
As part of the week-long anniversary celebration, the University organized various webinar series, socio-cultural events, faculty festival of talents, and a University Night that were all aired live via ISU FB Page. (JF/GZ/BJC-UMIS-CMS)