The future is bright for two CvSU faculty members who flew in the United States early September 2020 to start their PhD journey under the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Ms. Sheryl N. Sierra and Ms. Amyel Dale L. Cero both received the scholarship grant sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State and facilitated by the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (Fulbright Commission in the Philippines), along with other Filipino scholars sent out in different states to participate in the said educational opportunity.
Ms. Sierra is currently taking PhD in Agronomy and Horticulture major in Plant Breeding and Genetics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln while Ms. Cero is currently enrolled in the PhD Environmental Science program with specialization in Water and Wetland Resources at State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. Because of the pandemic, both had to attend the virtual gateway orientation hosted by Wayne State University from August 3 – 21, 2020 and did some online classes in the Philippines before flying to their host institutions. As a protocol, they also completed a 14-day quarantine before being allowed to physically report in campus.
Prior to the scholarship grant, Ms. Sierra has already been serving as Assistant Professor I at the Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Natural Resources (CAFENR), a faculty researcher of the University and the head of the Publication and Communication Division of the Knowledge Management Center. She has been teaching Genetics, Principles and Practices in Plant Breeding, Propagation and Nursery Management, Cereals and Legumes Production and Management, and Methods of Agricultural Research. She is a graduate of BS Biology major in Genetics at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños and was a recipient of the undergraduate intern scholarship at Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, now called World Vegetable Center in Taiwan. This is where she worked on Inheritance of Whitefly-Transmitted Geminivirus in Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). She then obtained her degree in MS in Crop Science and Biotechnology major in Crop Molecular Breeding from Seoul National University in South Korea through the Graduate Scholarship for Excellent Foreign Students where she studied the Genetic Diversity of Rice Landraces Collected in Cordillera Region, Philippines.
Meanwhile, Ms. Cero has been working at CvSU since 2015 where she served as a chair of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science and a Public Information Officer of CAFENR. She has been teaching Environmental Ethics, Policies and Laws, Population, Resources, Environment and Development, Water and Air Pollution Management, Industrial Ecology, and Environmental Impact Assessment. She has also worked in the watershed projects with Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office – Cavite, surface water assessment with Cavite Provincial Government, and climate risk vulnerability assessment with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office IVA. She obtained both her degrees in BS Biology (major in Microbiology) and MS Environmental Science from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños.
As Fulbright scholars, Ms. Sierra and Ms. Cero are expected to return to the country to impart their learnings and experiences in an American institution to further enhance the quality of education in the University.