UST produces almost 1,400 honor grads

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8,794 graduates exit through the historic Arch of the Centuries on Thursday, which marks the end of their stay in the University. Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao/The Varsitarian

THIS YEAR’s crop of Thomasian honor recipients rose to the highest proportion of total graduates in almost a decade, which college deans attributed to improved teaching methods and student research. 

Out of 8,794 graduates, batch 2018 had a total of 1,365 Latin honor recipients—23 summa cum laudes, 185 magna cum laudes and 1,157 cum laudes. Fifteen percent of the graduates received Latin honors, which was higher than last year’s 13.17 percent or 1,090 honor graduates out of 8,276.    

         

The College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHM) maintained the highest ratio of Latin honor recipients to graduates at 43.51 percent, or 201 out of 462 graduates. It surpassed last year’s 33.25 percent or 137 out of 412 graduates.

CTHM produced this year’s batch valedictorian, Catherine Mondejar, who obtained a general weighted average (GWA) of 1.11.

Mondejar, a travel management graduate, defended her college from those who claim CTHM produces too many honor graduates. 

“Although we do not have in-depth knowledge on science and math courses unlike other colleges, we are trained to think critically and to display positive attitude since we are in a service-oriented industry,” she told the Varsitarian in an online interview. 

Rey Donne Papa, chairman of UST’s Department of Biology, said the number of honor students in the College of Science increased because of improvements in research and teaching. 

“I believe that we just maintained and improved on our good practices in the college with regards to exposure in teaching and research, which reflected in the number of honor students,” he told the Varsitarian.

The College of Science’s honor graduates  went up, with the college producing 85 out of 660 graduates or 12.88 percent of the total. Last year, Science had 54 honor graduates out of 574, or 9.41 percent.

Standards maintained

Academic awardees from the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) increased to 295 out of 1,187 graduates or 24.85 percent of the total number of graduates, from last year’s 214 out of 1,002 or 21.36 percent.

Artlets Assistant Dean Narcisa Tabirara said the faculty had been consistent with the standards in place since last year.  

“We didn’t change any standard. Well, we do not take that against the students, neither did we let down our standards but it is really because our students are very achievement-oriented,” she said.

The number of Latin honor recipients in the Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Engineering, College of Architecture, College of Nursing, Conservatory of Music, UST-Alfredo M. Velayo-College of Accountancy and College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) also increased this year. 

The Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine and Surgery produced 51 honor graduates out of 250 or 20.4 percent, and 81 honor recipients out of 479 or 16.91 percent, respectively. Last year, the Graduate School produced nine honor graduates out of 102 or 8.82 percent of the total, while Medicine had 65 out of 508 or 12.8 percent.

Engineering had 49 honor recipients out of 777 graduates or 6.31 percent, from last year’s 42 out of 844 or 4.98 percent.

Architecture produced 64 out of 274 graduates or 23.36 percent, from last year’s 54 out of 308 or 17.53 percent.

Nursing and Accountancy produced 20 honor graduates out of 361 or 5.54 percent, and 62 out of 712 graduates, or 8.71 percent, respectively. Last year, Nursing had a ratio of 4.85 percent or 16 out of 330 while Accountancy had 7.88 percent or 56 out of 711 graduates. 

CFAD and Music’s number of honor graduates reached 140 out of 547 or 25.59 percent, and nine out of 50 graduates or 18 percent, respectively. Last year, CFAD had 102 honor students out of 545 graduates or 18.05 percent, while Music had eight out of 62 or 12 percent. 

Declining ratio

The Faculty of Civil Law’s honor graduates declined, at just three academic awardees out of 126 graduates or 2.38 percent, compared with last year’s 11 out of 102 or 10.78 percent.

Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina said this year’s batch was impressive for producing a magna cum laude after 13 years, but was not able to surpass last year’s crop of honor graduates.

“Last year’s batch was simply extraordinary. The current batch though is also impressive… a student graduated magna cum laude and five others were close to the required average for cum laude Latin honors,” Divina said. 

In the Faculty of Pharmacy, College of Education, College of Commerce and Business Administration, College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS) and Institute of Information and Computing Sciences (IICS), either the ratio or number of graduate students declined this year. 

Pharmacy produced the same number of honor graduates at 175 out of 774 graduates, or 22.61 percent of the total. Last year’s ratio was 28.04 percent or 175 out of 624 graduates. 

Commerce produced 30 honor graduates out of 711 or 4.22 percent, while CRS produced 34 honor graduates out of 248 or 13.71 percent.

Last year, Commerce had 4.81 percent or 42 out of 873, while CRS had 14.13 percent or 38 out of 269 graduates. 

Education produced 24 honor graduates out of 371, or 6.47 percent, compared with last year’s 6.58 percent or 29 out of 441. 

IICS produced 35 honor graduates out of 546 or 6.41 percent, compared with last year’s 9.41 percent or 38 out of 404 graduates. Arianne Aine D. Suarez and Lady Cherbette N. Agot

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