By Wyslly S. Ala & Ma. Fe C. Malagueño
Photo: Emmanuel B. Ricalde


Among numerous international participants, the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi once again exuded its prowess in the field of research after being hailed as the recipient of the Outstanding Paper award at the South East Asian Association for Institutional Research (SEAAIR) 22nd Annual Conference held last September 28-30, 2022 at the Sungkyunkwan University,  Seoul, South Korea. This year’s SEAAIR conference underlines the theme, New Normal Education: Transitioning, Transforming and Technologies Agenda”.

UST-Legazpi’s Rector and President, Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, OP, STL, PhD, stands in the middle of the 2022 international delegates of the SEAAIR Conference held at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea

UST-Legazpi was well-represented at the said conference thru its Rector and President, Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, OP, STL, Ph.D. who attended the said event in person; while Prof. Alvin A. Sario, Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education (CASE) and Assistant Prof. Christine Grace M. Azul, Director of Office of Research (OR) attended the conference online.

Prof. Sario presented his sole-authored paper entitled: “A Social Critical Analysis on Philippine Higher Education in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic towards a Framework on Flexible Learning” and a co-written paper entitled “ Flexible Learning in CASE UST Legazpi in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic” with Assistant Professor Lalaine Valladolid and Patrick Joseph Secillano, LPT as co-authors. 

Prof. Alvin A. Sario joyfully presents his sole-authored paper entitled “A Social Critical Analysis on Philippine Higher Education in the time of COVID-19 pandemic towards a framework on flexible learning” during the 22nd SEAAIR Conference via Zoom

The winning paper entitled: “Creating a Research Culture in a Dominican University: Perspectives and Productivity of University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi Faculty” prepared by Ms. Christine Grace Azul and co-authors Jet G. Guerrero and Jason Carmona was virtually presented by Asst. Prof. Azul which tackles how the Office of Research studied the research culture in UST-Legazpi citing how the times of pandemic became a perfect opportunity to unearth the significant role of research – its complexities in facing academic inquiries.

On Paper Presentation

“The thought of presenting our paper to an international audience felt surreal,” said Azul. Adding how the task of subjecting their paper to international adjudication wasn’t an easy feat, however, with the love and support of the Legazpi Thomasian community, she was able to fulfill the task with a grateful heart. 

“The award (after all the hardships) was a heartwarming surprise for our team. We are glad to represent our university and we hope to deeply entrench the role of research in our institution,” she added. 

Assistant Prof. Christine Grace M. Azul receives her hard-earned certificate fresh from South Korea after winning the “Outstanding Paper Award” at the 22nd SEAAIR Conference last September 28 – 30, 2022

UST-Legazpi as an avenue for Research 

The Office of Research sees this recognition as another huge contribution to the university to be an avenue for research. This milestone gives UST-Legazpi a strong push to be a dominant hub and incubation center of research endeavors in the Bicol region in contribution to making UST-Legazpi a deregulated university by 2025.


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