A virtual forum on what it takes to be a transformational leader will be held on November 25, 2021. Organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) as part of its 55th anniversary celebration, the forum will feature SEARCA alumni from Thailand, Cambodia, and Timor-Leste.
The speakers are Weerapon Thongma, President of Maejo University, Thailand; Dr. Asikin Yoeu, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia; and Mr. Natalino Babo Martins, Deputy Project Manager of Conservation International in Timor-Leste.
Dr. Weerapon has nearly 35 years of experience in leadership in the academe. He is also the president of the Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities (AAACU) and the ASEAN Agriculture University Network (AAUN). He earned his PhD in Extension Education at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) through a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)-SEARCA Joint Scholarship. At the UPLB Loyalty Day last October, UPLB and the UPLB Alumni Association bestowed the Presidential Award to Dr. Weerapon.
Meanwhile, Dr. Asikin finished her MS in Agricultural Economics at UPLB through a SEARCA scholarship and earned her PhD in Economics Management at Montpellier SupAgro, France. She rose from the ranks from a summer field research intern at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) to Head of Graduate Department, RUA Graduate School of Agriculture and Deputy Director of Ecosystem Service and Land Use Research Center (ECOLAND), RUA Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development. She served Cambodia through her leadership in the academe for over 11 years and the Cambodian Government starting in 2018.
On the other hand, Mr. Martins spent nine year sharing his expertise and leadership in various projects funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, including the Mud Crab and Fish Cultivation Project under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Timor-Leste and Avansa Agrikultura. Mr. Martins earned his MS in Animal Science at UPLB through a DAAD-SEARCA Joint Scholarship.
Moderating the forum is Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias, Professor at the UPLB College of Development Communication. She was a SEARCA scholars when she pursued her MS in Development Communication also at UPLB. She later earned her PhD at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Since then, she had served in UPLB administrative positions for 12 years, including Director of Public Relations and Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs.