After a year of implementation, the Graduate Research and Education Assistantship for Technology otherwise known as GREAT Program has produced its first three graduates. They are Renerio P. Gentallan, Jr., Jayson O. Fumera, and Yaminah Mochica M. Pinca, who all graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
The GREAT Program is a collaborative project by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and Science Education Institute (SEI). The program aims to provide both technical and financial support to qualified graduate students so that they can complete their graduate study program on time and with quality research that is anchored on innovative programs and projects for the advancement of the Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources (AANR) Sector.
Gentallan was able to complete Master of Science (MS) in Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Management, two months before the end of the academic year. He worked with the PCAARRD-funded project, “Restoring Crop Diversity at the National Germplasm Repository: Genetic Diversity Assessment, Characterization and Conservation of Fruits and Nuts Genetic Resources” headed by Dr. Nestor Altoveros, who also served as his thesis adviser. Gentallan’s thesis focused on the digital morphometric characterization of nut shape characteristics of Pili for descriptor list formulation and diversity assessment.
During the 2018 UPLB Graduate School Hooding and Recognition Ceremonies, Gentallan received the Academic Achievement Award for being one of the top graduating MSc class of the University.
On the other hand, Fumera and Pinca both completed MS Agrometeorology under the technical assistance of the DOST funded project, “Monitoring and Detection of Ecosystems Changes for Enhancing Resilience and Adaptation in the Philippines (MODECERA) Program.” Fumera’s thesis was able to estimate corn (Zea mays L.) leaf area index through the use of specific remote sensing technology. Pinca’s research studied the effects of organic fertilizer application on the soil physical properties and corn yield. Both were mentored by Prof. Moises A. Dorado who served as one of the Project Leaders of the MODECERA.
The three completers are eligible to submit a re-entry research and development proposal where they can apply the knowledge they have gained through their graduate education, and in particular their involvement in the respective DOST and PCAARRD-supported R&D programs.
The program still has 24 ongoing MS and 6 PhD scholars who are studying at UPLB (19), UP Diliman (1), UP Visayas (5), Central Luzon State University (1), Visayas State University (1), and De La Salle University (3).
The GREAT program is still accepting applications for the AY 2018-2019.