Ateneo de Davao University hosts its first cycle of virtual International Service-Learning Program

The Ateneo de Davao University, through its Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao Office (AIM) and Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF), successfully completed the International Electronic Service-Learning Program (IE-SLP) October cycle.

The IE-SLP gathers students from international partner academic institutions for a 4-week virtual service-learning program that provides a space for holistic formation through intercultural dialogue and meaningful transnational encounters with our partner communities online. The IE-SLP has designed sessions for academic knowledge, distance collaboration, remote service immersion, and formative learning.

For this pilot cycle, the participants engaged with our resource speakers in the webinar sessions, IE-SLP companions in the reflection sessions, and local community partners in the open space (interactive dialogue) sessions. 

“Through the sessions, I want to share with others the holistic meaning of peace, the role of youth in peacebuilding, how we can make a peace community, and how to resolve conflicts. Every part of the program is giving me a different perspective and new knowledge,” a participant said.

The program hosted eleven (11) participants from different academic institutions: Soegijapranata Catholic University (Indonesia), St. Aloysius Gonzaga Institute for Higher Studies (Myanmar), and Ateneo de Davao University (Philippines). 

The IE-SLP theme on “Peacebuilding in Mindanao” provides a holistic understanding of peace in the context of Mindanao. This program invited the participants to venture on the peacebuilding journey of the peoples of Mindanao–the Indigenous Peoples (Islamic and non-Islamic IPs) and the migrant settlers–who have been marred by years of conflicts and struggles. The output of the IE-SLP participants was a Peace Education Module which was rolled out to Dar Al-Uloom Wal-Hikmah, Inc. a madrasah (i.e. Islamic school) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to let our students immerse with other people with diverse backgrounds because as we all know, we are quite confined within our place, having a very minimal to no exposure to people who have different beliefs and other races. So, this is really a very meaningful experience for our students and our school,” Ms. Raeesa Piang, Academic Coordinator of Dar Al-Uloom Wal-Hikmah, Inc., said.

Despite the limitations of an online format, this didn’t hinder us in elevating the experience of an online learning community that is formative and meaningful. 

“No one could ever fathom that an international service-learning program could be done in an online format in this unprecedented time. Yet, IE-SLP proved that there is no barrier too strong for people to come together as a community. Although there is really no substitute for real-life immersion, dialogue, and planning, the program did not fall short in providing essential and relevant content, a safe space for dialogue, and an avenue to concretize the participants’ learning. All in all, the program was able to achieve its objectives,” Ms. Ivy Jane A. Torregosa, the IE-SLP main facilitator, said. 

ADDU and AMDA Conducts Webinar Series on Performing Arts

Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) – spearheaded by the Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao Office (AIM) and Ateneo Culture and Arts Cluster (ACAC) – in partnership with the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), successfully conducted a three-part Virtual International Learning Session (ILS) on Performing Arts. This ILS series is also supported by the Davao Association of Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN).

AMDA is a private college conservatory for the performing arts located in New York City and Los Angeles, California. This collaboration between ADDU and AMDA aims to develop skills of students in performing arts and become a venue for students to develop their appreciation of the theatrical process.

The webinar series started last November 11 with the Workshop on Singing. The workshop was facilitated by AMDA faculty member – Mr. Christopher Stephen. Mr. Stephen is a singer, pianist, musical director, and improv actor who worked on musicals such as Wicked, Matilda, Anything Goes, and Shout! the Mod Musical.

During the workshop, the participants were given a musical piece to practice and perform. The facilitator encouraged the participants to internalize the meaning of the song and relate it to their own experiences. Through this, the musical piece was interpreted in many different ways.

The second part of the ILS was conducted a week later with the Workshop on Acting. AMDA faculty member and actor – Mr. Jaymes Camery – facilitated the workshop. He is also an independent filmmaker, writer, and producer. His films have played in festivals throughout the United States. His credits include: American Christmas (Showtime), Guys and Girls Can’t Be Friends, See Ya, The Freedom Procedure, and You’ll Be Fine.

Mr. Camery focused on teaching the participants about acting auditions. The participants were asked to perform a monologue of their choice then the facilitator gave out pointers on how to improve respectively. Over 40 students from ADDU and DACUN member schools participated.

For the last leg of the webinar series, a Workshop on Contemporary dance was conducted on November 25. The facilitator for the workshop was AMDA Faculty and Director of LA-based contemporary dance company GEOMETRY – Ms. Mackenzie Martin-Crosley. She is also an accomplished artistic director, choreographer, and actor.

The workshop on contemporary dance focused on musicality, breath work, setting intentions, and working in a present and mindful state. The participants were encouraged to remove any inhibitions and move their bodies to the rhythm of the music as the facilitator created a judgement-free environment. At the end of the session, the participants were taught a short choreography which they performed as a conclusion to the workshop.

This three-part ILS is the start of collaborative efforts between ADDU and AMDA.

First Cycle of the Remote Internship Paves Way for an Environmental Dialogue between Filipino and Burmese Youth

The Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao (AIM) Office of Ateneo de  Davao University (ADDU) has developed opportunities for International Remote Internships under its Global Experiential Learning Program.

This 4-week virtual internship program provides a skills-based professional learning experience to interns through online engagements with our network of partner industries and institutions. ADDU’s Remote Internship Program intends to provide student-interns with practical experience in industrial operations and professional work simulations that can augment their formal education, all the while maximizing online technologies that allow for a remote learning format.

For the September 2020 Cycle, a total of 64 students from various partner universities in Asia applied for the internship program. After an extensive screening and deliberation, two (2) students from St. Aloysius Gonzaga Institute of Higher Studies (Myanmar) were accepted as interns for the Internship Host – Project Dyesabel. Project DYESABEL (Davao Youth’s Environmentally Sustainable Advocacies Building and Empowering Lives) is a non-profit, youth-led organization that serves as a platform for young students from the Sama Dilaut indigenous peoples of Davao City, Philippines.

The interns, Mr. Moris Bo Bo and Ms. Cho Cho Win, were able to learn about Mindanao culture in the environmental context through a virtual interaction with the internship host. The interns also attended the AIM-organized series of webinars that will aid in their Professional Development particularly on the aspects of communication, remote work, and goal setting.

“I have improved in communicating with others,” Ms. Win said.

To conclude their internship, the interns co-organized the ECO (Environmental and Cultural Online) Dialogue 2020 on October 5-6, 2020.

It is a 2- day online dialogue between youths from Mindanao, Philippines and Myanmar that will converse on the Environmental Challenges and Youth Climate Actions encountered by them in their locality. This dialogue gathered 12 youths from Mindanao, Philippines and 12 youths from Myanmar as participants to have an online cultural dialogue on each environmental context and opening opportunities for collaboration and co-creation in caring for our common home.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to join this internship as I have learned a lot about the environment from Project Dyesabel. At the same time, we learned a lot from the webinars including the use of online platforms which is very useful during this time [of pandemic]”, Mr. Bo said.

For the next internship cycles, the advocacies of each internship host will revolve around the themes of Peacebuilding, Women and Children’s Rights, Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Sustainability and Preservation, and Social Entrepreneurship.

Davao Colleges and Universities Convene to Discuss Internationalization for Mindanao HEIs

Our Internationalization and Linkages Committee (ILC) is composed of International Relations Officers (IROs) and various Administrators for External Affairs from the Davao Colleges and Universities Network (DACUN).

Currently, the ILC is interested in finding new ways to bolster its collective efforts for academic internationalization. Hence, the DACUN ILC seizes this opportunity for a learning session where the members can share in a discussion that views internationalization in a way that is more relevant to the Mindanawon context, or more specifically, the context of internationalization in Davao City.

The learning session is a capacity-building exercise that meets its participants at their own levels, given the members’ unique set of resources, and different sets of institutional goals and priorities. The participants were made to understand the building blocks of internationalization, and from there, understand which steps they can take in order to better navigate their systems for international relations in their own universities and colleges. We insist that these building blocks be understood strategically, and viewed in lenses that are more specific to the HEI’s of Mindanao.

The learning session addressed the following questions:

  • What are the strategic foundations for internationalization, and how can these strategies be discussed in a way that’s more relevant to the Davao context during the time of a global pandemic?
  • How can officers for internationalization—including those who do not belong in formal offices of international relations, or those who are new to the position—begin to tackle the rules of engagement and partnership-building?

The goal was to discuss internationalization in a way that is relevant to all DACUN member institutions, even to those who are taking this on with minimal resources.

We believe that internationalization is not a topic that is exclusive for those who have long-standing international projects and mobility engagements. In fact, if more DACUN schools succeed in strategic internationalization, it will empower the region and collectively elevate our global standing as together, we champion the strengths of Mindanao to the rest of the world.

The program featured Atty. Lily Freida M. Milla, CESO IV, OIC Deputy Executive Director IV, Director III, International Affairs Staff of the Commission on Higher Education, as a main speaker, and her co-discussant was Dr. Reynaldo C. Castro of the University of Mindanao. Atty. Milla discussed the elements of “Strategic Internationalization for Mindanao,” and Dr. Castro shared on the “Best Practices of Internationalization and the Fundamentals of the IRO Position.” The event had 85 participants from HEIs all over Mindanao.

Mr. Ali H. Chauhan from the University of Management and Technology and Ms. Rodilina Baltazar-Marte, DBA from the Ateneo de Davao University (16 September 2020)

The Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao (AIM) Office partnered with the Office of Internationalization of the University of Management and Technology (UMT), in Lahore, Pakistan to conduct the online learning session entitled: “Innovative Higher Education Practices as a Response to the Challenges of a Global Pandemic (From the Perspectives of the Schools of Business)” last September 2020.

The learning session discussed the innovative teaching practices in both universities – the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) and University of Management and Technology (UMT) – before the pandemic and the transition to fully-online/hybrid education when the pandemic happened, and to explore the future trends of innovative learning in the perspective of business, governance, and economics.

Our esteemed discussants were Ms. Rodilina Baltazar-Marte, DBA from the School of Business and Governance of ADDU and Mr. Ali Chauhan from the School of Business and Economics of UMT. The webinar was participated by students, faculty members, and staff from both universities.

To start the session, we had Ms. Arsala Khan from the Office of Internationalization of UMT who introduced and presented the rationale of the event. It is then followed by the joint discussion of our speakers.

We also had an open forum where the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and engage with our speakers. To end, the closing remarks were given by Mr. Romulo Vinci Bueza, Director of the AIM Office.

This learning session was the springboard of future academic and special program collaborations with UMT, Lahore, with potential collaborations on student and faculty mobility, global internships, and more learning sessions.

Mr. Stevanus Pangestu (January 2020)

In celebration of the School of Business and Governance Week, SBG invited a guest lecturer from the Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (AJCUI), Mr. Stevanus Pangestu. Mr. Pangestu is an expert in Behavioral Finance, Corporate Governance, and Financial Accounting. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Masters in Management from AJCUI.

His expertise was lent well to the alternative class for SBG graduate students on “Financing SMEs in Indonesia: An opportunity for Fintech companies,” and the undergraduate students with the topic “Contemporary Fintech Trends in Indonesia and the Importance of Being Financially Literate.” Mr. Pangestu’s collaboration with the SBG as a visiting scholar inspired further collaboration with AJCUI, formalized by a new memorandum of understanding in pursuit of other academic activities or programs for transnational education in Indonesia.

Mr. Marc Wittmann (Dec 2019)

Mr. March Wittman is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree of Science in Human Factors Engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. His further studies along with his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology empowered him to be in collaboration with the ADDU Psychology Department as well as the School of Science and Engineering as a visiting lecturer. The students benefited from special classes on statistics, biopsychology, automation, clinical psychology, interface design, and technological project management.

Professor Enrico Cau (August 2019)

Last August 2019, the International Studies Department hosted a visiting scholar, Mr. Enrico Cau of Tamkang University Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, Taipei, Taiwan. Professor Cau was doing research on East Asian international security, and in the process, was able to share his knowledge and insights about contemporary political and security issues to the students taking IS majors. Mr. Cau has been among the scholars in close collaboration with the International Studies Department. Last 2018, he has presented in an international conference hosted by the Philippine International Studies Organization (PHISO) and Ateneo de Davao University.

Fr. Patrick Riordan, SJ (July - August 2019)

Various ADDU academic clusters, in partnership with the Ateneo Internationalization for Mindanao (AIM) office, hosted a series of international learning sessions with Fr. Patrick Riordan, S.J., a guest instructor who is a fellow for political philosophy and Catholic social thought at the University of Oxford. Dr. Patrick Riordan SJ is a Jesuit priest of the Irish Province. His work includes the supervision of some doctoral candidates and the examination of others in the Department of Religion and Theology. Additionally, he has published over a hundred articles on topics such as Justice, Human Dignity, Natural Law, Business Ethics, and Just War theory in the context of terrorism, some of them in Philippine journals such as Landas and Tambara.

Fr. Riordan led various lectures with ADDU academic units such as the “Laudato Si’: Further Reflections on Integral Ecology and Common Goods” with the Theology, Philosophy, and Environmental Science Departments; “Lecture on Social Discernment” for Formators and Staff under the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office; “ Brexit and International Relations: Globalization vs. Nationalism” with the International Studies Department; and “BARMM and the Common Good” with the Al Qalam Institute and other members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Professor Waka Aoyama and Professor Hiromu Shimizu (August 2019)

The Social Science Cluster organized a lecture series on contemporary social issues, featuring Asian Studies scholars from Japan: Professor Waka Aoyama of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, and Professor Hiromu Shimizu, Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. The lectures discussed topics of globalization, environmental sustainability, migration, peacebuilding, all in the context of ASEAN collaboration, grounded in the realities faced by Mindanao.

The Sociology Department, in collaboration with the Anthropology Department and the Economics Department, managed to organize the following lectures with the guest Japanese scholars: “The Sama-Badjao Experience in Davao City” and “Grass-root Globalization: Cultural Practices and Life Strategies.”