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Dean Flor addresses the graduating class of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies.

The Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) held a thanksgiving celebration in honor of its 2017 graduating class on 22 September 2017 at the Oblation Hall, UP Open University, Los Baños, Laguna. It was a heart-warming and inspiring gathering for FICS' the students, faculty, and staff members as graduates looked back and shared their own unique journeys and stories of success.

Dr. Alexander G. Flor, the Dean of FICS said “I have this observation, that will eventually become a theory… the ones who were attracted to this field are the more evolved souls.” He acknowledged the efforts and achievements of all the students and FICS' faculty members who have been into transformation throughout their years of journey in the university. He also recognized the uniqueness of the Faculty of Study as it changes and gears towards the cutting edge of discipline in the field of communication and information.

Mr. Jerry Donato, the 2016 top graduate of FICS and former Vice President of the UPOU Alumni Foundation, Inc. (UPOUAFI) , asked this question to the members of the 2017 graduating class “What’s next or where do we go from here?” Mr. Donato, who is currently pursuing the Doctor in Communication program at UPOU and the newly-elected President of UPOUAFI, shared his journey as a lifelong learner at the university. He said that self-reflection is an important consideration in determining the next step and in doing so, as a graduate of UP, one must not forget, and must always look back at the lessons and values learned especially honor and excellence, openness, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

In the same event, the top graduates of FICS were recognized. They were Mr. Christian Joy Panag from the Diploma in Computer Science program, Ms. Maria Gabriella Magpusao, from the Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program and Mr. Efren Duran Jr. from the Master of Information Systems program, Ms. Marga Alyanna Espino and Mr. Ericson Peñalba, from the Master in Development Communication program; and Mr. Lenardo Magno Jr. from the Doctor of Communication program.

Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, former FICS Dean and currently Chancellor of UPOU gave the closing message. She encouraged the graduates to "...start on what we have right now to make an impact, one community, and one country at a time”. Quoting the current UP System President, she also asked them to give “malasakit at responsibilidad para sa sarili, sa komunidad, at sa bayan” (concern/devotion and responsibility for oneself, the community, and the country). (Cherry Bundalian)