TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- A 20-old woman from the Gaddang indigenous group of Isabela graduated summa cum laude from the New York University (NYU).
Janelle Micaela Panganiban graduated from the American university with three majors: Global Public Health, Public Policy, Sociology.
In a press release, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Panganiban was also the recipient of the prestigious Alexander L. Shluger Award for Excellence in Sociology. Such an award is given to a senior student who “has majored in sociology and who has excelled in his or her study of this subject.”
DFA said Panganiban was also a consistent Dean’s Lister and a Founders Day Awardee of her graduating class.
“As a Filipino, I feel like I have the obligation to bring all of these back to the Philippines and at the same time, as a descendant of the Gaddangs, I find myself impassioned for indigenous resurgence as a step to combat the long and embedded history of colonization,” she said in the release.
Panganiban is the daughter Representative Jose Panganiban Jr of ANAC-IP Party list and Mayor Lourdes Panganiban of Angadangan, Isabela.
“Academic success is the time when I read a book that confronted my perspectives or when my professor and classmates challenged my opinions and debated with me. In other words, I achieved academic excellence by constantly questioning the norm and expanding my mindset. This is what I’ve learned to love and enjoy,” she shared to DFA.
Panganiban advised Filipino students to “remain curious, step out of your comfort zone, and engage in conversation.”
She also said that she still has hope that people can “find ways to transcend differences” in a world “growing more and more divided.”
“Never forget that you are a Filipino—huwag kalilimutan ang pinanggalingan. Saan mang bahagi ng mundo tayo makarating, ang Pilipinas pa rin sana ang ating balikan. Mangarap nang hindi lang para sasarili, kung hindi na rin para sa bayan,” she added.
DFA said Panganiban will be one of the awardees in the 6th annual Philippine Graduation (PGRAD) on Saturday, June 9, at the Philippine Center.
“PGRAD is a flagship project of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, in cooperation with UniPro,” DFA added.
Further, DFA announced that another Filipina, 21-year old Lara Andrea Montales, likewise graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in BS Economics major in Finance and Business Analytics.
Montales was valedictorian in elementary at the Colegio San Agustin-Makati. She later graduated with honors at the Philippine Science High School before enrolling in Wharton School, Forbes’ 2017 Best Business Schools in the US, the department said. Northernforum.net