DR. MARIANO C. LAO GLOBAL STUDIES CENTER
The University needs to enhance its internal capacity, systems, and culture to ensure the level of readiness and quality of delivery at Silliman University to respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution . The University Roadmap for 2020-2023 speaks about technological advances, high-speed mobile Internet, AI and automation, big data analytics, and cloud technology. Moreover, even before the covid pandemic, online distance learning has been encouraged to include “transnational education” that CHED and the British Council actively promote.
A Center for Global Studies (CGS), located on the fifth floor of the Portal East Building, envisions Silliman to nurture international relations and build new competencies by studying cultures, economies, and politics. The Center is significant and timely in this unprecedented time, especially when online education is positioned as part of the new normal.
To be a hub for creating new, globally oriented, intra-cross-multi-inter-trans-disciplinal global studies and training in online modalities.
To provide opportunities for students and life-long learners acquire skills through technology-oriented flexible learning modalities to be relevant in the workplace and the society.
The Dr. Mariano C. Lao Global Studies Center of Silliman University has the following goals:
- Provide ICT-enabled learning strategies to other centers & institutes in the University in extending and/or strengthening their programs.
- Deliver stackable, online non-curricular programs for knowledge acquisition, skills development, master classes, and life-long learning through technology-enhanced flexible learning modality catering to local and international learners;
- Provide an avenue for technology-oriented community engagement and service-learning by offering free computer education and collaborating with alumni, and international professional & research organizations for global learning opportunities
COMPONENTS AND HIGHLIGHTS
The Center provides opportunities for students and life-long learners to acquire skills through technology-oriented flexible learning modalities to be relevant in the workplace and the society. Primarily, it has the following components:
- Mariano C. Lao Educational Technology Support
- Non-Degree Open Online Courses (OOCs)
- Socialized, Mainstream, Specialized Courses
- Synchronous, Asynchronous, Hybrid, Hy-flex Courses
- On-Demand Streaming
- Mariano C. Lao Innovation, Creation, and Invention Laboratory (ICI) for Community Outreach
- Computer Education Program
- SU Alumni Engagement Program
- Mariano C. Lao Institutional Skills Assessment
Remarkable highlights include:
- The Center is a facility for short continuing education or recreational learning, but on topics of general public interest and across different disciplines. It will not offer degree programs but only short courses, lectures, and seminars.
- The Center is an opportunity for Silliman University to welcome a new cohort of clients/students. The Center will serve as another source of income for the University and faculty members. Short courses and seminars offered at the Center are standalone topics, and participation is for a fee.
- The Center will not replace any existing specialized centers of the University. It will serve as the liaison and support to these centers to increase its reach through cyberspace. The Center will provide learning technology support to existing engagements like certificate training offered with the Silliman Association of New England (SANE) and Silliman University Alumni Council of North America (SUACONA) Alumni Professional Engagement Programand other alumni and professional organizations.
- The Center will be a support unit to augment the university’s action towards internalization and globalization, emphasizing the new normal of teaching and learning. The Center will be an additional accreditation exhibit of Silliman’s initiatives for international partnership and linkages.
- The Center will benefit Silliman students for their enrichment and advanced equivalent certificate courses. It will widen students’ access to Silliman education, including graduate/post-graduate students and adult learners.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
There are three (3) primary enterprises at the Center.
- Stackable online non-curricular programs. This includes short and crash courses, lectures, seminars, master classes for continuing education or recreational learnings. Topics are of general public interest across various disciplines. The Lao GSC will not offer degree programs. A single course may be delivered over the course of days, weeks or months.
- On-demand Topical Contents. These products are the video recordings of past GSC offerings including pre-recorded contents that are available upon requests.
- Assessment and certification of competencies. This service will be in collaboration with the SU-TEVEC. Notably, SU-TEVEC is also proposed to be transferred under the system of Open University. The collaboration between the Global Studies Center and SU-TEVEC in the assessment and certification of competencies complements the Open University System’s mission of democratizing education and promoting lifelong learning by providing learners with recognized and industry-relevant credentials. The proposed transfer of SU-TEVEC under the Open University System further strengthens the connection between these entities and enhances their collective capacity to provide learners with high-quality education and training that meets their needs.
Likewise, the Center also serves as a support unit of the university providing educational technology services for the university and the community at large. Specifically, the Center offers:
- EdTech services to other centers and institutes in the University, course offerors, learners and the GSC community. This include but not limited to instructional designing, content digitization, pedagogical innovations, and technology-oriented assessment and evaluation.
- Free computer education for diverse learners emphasizing inclusive learning. This includes community extension and service-learning activities such as free computer education for senior citizens, employees, staff, teachers, and students.
- Collaborations and partnerships with alumni and friends, professional and research organizations, and industries
Silliman University’s niche in offering a Global Studies Center is its commitment to nurturing international relations and building new competencies by studying cultures, economies, and politics. With its long-standing history of providing quality education and promoting cultural diversity, Silliman University is well-positioned to offer a unique and innovative approach to global studies.
Moreover, Silliman University’s proposed Open University System offers a flexible, technology-enhanced learning environment that is accessible to local and international learners. By leveraging the power of technology and innovative teaching methods, Silliman University’s Global Studies Center can reach a broader audience and provide learners with the skills and competencies they need to succeed in an increasingly globalized world.
In addition, the Global Studies Center’s components, such as the Dr. Mariano C. Lao Educational Technology Laboratory and the Dr. Mariano C. Lao Innovation, Creation, and Invention Laboratory for Community Outreach, provide a unique and innovative approach to education and training. These components offer learners with the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge in technology-oriented flexible learning modalities that are relevant in the workplace and society.
Most importantly, the course offerings will stand out by providing unique micro-credential accreditation points. Likewise, a GSC course will have Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points by the PRC. Thus, the course offerings will be valued by employers and professional bodies. Learners can showcase their professional development and enhance their career prospects.
Course Offering refers to non-curricular programs (including but not limited to seminars, lectures, crash courses, short courses, certificate courses, master classes, and creative performance) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, and life-long learning through technology-oriented flexible learning modality.
Topic. Course Offerings must have a global flavor. It can be of any topic with an intra-cross-multi-inter-trans-disciplinal transfer of knowledge, skills, and competencies. A topic can be a short continuing education or recreational learning, but on topics of public interest and cross different disciplines.
Course Duration. Each course offering should be at least 2 hours. It can run up to months.
Modality. A course can be delivered in different modalities:
Modality 1: Synchronous (100 % live online session via Zoom)
Modality 2: Asynchronous (self-paced, no live session, course materials will be pre-recorded and organized at the SU’s Learning Management System)
Modality 3: Fully Online (Synchronous + Asynchronous)
Modality 4: Blended (Synchronous/Asynchronous + In-Person)
Modality 5: Hybrid (fully online + blended)
Modality 6: Hy-Flex (Hybrid + in-person at GSC)
Approaches. A course can be delivered in different approaches:
Approach 1: Straight Lecture (the lecturer uses visual & interactive presentation like PPT.
Approach 2: Lecture – Demonstration (example: Visual, music, dance, architecture, agriculture, computer programming)
Approach 3: Performances with Open and Close Learning Notes (Example: Recital analysis, coral survey, poetry festival, sports, among others)
Approach 4: Roundtable Discussions (3-4 speakers on multidisciplinary perspective on local and global issues)
ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
The Global Studies Center is among the transformative initiatives of Silliman University, providing learners with flexible, innovative, and high-quality non-degree and training opportunities. The SU-Lao GSC includes four organizational units to complement its mission and its programs and services. These are: EdTech Services, Non-Degree Offerings, ICI & Community Outreach, Institutional Skills Assessment Center.
- The EdTech Services will support technology-oriented information & quality, learning management system (LMS) administration, user engagement, network & hardware, instructional systems development, open educational resources (OER).
- The Non-Degree Offerings, the heart of the enterprise, will offer courses in different categories and modalities with on-demand streaming feature.
- The Innovation, Creation, and Invention (ICI) Laboratory will be transferred and to continue operating the free computer education for senior citizens, students, and the community as well as the SU Alumni Engagement Program.
- The Institutional Skills Assessment Center, in collaboration with SU TEVEC, and other continuing professional development, will offer skills evaluation and accreditation system to skilled learners who wished to have skills certification.
The Global Studies Center is managed by a team of experienced educators, administrators, and technical staff who are dedicated to providing learners with high-quality education and training opportunities.
INVITATION TO BECOME A COURSE OFFEROR
Dear Alumni and Friends:
The Dr. Mariano C. Lao Global Studies Center (GSC) of Silliman University was launched in August 2022. The Center primarily envisions bringing Silliman to the forefront of international and online distance education. Specifically, the Center is tasked to:
- Promote globally-oriented, intra-cross-multi-inter-trans disciplinal global education and training in cyberspace blended, hybrid, and hy-flex modalities through the cyberplace.
- Offer non-curricular programs (crash courses, short courses, certificate courses) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, master classes, and life-long learning through technology-oriented flexible learning modalities.
- Provide ICT-enabled learning strategies to other centers & institutes in the university in extending and/or strengthening their programs
- Collaborate with other international professional & research organizations for global learning opportunities
The Center is an opportunity for the university to establish a new cohort of clients in cyberspace, including alumni, retirees, professionals, and other interested learners in Dumaguete or anywhere in the world. It is a “new business” for Silliman, different from SU’s regular “residential” learning program. However, it complements each other as an “income center” for Silliman. Please see the attached brochure about the Center.
In view thereof, may we invite you as Course Offeror of the Center? A course offering refers to non-curricular programs (including but not limited to seminars, lectures, crash courses, short courses, certificate courses, master classes, and creative performance) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, and life-long learning through a technology-oriented flexible learning modality.
Your expertise and commitment to Silliman’s quality education will significantly help in the success of this new endeavor.
Thank you very much.
INAUGURAL LECTURE SERIES
An inaugural lecture series is designed for the online visibility of the Center. The inaugural lecture series is delivered among the Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee and other experts who are engaged with Silliman.
WHEN CONFLICT RESOLUTION IS NOT ENOUGH: THE PROMISE OF CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION
By: Dr. Al Fuertes
- Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA
- 2019 Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee in the field of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
CHATGPT: WHAT TEACHERS SHOULD KNOW
- Lead Faculty for Technology and Innovation at the YSEALI Academy of Fulbright University, Vietnam
- Fellow, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia
- Director, Silliman Online University Learning, Philippines
PHOTOS DURING THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY
The Mariano Lao ICI Laboratory was inaugurated last August 19, 2017. Named after its donor, the Laboratory is an idea incubation facility that seeks to inspire innovation, creation and invention among high school and college students in Silliman and the community. The ICI Laboratory is transferred to the Center to complement its the program and services. The laboratory serves as a classroom, a teaching extension facility for teachers, a service-learning facility, a learning-facility for technology-oriented clubs, a recreation room, and most importantly, a mini-incubation facility. It is an open space for research and development, capstone project, and immersion on technology-oriented activities.
The laboratory offers the following programs and services:
SU-Dr. Lao Free Computer Education for Senior Citizens, Employees and Students. The SU and Dr. Lao Free Computer Education aims to provide free computer education to Silliman and the community. Specifically, this program aims to offer need-based computer skills training for Silliman employees, Silliman students, and retirees from the community. The first batch was launched in January 2019. It was conducted every weekend, with 25 participants per category. The training is conducted every Saturday for three months. Crash courses, seminars and short-term training are also offered especially during service-learning.
Research and Capstone Grant. The Research and Capstone Grant is a competitive grant amounting to a maximum of P100,000.00 for a maximum of 2 years. It aims to stimulate new and innovative ideas with an entrepreneurial value among high school students. The laboratory envisions that grant to be a support towards serious incubation cycle. The grant will provide students an opportunity to learn and work together, develop and test new ideas, and engage in innovative and active learning.
Dr. Mariano C. Lao Creativity Camp. The Creativity Camp is a competitive scholarship among top students in the province. It is a specialized training on creativity to ignite and stimulate new and innovative ideas with an entrepreneurial value among high school and college students in the province. The training is delivered in hybrid modality. The face-to-face is conducted by experts during Saturdays. The online component is delivered using the university’s learning management system to augment the face-to-face discussions.
Dr. Mariano C. Lao Excellence in Online Teaching Award. Launched in 2021, the award recognizes SU teachers who exemplify a high standard of online teaching in Silliman University. This award is an opportunity to recognize full-time faculty of any rank for the passion and strong commitment to quality online teaching.
Raffles and Technology-oriented Competitions. The Laboratory hosted several contests and competitions to stimulate creativity such as poster designing, programming competition, video making, IT quiz bowl and the like. The laboratory continuously facilitates its gifts-giving and assistance program to several occasions such as rice assistance, Covid-10 assistance, raffle prizes, and others.
SUHS Class 1957
2016 Order of Horace Brinsmade Silliman inductee
2018 Oustanding Sillimanian Awardee
2019 Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa
Lifted from https://su.edu.ph/cotw/mariano-c-lao/
As he tells it, Mariano C. Lao was an “irrepressible juvenile” who was sent to Silliman by his father. His parent was losing hope in his sixteen-year old son and warned him that it was his last chance to change his ways; otherwise, he would be condemned to a life of minding their sari-sari store in Catbalogan, Samar.
Life in a Silliman dormitory with its strict rules and discipline proved difficult for young Mariano. He enjoyed the extra-curricular weight-lifting class of eminent ornithologist Prof. Dioscoro Rabor, but his grades were failing. Forced to leave the dorm in his junior year, he was taken in by the faculty couple, biologists Dioscoro and Lina Rabor. In the Rabor home, Mr. Lao learned to develop patience and respect for others in interpersonal relationships. He also built up his self-discipline and self-pride when he joined Prof. Rabor’s field expeditions to collect specimens for science.
Mr. Lao obtained his high school diploma in 1957, but his sense of achievement was dashed when a big fire in Catbalogan completely burned down everything his family owned. As the eldest of seven siblings, Mr. Lao felt it was his responsibility to help his family recover from their misfortune. With only eighteen pesos in his pocket, he stowed away on a ship bound for Manila where he hoped to find employment.
The first job he found was at a construction supply store which he said was marked by hunger, abuse, and insults and taking turns with co-workers in sleeping because sleeping facilities were not enough. He then worked at odd jobs in Manila including a difficult stint as a door-to-door salesman when people slammed doors in his face, and yelled insults at him for bothering them. He refused to be daunted and sometimes found comfort in the words of the Silliman Song: “And the faith and truth she gave us will remain our guiding star.”
In time, his patience and perseverance paid off and he began to reap success in selling household items such as refrigerators, fans, and radios. He realized that he had a talent for selling which would help him gain a better life. By hard work, determination, and perseverance he became the top salesman of Atlantic Pulp and Paper Corp. in a few months so that his employer offered him the position of Sales Manager. He graciously turned it down because he had his own plans that included having his own business. Proctor and Gamble also hired him and valued his success in sales.
In the late 1960’s he started a modest packaging venture which slowly evolved into a lucrative export business. He founded the Stampak Group of Companies with himself as Chairman. Stampak became the country’s largest exporter of rattan furniture and accessories, a full handicraft line, with linkages to hundreds of suppliers. Through Stampak, Philippine products reached major international retailers in the U.S. (Walmart and Target), Italy (La Renacente), France (Galaries Lafeyete), Spain (El Corte Ingles) and Germany (Karstadt and Kaufhaf). Twenty-three years after it was established, Sstampak received the Golden Shell Award, the highest award conferred by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Citem for pioneering in the export of Philippine handicrafts to the European market.
A caring employer, Mr. Lao has helped many families over the years, providing meaningful long-term employment for breadwinners. Mr. Lao’s other interests include an appreciation for culture and the arts; he has built a notable art collection that he shares with the public through museum loans and as gifts to institutions.
Mr. Lao returned to Silliman in 2007 to attend the 50th anniversary of his high school graduation, thus starting yearly visits to his alma mater. In 2010 he created a scholarship foundation for High School students from poor families who demonstrate exemplary intelligence and effort in their studies. Starting in 2010 and every year thereafter until 2035, scholarships would be awarded to eight student scholars. The scholarship fund, previously named after his former benefactor Mrs. Lina F. Rabor, is known today as the Mariano and Lina Lao Scholarship (Lina being also the name of his wife). Some of his scholars have completed their college studies and are now licensed professionals.
Other significant donations of Mr. Lao in 2017 are the Mariano and Lina Lao Activity Center, a two-storey structure for extra-curricular activities, and the Mariano Lao Technology Laboratory for Innovation, Creation, and Inventions (ICI) on the High School campus.
Mariano C. Lao, the irrepressible juvenile who was born 83 years ago in Amoy, China but grew up in the Philippines, has been inducted to the Order of Horace Brinsmade Silliman (OHBS), the highest public recognition and expression of gratitude that the University confers on its donors and gift givers who follow the determined spirit of generosity of the man after whom the University is named.