University welcomes its first International Visiting Professor (IVP) – Dr. Georgia Hart-Fredeluces from Idaho State University, U.S.

As part of the University’s progressive pursuit toward providing high-quality global education and establishing itself as a leading research University with an international standing, a contract of agreement ceremonial signing between Sorsogon State University (SorSU) and International Visiting Professor (IVP), Dr. Georgia Hart-Fredeluces, a research assistant in Idaho State University, and Conservation Biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, took place on January 22, 2024, at the SorSU Boardroom, Sorsogon City Campus.

Through the initiative as well as the research publications on seaweed studies of Dr. Richard V. Dumilag (SorSU-Graduate School Professor), with the active involvement of SorSU – International Relations Office (IRO), headed by Dr. Vivien L. Chua (Director, SorSU-IRO), the contract of agreement between SorSU and Prof. Hart-Fredeluces highlights teaching and research undertakings from January to June 2024 of the IVP, specifically, teaching load and face-to-face classes under the Graduate School Program of Studies, particularly subjects in advanced topics in Biology focusing on Ethnobotany, as well as ethnobotanical research collaboration with Dr. Richard V. Dumilag and Prof. Teresa Haide R. Belgica (Magallanes Campus Professor), and other relevant endeavors and activities.

During the ceremonial signing program, Dr. Jhonner D. Ricafort (Vice President for Academic Affairs), in his welcome message, expressed his delight and appreciation to Prof. Hart-Fredeluces as the first IVP of SorSU and emphasized the significant contribution that she will bring as a faculty member of the Graduate School and a researcher as well.

“Our University is committed to maintaining high education standards, fostering a diverse and inclusive community, and contributing to the advancement of knowledge through innovative and impactful research. It is fitting that today, we are joined by an individual whose career embodies this very principle. I believe that our University will surely benefit from this engagement as it tries to achieve [the] vision of becoming a research university and providing quality education. Moreover, this engagement will significantly impact our preparation for QS Star Rating Assessment in higher level program accreditation, which places importance on international collaboration.“

Similarly, SUC President III, Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus, conveyed her gratitude to Prof. Hart-Fredeluces for selecting SorSU as the venue for her post-doctoral research endeavor. President De Jesus highlighted that the University’s first-ever IVP is a significant milestone toward its internationalization journey. She also stated that the institution aimed to undertake more academic partnerships, research collaborations, and student/faculty exchange programs. President De Jesus added, “We will make sure that you will never forget us because I am with the best team.”

In response, Dr. Georgia Hart-Fredeluces also extended her heartfelt appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality of the SorSU community. She remarked that she has so much to learn and hopes that she can live up to the expectations. Nonetheless, the International Visiting Professor is excited about her teaching journey at SorSU – Graduate School as well as her research undertaking with Dr. Dumilag and Prof. Belgica.

I feel extremely honored to be here and be able to pursue my passion in ethnobotany, both in teaching and research… I know I have so much to learn, and I hope I can live up to some of the expectations that others expressed today for this collaboration. I am excited about the possibilities of teaching, meeting students, and conducting research. I look forward to maintaining connections between Sorsogon State University, the students, and the professors here.

In reference, Prof. Hart-Fredeluces is a PhD Botany graduate in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and with an MS in Botany at O’ahu Island, Hawaii. She is also a holder of a Certificate of Adolescent Science Education in New York. Moreover, she has a number of professional engagements in Hawaii, China, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. She has several research publications from 2000 to 2003. Currently, she is affiliated with Idaho State University since 2019. Relatively, she works at the aforementioned university as a research mentor and supervisor, in addition, to performing as a reviewer and editor of research journals.

Further, Dr. Ryan V. Dio (Vice President for Research, Extension, and Training), during his Words of Gratitude, stated that the Sorsogon State University community is delighted to host the very first Fulbright fellowship engagement in the institution.
“Your presence here for teaching and research endeavors with our brilliant faculty members and students in the Graduate School will begin another chapter of SorSU’s international visibility.”

SUC President III, Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus, represented the Sorsogon State University. In attendance during the ceremonial signing were the SorSU-GS faculty members: Dr. Gerry S. Digo (Program Chair, MAM-AS/MED/EdD-ELM), Dr. Sherill A. Gilbas (Program Chair, PhD Language Education), Dr. Errol G. De Castro (Program Chair, DPA/MAM-PA), Dr. Catherine A. De Castro (Director, Planning Management), Dr. Richard V. Dumilag (IRO Coordinator), Dr. Susan F. Astillero (GS IRO Coordinator), Dr. Stephen Henry S. Totanes; Prof. Teresa Haide R. Belgica (Magallanes Campus Professor); Dr. Michael John A. Jamora (Executive Assistant); and Ms. Caryl L. Gamis (IRO Personnel).
The Contract of Agreement signing was witnessed by Dr. Jhonner D. Ricafort (Vice President for Academic Affairs), Dr. Ritzelda A. Deri (OIC, SorSU-GS) in lieu of Dr. Susan S. Janer (Dean, SorSU-GS), and Dr. Vivien L. Chua (Director, SorSU-IRO). (SorSU PIO)