You're Never Too Young to Mentor

9:53:00 PM


"You're never too young to mentor. Mentoring is not a one-way street reserved purely for experienced workers to hand their wisdom down to those just starting out. People of all ages can benefit from, and provide, mentorship" - Maria Rapetskaya

I love mentoring and teaching. I believe it's one of my spiritual gifts. Ever since undergrad in UP Diliman, I really love teaching. I led younger students in UP Diliman in Bible studies and I also served as a tutor back then. I served as a lecturer for UPCAT review classes and I conducted research seminar-workshops in two high schools in Bataan during the summer break before I started medical school. I like imparting knowledge to students and I like arousing their interests especially in the field of research.

Few years ago, Prof. Len Ragragio (chair of UPM Department of Biology) and I received a research grant from UPM National Institutes of Health for our study on indigenous plants and mushrooms. During the first year of our study, we mentored two UP Manila BS Biology students (Lian and Hanna) for their thesis on ethnobotanical study and antimicrobial screening of plants used by Ayta communities in Bataan. Prof. Len served as their adviser and since I am a co-investigator of the research project, I helped the students from proposal writing, to field work, laboratory experiments and final manuscript writing. Lian and Hanna already graduated form college and are both medical students now. Their study was already published in Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (ISI-listed journal) and already won two awards during the 1st Philippine Herbal Medicine Summit and UPCM RIDO Research Forum.

This year, four BS Biology students from UP Manila did their thesis under our study on indigenous mushrooms. Today, one group (Christine and Carlo) successfully defended their undergraduate thesis on the antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of ten mushroom species collected in Bataan, Philippines. We just learned yesterday that their defense was scheduled today. They did their best to finish the powerpoint presentation last night until early this morning. Praise God their defense went well. Developmental mileston for me because I sat down as one of the panels for their defense this morning. We're very thankful to Dr. Glenn Sia Su for all his constructive criticisms and questions during the defense. It will surely help Christine and Carlo in refining their final manuscript.

Christine and Carlo fresh from their thesis defense. With Prof. Len Ragragio and Prof. Glenn Sia Su

I am very thankful to Maam Len Ragragio for supporting me in this research from proposal writing to NIH, to ethics review, to challenges in getting NCIP permit until today. Thank you Maam Len for giving me this opportunity to mentor students in research. Thank you also for helping me appreciate ethnobotany, ethnomycology and taxonomy. Last few hurdles and we are about to finish this research. I am looking forward to research presentations here and abroad and publications from our study Maam Len. 

Mentoring is a two-way street, I teach them and in return I also learn from the experience. I am very blessed to have this opportunity to mentor students. I know I still have a lot to learn but that doesn't mean I cannot share the knowledge and skill that I have now. The baton needs to be passed. I want to share the pearls that I learned from my research mentors to other students. I want to share the passion for research that was passed on to me. Most especially, I want to spread the habit of publishing and disseminating research results. They are not meant to be stored in the bookshelves. They have to be disseminated to the scientific community. 

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4 comments

  1. mentor me on blogging and health writing master lads! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ate Karla. Let's push our blog collaboration. Waiting for your articles Ate.

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  2. Dr Sia Su was my professor in Ecology in DLSU. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aura. Wow small world. He's in UP Manila now and still very passionate in research.

      Delete

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