Joy M. Sorrosa氏
Joy M. Sorrosa氏 (Philippines)
PhD in Science (2005)
Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba
Davao del Norte State College (DNSC), Republic of the Philippines
① Tell us about yourself.
I am Joy Mundiz Sorrosa, an alumna of the University of Tsukuba under its Doctor of Philosophy in Science. Last March 15, 2019, more than two decades after I was accepted as a Monbukagakusho scholarship student, I took an oath of office to become the fourth president and the first woman to take the helm of Davao del Norte State College (DNSC).
It needed a lot of mentors, training, and experiences for me to get where I am today, and I would say that my years in the University of Tsukuba had significantly helped me prepare for the breakthroughs of my career. I am not just referring to the attainment of my current administrative position as president. More than the title, what counts for me as my professional growth are the number of people and communities that I am able to serve and the opportunities that I continuously help to create for our students.
② Reflections on Studying at the University of Tsukuba, what are the merits?
The University of Tsukuba is one of the top universities globally that encourages innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrative approach to research and instruction. After finishing my graduate school degree there, I brought back with me to the Philippines this deep appreciation toward creative and research-intensive learning environment. This further led to my commitment as an academic administrator to constantly find modern and effective ways of delivering education and to promote collaborative and impactful research.
During my stay in the university, I was under the tutelage of Dr. SHIRAIWA Yoshihiro. I will always have high regards for him as a mentor, especially for his generosity in sharing his knowledge and his patience for guiding me even in tedious laboratory works. My experience working with him made me realize the importance of mentorship and the passing of knowledge from a senior member of the academe to the younger ones.
My years in Japan also made me become more responsible in dealing with time, how to respect it and make the most out of it. This simple realization improved my work ethic and productivity. I do not just show up to engagements and meetings, I show up on time to remind myself and everybody else in the room that wasting time is not an option especially that there are a lot of people who are counting on us.
I was new in DNSC when I first took on the presidency. I was nervous at first, but I wasn't afraid because I had a clear vision of what I needed to do and I knew I could thrive in a diverse environment, just like what I did in the University of Tsukuba. I was exposed to different cultures there and I had to adapt in order to learn. I had an experience in dealing and building relationships with people that come from different backgrounds. This experience came in handy for me and is one of the building blocks of my leadership - understanding the differences and distinct potentials of people.
③ Message to Tsukuba students.
For the university's current and future students, I can't emphasize enough how huge a privilege it is to be able to learn and enjoy its education and facilities. It opened more opportunities for me from being entrusted with a higher administrative designation when I came back to my former home institution to continuing my professional upgrading as a Fulbright research scholarship grantee at the University of Pennsylvania. It provides you with a strong foundation on research and values that are essential across workplaces, such as, critical and creative thinking, informed decision-making, and a lifelong adoration for learning.
I wouldn't say that the experience would be smooth sailing, but I am telling you the challenges are part of the training. In my experience, I already arrived in Japan as a research scholar, but I had to prepare and pass the entrance examination before I was finally accepted as a graduate school student. I also had to work hard to cope with the culture of the university and Japan. I now have an utmost respect for both. All of these made me a better person, academician, administrator, colleague, and an advocate for quality education.
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