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Quakenbush and Gutierrez receive CPAf Academic Excellence Award

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Annica V. Quakenbush and Jamie Angeli A. Gutierrez received the CPAf Academic Excellence Award during the CPAf Annual Recognition Rites held at CPAf Rms. 303-304 on June 23, 2017. Quakenbush is the top graduate of the college for this year’s 45th UPLB Commencement Exercises with 1.081 general weighted average (GWA). She finished MS Community Development, minor in Rural Sociology. On the other hand, Gutierrez also received the same award for having a GWA of 1.17. She finished Master in Development Management and Governance, major in Organizational and Institutional Development. Dr. Maria Ana T. Quimbo chaired the said committee with Dr. Bing C. Brillo and aProf. Damcelle T. Cortes as members.


Annica V. Quakenbush
MS Community Development
GWA 1.081

“I simply wanted to learn more about development in the context of the Philippines,” Annica shared. As a foreign student, learning in the Philippines had unique challenges, yet studying at UPLB “shaped me of who I am, and what I can now offer as a community developer,” she admitted.

According to her, some of the most memorable experiences she had in the Philippines included trips to nearby barangays (villages) for community development classes, and the hilarious but focused study sessions with fellow CPAf students as they cram to review for their comprehensive exams. 

“Make friends, visit your adviser frequently, take good notes, and be mindful in all the work you do!” is the advice of Annica to graduate students who just started their graduate school life. She added that cultivating relationships with other CPAf students and professors is almost as valuable as the content of the courses. She mentioned that getting to know other people and hearing about the work and life experiences they have had added richness to the education offered by the college. 

Annica, an American citizen, went back to Grand Rapids, Michigan in USA after completing her degree. She is married to J. Peter Quakenbush, who also graduated last June 24 with the degree of MS Botany during the 45th UPLB Commencement Exercises. Her husband was a recipient of the Graduate School Academic Excellence Award.

“CPAf really is full of amazing students and professors; I am grateful that I had two years spent with them,” she said.


Jamie Angeli A. Gutierrez
Master in Development Management and Governance,
major in Organizational and Institutional Development
GWA 1.170

Jaime narrated that being able to study and work with people from different sectors allowed her to see and understand what “real” development means.

For her, the one-week exposure trip to Japan is the most memorable experience while studying at CPAf. She was given the opportunity and privilege to organize and participate in the “Joint Seminar on Innovations in the Governance and Management of Sustainable Development Goals” at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. This activity allowed her to apply what she has learned in her master’s program, to personally participate in consultation-dialogues with leading organizations in the Kansai Region, and to learn the best practices on development and governance from organizations. 

“I wanted to enhance my understanding and deepen my knowledge about development management and governance principles and approaches. Moreover, I wanted to use participatory and multidisciplinary approaches for me to help address development and governance issues and problems that affect not only my own organization but also the society in general,” Jamie shared as she recalls her reasons in choosing her program. 

The concepts and principles that she learned at CPAf would be helpful in her new work as Senior Economic Development Specialist at the Policy Formulation and Planning Division of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). However, she realized that the things she had learned from her graduate school journey are not limited to those that can be found in reading materials, rather, the important lessons are also learned from actual life experiences. 

To those who are planning to take graduate studies, she emphasized that finding one’s purpose is crucial. “In choosing a master’s degree program, it is important for you to determine your purpose, or what you intend to do or become after your graduate studies,” she shared.

“I always feel at home and comfortable whenever I am at CPAf,” she said.


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