GLENVILLE, W.Va. – Earlier in the spring semester, Glenville State University (GSU) hosted two scholars from University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) College of Forestry and Natural Resources. The scholars – Dr. Rogelio Andrada and Leilani Castillo – delivered a series of lectures and presentations on ecotourism and biodiversity conservation in the tropics. They were also invited to judge the Poster Presentation at the Pioneer Showcase, Glenville State’s annual forum in which undergraduate participants present on their research, experiential learning, and creative projects in all disciplines in a formal setting.
The visit was supported by a West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission J1 – Support Grant through the West Virginia Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (WVEPSCoR) Travel Grant and Glenville State University Professional Development Funds.
“It was a great honor to host Dr. Rogelio Andrada and For. Leilani Castillo. They delivered lectures and presentations on biodiversity and ecotourism, which are very relevant to what we teach in the Department of Land Resources. We hope to continue to collaborate with the UPLB by establishing a faculty, researcher, and student exchange program,” said Dr. Rico Gazal, Professor and Chair of the Department of Land Resources. Gazal and three Land Resources students – Ciera Heine, Adem Hupp, and Corey Foster – will be traveling to the Philippines this summer to visit the UPLB campus and conduct research on tropical plant biodiversity and ecophysiology. That trip is being supported with funding from a West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Opportunity Grant, GSU Professional Development Funds, an EQT STEM Grant, and the GSU Foundation.
“My visit to Glenville State University was enriching, endearing, and engaging to say the least. The sharing of knowledge and experience brought our institutions closer. The warmth of the faculty, staff, and students in welcoming and accommodating me was truly remarkable. And learning about what GSU can offer in future collaboration is exciting. I’m looking forward to the future where Glenville State University and the University of the Philippines are working together,” said Andrada. He serves as Deputy Director of the Makiling Botanic Gardens and is a professor at UPLB.
“Visiting GSU was indeed a great learning experience that inspired me to work even harder. I am looking forward to collaborating with the students and faculty of GSU in the future,” Castillo added. She is the Division Head for the Forests and Watershed Division at the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems in addition to her work as a University Researcher at UPLB.
The Glenville State University and University of the Philippines Los Baños student and faculty exchange program, designed to strengthen international experience of students in the field of ecology and environmental science, will soon be formalized with a Memorandum of Understanding. The partnership will commit both academic institutions to provide opportunities for collaboration and positive academic engagement.
Glenville State has an active education abroad program that allows students and faculty to participate in international education around the world through different forms of learning such as study abroad and virtual exchange through the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program. Over the last five years, Glenville State students from a variety of majors have traveled to England, France, Italy, Japan, Panama, Peru, and Spain. GSU also offers a select number of COIL courses every semester allowing our students to complete course work with students from all over the world. So far, Glenville has established COIL connections with universities in Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico, Spain, and others.
For more information about the programs within the Department of Land Resources at Glenville State University, contact the Department of Land Resources at LandResources@glenville.edu or (304) 462-6370.