Miriam College International Studies Department celebrates its 50th year by holding the International Studies Forum and its first IS Alumni Homecoming. In the IS Forum, four Maryknoll alumnae shared their experiences in foreign diplomatic service to Senior High and College students, while the IS Homecoming gave tribute to three women who were instrumental in the establishment and growth of the IS department.
Maryknoll College has been known to produce graduates who flourish in the field of international diplomacy. This year, the MC International Studies (IS) department under the College of Arts and Sciences celebrates its 50th anniversary with the IS Diplomats Forum as one of its key events. Former Ambassadors who are also MC alumni shared their experiences to students who may later on pursue careers in the foreign service – these were Ambassador Angelina Miciano Sta. Catalina (BA Foreign Service), Ambassador Rowena Mendoza Sanchez (BA Social Work), Ambassador Marilyn Alarilla (BS Business Administration), and Ambassador Millie Thomeczek (BA Communication Arts). Majority of the attendees were MCHS Senior High students from the Humanities strand listened in rapt attention as the ambassadors narrated their respective journeys in their careers, and gave tips on the right kind of attitude and motivations if they were to pursue a career in foreign service.
The IS department also held the first ever Homecoming at the Innovation Center, welcoming almost 200 alumnae from the 1980s all the way to 2018. The event was made extra special because of the tribute to three individuals who were major contributors to the success of the department through the years: Ms. Sonia Ner, Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, and Gigi Francisco, whose children accepted the awards on their behalf. In their honor, the following programs were announced: the Professor Sonia Pinto-Ner Undergraduate Scholarship Program, the Gigi Francisco Hub for Diplomacy and Leadership, and the Research and Scholarship Fund for Graduate Studies, and lastly, the Lecture Series on Diplomacy and Foreign Service in honor of Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani. All these programs were given contributions by the IS alumni.
The AEO congratulates the IS department and hopes that this will be the first of many partnerships with the Alumni Engagement Office!