MMSU employees win awards in extension confab
A faculty member and five researchers of MMSU won the Best Extension Paper Awards at the close of the 1st International Multi-Sectoral Development Extension Services Conference held at the University of Northern Philippines (UNP), Vigan City last July 4-6.
Dr. Cheryll Didi Nellie Obra of the College of Health Sciences; and Menisa Antonio, Rodel T. Utrera, Epifania O. Agustin, Dionisio L. Jamias, and Araceli J. Badar of the Research Directorate won in the Health Sciences and in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment categories, respectively.
Obra's paper, Operationalization of Wellness Exercises and Health Monitoring for Health and Development Extension System of MMSU, involved work-related stresses among MMSU faculty within the last five years. Thus, the university had institutionalized a health extension program to benefit the academic community as a whole.
The program is providing a comprehensive health and wellness activity that promotes sound mind, healthy body and peaceful soul. Anent to this, the university has offered its employees access to wellness resources and health services for disease prevention and promotion of good health.
As a way of promoting physical activity among the faculty and staff, a Zumba dance workout was implemented in 2016 and became a regular one-hour physical activity that is being participated in by the faculty, staff, and students of the university. Employees are excused from their work to allow them to participate.
Moreover, strength and conditioning exercises were incorporated in the training program of varsity athletes free of charge under the supervision of licensed physical therapists at the University Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center (UPTRC).
Furthermore, gym services were also available to the employees and students for a minimal fee at the UPTRC. Periodic health risk assessments and biometric screening among university employees became part of the health program dubbed as "Salun-at ko, Love ko" that is currently being initiated by the University Infirmary. Health information classes and stress management seminars, too, are conducted regularly.
MMSU has started building a culture of health and wellness among its employees and students by implementing a comprehensive health and wellness program policy.
On the other hand, Antonio and her co-workers’ paper, Harnessing Ilocos Indigenous Food Plants (IFPs) for Health and Wellness of Communities Through Participatory Research and Extension (R&E) System, documented and characterized the IFPs and their habitat in seven upland and remote municipalities of Ilocos Norte, and initiated modalities towards the goal of promoting the sustainable conservation and management of these indigenous agro-diversity.
The project involved participatory R&E approach in knowledge generation, subsequent knowledge product delivery, and translating derived knowledge into policy recommendations and interventions aligned to the achievement of the project goal.
The generated information includes the IFP's identity and taxonomic nomenclature, socio-economic importance, ethno-botany, geographic location and ecological status, and the people's perception and felt needs for the species.
“To God be the glory,” the researchers said when asked how they feel when they received the awards, adding that they partly attributed their success to the extreme preparation before they attended the conference.