Janelle Micaela S. Panganiban from ICA Batch 2014, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the New York University - Immaculate Conception Academy
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Janelle Micaela S. Panganiban from ICA Batch 2014, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the New York University

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Janelle (center) is joined by her proud parents Rep. Jose T. Panganiban, Jr. (left) and Mayor Lourdes S. Panganiban (right)


Janelle Micaela S. Panganiban graduated summa cum laude last week from the New York University with three majors: Global Public Health, Public Policy, Sociology (Honors).

Panganiban received the prestigious Alexander L. Shluger Award for Excellence in Sociology. This is awarded to a senior student who has majored in sociology and who has excelled in his or her study of this subject. She was likewise a consistent Dean’s Lister and a Founders Day Awardee of her graduating class.

She is a member of the Gaddang indigenous group from Isabela.

With her achievements, Panganiban said that, “As a Filipino, I feel like I have the obligation to bring all of these back to the Philippines and at the same time, as a descendant of the Gaddangs, I find myself impassioned for indigenous resurgence as a step to combat the long and embedded history of colonization.”

CAMP-College Admissions Mentors for Peers

She got to the universities of her choice with help from CAMP (College Admissions Mentors for Peers) Philippines, an organization that provides and expands international education opportunities for young Filipinos.

 Three former Filipino scholars at the International School Manila – Michi Ferreol (Harvard College ‘15), Kimi Rodriguez (NYU Abu Dhabi ‘15) and Kaye Kagaoan (Hamilton College ‘15) – started CAMP in May 2012 to bridge the international education resource gap between international school students and local school students.

 Panganiban began her overseas journey when she left Manila in 2014 to be part of the respective colleges’ Class of 2018. Little did she know, she would be graduating with the highest honors a week apart four years later.

 “I didn’t feel like I did anything extraordinary. I was just studying what I loved studying. It was less for me and more for my family who was more excited than I was,” Panganiban told the Asian Journal in an interview a few days after her graduation.

“I was passionate about getting out of the bubble and I realized all the new ideas that were out there. I learned to love learning,” she added.

Panganiban finished secondary school at ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) in Greenhills. While still there, she saw a number of ICA graduates who went outside the country to pursue their college education. It was also there that she met some members of CAMP.

“That’s where it started. They were teaching high school students how to study abroad and they gave tips about applying. I heard their experiences and I wanted to experience that as well,” Panganiban shared.


Panganiban said she chose NYU specifically because she has family members in Long Island, New York and also in New Jersey.

“It was easier to settle and I knew that NYU is a global university and there was something in me that was itching and wanting to really explore the world and look what’s out there,” she shared. “And also, it’s not a closed campus so it made New York the campus.”

And after four years at NYU, she gained experience enough for her to be able to give advice to Filipino students who might be thinking of studying abroad as well.

“Remain curious, step out of your comfort zone, and engage in conversation. In our world that’s growing more and more divided, I still have hope that we can find ways to transcend our differences,” she said.

Panganiban is the daughter Representative Jose T. Panganiban, Jr. of ANAC-IP Party list and Mayor Lourdes S. Panganiban of Angadangan, Isabela.

Panganiban will be one of the awardees in the 6th Annual Philippine Graduation (PGRAD) at the Philippine Center. PGRAD, which is slated to happen on June 9, is a flagship project of the Philippine Consulate General in New York, in cooperation with UniPro.


Article from Asian Journal

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