Sunday, December 21, 2008

Organizational Profile: The UPLB Genetics Society

The UPLB Genetics Society, also known as the UPLB GeneSoc, is an academic organization that was established in 1983, pioneered by 23 Biology and Agriculture majors. Through the years, the organization has strived to promote and create awareness about the science of Genetics in the country; to facilitate the interaction between the faculty and members of the organization; and to give each member an opportunity to discuss trends, activities and ideas in Genetics and its related fields. For the past years, the UPLB GeneSoc regularly sponsors activities including the regular BIO 30 Tutorials, annual BIO 30 InterLab Quiz Contest, IQlympics General Info-IQ Quiz Contest, the annual Genetics Week and Genetics Camp. Aside from these academic ventures, the organization has been holding outreach programs in different communities; and have been participating to athletic events within the college.


Objectives 
  • To promote and create awareness about the science of Genetics in the Philippines; 
  • To facilitate the interaction between the faculty and the members of the organization; 
  • To function as a study group for students interested in Genetics and its related fields in the University; and 
  • To give each member an opportunity to discuss trends, activities, and ideas in Genetics, and its related sciences.





History

It was December 20, 1983 when The UPLB Genetics Society came into history. It was pioneered by 23 Biology and Agriculture majors, headed by Paulino Daniel Cepeda. Through the years, the organization has strived in promoting and creating awareness about the science of Genetics in the Philippines, in facilitating the interaction between the faculty and the members of the organization, in functioning as a study group interested in Genetics and its related fields in the University and in giving each member an opportunity to discuss trends, activities and ideas in Genetics and its related sciences.

Pursuing the goal of promoting academic excellence, the organization sponsors the BIO 30 tutorials every semester to provide supplementary lectures for students taking the Genetics course. The society also developed a reputation as a force in campus quiz contest with the BIO 30 Interlab Quiz Contest held during the first semester and the IQlympics on the second semester. These two quiz contests are participated by students as well as other organizations in the university. More so, as a way of celebrating trends and frontiers in Genetics, The UPLB Genetics Society yearly holds the Genetics Week, which was started in 1986. It features an exhibit, the IQlympics quiz contest, a symposia and Open Tambayan that encourages and invites audience both within and outside academic premises.

The UPLB Genetics Society is also known to have sponsored the first National Genetics Symposium in 1990. This was held again in 1992 and 1994. The event became the forerunner of the Philippine Society for the Advancement of Genetics (PhilSAGen) - the organization of leading professionals related to the science of Genetics in the Philippines. In 1996, the PhilSAGen took over the sponsorship of the symposium. Two years later, GeneSoc sponsored the 1st Luzon Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest which was participated by twelve universities. In 2006, the society launched the Genetics Camp (GenCamp), a 2-day activity for high school students and faculty. The camp, which replaced the Inter-Collegiate Quiz Contes, initially catered to students from Los Baños  and its vicinity. GeneSoc eventually achieved a Luzon-wide coverage in the 2008 Genetics Camp offering.

Aside from these academic activities, the organization has been participating to athletic events in the campus. The society also holds advocacy and outreach programs to the community like medical missions in rural areas. In 2007, the organization initiated the Hope Intervention Outreach Program: One Gene, One Child which caters to the special children  of the Hope Intervention Center in Calamba, Laguna. The following year (2008), GeneSoc started another advocacy program that was grounded on the importance and capacity of the youth in promulgating change in society. After being handpicked by Dr. Carmencita Padilla, former director of the Institute of  Human Genetics of the National Institutes of Health - UP Manila , GeneSoc accepted the challenge to take the lead on building a youth leaders network that will promote awareness on folic acid supplementation, rare disorders and newborn screening. Together with technical partners from IHG-NIH and DOH, the endeavor materialized as the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health of the Philippines last July 2009.

With endless dedication and perseverance, The UPLB Genetics Society had, and will continue to live up to the dream, pursue its commitment for excellence and service, take bolder steps and even exceed its limits.