August 7th was another ordinary day for Resti Tito Villarino until he received the call about his North American trip next year, as he qualified for the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchange for Development (SEED) Program.
“I never expected to receive this scholarship. I even thought that it will be cancelled because of the pandemic,” said the CTU Moalboal instructor who lodged his application in February of this year.
Villarino, who is leaving in January of 2021 for winter semester, is expected to work on his research titled “Mental Health Awareness and Well-being Development Program for College Students,”with his adviser in Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) for six months, from January through June.
“The main purpose of the study is for it to serve as a channel in echoing the Mental Health Act of 2018 by introducing culture-based mental health awareness and well-being development program that will help students become holistic, functional and contributing members of society,” he added.
His direction is anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030. Specifically, under 3.4, it seeks to “reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being” (www.un.org).
To date, he is the fourth member in the list of CTU Canada-ASEAN SEED scholars, two of whom are from CTU Tuburan and CTU Main, who left for Canada early this year, while the other one is from CTU Barili who had to finish a research engagement in Taiwan before he could benefit from the present grant.
Canada-ASEAN SEED program provides short-term exchange opportunities to students from ASEAN member states and aims to reduce poverty as successful applicants,like Villarino, immerse into innovative ideas in post-secondary institutions.
Furthermore, he revealed that the scholarship will help him enhance his research capabilities and for the most part “strengthen the research culture of CTU.” Fenina Margallo/ICPA Moalboal