UP Mindanao produces first Summa Cum Laude grad

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 June) – The University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin) will have its first Summa Cum Laude graduate on Friday.

Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo, 22, a Food Technology major, Summa Cum Laude, scored a cumulative weighted average grade of 1.1971, the highest record in the university since its establishment in 1995,  a press release issued by the Ad Hoc Committee for the 2019 Commencement Exercises said.

Estudillo will lead 352 candidates for graduation at UPMin’s 22nd Commencement Exercises on Friday morning, June 21 at the University Atrium, UP Mindanao Administration Building in Mintal this city.

Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo, UP Mindanao’s first Summa Cum Laude graduate. Photo courtesy of UP Mindanao

Aside from Estudillo, 93 others are graduating with honors: 13Magna Cum Laude and 80 Cum Laude.

The graduation rites will be preceded by the Investiture Ceremony for the 5th Chancellor of the university, Prof. Larry Digal, Ph.D.

“The degree approval and conferment will be done by the newly invested Chancellor,” Julius Neil Piala, Instructor at the Department of Humanities’ BA Communication and Media Arts program, told MindaNews on Tuesday. Piala is a member of the Web streaming, Publicity, and Documentation Sub-Committee of the Ad Hoc Committee for the 2019 Commencement Exercises & Investiture of the 5th Chancellor.

Born and raised in Davao City, Estudillo, a resident of Toril district, was Valedictorian when she finished High School at the International Christian School of Davao in 2014.

The Ad Hoc Committee’s press release quoted Estudillo as saying that being a Summa graduate is “just a bonus” and is “really not form me.”

“It’s for UPMin,” she said.

Meet Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo, 1st Summa Cum Laude to graduate from UP Mindanao

Estudillo said she did not think of receiving the highest grade in her
courses when she got admitted to UP, describing the UP College Admissions Test (UPCAT) as “the hardest exam in the Philippines.”

Passing her subjects would be enough, she said.

It was only in third year college when Estudillo realized she could graduate Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude because of her high grades since first year.

But whether or not she would make it to the highest honors, “I’m just happy that l learned a lot from here.”

Estudillo’s thesis, “Antioxidant and Anticancer Potential of Artocarpus Fruit Wastes,” looked at possible ways to lessen fruit wastes generated every year by converting its peels, seeds, and cores into functional foods.

Estudillo will present her study to the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute in July. She hopes her study will help address food wastage and health-related problems in the Philippines.

Estudillo spent a semester in the University of Tsukuba in Japan from October 2017 to February 2018 as an exchange student with courses in the Food Science and Technology Discipline under the Trans-ASEAN Global Agenda Education (TAG) – AIMS program.

Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo does not only excel in academics, she is also active in various organizations. Photo courtesy of UP Mindanao

While excelling in academics, Estudillo was also active in extracurricular activities, as a member and officer of organizations such as he Rotaract Club of UPMin, UPMin Koro Kantahanay, PSALM Ministry of UPMin, For the Unity and Solidarity of Every Student in UP (FUSE UP), and Let’s Do It Philippines Youth – Davao. (MindaNews)