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Keeping the Fire Burning: UST Nursing Education to Go Global

By: Michelle Angelique O. Parreňas

The University of Santo Tomas College of Nursing (UST CON) welcomed its 65th year of existence with its annual Benavides Lecture held last January 24 at the Medicine Auditorium.

With the theme, Nursing at 65: Calibrating the Standards of Excellence, the symposium centered on the advancement of the student nurses’ learning experiences throughout the years. Spearheaded and hosted by UST CON Secretary Ma. Cherry G. Tanodra, the event started with an invocation led by Julius Alvendia (II-1) followed by the singing of the national anthem by the Nursing Chorale. Rev. Fr. Julius Paul C. Factora, college regent, then delivered his opening remarks after which the guest speaker was introduced. For this year’s Benavides Lecture, Dr. Divina Gracia Sanchez-Grossman flew all the way from the United States to speak before the junior and seniors students of the college. Dr. Grossman, a proud alumna of the UST-CoN, works as the Vice President for Engagement at Florida International University (FIU) in the present.
Being a graduate of the college, Dr. Grossman knew by heart the culture of excellence upheld by the UST CON with its solid curriculum. “With its strong grounding in humanities and sciences and with its distinctive, rigorous and challenging curriculum, UST Nursing is a good place in inculcating the seed of excellence, allowing it to germinate and flourishes it into becoming a full blown tree,” she acclaimed.

Furthermore, she tackled the importance of student advocacy, activism and leadership in solving the country’s top health problems. She took time to emphasize that these health problems could be prevented through the nurses’ efforts in the community.

The highlight of the talk was Dr. Grossman’s proposal of developing a partnership between UST CON and FIU wherein student nurses of both institutions could discuss various cultural issues and learning experiences through the use of technology.

To sum it all up, here are Dr. Grossman’s key plans for the future:


  1. Assemble and align the resources of UST, in collaboration with the UST Alumni and the World Health Organization (WHO), to the health and well-being of underserved community
  2. Build a news program of communication engagement and health education through a three-way partnership
  3. Collaborate in developing a doctorate program in philosophy (PhD) integrated triad
  4. Incorporate curricular context and public policy

Refreshing the crowd were Philip Lorena (III-6) and Maricris Elopre (III-4) who rendered a song medley.

Thereafter, the panel of reactors composed of Dean Imelda Javier from the University of Perpetual Help in Las Pinas, Asst. Prof Mila Llanes and NCBS Vice President Nielson Dane Gustilo shared some reactions and insights from Dr. Grossman’s speech. The floor was also opened to entertain questions and comments from the audience.

With the torch passed to the next generation of nurses, she ended the event with the statement, “Together, let us help change the world by beginning with the end in mind and by making small steps to success.

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