The Asian Institute of Management’s Stephen Zuellig School of Development Management (SZSDM) conducted its Recognition Ceremony honoring the school’s Master in Development Management (MDM) and Executive Master in Disaster Risk and Crisis Management (EMDRCM) scholars, dean’s listers, and student officers on Monday, 13 February 2023 at the Aboitiz Tech Space inside the Institute’s main building.   

AIM’s President and Dean Jikyeong Kang opened the ceremony with a cheerful spiel about leadership. She was pleasantly surprised by the cohort’s students as she noted that females were the majority in the audience. She explained that the two programs normally have a male majority and that she’s pleased to see more women in attendance. She also took the opportunity to emphasize education and the role it plays in shaping future change leaders.  

After her talk, she gave the stage to the Principal Financing Partnership Specialist of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Hiroki Kasahara, to give a brief background on the ADB-Japan Scholarship Program, as well as to thank the Institute for its continued support. Among the MDM and EMDRCM students present were recipients of the ADB-Japan Scholarship which shoulders 100% of the cost of their program fee.  

Following this, the ceremony proceeded to award two special EMDRCM students the Vinod Thomas Scholarship. Presented personally by a Distinguished Fellow in Development Management, Professor Vinod Thomas, the scholarship awards students a significant percentage off their program fee. This generous offer was given to Ms. Anna Liza Gaspar, a Researcher for ThinkPlace Global, an Australian consulting firm that does studies on SDGs, and to Ms. Christine De Siree Jodloman, the Director of Community Development Programs at the Agrea Foundation. The two were chosen for their academic merit, professional achievements, and the application of their resilience action plan during the course of the program. 

Capping off the ceremony, the student officers took part in an oathtaking pledge led by SZSDM School Manager Macoy Rubio. Class officers from both the MDM 2023 and EMDRCM 2024A cohorts raised their right hands and pledged to uphold the responsibilities bestowed upon them by their fellow students. After the pledge, Professor Olivier Roche, School Head of SZSDM, gave his closing remarks underlining the importance of going the extra mile to excel and become successful leaders in the future.