DR. BELINDA A. AQUINO, a professor at the University of Hawaii and contributor of commentary to the Inquirer, has been given two distinguished awards by the University of the Philippines and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
She will receive the 2008 UP Alumni Association Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award on June 21 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City during the UPAA grand alumni-faculty homecoming and reunion. Two other distinguished awardees are Supreme Court Justice Leonor Ines Luciano and Nati Crame Rogers. Chief Justice Reynato Puno will receive the Most Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Aquino is also the 2008 recipient of the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award for Faculty Service to the Community at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The annual award ?recognizes an outstanding faculty member who has made significant contributions that strengthen ties between the community and university.?
The award committee selected Aquino for her work in Hawaii and as ?a constant, competent and reliable source of information, advice and analysis on vital issues of concern to the community, including immigration, human rights, labor and employment, higher education, Philippine-American relations, women and minorities, Mindanao and Philippine history, culture and society to several diverse groups in the community.?
She was also appointed by the governor of Hawaii a commissioner in the statewide Commission on the Hawaii Filipino Centennial in 2006 and has received a special commendation from the Hawaii state legislature.
Aquino will receive a $5,000 monetary gift from the University of Hawaii Foundation and will be recognized at a formal ceremony on Sept. 9.
Aquino has been connected with the University of Hawaii at Manoa for the past 33 years as a professor of Political Science and Asian Studies and as founding director of the Center for Philippine Studies, the only such institution internationally.
She has been Visiting Professor at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Visiting Scholar at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan; Visiting Research Fellow at Singapore?s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, and lecturer in various universities in Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. An internationally recognized authority on contemporary Philippine politics and society, she is the author of numerous publications including ?Politics of Plunder: The Philippines Under Marcos,? which has been translated into Japanese.
In 1989-91, she was vice president for public affairs of UP during the presidency of Dr. Jose V. Abueva. She was in charge of the alumni and information programs of UP and represented the university at various international conferences in US and Asia. Before going to Hawaii, she was a faculty member at the UP College of Public Administration, now the National College of Public Administration and Governance.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English degree from UP, her MA in Political Science at the University of Hawaii as an East-West Center scholar, and her Ph.D. in Political Science and Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University as a Ford Foundation Fellow.