Inquirer scholars in UP graduate with top honors | Inquirer News
80 grant recipients since 1993

Inquirer scholars in UP graduate with top honors

/ 05:34 AM July 30, 2023

Inquirer scholars in UP graduate with top honors

CLASS ACTS | Inquirer scholars Gabryelle Dumalag, Renz Joshua Palalimpa, and Luisa Angela Serna Sandoval at their July 27, 2023, graduation rites at University of the Philippines Diliman, with Inquirer Foundation executive director and Philippine Daily Inquirer assistant vice president for corporate affairs Connie Kalagayan. (Photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — All three journalism students who received Inquirer scholarships last year graduated with distinction from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman on Thursday — two of them finishing magna cum laude and the third summa cum laude.

Renz Joshua Palalimpa, Luisa Angela Serna Sandoval, and Gabryelle Dumalag made up the latest batch selected for the Inquirer scholarship program, which has supported a total of 80 recipients since its launch in 1993.


As members of Class 2023 of the UP College of Mass Communication, Sandoval and Dumalag finished magna cum laude, while Palalimpa made it as one of the college’s 10 summa cum laude graduates.


Palalimpa, who served as editor-in-chief of the college publication Tinig ng Plaridel, also earned the Best Thesis award for his thesis titled “The Robot Fact-checker: Prospects and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence Use for Fact-Checking in Online Philippine Newsrooms.”

Palalimpa, whose parents run a small sari-sari store, recalled how the grant enabled him to “simply focus on studying instead of figuring out how to survive the bills.”

“I’m really grateful to the Inquirer, to my family and friends because, despite the many challenges from the past years, I got here thanks to the kindness of other people,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the July 27 graduation rites held at Cine Adarna on the UP Diliman campus.

Earning trust

“It’s been two years since we shifted to online learning because of the pandemic,” said Sandoval. “But seeing what happened today I feel a great sense of relief that despite everything that’s happened, we made it to the finish line together.”

Being chosen as an Inquirer scholar, Dumalag said, “really boosted our morale; the fact that a renowned media organization trusted us and our abilities even though we were just students.”

As they set their sights on a career in media, Dumalag and Sandoval said they would like to have an opportunity to do stories on human rights, with a focus on women, children, and social justice.


As for Palalimpa, whose thesis tackled the use of artificial intelligence in fact-checking, health, and science journalism appeals as an early choice since he would like to report on “problems that require scientific solutions’’ and bring important “scientific developments closer to the Filipino.”

Opening doors

At Thursday’s program, the three graduates also received certificates of excellence, as well as graduation gifts, from Inquirer Foundation executive director and assistant vice president for corporate affairs Connie Kalagayan.

The one-year scholarship grant includes a monthly stipend, allowances (for books, school supplies, telco, and internet services), an Inquirer internship, and an opportunity for employment in the company within six months after graduation.

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“We open doors and opportunities as we immediately hire them to become part of the Inquirer editorial team. I congratulate our new batch of scholars who I believe will have a bright and successful future just like all the other Inquirer scholars that came before them,” Kalagayan said.


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TAGS: Inquirer scholars, UP College of Mass Communications

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