The University needs to enhance its internal capacity, systems, and culture to ensure the level of readiness and quality of delivery at 无忧传媒to respond to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution1. The University Roadmap for 2020-2023 speaks about technological advances, high-speed mobile Internet, AI and automation, big data analytics, and cloud technology. Moreover, even before the covid pandemic, online distance learning has been encouraged to include “transnational education” that CHED and the British Council actively promote.

A Center for Global Studies (CGS), located on the fifth floor of the Portal East Building, envisions Silliman at the forefront of international and online distance learning. It will help nurture international relations and build new competencies by studying cultures, economies, and politics. The Center is significant and timely in this unprecedented time, especially when online education is positioned as part of the new normal.

The Global Studies Center envisions being a hub for nurturing international relations and for creating new, globally-oriented, intra-cross-multi-inter-trans disciplinal global studies and training in cyberspace blended, hybrid, and hy-flex modalities.

The Center aims to:

  1. Offer non-curricular programs (crash courses, short courses, certificate courses) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, master classes, and life-long learning through technology-oriented flexible learning modalities.
  2. Provide ICT-enabled learning strategies to other centers & institutes in the University in extending and/or strengthening their programs
  3. Collaborate with other international professional & research organizations for global learning opportunities
  1. The Center is a facility for short continuing education or recreational learning, but on topics of general public interest and across different disciplines. It will not offer degree programs but only short courses, lectures, and seminars.
  2. The Center is an opportunity for 无忧传媒to welcome a new cohort of clients/students. The Center will serve as another source of income for the University and faculty members. Short courses and seminars offered at the Center are standalone topics, and participation is for a fee.
  3. The Center will not replace any existing specialized centers of the University. It will serve as the liaison and support to these centers to increase its reach through cyberspace. The Center will provide learning technology support to existing engagements like certificate training offered with the Silliman Association of New England (SANE) and 无忧传媒Alumni Council of North America (SUACONA) Alumni Professional Engagement Program3and other alumni and professional organizations.
  4. It will augment its action to institutionalize its initiatives towards internalization and globalization, emphasizing the new normal of teaching and learning. The Center will be an additional accreditation exhibit of Silliman’s initiatives for international partnership and linkages.
  5. The Center benefits Silliman students for their enrichment and advanced equivalent certificate courses. It will widen students’ access to Silliman education, including graduate/post-graduate students and adult learners.


The Center for Global Studies is a support unit at the University. While it will be under the supervision of the SOUL Office, an office under the Academic Affairs, its offerings (learning competencies & requirements) will be need-based, globally competitive, and may not necessarily be constrained by CHED standards. In the same manner, the qualifications of the course offerors, who are experts, may not necessarily be limited to the CHED standards. Compensation of the course offerors will be on a sharing scheme and/or per course engagement to be determined.

Figure 1. The Operational Design of the Center

The Center is managed by competent personnel who have experienced in global studies: GSC head and its administrative staff, course associate and learning systems support. The Center offers modern and up-to-date facilities and equipment. Among these includes hy-flex room, collaboration room, online delivery room, and others. The Dr. Mariano C. Lao ICI Laboratory is also located to complement the programs and services of the Center.

Figure 2. GCS Organizational Chart


Course Offering refers to non-curricular programs (including but not limited to seminars, lectures, crash courses, short courses, certificate courses, master classes, and creative performance) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, and life-long learning through technology-oriented flexible learning modality.
Topic. Course Offerings must have a global flavor. It can be of any topic with an intra-cross-multi-inter-trans-disciplinal transfer of knowledge, skills, and competencies. A topic can be a short continuing education or recreational learning, but on topics of general public interest and cross different disciplines.
Course Duration. Each course offering should be at least 2 hours. It can run up to months.
Modality. A course can be delivered in different modalities:

Modality 1: Asynchronous (self-paced, no live session, course materials will be pre-recorded)
Modality 2: Synchronous (remote learning, 100 % live online session via Zoom)
Modality 3: Hybrid (asynchronous for reading/basic understanding + synchronous for an in-depth discussion)
Modality 4: Hy-Flex (synchronous via Zoom + in-person4 at GSC)

Qualifications of Course Offerors. Course offerors at GCS must a) be SU Alumni, professors, industry practitioners, researchers, or artists, b) have international and global experience and engagement, c) have a proven track record of research publications, creativity, and productivity.

Preparation. The Course offerors must agree on the following: honorarium per hour, course title , total number of hours for the course, modality. The Course Offeror must provide a written course module with the following contents: a) course Description, learning outcomes, c) outline, d) content, e) activities, assessment, or requirements (in any form, if needed), f) references. The Course Offeror must be available for clarification during the preparation.
Ads, Honorarium, and Course Fee. A social media ad/poster will be set up for advertisement and marketing. A photo and the offeror鈥檚 short bio will be published. The honorarium of the course offeror will be released through online banking. Course offeror must provide their bank account details. Course fees can be paid via the online payment platforms5 of Silliman University.

Delivery. GSC Courses will be delivered according to the agreed modality. GSC staff will be the ones to digitize the learning resources in different formats. GCS staff will assist during the actual delivery of the course.
Evaluation and Repository. A course evaluation will be given at the end of the course. A certificate of completion (to be signed by the Offeror, VPAA, & President) will be given to those who can meet the requirements. It can be automatically downloaded from the Learning Management System. All recordings and other content will be made available on-demand. There will be a 鈥渄onation鈥 for every request to access and view the recordings.

The Center promotes globally-oriented, intra-cross-multi-inter0trans-disciplinbal global studies, training, and education in hybrid and hy-flex modalities through cyberspace. Below is the growing list of offering topics:

  • Worsening Climates, Water, and Wars
  • Before Meal is Served: The Geography and Politics of Food
  • Legit Digits: ICT, Education, and Civics
  • Faith, Science, and Society
  • Numbers Games: Mathematics and Civilizations”
  • Engineering Life: The Arts and Sciences of Engineering and Design in Human and Environmental Security
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Arts and Wars
  • Language and Society: Exploring the Power of Language and Vocabulary to Shape Human Morals and Behavior
  • Faculty Professional Development Leadership Training


Dear Alumni and Friends:
The Dr. Mariano C. Lao Global Studies Center (GSC) of 无忧传媒was launched in August 2022. The Center primarily envisions bringing Silliman to the forefront of international and online distance education. Specifically, the Center is tasked to:

  1. Promote globally-oriented, intra-cross-multi-inter-trans disciplinal global education and training in cyberspace blended, hybrid, and hy-flex modalities through the cyberplace.
  2. Offer non-curricular programs (crash courses, short courses, certificate courses) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, master classes, and life-long learning through technology-oriented flexible learning modalities.
  3. Provide ICT-enabled learning strategies to other centers & institutes in the university in extending and/or strengthening their programs
  4. Collaborate with other international professional & research organizations for global learning opportunities

The Center is an opportunity for the university to establish a new cohort of clients in cyberspace, including alumni, retirees, professionals, and other interested learners in Dumaguete or anywhere in the world. It is a 鈥渘ew business鈥 for Silliman, different from SU鈥檚 regular 鈥渞esidential鈥 learning program. However, it complements each other as an 鈥渋ncome center鈥 for Silliman. Please see the attached brochure about the Center.

In view thereof, may we invite you as Course Offeror of the Center? A course offering refers to non-curricular programs (including but not limited to seminars, lectures, crash courses, short courses, certificate courses, master classes, and creative performance) for knowledge acquisition, skills development, and life-long learning through a technology-oriented flexible learning modality.

Your expertise and commitment to Silliman鈥檚 quality education will significantly help in the success of this new endeavor.

Thank you very much.

The Mariano Lao ICI Laboratory was inaugurated last August 19, 2017. Named after its donor, the Laboratory is an idea incubation facility that seeks to inspire innovation, creation and invention among high school and college students in Silliman and the community. The ICI Laboratory is transferred to the Center to complement its the program and services. The laboratory serves as a classroom, a teaching extension facility for teachers, a service-learning facility, a learning-facility for technology-oriented clubs, a recreation room, and most importantly, a mini-incubation facility. It is an open space for research and development, capstone project, and immersion on technology-oriented activities.

The laboratory offers the following programs and services:

SU-Dr. Lao Free Computer Education for Senior Citizens, Employees and Students. The SU and Dr. Lao Free Computer Education aims to provide free computer education to Silliman and the community. Specifically, this program aims to offer need-based computer skills training for Silliman employees, Silliman students, and retirees from the community. The first batch was launched in January 2019. It was conducted every weekend, with 25 participants per category. The training is conducted every Saturday for three months. Crash courses, seminars and short-term training are also offered especially during service-learning.

Research and Capstone Grant. The Research and Capstone Grant is a competitive grant amounting to a maximum of P100,000.00 for a maximum of 2 years. It aims to stimulate new and innovative ideas with an entrepreneurial value among high school students. The laboratory envisions that grant to be a support towards serious incubation cycle. The grant will provide students an opportunity to learn and work together, develop and test new ideas, and engage in innovative and active learning.

Dr. Mariano C. Lao Creativity Camp. The Creativity Camp is a competitive scholarship among top students in the province. It is a specialized training on creativity to ignite and stimulate new and innovative ideas with an entrepreneurial value among high school and college students in the province. The training is delivered in hybrid modality. The face-to-face is conducted by experts during Saturdays. The online component is delivered using the university鈥檚 learning management system to augment the face-to-face discussions.

Dr. Mariano C. Lao Excellence in Online Teaching Award. Launched in 2021, the award recognizes SU teachers who exemplify a high standard of online teaching in Silliman University. This award is an opportunity to recognize full-time faculty of any rank for the passion and strong commitment to quality online teaching.

Raffles and Technology-oriented Competitions. The Laboratory hosted several contests and competitions to stimulate creativity such as poster designing, programming competition, video making, IT quiz bowl and the like. The laboratory continuously facilitates its gifts-giving and assistance program to several occasions such as rice assistance, Covid-10 assistance, raffle prizes, and others.

SUHS Class 1957
2016 Order of Horace Brinsmade Silliman inductee
2018 Oustanding Sillimanian Awardee
2019 Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa

Lifted from /cotw/mariano-c-lao/

As he tells it, Mariano C. Lao was an 鈥渋rrepressible juvenile鈥 who was sent to Silliman by his father. His parent was losing hope in his sixteen-year old son and warned him that it was his last chance to change his ways; otherwise, he would be condemned to a life of minding their sari-sari store in Catbalogan, Samar.

Life in a Silliman dormitory with its strict rules and discipline proved difficult for young Mariano. He enjoyed the extra-curricular weight-lifting class of eminent ornithologist Prof. Dioscoro Rabor, but his grades were failing. Forced to leave the dorm in his junior year, he was taken in by the faculty couple, biologists Dioscoro and Lina Rabor. In the Rabor home, Mr. Lao learned to develop patience and respect for others in interpersonal relationships. He also built up his self-discipline and self-pride when he joined Prof. Rabor鈥檚 field expeditions to collect specimens for science.

Mr. Lao obtained his high school diploma in 1957, but his sense of achievement was dashed when a big fire in Catbalogan completely burned down everything his family owned. As the eldest of seven siblings, Mr. Lao felt it was his responsibility to help his family recover from their misfortune. With only eighteen pesos in his pocket, he stowed away on a ship bound for Manila where he hoped to find employment.

The first job he found was at a construction supply store which he said was marked by hunger, abuse, and insults and taking turns with co-workers in sleeping because sleeping facilities were not enough. He then worked at odd jobs in Manila including a difficult stint as a door-to-door salesman when people slammed doors in his face, and yelled insults at him for bothering them. He refused to be daunted and sometimes found comfort in the words of the Silliman Song: 鈥淎nd the faith and truth she gave us will remain our guiding star.鈥

In time, his patience and perseverance paid off and he began to reap success in selling household items such as refrigerators, fans, and radios. He realized that he had a talent for selling which would help him gain a better life. By hard work, determination, and perseverance he became the top salesman of Atlantic Pulp and Paper Corp. in a few months so that his employer offered him the position of Sales Manager. He graciously turned it down because he had his own plans that included having his own business. Proctor and Gamble also hired him and valued his success in sales.

In the late 1960鈥檚 he started a modest packaging venture which slowly evolved into a lucrative export business. He founded the Stampak Group of Companies with himself as Chairman. Stampak became the country鈥檚 largest exporter of rattan furniture and accessories, a full handicraft line, with linkages to hundreds of suppliers. Through Stampak, Philippine products reached major international retailers in the U.S. (Walmart and Target), Italy (La Renacente), France (Galaries Lafeyete), Spain (El Corte Ingles) and Germany (Karstadt and Kaufhaf). Twenty-three years after it was established, Sstampak received the Golden Shell Award, the highest award conferred by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Citem for pioneering in the export of Philippine handicrafts to the European market.

A caring employer, Mr. Lao has helped many families over the years, providing meaningful long-term employment for breadwinners. Mr. Lao鈥檚 other interests include an appreciation for culture and the arts; he has built a notable art collection that he shares with the public through museum loans and as gifts to institutions.

Mr. Lao returned to Silliman in 2007 to attend the 50th anniversary of his high school graduation, thus starting yearly visits to his alma mater. In 2010 he created a scholarship foundation for High School students from poor families who demonstrate exemplary intelligence and effort in their studies. Starting in 2010 and every year thereafter until 2035, scholarships would be awarded to eight student scholars. The scholarship fund, previously named after his former benefactor Mrs. Lina F. Rabor, is known today as the Mariano and Lina Lao Scholarship (Lina being also the name of his wife). Some of his scholars have completed their college studies and are now licensed professionals.

Other significant donations of Mr. Lao in 2017 are the Mariano and Lina Lao Activity Center, a two-storey structure for extra-curricular activities, and the Mariano Lao Technology Laboratory for Innovation, Creation, and Inventions (ICI) on the High School campus.

Mariano C. Lao, the irrepressible juvenile who was born 83 years ago in Amoy, China but grew up in the Philippines, has been inducted to the Order of Horace Brinsmade Silliman (OHBS), the highest public recognition and expression of gratitude that the University confers on its donors and gift givers who follow the determined spirit of generosity of the man after whom the University is named.