Arrupe’s loss is OSA’s gain. Or, at least, it would seemingly appear that way. But fortunately for the formation cluster under the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO), the appointment of Ms. Theresa Salaver-Eliab (or simply, Ma’am Bimbay, to her Arrupe Office of Social Formation family) as the new director of the Office of Students Affairs (OSA) could be rightly called a win-win situation since she will be working closely with the ISFO, the Arrupe Office and the Center for Leadership in the formation and promotion of ADDU leaders sui generis. The appointment was announced on Monday, 1st October 2012, through a memo issued by the University President, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, after the Search Committee for the new OSA director concluded its work.
For the past thirteen years, Ma’am Bimbay has worked in the Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), the erstwhile name of the Arrupe Office, in the formation of student leaders and student volunteers. As the hitherto Program Coordinator of SICO’s Student Servant Leadership Program (SSLP), she is primarily responsible for laying the groundwork in the formation of SICO’s corps of student volunteers known as the SICO Vols, majority of whom hold leadership positions in the SAMAHAN Central Board and other student organizations classified under the socio-civic clubs. Her work in SSLP also includes planning, organizing, coordinating and providing venues for extensive community immersion of the yearly batches of SICO Vols undergoing the Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP). Her dedication in the work of student formation is bolstered by her commitment serving as one of the pool of faculty guides in the First Year Development Program (FYDP), as well as a faculty in the National Service Training Program / Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP / CWTS) for the past ten years. Ma’am Bimbay served as the director of SICO from 2007-2008, and also functioned as its program coordinator for CWTS from 2002-2006.
Steeped in Ignatian Spirituality through years of training as Jesuit lay collaborator, Ma’am Bimbay was a former coordinator of the charismatic Catholic youth group, the Lingkod ng Panginoon. She was sent to Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2009 for the Service Learning Program (SLP) of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific region, hosted by Sanata Dharma University. In 2010, she was a grantee of the Global Exchange Program―a volunteer exchange program that works for the youth―and was given an extensive exposure in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Ma’am Bimbay’s exposure in SICO-Arrupe gave her opportunities to engage in advocacies ranging from anti-corruption, good governance (through her involvement in the Ehem! Anticorruption Movement, Bantay Lansangan and Check-my-School), faith-based community action, peace-building, relief operations, disaster-preparedness and other social justice issues. Moreover, she is honed in community development and community organizing work as a former program officer of the Southern Mindanao Agricultural Program (SMAP), a nongovernment organization that focuses on crop and livestock integration, community empowerment and social entrepreneurship. This City High School and Ateneo de Davao alumnae brings her experiences both in the academe and beyond in her new post as the incoming OSA director commencing the 1st of November 2012.
With prayers and well wishes, the Arrupe Office bids Ma’am Bimbay farewell from the comfort of what was home for her for thirteen long years, but is comforted in the thought that it has gained a partner and an ally in the challenging work of social formation as demanded by the call of the times, and as articulated in the university’s newly rearticulated vision and mission. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)