AUP Hosts the 8th WLE International Conference
The Adventist University of the Philippines hosted the 8th International Women Leading Education Across Continents (WLE) Conference in collaboration with various organizations, including the Asian Qualitative Research Association (AQRA), the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Adventist Human-Subject Research Association-Asia (AHSRA), American Association of School Administrators (AASA), University of Nottingham, and British Educational Leadership, Management and Administrative Society (BELMAS). The conference was attended by 68 delegates: 43 international delegates, 6 international guests, and 19 local delegates. This conference took place from July 23-27, 2023, at the Hotel Dominique Tagaytay in the Philippines.
The Women Leading Education Across Continents is a group of women from different parts of the world. With its mission to inspire women to educate and empower individuals and communities to bring about positive change, WLE is a group participated in by women and men who are zealous about studies on women. This was the first time that a WLE conference was held in Asia. Previous WLE conferences were held in Rome, Greece, Ghana, Germany, New Zealand, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
The research conference centered on the theme “Diyosang Mandirigma (Goddess Warrior)” embodying the qualities of the Filipino woman. The conference sessions were organized according to the following sub-themes: “Women in Educational Leadership,” “Awareness and Empowerment,” “The Status of Women in Society Session Moderator,” “Work-Life Interface for Women Session,” “The Complexities of Leadership in Women’s Lives,” “Resilience of Women in the Workplace,” and “Challenges of Women in Educational Leadership.”
To highlight the theme “Diyosang Mandirigma,” which was inspired by the examples of Maria Makiling and Gabriela Silang, Arceli Rosario, Carthy Joy Aguillon, and Carol Keith Garma presented their research, “Unraveling the Mystique: Exploration of the Conceptualizations of Mariang Makiling as a Woman.” Recognizing the complexities of women leadership, Maureen Mariñas presented a hermeneutic phenomenological study on the “Work-Life Balance of Women University Presidents.” Eunice Aclan and Kathleen Flores presented a narrative inquiry study on “Thelma Savedia Pallasa, a Dedicated Educator, Adventist Education Advocate, and Exemplary Philanthropist.” Eunice Aclan presented another study on the session of racism and violence against women titled “Modern Gabriela Silang: A Social Constructivist Qualitative Case Study.”
The WLE delegates experienced a cultural tour at Villa Escudero on the first day and a concert rendered by the Philippine Meistersingers at the University’s Siew Huy Memorial Atrium, College of Medicine on the second day, and dinners at the Farmer’s Table on the third day and at Taal Vista Hotel on the last day.
The organizing team received some comments:
“I cannot thank you enough for all the hard work you all have put into making this 2023 WLE gathering so beautiful and meaningful. I can’t even fully imagine how many hours it took to produce such a labor of love. This week has been filled with so many nice touches, from the parting gift bags to the leis when we first began, and countless others.”
“The greatest round of applause for you and your most outstanding team, who have worked so hard to make the conference a big success. I am always inspired to be a part of such a group. I will be traveling back with lots of beautiful memories and a treasure of knowledge to share.”
“I have nothing but love for you wonderful women and men. I want to come back and conduct research here to learn more about your schools and education. Your hospitality and warm heart has been a life-changing event for me. I truly loved my time here and the cultural events you exposed us to.”
“I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the care, warmth, love, and leadership you provided us as Women. I salute you for your leadership, and your scholarship demeanor, which brought all the women’s wisdom together for a good purpose. May this multiply and be a seed to be planted not only to these current women but also to future generations.”
“Thank you for all of your time, effort, and love put into organizing and carrying out the 8th WLE conference. While this may have been the first WLE in Asia, you’ve all set the bar high for others. I hope we all have the opportunity to meet again.”