L-R: Universitas Officers Mr. Dardecs Villanueva, Atty. Oliver Tuazon, and Mr. Gregg Tolentino before the New York Skyline

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT— International linkages and interdisciplinary research are two key priority areas of Universitas Foundation in its effort to form principled leaders. In line with those thrusts, a few officers of the foundation who are in the United States for a couple of summer courses spent their free time meeting prospective partners.

The President & CEO of Universitas, Atty. Oliver M. Tuazon and its Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Dardecs N. Villanueva will be attending a course on the Moral Foundations of Law organized by Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. Apart from this, the Executive Director for the Universitas Fellows Program, Gregg C. Tolentino, will be attending a course on Capital and the Good Life organized by Abigail Adams Institute to be held at the Cambridge campus of Harvard University.

Oliver, Dardecs and Gregg arrived in New York in the afternoon of 23 July 2018 to meet with prospective partner institutes in the city that never sleeps and to jumpstart a research group to be led by doctors working the New York and New Haven.

Within a couple of hours after arrival in New York, they met the Director of Operations of Morning Side Institute, Mr. Sergio Leos, for a possible partnership with Universitas Foundation. Sergio explained to the group that their institute was named in honor of the area where Columbia University and their principal office are located, which is called “morning side”. Their institute aims to help students integrate the beauty of culture in New York City with their search for truth in the intellectual life.

The next day, they met the President of World Youth Alliance (WYA), Mr. Lord Pomperada, who welcomed them in their New York headquarters. Mr. Pomperada explained the history, aims and program of WYA to the three, and toured them around their townhouse residence cum office. He explained in detail their internship program where Universitas could send its prospective fellows, who are required to undergo either an international internship or seminar to qualify as a fellow (read more about Universitas Fellows Program).

With the President of WYA, Mr. Lord Pomperada

To complete the institutional visits, they met the Executive Director of Elm Institute at New Haven, Mr. Patrick Hough and it’s Senior Fellow and Program Director for Ethics, Finance and Economics, Dr. Peter Wicks. They were accompanied my Dr. Angelo Porciuncula, who works at the Yale University School of Medicine and who was a former Student Convenor of the Universitas Youth Conference.

L-R: Peter Wicks, Patrick Hough, Oliver Tuazon, Gregg Tolentino, and Dardecs Villanueva at Elm Institute

Dr. Porciuncula will be leading the science, law and ethics research group of Universitas. He currently works on cancer research in Yale, after previously working at the New York University (NYU). Together with him in the group are two medical doctors working in New York, Dr. Miguel Litao, a neurologist at NYU, and Dr. John Rhee of Mt. Sinai. The three of them met with Atty. Tuazon, who completed a masters degree in microbiology prior to his law degree, and who will help handle the intertwining among science, law and ethics in discussing contemporary issues affecting society and to which young leaders are expected to make an informed and rational stand, as espoused by Universitas.

With Dr Angelo Porciuncula in front of the legendary Yale library.

L-R: Dr. Miguel Litao of NYU, Atty. Tuazon, Dr. John Rhee of Mt. Sinai, Dardecs Villanueva, Gregg Tolentino, Sergio Leos of Morning Side and Dr. Angelo Porciuncula of Yale.

The said officers also met individuals in New York who could potentially help Universitas. They had lunch with Mrs. Elizabeth Fields who works at the headquarters of the United Nations, and snack with Atty. Ferdinand Suba, who has been a law practitioner in New York for the past 29 years. They also met Dr. Dustin Macolor, who holds a doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and works in a hospital in New York.

With Mrs. Elizabeth Fields at the United Nations headquarters.

With Atty Ferdinand Suba

The trip of the said officers has four more legs, in Washington DC, Princeton, Boston-Cambridge and the Bay Area in California, which will be subject of separate articles to be published in this site. They also hope to meet potential donors in these areas who are willing to support projects that form principled leaders. They may be reached while in the US at ‎+1 (443) 917-8766 or via email at ceo@universitas.ph.

NOTA BENE: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and the speakers mentioned in the article, and not necessarily to the Foundation.

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