WMSU Vice President for Research Extension Services and External Linkages (RESEL) Dr. Roberto B. Torres has retired from government service last May 13, 2016.
Dr. Torres was initially part of the Non-Formal Education (NFE) now known as the Department of Extension Services and Community Development (DESCD). As a passionate man of art, his main role is to handle fashion designing and modeling.
Being a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Education major in Biology, he then joined the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) as a faculty member. He was assigned by then president Dr. Fernando to be the Special Assistant for Socio-Culture and the Arts and was responsible for all the programs related to the culture and the arts under the Office of the President.
He was designated as the Director for Alumni Affairs which according to Dr. Torres was a big task and served for ten years. Thereafter he was assigned to be the first Director for the Office of the Culture Theater and the Arts (OCTA). He was OCTA Director for twelve years before being appointed by WMSU Prexy Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) for Research Development and Extension (RDE). When the revised university code was approved by the Board of Regents in 2013, Dr. Torres assumed the position as VP for RESEL up to his retirement.
Dr. Torres believes that his biggest achievement in the academe is succeeding in the implementation of the extension program. “Before, our faculty and the people in the university only know that extension is about cleaning the street, going to community service or conducting love drives. These are not considered as extension services,” he said. “Now, I am very happy that our constituents have already understood that Extension Program is in helping build a community from what they are and where they will be in the future, building up in terms of governance, livelihood, family relationship and in terms of environmental development,” he added.
When asked about the things that he will miss upon retirement, Sir Bert said that he will miss coming to school and the people he had worked with, especially the different directors who assisted him in implementing the different programs under RESEL. He also mentioned that he will definitely miss President Ho and will miss accompanying her in social activities.
Fondly called as Sir Bert, he is generally described by people around him as generousand nurturing as a friend. Regional Science Training Center Director Dr. Araceli Lim who is part of Sir Bert’s circle of friends called F4, described him as nurturing because despite his busy schedule, he still takes time to meet friends over coffee or lunch.
He is more of a friend than a superior to those who have worked with him. He is a good adviser and a counselor to those who seek advice especially with personal concerns. “I’d like to impart to them that in anything they do they always think positive. To be positive is to achieve a goal. I always remind them to be always positive because whatever they want and whatever they dream for, being positive is easy for them to attain their goals,” he said.
Now that he is free from academic duties and responsibilities, Dr. Torres plans to pursue his business in fashion designing, write more books and continue his chabacano advocacy by authoring books in chabacano. He may have reached the age for retirement but surely he is still full of vigor and enthusiasm to continue his passion.