Nathalie Tanquerido: Leading with Heart and Vision

By Herman Lagon

As the sun set on May 30, the University Library at Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) buzzed with anticipation.

Nathalie Jade G. Tanquerido, the newly elected President of the Federated Student Council and incoming Student Regent for the academic year 2024-2025, shared her thoughts and aspirations in an interview that revealed the heart and mind of a promising young leader.

Rising to Leadership

Elected on May 28 in a competitive process at the Main Campus-Tiwi Site, facilitated by the Office of Student Affairs and Services (OSAS), Nathalie is set to take over from Student Regent Jose Eugene Salazar. Salazar leaves a legacy of significant projects, including leadership development initiatives like KampSama 2024 and community service efforts such as the Hilway Project.

Standing at 5-foot-3, Nathalie is not only a leader in academic and social realms but also possesses the physical grace of a true Filipina. Her expressive eyes and radiant smile reflect her warm personality, making her a pleasing presence wherever she goes.

Priorities and Vision

As Nathalie prepares for her new role, she acknowledges the enormity of her responsibilities. Overwhelmed but hopeful, she identifies her top three priorities: ensuring a conducive learning experience, implementing mental health training for students and leaders, and launching social justice and environmental awareness programs. Her commitment to quality education and synergistic partnerships underscores her vision for a brighter future for ISUFST.

Her journey to leadership was not straightforward. Nathalie focused on her studies and extracurricular activities, initially shying away from higher positions. However, a period of introspection led her to realize her true calling. “I gave myself the best of me; now, I genuinely want to give everyone the best that I have,” she reflected.

Academic Excellence and Personal Interests

A self-proclaimed linguaphile, Nathalie is passionate about learning languages like Nihongo, Mandarin, and Korean. This interest extends to understanding customs and traditions, reflecting her deep appreciation for cultural diversity. As an incoming third-year BSED Major in English student at the College of Education, Dingle Campus, her academic prowess and thirst for knowledge are evident.

Nathalie’s social nature and charisma make her a natural leader. She thrives in social settings, easily moving from one event to another, making connections and engaging in meaningful conversations. These traits, combined with her extroverted and approachable demeanor, will serve her well in her new role.

Community Engagement and Future Goals

Balancing her duties as SK secretary of Brgy. Poblacion, Dingle, and President of the Dingle Campus Student Council, Nathalie is no stranger to leadership challenges. Her high school years, marked by honors in STEM and accolades in journalism, laid a solid foundation for her current endeavors. With her sights set on graduating cum laude, she is determined to master the art of juggling academics and leadership.

During her courtesy call with Dr. Nordy Siason, Jr., on May 30, Nathalie received valuable advice on balancing public service and academic responsibilities. Dr. Siason emphasized that a good leader must manage both time and energy wisely, a principle Nathalie is committed to upholding. Nathalie expressed her eagerness to collaborate and her respect for his transformative leadership.

Dedication to Service

When asked about her motivation, Nathalie spoke of her journey, her fears, and her ultimate realization that leadership was about genuine service. Her election as President of the Federated Student Council is a testament to her dedication and the trust her peers have placed in her.

Nathalie’s plans for her term are ambitious yet grounded. She envisions a university where students actively engage in decision-making, academic resources are abundant, and social justice prevails. Her goals include updating libraries, improving internet facilities, and supporting research and innovation. Moreover, she is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Message to Peers and Legacy

Her message to the outgoing student regent, Jose Eugene Salazar, was one of respect and gratitude. Nathalie acknowledges the high standards set by Salazar and is inspired to continue his legacy with dedication and integrity.

Nathalie’s dual roles as President of the Student Council and Student Regent are pivotal. She aims to enhance the overall student experience, foster an inclusive community, and represent student interests at the highest levels of university governance.

In her message to ISUFST students, Nathalie emphasized unity and collaboration. “Your voices matter, and I’m here to represent you to the best of my ability,” she said. Nathalie’s journey to leadership is one of self-discovery, courage, and a genuine desire to serve.

Looking Ahead

Nathalie’s vision, humility, and capability inspire confidence and optimism. Under her leadership, the university community can look forward to positive change and meaningful progress. In her words, “Pressure creates the finest diamonds. We refine ourselves through challenges, for without them, there is no growth. These pressures are blessings in disguise, shaking us to our core but ultimately shaping us into better versions of ourselves.”

With support from her family and mentors, Nathalie is poised to lead with heart and vision, making a lasting impact on the university and beyond. Her inclusive approach, focus on sustainability, and dedication to student empowerment highlight her forward-thinking leadership style.

Nathalie Jade G. Tanquerido’s story is a testament to the power of determination and resilience. As she embarks on this new chapter, her leadership will undoubtedly guide ISUFST to new heights, making her an inspiring figure for future student leaders.

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