Filipina international student and awardee graduates summa cum laude at NYU

NEW YORK — Janelle Micaela Panganiban is celebrating her 22nd birthday with the greatest gift she ever received — she just graduated from the prestigious New York University, summa cum laude, with majors in global public health, public policy, and sociology.

“I offer it to my family, really this is more for them,” she says.

For excellence in sociology, this consistent dean’s lister was conferred the prestigious Alexander L. Shluger Award, as well as the Founder’s Day Award.

Only top-ranking baccalaureate graduates receive the NYU Founder’s Day Award and have the honor to wear a gold tassel on graduation day.


“I really learned to love learning, parang sabi ko po talaga, only in college na ma-experience mo yung like the sense of wonder and curiosity sa world and like being at NYU, they were able to provide that.”

NYU is one of the biggest universities in the — US with nearly 60,000 (59,061) total enrollment in 2017.

NYU also has the highest number of international students like Panganiban, from at least 83 countries including the Philippines.

NYU graduates tend to get a job within six months after graduation with an average salary of $61,500 dollars annually ($61,487).

While there is a whole new world out there for Panganiban to explore and conquer after graduation, the idealist in her wants to give back, teach and possibly impact some changes in her home country.

She is the daughter of Anac-I-P partylist representative Jose Panganiban Jr. Andangadanan
Mayor Lourdes Panganiban, of the Gaddang indigenous tribe from Isabela.


One thing she learned at NYU, she says, is that she wants more Filipinos to think critically.

“Learn how to engage and really just be critical with everything, the professors encourage that here and I think that’s what I appreciate, because it doesn’t seem like they’re doing it to make me feel like I’m wrong, but for me talaga to grow.”


Panganiban will also receive the Northern Star Award from the Philippine Consulate General for her excellent academic achievement among Filipino-Americans graduating in 2018.


On June 9, new grads can march with other Filipinos in a ceremony at the Philippine Center Kalayaan hall to receive a P-grad 2018 medal, a Filipino diploma, and a citation from Assemblyman Brian Barnwell.

New grads can register at


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  • Pedro Oblena
    28 May 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    My daughter is graduating with honors at Hunter College in New York with a BS degree in Biology & Chemistry (Summa Cum Laude) May 30, 2018, can she register and be recognized with her high academic achievements and be noted by the Filipino community in New York and by the Consul General in New York? —Pete