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NMC Student Selected to Participate in Manila Investment Conference (October 7, 2008)

Northern Marianas College today announced that freshman Bruce Jarrett M. Iglesias is this year’s winner of the College’s annual Student Economic Essay Competition sponsored by the Asia Pacific Association for Fiduciary Studies (APAFS) and coordinated by the NMC Business Department.

This is the third consecutive year that the APAFS has sponsored the regional competition, which includes students from Northern Marianas College , Guam Community College , the University of Guam , the College of the Marshall Islands , Palau Community College , the College of Micronesia (FSM), and the University of the South Pacific. The winners from each community college and university are provided with a fully funded trip to Manila , Philippines , to present a summary of their paper at the 8th Annual Pacific Region Investment Conference from October 9 ” 10, 2008, at the Renaissance Makati City Hotel.

Iglesias’s first-place essay expressed his insights on the impact that the proposed Marianas Trench Marine National Monument ( Marine Monument ) designation would have on the CNMI economy. His essay argued that the benefits of the proposed Marine Monument far outweigh any perceived drawbacks.

In his essay, Iglesias points out that the Marine Monument’s most significant benefits would include positive international exposure for the CNMI; substantial increases in visitor arrivals; annual grant funds from the federal government and other non-government sources for research, development, management, and operation of the Marine Monument; and educational and research opportunities that will benefit CNMI students, Northern Marianas College and other educational institutions in the region.

“I was honored and at the same time surprised to be named the winner of this competition,” said Iglesias. “I learned so much from my research on the essay and I really appreciate the support, time and information provided to me by many people.”

“I would like to thank my parents, Antonia “Toni” Iglesias and Ernie Balbin, my wife, Janel Pangelinan, and my sister, Velma Mafnas, for their confidence in me and constant support,” added Iglesias. “I would also like to express my gratitude to my instructor, Mr. Eric Plinske, and the other Business Department faculty who encouraged me to compete.”

However, because Iglesias’s passport is expired and because its renewal was unable to occur in a timely manner, the second place winner of the essay competition will travel in Iglesias’s stead.

The second place winner, NMC student Regina E. Andres, emphasized in her essay the importance of the CNMI’s first congressional delegate and the influence this elected official will have on decisions that can positively impact the CNMI’s economy.

“I’m sad that Bruce won’t be able to travel to Manila , but I’m grateful to NMC and the APAFS for sponsoring this annual competition and excited about the opportunity to represent Bruce and NMC at the conference,” said Andres.

Other competition finalists included students Xu “Ava” Dan and John Peter Sablan. Dr. Carmen Fernandez, NMC President, appointed Business instructor Rik Villegas to serve as the NMC chaperone on the trip to the investment conference. Travel and conference costs for the student winner and NMC chaperone will be paid by the APAFS.

“The NMC community is proud of all our essay competitors and grateful to APAFS for once again sponsoring this valuable competition throughout the region,” said President Fernandez. “Special congratulations goes out to both Bruce and Regina on their hard work and thought-provoking essays.”

APAFS was formed by a forward thinking group of fiduciaries from throughout the diverse geographical area of the Asia Pacific region. It is a nonprofit educational association with the aim of providing educational forums for fiduciaries in the region so that they can better exercise prudent stewardship of the funds entrusted to their care.

The two-day Pacific Region Investment Conference offers attendees an opportunity to participate in a variety of presentations, network, and question top speakers from the finance and investment industry.



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