Meet the Summas: Driven by a Deep Passion for Science and a Love for Gaming


[First in a series: This Commencement 2024, UNP awards three graduates with the distinct honor of Summa Cum Laude. In this series, we feature their incredible journeys of juggling their academic pursuits and personal lives.]

I am Clarence R. Renon, a 22-year-old from Bacsil, San Juan, Ilocos Sur. Proudly the son of a farmer, I have consistently excelled academically since kindergarten, driven by a deep passion for science and a love for gaming. These twin passions have profoundly shaped my personal growth and learning journey.

As an aspiring inventor and innovator, the exhilarating moment of having one of our innovations named a finalist in the prestigious International STEM Awards in 2020 ignited a fire within me to drive life-changing innovations and pursue groundbreaking research. This experience not only deepened my thirst for knowledge but also challenged me to embrace diverse scientific challenges and explore new realms of understanding. It was a pivotal moment where I discovered my true passion and unlocked my potential to make meaningful contributions to society through science and innovation.

I am actively involved in three innovative projects. The first, the development of a bike-powered charger, aims to harness renewable energy for sustainable power solutions using pedal power. Our vision is to provide communities with affordable and environmentally friendly access to electricity. The second project, Alotato (Aloe vera + Potato) CGJ Model Battery Endurer, focuses on enhancing battery life through natural materials. By potentially extending battery longevity, this initiative aims to revolutionize energy storage solutions and reduce electronic waste and reliance on conventional batteries. Lastly, the CHRRO (pronounced as “Charo”) Hydroponic System is dedicated to transforming farming practices. It aims to optimize eutrophic wastewater through filtration and space optimization, offering sustainable solutions to food production challenges and water pollution.

Beyond my academic pursuits, gaming plays a vital role in my life. It isn’t just a pastime; it’s a tool that enhances my learning process. The strategic thinking and problem-solving skills honed through gaming are invaluable, aiding me in better understanding and adapting to my studies. Interestingly, I find solace in staying in rather than venturing out with friends or traveling. This choice allows me to maintain focus on my studies and interests, creating a balanced lifestyle that suits me well.

Moreover, gaming serves as a significant outlet during times of setbacks and failures. It provides me with both relaxation and rejuvenation, helping me navigate through challenges and emerge stronger. Gaming isn’t just a hobby; it’s a lifeline in my studies and life—a realm where I refine my thoughts, craft strategies, and bolster my resilience. It’s where I feel at my best, pushing the boundaries of my performance and embracing the thrill of continuous improvement.

One of the most unforgettable moments in my academic journey was being recognized as the first ever Summa Cum Laude in the BS Biology program at the University of Northern Philippines. This achievement was a moment of immense pride, not just for me but also for my family and everyone who supported me along the way. It felt surreal, like I was on Cloud 9, finally seeing the fruits of my hard work, dedication, and the many sleepless nights spent studying and preparing.

To the University of Northern Philippines, thank you for providing a nurturing environment that has allowed me to grow both academically and personally. The institution has been instrumental in molding me, guiding me through the exploration of my passions, and helping me find my purpose. To my teachers, especially Dr. Charo B. Rojas, your support and mentorship have been invaluable. Your guidance has played a significant role in my success, inspiring me to push the boundaries of innovation and research. And to my fellow classmates, let us continue to strive for excellence and support each other in our future endeavors.


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