Gracel Ann Saban, Appointed as Vice President for Academics of Adventist University of the Philippines

Associate Professor of the Education Department, Dr. Gracel Ann Saban, has accepted a call to serve at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) as the Vice President for Academics, effective June 1, 2022.


Dr. Saban joined AIIAS in 2018 as a faculty member of the education department. During her stay at AIIAS, she served as a faculty sponsor for the Education Department Student Association (EDSA), as a Sabbath School superintendent of the AIIAS Church, as chair of the Materials and Marketing Committee for the Graduate School’s iConference, and as the executive secretary for the Asian Qualitative Research Association (AQRA).


Saban’s service began at Olivarez College, Paranaque City, as a secondary school English teacher, college instructor and department chair of the Languages and Mass Communication Department. She eventually served as a language teacher at AIIAS Academy, instructor in the AIIAS English Center, and assistant course coordinator of the AIIAS Division of Online Learning for a year while pursuing her PhD at AIIAS in 2006-2009.  After completing her PhD program, she accepted the Lord’s call to serve AUP, where she became a professor at the English department and later served as the AUP’s dean of the College of Education before accepting an invitation to return to serve at AIIAS.


Dr. Saban reminisces about a witnessing opportunity she had at AIIAS. While serving on the organizing committee of the 2019 AIIAS International Conference (iConference), she encouraged several former colleagues and friends to present papers for the first time. In addition, she invited non-Adventist friends from local institutions in Iloilo, Cebu, and Mindoro. All were blessed by the devotional messages, vegetarian dishes, and the environment of the AIIAS campus. Their visit opened the door for more conversation about the Adventist faith.


“I love the synergy and diversity on campus,” Dr. Saban says. “Community members are empowered to be creative and to go the extra mile in terms of doing mission work. AIIAS is a little heaven on earth. It mimics what heaven is like in terms of the diversity of nationalities present on campus. It is a window to global work and a place where leadership skills are honed.”


Dr. Kenneth Swansi, dean of the AIIAS Graduate School, recognizes Gracel Saban for her work in the education department: Dr. Gracel Saban brought to AIIAS youthful energy, special knowledge, excellent teaching skills, and outstanding research experience. Dr. Gracel was known for her engaging style of classroom teaching and hands-on approach to mentoring students in their dissertation writing. She served as a methodologist for many PhD and MA in Education students and excelled in whatever she did. She is a perfectionist who believes in paying attention to details. She also has a great sense of aesthetics, liking things that are done and presented well. We will greatly miss Dr. Gracel Saban, and we pray that God will be with her as she transitions into a position of leadership in AUP.”


AIIAS wishes God’s guidance and blessings for Dr. Saban in her new leadership position at the Adventist University of the Philippines.


By: Sharnie Love Zamora

AIIAS Assistant for Institutional Writing

Gracel Ann, Greeca Markaela, Mark Vernon, and Anna Vernoneeca
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