Mr. Sean Lemuel L. Santos, BS Biology (Major in Genetics), Outstanding Student

Sean Lemuel L. Santos, BS Biology major in Genetics, is an exemplary student who  consistently tops his class. His excellent scholastic performance has earned him not only the 2016 Outstanding Freshman Award but also University Scholar honors since his Freshman year. In 2017, he also garnered the Outstanding Sophomore Award and card, for the Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students, ranked Top 2 among hi peers.

A resident member of the Genetics Society since 2016, Sean also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of GENEWS. He is as well a member of the steering committee for the National Intercollegiate Quiz Contest, organized by the Genetics Society.

Aside from academics, he actively volunteers in community services such as in the Elderly Development Program last year. He also participates in several Red Cross activities, among them its Leadership Training, First-Aid Training and Basic Life Support Courses.

Sean has been an active member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines since his high school days. A scholar at the Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School (SRSTHS), he received several awards in various school tilts. His entry during the school’s Science Fair merited a silver award for the topic “Utilization of Aluminum-layered Compact Discs as Solar Concentrator to Increase the Voltage Output of a Solar Panel in a Closed System.”

In interschool competitions, Sean placed first STI’s Tagisan ng Talino; University of Perpetual Help System’s Invitational Math Quiz Show; and the Department of Education (DepEd) Division Science Fair – Physical Sciences Group Category. Also under DepEd, winning second place in the Division Schools Press Conference, he also exhibited his potential in Photojournalism.  ∎

— MC Manuel

Asst. Prof. Diane Carmeliza N. Cuaresma (IMSP), Outstanding Junior Faculty

Assistant  Professor Diane Carmeliza  N.  Cuaresma is a remarkable 21st century educator. As a lifelong learner, she is the most committed learner in her classroom. She has the ability to learn how to learn concepts outside of her area of specialization. She could have flourished in the Actuarial Science industry, but she opted to join the Math Division Faculty instead. She understands that teaching is not confined to delivering lessons, administering exams and checking papers.  She has realized that the grace of teaching involves being a life coach to her students. She makes an effort to know her students better  and calls them by name. She spends time with them outside of class hours. She compassionately responds to their psychosocial needs as well.

She is articulate and is endowed with the qualities of a good team player – both as a member and as a leader – in research projects, division and institute committees, extension engagements, and volunteer endeavors.

In Diane’s own words:  “The inspiration to teach truly comes in different forms. The form of teaching also varies. As teachers, we must search for the best way to teach.” Way to go, Ma’am Diane!   ∎

— AC Domingo

Ms. Merlita C. Eroles (IBS), Outstanding Administrative Personnel

Ms. Merlita C. Eroles is our 2018 CAS Outstanding Administrative Personnel. The award was given in recognition of her dedicated service as Administrative Aide VI at the Institute of Biological Sciences for the past 19 years. Although she is a graduate of BS Fishery Education, she decided to pursue an administrative career in UPLB. She has been performing her duties and responsibilities with utmost adeptness and effectiveness which is translated to efficient handling and processing of official papers and documents at the IBS Director’s Office. She has devised ways of prompt retrieval of IBS faculty and staff records. The well-organized record-keeping and filing has immensely benefited IBS which is exhibited by the numerous recognitions that IBS and faculty members have received. She has been aptly encoding and assisting in preparing IBS semestral records required by the College, printing official correspondences, and consolidating written reports and other relevant documents of the institute. She genially supports all the IBS activities related to teaching, research, and public service, which include faculty meetings, workshops, exhibits, and cooperative endeavors, through food preparations, manning registration, and stage decorations.   ∎

— LC Villegas

 Asst. Prof. Kevin C. Salamanez (IC) , Outstanding Junior Researcher

CAS recognizes the significant research contributions of Assistant Professor Kevin C. Salamanez, who has been with the Institute of Chemistry for 10 years now as a teacher and a researcher.  This year’s CAS Outstanding Researcher (Junior Category) was likewise awarded in 2016 as the CAS Outstanding Junior Faculty, acknowledging his passion for teaching and excellent performance as a teacher.

Sir Kevin is fondly called in IC as the “green chemist” both for his love for plants and the environment and his penchant for green clothes. With his interest in studying various plants and their potentials as sources of plant regulators, pesticides, fertilizers, biorationals, and antibiotics, Prof. Kevin C. Salamanez received the UP System Research Dissemination Grant which enabled him to present his research findings in Indonesia. He also garnered two UP International Publication Awards for his works:

1) “Addition of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Can Reverse Propyrisulfuron-Induced Acetolactate Synthase and Growth Inhibition in Three Rice Cultivars and Five Weed Species;”

2) “Acetolactate Synthase Activity and Growth of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) and Weed Species Treated with the Herbicide Propyrisulfuron.”

A very active member of the Institute, Sir Kevin is tasked to spearhead the Organic Chemistry and Natural Products Division (OCNPD). Among the various IC standing committees in which he is a member are: Research and Development Committee; Occupational Health and Safety Standards Committee; the Student Welfare Committee ∎

— JZ Paddayuman

Dr. Marvin U. Herrera (IMSP) , Outstanding Senior Researcher and Surface and Interface Research Group (IMSP), Outstanding Research Team 

Dr. Marvin U. Herrera’s research focuses on the functionalization and modification of surfaces. These procedures hybridize certain properties of the bulk substrate as well as the coating. Its applicability extends from electronics (molecular electronics, electronics on flexible substrate) to day-to-day materials (e.g., antibacterial surfaces, superhydrophobic surfaces, antifoaming glasses).  Currently, Dr. Herrera is working on functionalization of cellulose-based materials (e.g., paper). Cellulose-based materials are cheap, flexible, and abundant in the Philippines. Commercialization of such can give added value to local products and thus help boost the local economy.

Dr. Herrera received his PhD degree from Kyoto University in October 2013. As soon as he returned to UP Los Baños, he formed the Surface and Interface Research Group or SIRG. Through SIRG, he mentors students and collaborates with other members of the faculty. From 2016, SIRG has published 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals (SCOPUS-listed) and presented 42 papers in local and international conferences.  ∎

— CMN Piñol

Assoc. Prof. Alleli Ester C. Domingo (IMSP), Outstanding Extension Personnel

In almost her entire professional career, Prof. Alleli Ester C. Domingo has been involved in countless teacher training programs, using her love for Mathematics and expertise in Operations Research to help improve the quality of mathematics education in the country. Finding inspiration in the Oblation, a symbol of selfless offering, she took on the laborious task of traveling to different parts of the country to teach mathematics as a discipline of study, train and inspire teachers, and help improve the quality of textbooks and other learning materials. She thought  out of the box, broke out of tradition, journeyed outside her major area of discipline, and ventured into writing, mass media, cross-cultural concerns, music, dance, theater, and civic engagement. She is lauded by peers and well-appreciated by the community. Her efforts and hard work have been recognized by various award-giving bodies within and outside the University. ∎

— CMN Piñol

Language Instruction Towards Excellence  (CAS-DO), Outstanding Extension Program

The  Language Instruction Towards Excellence (LITE) Program won as the 2018 CAS Outstanding Extension Program during the 46th CAS Founding Anniversary celebration.  The Program has been at  the forefront of UPLB’s bid for globalization and  has been contributing  towards the internationalization of education through the conduct of English proficiency training.

The  Program  is being recognized due to its  effort in  “making  an impact for two decades now in helping improve the English language competency of speakers of other languages for educational, business, professional, social, or other purposes through the  creation of engaging, interactive, and supportive classroom environments.”  In addition, it  has “successfully showcased the Philippines, its cultural heritage and research accomplishments and thrusts,  for the appreciation of its trainees while  hastening their formal and informal English language skills.”

The  Program conducts group training   (150-hour Intensive English Course for International Graduate Students and the 100-hour English Plus Course for International  Students) as well as one-on-one Special Tutorial on various languages, namely: English, Filipino,  Spanish,  and French.

Its  faculty-tutors come from the Department of Humanities while student-ambassadors/facilitators serving as  English conversation partners come from the different colleges of the University. ∎

— MDG Dizon