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UST calls for prayers, support for corruption whistleblower

February 12, 2008 - The University is rallying behind Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada Jr., the Thomasian whistleblower in a corruption-laden government contract being investigated by lawmakers, calling for prayers for the Engineering alumnus whose testimony has earned the support of various sectors of society.

UST’s Office for Public Affairs appealed to all Thomasians to offer “special prayers” for Lozada last February 8, a day after he appeared in public for the first time to reveal that the state project to connect government offices through a “broadband” network had been overpriced by as much as $130 million to allow for kickbacks.

Neuromarketing, its possibilities and risks

GIVEN a lot of bargains and cool deals in the market, it seems that shoppers won’t run out of choices even at a tight budget, which clever producers benefit much from.

Thanks to scientific selling strategies such as neuromarketing, Christmas won’t be the same this year for consumers.

Neuromarketing is a field of study which employs the use of modern diagnostic procedures such as the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), to see how people’s brains respond to advertising and other marketing strategies, a highly advantageous way for corporations to test the convincing power of their ad campaigns and commercial tactics.

Gizmos galore for 2008

CONSUMERS are anxiously completing their wish lists for 2008 to cope with the ephemeral technological demands of the new millennium. But what edgy gizmos can consumers look forward to next year?

‘Apple’ for the eyes and ears

My own Pinoy big brother

“I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother, and I found all three.” -William Blake

LOOKING down on the streets from a window one night, and with the slightest yuletide breeze touching my skin, I hear the Christmas songs sung by children caroling while people are busy decorating their houses with Christmas lights and lanterns. As these images, sounds, and feelings surround me, I long for the time when I was still a child, excited about Christmas.

Christmas was very special to me as a child because aside from the long school break, I got to decorate the Christmas tree with my mother; I got to wear the nicest clothes; I got to wake up at 12 in the morning to eat noche buena with the whole family; and I got to open Santa’s gifts.

A dreamer’s doodle pad

“Growing up means letting go of the things that made us happy when we were kids.” - Marge Simpson to baby Maggie, The Simpsons Movie

*****

YOU HAVE gone a long way, dear minion.

This was the remark I nonchalantly told myself after I unexpectedly unearthed a 10-year-old doodle pad from the clutter that had swarmed my desk one Friday evening.

Stabbed by nostalgia, I gawkily mused, “This was how the pretender survived a decade ago.” Or so I thought.

But more that the memory-lane dusting that typified my chance encounter with a personal treasure teeming with the amateurish intellectual panting of the younger me, it was recalling the history of its acquisition years ago which almost led me to tears. Fortunately I was not in the mood to whimper since I had to finish a school paper due the next day.

Main Building unshaken despite quake

THE INTENSITY four earthquake that struck Metro Manila and parts of Luzon around noon last November 27 disrupted classes in the University, particularly in buildings near Dapitan Street, but occupants of the Main Building – the country’s first earthquake-proof structure – were unperturbed.

Students from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, College of Nursing, and College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Letters, and College of Commerce evacuated their respective buildings (San Martin Porres and St. Raymund’s) and gathered at the Quadricentennial Park. Students of the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy also vacated their two-year old building and trooped to Plaza Mayor.

Classes resumed after 30 minutes following brief building inspections.

UST entrance exam now held in other campuses

DON’T come to us; we’ll come to you.

This is the new strategy being employed by the Office for Student Admissions in its bid to increase the number of applicants taking the UST Entrance Test. In addition to regional testing centers, the entrance exam can now be administered in schools that can muster enough Thomasian-wannabes.

“Instead of students coming to our school to take the exam, we (go) to their school to give them the test so that students who find it difficult to come to UST will still be able to take the exam,” Lucila Banse, admissions office director, said.

On-site testing was pre-arranged for schools with 100 or more examinees. During the exam, the school guidance counselor and two examiners from the University would be present to supervise the examinees.

Thomasian camper in Biocamp

INITIALLY dreaming of a free trip to Japan, Thomasian professor Michael Bahrami-Hessari joined this year’s International Biotechnology Leadership Camp (Biocamp) and after a stringent selection process by Novartis, the sponsor of the international event, Bahrami-Hessari emerged as one of the two official representatives of the Philippines to the prestigious convention held in Tokyo last October.

As a student, Bahrami-Hessari readily showed a knack for the sciences perhaps brought about by his family background. “My mom is a biochemist and a professor here in the University while my father is a physician. I also have aunts and uncles who are pharmacists, chemists, and engineers,” he said.

Expanding the frontiers of biotechnology

BRITON Robert Johnson, a 23-year-old male, thought he would never see the light of day until news about a medical intervention came knocking on his door renewing his hopes. He was treated by replacing defective retinal genes with functional ones through gene therapy, according to BBC News.

Gene therapy, a recent scientific breakthrough, is just but one of the revolutionary applications of biotechnology, defined by Kevin Keener, assistant professor of food science at the North Carolina State University in its official website www. ncsu.edu, as the use of living organisms and their products to modify human health and environment for commercial purposes.

Young Thomasian in a hurry

BEFORE boarding the Ilocos-bound bus at Dapitan station, the then four-year-old Teddy Diza Quizado would marvel at the ancient-looking UST Main Building, which would then prompt his grandmother to discourage him:

“That is the University of Santo Tomas. Don’t pause to imagine what is inside though; we can never afford to send you there.”

Quizado would then just stare at the campus dejectedly, but not hopelessly, as it turned out.

At 26, this B.S. Economics alumnus of the College of Commerce now plays multiple roles at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) as an executive assistant, a faculty in the school’s apprenticeship program, and a student finishing his Master’s Degree in Applied Business Economics. Juggling these stints is no big deal to him, thanks to his self-helped Thomasian upbringing.

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