TWO THOMASIAN scientists were awarded with distinctions by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) last March 16 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The NRCP granted Professor Emeriti Fortunato Sevilla III and Beatrice Guevara, researchers from the UST Research Center for the Natural and Applied Science, the Award of Distinction and Member Emeritus Award, respectively.

Cristina Binag, also a professor from the College of Science, was re-elected as Corporate Secretary of the NRCP for the year 2016-2017.

Binag, who was also a former director of the UST Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences, will be serving her second consecutive year as Corporate Secretary of NRCP, where she also serves as the chair of the Chemical Sciences Division.

The NRCP is a branch of the Department of Science and Technology that aims to identify and provide solutions for national issues through promotion and support of multi-disciplinary scientific and humanity researches.

Juggernaut of innovation

Sevilla was one of the three Filipino scientists honored with the Award of Distinction for his contributions to the field of Analytical Chemistry and for pioneering innovative research on chemical sensors and biosensors. His research led to the publication of many leading international journals and approved patents.

“The award is mainly recognition for past achievements,” Sevilla said. “One of my strong points is the innovations that I made in low cost and microscale instrumentation for chemical education.”

Amaryllis Torres, Executive Director of the Philippine Social Science Center, and Felipe De Leon, Jr. former chair of the NRCP Division of Humanities and currently the commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts received the same award, which is given to active NRCP members for their significant and outstanding contributions to science and research, and for their dedication and service to the science community of the country, along with Sevilla.

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“I feel that each awardee assumes a personal responsibility to continue doing good research and to train new researchers to be excellent,” said Sevilla.

“I see this award as recognition of the committed support provided by UST to researchers without which, excellence will not be achieved.”

Recognized as UST’s top scientist, Sevilla is also one of the most decorated academicians in the University and was given the title Professor Emeritus, the highest title bestowed by the University to a faculty member, last year.

Mentor of science

Guevara was one of the two NRCP members that were given the Member Emeritus award Chemical Science Division.

She received the award, which is given in recognition to distinguished NRCP members who serve as inspiration to budding scientists in the country, alongside renowned national scholar Vivencio Jose of the University of Philippines-Diliman.

Guevara was recognized for her inspiring leadership in the formulation of policies, and settling directions for the growth and development of basic sciences in the field of Chemical Sciences.

“I consider myself more of a science teacher than a scientist in the true sense of the word. To teach science effectively, one must do science,” Guevara said.

She strongly advocates that a teacher must mentor at least five protégés to the doctorate program before retiring so as not to leave a vacuum in the University.

Although she has retired, Guevara is still affiliated with the University as Professor Emeritus. Maritz L. Lubo

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