Staff News

Maria Helen dH. Catalan, Ph.D.

Maria Helen S. de Hitta-Catalan of the High School Biology Group was awarded a Ph.D. degree in Biology on April 25, 2010. Her dissertation, Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci Associated with Resistance to Rice Tungro Disease, was conducted at the Philippine Rice Research Institute. With a dissertation grant from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (DOSTPCASTRD) and a research fellowship from the Department of Agriculture-Biotech Program (DA-Biotech), her study was able to determine a region in chromosome 12 that may contain the putative gene/s associated with tungro resistance.
Helen with husband Paul

Reyroso wins 2nd place in fun run

John Reyroso of the Information Science Group won second place in the 4.4-kilometer Fun Run that kicked off the UP Diliman 2010 Summer Sports Festival on April 20, 2010. The Fun Run was joined by about a hundred employees from different units of UP Diliman. But there is more to John’s winning than meets the eye. Two years earlier, John Reyroso heaved his knapsack panting as he climbed the stairs of the STTC building towards his room, the Information Science laboratory in the third floor. He was wheezing and beads of sweat were slithering down his forehead. He stopped for a few seconds and gasped for air while anxiously thinking of what his doctor told him a week before: his blood sugar and cholesterol were off the charts. His doctor advised him that he needs to watch his diet and have regular exercise.

John remembers his first day of jogging as anything but remarkable. He nearly gave up. But the doctor’s advice kept reverberating in his head. He had to do it if he wanted to be healthy.

For the next few months, John jogged regularly. Week after week, he gradually increased his running speed and running frequency. After a year, he was already jogging three to four times a week, and would go around the oval three to four times during each jogging session. Now, he would feel fatigued and weak each time he does not jog.

Two years have passed and John is now one of the faces you would see regularly jogging along the academic oval. Lately, John realized that jogging has already become a passion. He joined several fun runs and running competitions. John’s objective of joining competitions and fun runs, however, is not like those of the others. It was not much about winning as it is about staying fit and finishing the race.

Gutierrez attends World Conference

Jacqueline Rose M. Gutierrez of the High School Chemistry Group presented a paper Insights on the Students’ Incorrect Responses to a TIMSS 2003 Released Item at the 3rd World Conference on Science and Technology Education in Tartu, Estonia from June 28 to July 2, 2010. The theme of the conference “Innovation in Science and Technology Education: Research, Policy, Practice” highlighted the need for a research-based innovation in science and technology education. Aware of these needs, policy makers, practitioners and educators were enjoined in working out plans for innovations in science and technology. It was also emphasized that this undertaking should be generated from a Science Framework that puts premium on creativity.

The conference was organized by the International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE) in cooperation with the University of Tartu in Estonia. It was intended as a bridge among researchers, policy makers, and science teachers in the field of science education. Gutierrez’s paper was coauthored by Prof. Hideo Ikeda of Hiroshima University in Japan.

NISMED holds in-house seminars

Sixty-seven administrative and academic staff attended the in-house seminar on Organizational Planning, Assertive Communication Skills, and Managing Stress on June 1, 2010 at the Audiovisual Room, NISMED. The half-day in-house seminar served as a venue for sharing experiences and knowledge gained from the seminarworkshops attended by NISMED staff. The series of seminar-workshops was organized by the Personnel Officers Association of the Philippines (POAP), Inc. for government employees.

• Narcisa P. Gandeza and Soledad P. Sagun, both from the General Services Section, echoed the understanding they gained from attending the seminar on “Strategic Planning and Human Resource Planning.” The two shared possible considerations for redefining the Institute’s vision-mission statements, strategic implementation of operations, and control. They suggested that an inventory of manpower be made to assess performance and potentials.

• Lolita M. Mondigo and Ma. Laura V. Ginoy of the Audiovisual Group and Art Section, respectively, shared insights they gained from the “Assertive Communications Skills” seminar-workshop they attended in September 2009. The topic was a review of the basics of written and oral communications following some writing tips on how to “keep it short and simple” and to assert one’s opinion with respect.

• Joel C. Tuboro of the Maintenance and Equipment Development Section shared in his talk, the many conditions in which a person may experience stress in the workplace and how to manage them. He explained that stress in the workplace may be addressed by a change in mindset.

A break from the humdrum

People need to take a break from work now and then and that’s exactly what the NISMED family did in mid-April, 2010. For the second time in a row, the annual team building activities were held at the Nacua Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas. On April 16, the group arrived by bus and found the resort already buzzing with early day trippers. The group was later divided into three teams which competed in a series of fun and challenging games. The goal really was to improve everyone’s ability to lead, communicate, and work with others to solve a problem.

Later in the day, some NISMED staff tried their hand at fishing and snagged a few bangus from the resort’s own fish pond. Others gathered by the shore to enjoy the seascape and were rewarded with a lovely astronomical event, the crescent Moon side by side with Venus, thus kicking off the skywatching activity. It turned out that many NISMED staff were closet stargazing enthusiasts and they took turns with the single pair of binoculars, peering at a number of celestial wonders that are often hidden by polluted city skies.

The group motored back to Manila on the following day, but not before taking a dip in a charming shallow spot off shore dubbed by the locals as Little Boracay. Returning to the resort, one of the boats passed by a mangrove area for a short episode of birdwatching, startling a flock of gray herons, purple herons, and great egrets. Later on in the bus ride home, awards were handed out to the winners amid much teasing and laughter. Thanks to the Socials Committee, and congratulations to the Pink Team!

NISMED bowling team bags 5th place

The NISMED bowling team led by Regino Lamorena bagged fifth place (Group B) in the 2010 Interunit Mixed Team Bowling tournament which opened on January 20,2010. Twenty-four teams from different units of UP Diliman and Manila joined the tournament, and the top 12 teams played the championship in two different categories. The awarding ceremony was held at the UP Alumni Bowling Alley on April 24, 2010.

The NISMED team this year included Doddie C. Bergado, Ferdinand C. Damasco, Alberto C. Falcon, Renante N. Lunas, Joel C. Tuboro, Ester A. Bautista, Wilhelmina L. dela Paz, Monalisa T. Sasing, and Cherry A. Velasco.

Prolific Cox exhibits TODA series

Two months after his exhibit in Singapore, Daniel “Dansoy ”Coquilla exhibited new works in “Labasan ng Loob” at Blanc compound Shaw from April 17 to May 7, 2010. In this two-man show, Dansoy showcased his largest work so far titled, “Taong Toda (Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association),” measuring 1.52 x3.66 m (5 x 12 ft). His other works, “Canteen Toda” and “Pasyon Toda,” depict the daily goings-on in these settings with his signature bird’s-eye view perspective. A multiawarded artist, “Cox” to NISMED colleagues, is a video editor of the Audiovisual Group and a painting major at the College ofFine Arts in UP Diliman.