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Jesuit, Ateneo math prof in DOST's top 50 science people list

June 15, 2008 6:01pm
MANILA, Philippines - A Jesuit priest and a mathematics professor received citations this month from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as among the "50 Men and Women of Science."

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres and Dr. Queena Lee-Chua will be formally honored July to September.

"The award is the department's way of affirming your achievements that have brought honor not only to yourself and your family, but also to the Philippine scientific community as well," the CBCP quoted DOST secretary Estrella Alabastro as saying in a statement.

The CBCP said the DOST Citation for Nebres described him as an "education icon," having reconciled the fields of science and religion with his work.

Alabastro said the DOST believes that focusing the spotlight on the country's 50 Men and Women of Science will "help inspire the youth to pursue science careers as well as instill in the Filipino an awareness on the pivotal role of science and technology in nation-building."

The awarding will take place between July and September, according to different categories: educator, science communicator, researcher, administrator, and innovator.

Awardees will each receive a limited-edition sculpture designed by the distinguished artist Sajid Imao.

Nebres, after finishing his MS and PhD in Mathematics at Stanford University in California, founded the Mathematical Society of the Philippines.

He is also one of the founding officers of the Southeast Asian Mathematics Society, and pioneered a consortium of leading universities in Manila to develop PhD programs in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.

Also, Nebres chaired the Engineering and Science Education Project of the DOST and directed a team for the Department of Education on the development of education plans to strengthen elementary and secondary education in the country's poorest provinces.

On the other hand, the DOST citation for Lee-Chua described her as an "Outstanding Science Communicator."

"In this millennium, science literacy is paramount to remain competitive in the global arena. All channels of creative and interesting science communication need to be harnessed for Filipinos to achieve technological understanding and appreciation," it said

Lee-Chua had described her passion to share and spread the value of understanding science both inside and outside the lecture hall.

Numerous books, articles, lectures, columns, and other communication tools in her name mirror a vastly creative and disciplined persona.

Born on April 13, 1966, Lee-Chua has a list of accomplishments and activities that stretches out to a prolific frontier. She has written science and math books, a newspaper column, and teachers both subjects to students, parents, media, and practically everybody else.

But she remains consistent in her goal to make science and math learning "fun" through "simpler, more understandable language." She brings the "fun" to print, radio, TV, online, and interpersonal audiences, the CBCP said.

Lee-Chua earned her college education [BS Math, summa cum laude, 1987], graduate [MA in Counseling Psychology, 1992], and post-graduate [PhD in Clinical Psychology, 1995] at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).

She is currently full professor at the Mathematics Department of ADMU. - GMANews.TV
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