UP Baguio professors lauded for scientific productivity

Two professors of the University of the Philippines Baguio were conferred the UP Scientists Award in ceremonies held at the UP Diliman Executive House last December 16, 2014.

Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores, assistant professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Dr. Teodora D. Balangcod, associate professor of Botany were both conferred the title “UP Scientist I.” They join the ranks of 46 other UP Scientists awardees -29 UP Scientists I, nine UP Scientists II and eight UP Scientists III.

“Very few faculty members (have received) this distinction,” UP Baguio professor emeritus for Chemistry Dr. Elsie C. Jimenez said.  “Doctors Balangcod and Amores were the second and third, so far, from UP Baguio since the UP Scientific Productivity System (SPS) award was established in 2005,” she said.

The UP SPS was established to support the development of science and technology, and to encourage and reward scientific output, the ninformation from the office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs said. The 2014 harvest at 48 recipients is higher than 2013 which only had 28 awardees.  

Dr. Salvador-Amores is the National Academy for Science and Technology’s Outstanding Young Scientist in the Field of Social and Cultural Anthropology for 2014.  The NAST is the country’s premier recognition body in science and technology.  Amores is also the first Filipina to hold a master’s degree and doctorate degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Author of the book “Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Kalinga Society. Northern Luzon Philippines,” Amores was also recipient of the 2014 Elfren S. Cruz Prize for Best Book in the Social Sciences for this work.

Published by the University of the Philippines Press and UP Baguio’s Cordillera Studies Center, Dr. Salvador-Amores’ book bested four other finalists in the Social Sciences category.  Elizabeth Ewart and Marcus Banks of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford say Dr. Salvador-Amores’ book “is a unique account of contemporary and past tattooing practices among the Kalinga people in Northern Luzon.”

Dr. Balangcod is Metrobank Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher for 2014 in the higher education level.  The award is granted by the Metrobank Foundation through its annual Search for Outstanding Teachers composed of four elementary and four secondary public school teachers, and two professors from the higher education level.  The winners join the rank of Outstanding Teachers who have been honored by the Foundation since 1985.  

She was also Bato Balani Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher for 2013 when she led a team of UPB faculty in a landslide rehabilitation project trough revegetation in Atok, Benguet.

Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Queenie N. Lee-Chua in her article dated August 26, 2015 said that through Balangcod’s efforts, UP’s herbarium, “internationally registered as Northern Luzon University Herbarium has acquired more than 13,000 specimens, making it the most comprehensive depository of its kind in the north.”

She added, Dr. Balangcod’s “laboratory manual on plant taxonomy is widely used in the UP system.  She has led studies on the anti-microbial properties of medicinal plants in Benguet province and on soil stability to minimize landslides in the area.”

Lee-Chua said Dr. Balangcod is a co-foundng member of the Philippine Society for the Study of Nature. She was also instrumental in creating the Restoration Ecology Society of the Philippines – Saving the Cordillera Ecosystem Network.  (ROLAND RABANG)

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