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Building the Nation

Ateneo Innovation Center Launched

Revised version of “Ateneo Innovation Center Launched” by Joanna Ruiz LSB Vol.4 Number 2.

 

At the crossroads between old and new thinking on research sits the Loyola Schools’ newly formed Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC). The crucial difference between research and innovation, and researchers and innovators, lies at the heart of the center’s formation, as the center’s concept paper points out: “A researcher wants to get things on paper. An innovator wants to get things on the ground.” And off it, too, if center director Dr. Gregory L. Tangonan of the Electronics, Computer, and Computer Engineering (ECCE) Department, is to get his way. “We want to attack tough multidisciplinary problems involving multiple groups,” he says. “We want to take research to the next level, to engage with industry and investors.” The AIC has set the following mission for itself: “to enhance the University’s functions of teaching, research and outreach by directing these towards the development of innovative science and technology solutions of challenges in industry and society.” Its tasks include evaluating School of Science and Engineering (SOSE) research output for its potential for innovation, intellectual property protection, and technology transfer; linking SOSE faculty, students, and research groups with external entities in activities related to innovation, technology transfer, application of research, and the like.

 

There are several AIC projects underway like a project that collects potable water from air and lets us peer into a setup for an algae-based biodiesel project. Other projects include one that measures rainfall using microwaves, and one which allows people to access their personal medical databases via mobile phone. Presentations and photographs of different projects are shown to us, and we feel the enthusiasm and commitment underpinning the now formalized center. New though it is, the AIC fits right in with the Ateneo’s emphasis on nation-building and training professionals-for-others. It will bring the University’s innovators closer to the sectors that need their output, and it presents the challenge of relevance to the Ateneo’s scientists and engineers.

 

 

The JGSOM Student Enterprise Center

Revised version of “A World of Experience is a Recipe for Success” by Rick Olivares LSB Vol.4 Number 2.

 

The John Gokongwei School of Management Student Enterprise Center (JSEC) not only puts students inside the kitchen of food stalls but gives them a taste of the pressure cooker that is real-world entrepreneurship. Last summer, Christian Mendoza (AB IS) would wake up early on Saturday mornings, defrost food, slice vegetables, open up Kebab House at JSEC, and put on his best smile for customers. “I knew it wasn’t easy setting up your own business,” he says of his initial foray into entrepreneurship, “but experiencing it firsthand while at school gives you a better appreciation for a lot of things, especially for what you don’t learn inside the classroom.” The challenge of modern education is to make classroom teachings relevant. “It [having a business at the JSEC] adds to what we learn in the classroom,” affirms Paolo Bernardo (BS LM) of Blue Aquila, which serves Italian food. “It—to steal a line from Jerry Maguire—completes your education. So if you decide to pursue it after college, you know what to expect.” In order to help themselves better understand the nature of entrepreneurship, the students have enrolled in subjects like finance and leadership, among others. William Mallari, director of the Loyola Schools Bookstore and coordinator for student entrepreneurial initiatives, says that key learning areas for the budding entrepreneurs are human relations, forecasting, logistics, and setting priorities. “These are hardcore truths and learnings for them,” says Mallari. “These are things they have to learn as they go along.”

 

Ateneo Environmental Management Coalition

Revised version of “Ateneo Environmental Management Coalition Launched” by Erlinda Lolarga LSB Vol.4 Number 1.

 

How do we lead simpler lifestyles that show more care not only for others but also for the environment and our dwindling natural resources? How can we as a University contribute more concretely to global efforts at resource preservation and waste management? Caring for the environment as an institution is not always an easy or convenient thing to do, as pointed out by the Vice President for the Loyola Schools, Dr. Ma. Assunta C. Cuyegkeng during her Faculty Day address. She identified the environment, together with leadership and quality assurance, as the three major thrusts of the Loyola Schools.

 

Recognizing that the earth is an amazing God-given bounty and that human activities have depleted these resources, the Ateneo’s response to environmental concerns has been institutionalized with the establishment of the Ateneo Environmental Management Coalition (AEMC) in summer 2008.

 

The AEMC is looking forward to developing a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) that addresses the need to re-cycle highly linear consumption by redirecting recoverable wastes from the garbage generated on campus. Segregated trash will further be sorted into finer categories . In doing this, the byproducts of the community’s consumption are recovered and redirected back into the system as recyclables, for use as resources. This will eventually help minimize the amount of waste to be disposed of. It is hoped that each individual member of the community will begin to think green and live in harmony with the environment. The success of the three R’s—reduce, reuse, and recycle—lies in each of us!





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