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LS graduate programs reaccredited until 2024

By Anne Candelaria

The Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) recently awarded reaccreditation to a total of 73 graduate programs of the Loyola Schools (LS). The certification is valid for five years until November 2024.

Composed of seven accreditors and one staff, the PAASCU team visited the LS last September 26 to 27, 2019 to conduct a resurvey of the graduate programs. During their visit, the team reviewed the documents and materials exhibited at the PAASCU Headquarters, made ocular visits to facilities, interviewed school administrators, faculty, students, and non-teaching staff, and conducted class observations.

The PAASCU team commended the LS for its high percentage of faculty members with doctoral degrees, the various recognition and awards received by faculty and graduate students, the implementation of the Magna Carta of Graduate Students Rights, and the support given to research and other academic and non-academic needs of students to strengthen and deepen graduate education in the LS. Above all, the philosophy and mission of the university are not only well-articulated but are lived out as reflected in the community’s deep sense of loyalty, commitment, and support for the various advocacies, programs, and activities.

To further strengthen the LS graduate programs, some recommendations by the PAASCU team include designing and implementing a more comprehensive and inclusive faculty development program specific for graduate faculty, continuous monitoring of research in terms of impact, reach, and relevance, and developing an integrated mentoring system to better monitor the progress of graduate students and enable them to graduate on time.

Ateneo de Manila University is one of the founding members of PAASCU and had its first accreditation in 1957 for its Arts, Sciences, and Management programs. The graduate programs, meanwhile, had their preliminary survey in 2006, followed by a formal survey in 2009, and a resurvey in 2014. This visit is the third resurvey for the LS’ graduate programs.

LS holds second semester Faculty Day

by Devi Paez, School Forum Chair

Photo Kiko De Guzman

On January 24, 2020, the Loyola Schools held its Faculty Day for the second semester of SY 2019-20 with the theme, “Our Worlds Beyond Teaching.”

The morning plenary’s featured speaker was Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who delivered an impassioned speech on the role of the academe in social transformation. She introduced her advocacy, “Bawat Isa Mahalaga” [“Each Person is Important”], that champions social justice, human dignity, and national transformation. Her sharing was lightened by memories of her college days in Ateneo.

This was followed by the presentations of representatives of each school on their endeavors in “worlds beyond teaching.” Dr. Louise de las Peñas presented the initiatives of the Office of Research and Creative Work punctuated by the thoughtful question, “Who in the globe is reading us?” Dr. Ma. Regina Estuar, one of the recognized The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service awardees of 2019, also presented her research endeavors in the field of technology and nation-building. This was followed by JGSOM’s Matec Villanueva and her candid sharing of her “Journey to Forever”—a personal testament to the value and rewards of staying well and healthy. Dr. Alvin Yapan of the Filipino Department, SOH, engaged the audience with his stories and observations on the making of his film, Culion. Finally, Dr. Liane Alampay of the Psychology Department, SOSS, narrated her collaborative research on parenting and child development.

Fr. Jett Villarin gave his response to the presentations, expressing his fascination and admiration for the generosity of talents and gifts that our LS faculty possess. Dr. Nandy Aldaba, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and a former high school classmate of the University President, paid a short tribute to Fr. Jett. In his speech, he reminisced their younger school days together and thanked Fr. Jett for his leadership. But the tribute did not end there. The first half of the morning program was capped with a “spontaneous” rendition of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now,” much to Fr. Jett Villarin’s surprise! A group of faculty members, professionals, and administrators got together in harmony to sing to Fr. Jett by way of saying “thank you” for his three terms as University President. The performance earned a standing ovation from the priest, and hearty, delighted applause from the audience. Interestingly, it was the same song that Fr. Jett shared during his plenary speech on Faculty Day, First Semester of SY 2018-19.

In the afternoon, Jethro Tenorio and Devi Paez emceed “LS’ Got Talent,” a show that gathered talent, generosity, and humor at Escaler Hall. Laura Cabochan of the Fine Arts Department wowed the audience with her song numbers, while Inez Ponce De Leon from the Communications Department delighted everyone with her belly dance routine. There were paintings and artwork by Dr. Mari-Jo Ruiz and Fr. Jason Dy, film trailers and musings on filmmaking by Yapan, spoken word by Serge Gabriel of OSCI, improv theater performances by Missy Maramara, Ariel Diccion, and Exie Abola, and a song-dance-and-music collaboration by Smile Indias, Miguel Rivera, Issa Mijares, and Oliver Quintana! Emong de Leon from JGSOM was probably so moved by everything that he volunteered to sing “Stupid Love.” Indeed, after the afternoon fun, eating ice cream while laughing and talking about the day’s events and discoveries was much sweeter. The Faculty Day was packed with spaces for much reflection, purpose, playfulness, and creativity.

At the PAC annual meeting in Abu Dhabi, April 2018. From left to right, first row: Laura Di Giunta (Italy), Concetta Pastorelli (Italy), Jennifer Lansford (USA), Emma Sorbring (Sweden), Qian Long (China), and Dario Bacchini (Italy); second row: Suha Al-Hassan (Jordan and UAE), Liane Alampay (Philippines), Liliana Uribe Tirado (Colombia), Ann Skinner (USA), Saengduean Yotanyamaneewong (Thailand), and Lei Chang (China); third row: Laurence Steinberg (USA), Kenneth Dodge (USA), and Sombat Tapanya (Thailand).

LS professor shares research on parenting across cultures

By Dr. Liane Alampay

Do children change in the same ways over time, even in different cultural contexts? Do parent behaviors affect children’s development in the same ways across cultures? These are some of the questions being addressed in the Parenting Across Cultures (PAC) study, which Dr. Liane Peña Alampay, Professor of the Psychology Department, presented at the Loyola Schools Faculty Day.

Dr. Alampay is the Principal Investigator of PAC in the Philippines, which began in 2008 and involves eight other countries. She shares, “The longitudinal design is the ‘gold standard’ in developmental science, and this allows us to investigate how children change over time and the different factors that influence their growth.” PAC is now in its tenth year of data collection, and the PAC children—who began the study as eight-year-olds—are now transitioning to young adulthood. “We have the rare opportunity to examine how this transition happens in different parts of the world,” she adds. This fills a significant gap in research in Psychology, which is still mostly based on “WEIRD” respondents (i.e., from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies). “Because of our diverse sample, we can clarify culture-invariant versus culture-specific processes in children’s development.”

Findings from PAC have implications for policies and programs that aim to prevent violence against children, which is a specific goal of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. Dr. Alampay points out, “Among our consistent findings is that corporal punishment by parents increases aggression and behavioral problems among children, across all cultural contexts.”

The PAC project is a truly collaborative endeavor, involving not only 17 colleagues in 10 partner universities in the US, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, but also 71 Psychology graduate students in the past 10 years. Dr. Alampay says, “I’ve learned how to be a better collaborator and mentor through this project. I’ve learned that for a project of this scope and scale, there is much to learn from colleagues and my own students, and that research is never an individual effort.”

To date, the PAC project has published 75 papers in top-tier ISI and SCOPUS-indexed journals. More important to Dr Alampay, however, is that their research continues to provide the basis for child protection advocacy. “We can be ever more confident that when we support policies and programs to counter all forms of violence against children, we do so based on global scientific evidence,” she ends.

PAC is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and is led by Dr. Jennifer Lansford of Duke University. For more information, visit

The 165th ASEAN University Network Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) Program Assessment takes place in the LS

By Dr. Alma Maria Salvador

The ASEAN University Network Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) conducted the assessment of four academic programs of the Loyola Schools (LS) last November 4 to 6, 2019. At the forefront were the Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering (BSME, led by chief and lead assessor, Associate Professor Dr. Tan Kay Chuan and Associate Professor Dr. Anan Mungwattana); Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (ABPoS, led by lead assessor, Professor Suzeini Bint Abdul Halim and Dr. Jorge Fidel Barahona); Master in Applied Mathematics, Major in Mathematical Finance (BS/MAMF, led by lead assessor, Mr. Johnson Ong Chee Bin Asses and Mr. Casey Barnett and Mr. Prem Anand); and Bachelor of Science in Biology (BSBIO, led by lead assessor, Associate Professor Dr. Kamolwan Lueprasert and Dr. Nguyen Thi Mi Ngoc).

A Self Assessment Report Team for each participating program was organized by Mr. Joselito Olpoc, program coordinator, for BSME; Dr. Ma Elissa Lao, SAR Team head, and Dr. Diana Mendoza, Department Chair for ABPoS; Dr. Elvira De Lara-Tuprio, Department Chair for BS/MAMF; and Dr. Crisanto Lopez, Department Chair for BSBIO.

The third version of the AUN-QA model for the program level defined the 11 criteria for which each of the programs was assessed. Identified as part of the overall strengths of the four was the alignment of program learning outcomes with the Jesuit educational philosophy and the integrated LS curricular framework. Additionally, the systems and practices on mentoring and advising, the Ateneo Integrated Student Information System (AISIS) online mechanism for uploading syllabi, co-curricular organizations, and the Rizal Library facilities and resources were found as the outstanding features of the student support systems.

The four programs were found to be adequate, as expected, based on some criteria and better than adequate based on other criteria. With the successful completion of this assessment, each department or program moves towards enhancing specific criteria of quality assurance.

The LS Quality Assurance Office acted as the overall secretariat to support the regional assessment process.

Ateneo launches its institutional repository, Archium

Ateneo de Manila University is home to many brilliant minds, and the university itself is known to foster a culture that propagates creativity, innovation, and discourse. To promote its academic endeavors, Ateneo has launched its very own institutional repository, Archium—the pioneer institutional repository in the Philippines.

In partnership with bepress, a reputable institutional repository developer, the members of the Institutional Repository team from the University Research Council and the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Creative Work continue to build the repository and its contents. The Archium showcases many scholarly and creative works of the university’s faculty and students, and promotes the free dissemination of intellectual work. It allows faculty members to upload and present their selected publications, which are then grouped by school, department, and research thrust. The intellectual diversity of the university is highlighted in the various types of publications uploaded to the repository such as journal articles, books, book chapters, conference papers, and even creative works such as poetry and stage plays.

The Archium serves not only to share works to the public, but to provide insight to the administrators and authors regarding the metrics and views of each work posted on the website. In addition to the repository, an expert gallery is also designed to celebrate selected experts in their fields’ publications. While the Archium is already live with 94 disciplines waiting to be explored, it is still a work in progress and will be completed by the first semester of SY 2020-2021.

To learn more about Archium, visit

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ALLS and Areté hold talks and workshops encouraging learning through play

The Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences (ALLS) and Areté were pleased to welcome Dr. H. Chad Lane and Dr. Jeff Ginger of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from February 17 to 21, 2020. The purpose of their visit was to share their research and practice on supporting learning through the use of games and fab labs.

Dr. Lane is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Informatics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His lecture, “Promoting Interest and Engagement with Intelligent Learning Technologies,” discussed the importance of learner emotions such as interest and engagement, and the ways in which game elements can be used to support these states. Meanwhile, Dr. Ginger, who is the Director of the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab, gave a talk entitled “Learning with Fab Labs - It’s not DIY. It’s DIWO: Do It With Others.” It discussed making-in-community as a key element in maximizing learning, education, and social inclusion. Approximately 150 people attended the two lectures at the Loft on the fourth floor of the George SK Ty Learning Innovation Wing of Areté.

After the lectures, the professors gave a hands-on workshop on the use of Minecraft to support science learning, programming, and computational thinking. The two demonstrated a variety of tools that can help with co-construction of Minecraft worlds, and transitioning these models to a 3D printer. Held at the Eugenio Lopez, Jr. Makerspace on the third floor of Areté, 15 representatives from the Department of Education, private schools, and non-government organizations attended the “Learning Through Play” workshop.

Dr. Lane and Dr. Ginger’s visit was made possible by the Department of Science and Technology, the Office of the Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, ALLS, and Areté.

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ALLS welcomes visiting NAIST professors

From January 31 to February 5, 2020, the Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences (ALLS) welcomed Dr. Junichiro Yoshimoto and Dr. Takatomi Kubo from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST). Both associate professors are members of the Mathematical Informatics research laboratory, which creates mathematical models for life sciences.

During their visit, Dr. Yoshimoto gave a lecture entitled “Bayesian Learning and its Application to Biological Data Analysis” to a group of over 40 undergraduate and graduate students. He introduced the principle of Bayesian inference—a method of statistical inference using the Bayes’ theorem—in the context of machine learning, and discussed his prior work on the use of this approach to discover subtypes of depression in brain regions.

Dr. Yoshimoto and Dr. Kubo had smaller meetings with Dr. Ma. Mercedes Rodrigo of Ateneo de Manila University, Dr. Maureen Villamor of the University of Southeastern Philippines, and Christine Tablatin of Pangasinan State University to discuss possible collaborations in the area of eye tracking. They also had discussions with Dr. Carlos Oppus and Dr. Nathaniel Libatique of the Electronics, Communications, and Computer Engineering Department.

Dr. Yoshimoto’s visit was made possible through a grant from the Engineering Research and Development for Technology Program of the Department of Science and Technology and the Office of the Dean of the School of Science and Engineering.