2019 UPAAA DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDEES

(alphabetical order)

Leadership, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment

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OLIVE ROCHA-ALIGA

Ms. Aliga is the President of the University of the Philippines Vanguard Corps of Sponsors Alumni International (UPVCSAI. She has provided strong leadership to UPVCSAI from its conception in 2014 to the present. It has members from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, the Netherlands, Spain, and the Philippines. UPVCSAI has supported various community-based projects in the Philippines. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from U.P. in 1973.


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Pediatric Nephrology and Women Empowerment

CONSTANCIA SOMERA-UY, MD

Dr. Uy is Emerita Professor of Pediatrics at the Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School. She served as Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Nephrology at University Hospital. She was the recipient of 11 Golden Apple Awards for her excellence in teaching to the medical students. She was named the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Master Educator in 2011. Dr. Uy is Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics, and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has demonstrated her leadership by being elected President of 8 organizations including UPAAA, UP Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA), and UPMASA- NJ/NY/CT Chapter (Founding President). She earned from U.P. her BS Pre-Med degree in 1964 and her MD degree in 1967.

 

DIOSDADO BANATAO (Dr., Honoris Causa, UP)

2019 UPAAA Special Recognition Award for Philanthropic Services            

 

Diosdado Banatao is an entrepreneur and engineer working in the high-tech industry, credited with having developed the first 10-Mbit EthernetCMOS with silicon coupler data-link control and transreceiver chip, the first system logic chip set for IBM's PC-XTand the PC-AT, and the local bus concept and the first Windows Graphicsaccelerator chip for personal computers. A three-time start-up veteran, he co-founded Mostron, Chips and Technologies, and S3 Graphics. He provides scholarships in engineering in the Philippines and also to high school students of Filipino heritage in California who are pursuing degrees in engineering. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering cum laude from the Mapúa Institute of Technology and his MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University in 1972. He was conferred an honorary doctorate degree by U.P. in 2000.

 

ZENAIDA MENDOZA-SARMIENTO

2019 UPAAA Special Recognition Award for International Medical Services

                   

Aida Sarmiento is a Practice Manager at Midwest Pediatrics, Ltd., Lombard, Illinois. She is the UPAAA Vice President for Midwest, 2017-2019 and served as its board secretary 2015-2017. With her husband, Dr. Rodolfo Sarmiento, she has participated in numerous medical missions in the last 20 years. They went to 40 countries including the Philippines, Scotland, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Kenya, Malawi (twice), Amazonas, Brazil (twice), India, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. In these missions, she actively led and participated in providing free medical, dental, and vision services; visited orphanages and impoverished communities, giving food, clothing, toys, school supplies, and provided health education and Christian ministries. She earned her graduate degree in Nursing from UP-PGH in 1967.  

Culture and Culinary Diplomacy 

CRISTETA GOMEZ PASIA- COMERFORD,  Dr., Honoris Causa (UP)          

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Ms. Comerford is one of the longest-serving White House executive chefs. She is the first female and the first Asian American appointed to this position. She has spent more than two decades exhibiting her mastery of the culinary arts in White House hosted dinners and functions. She practices the concept of culinary diplomacy to connect countries, and cultures through culinary arts. She attended classes towards a B.S. degree on Food Technology at the UP Home Economics.

 

On November 11, 2019, the University of the Philippines will confer Ms. Comerford with the Degree of Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa at the celebration of the 98th anniversary of the institution of the Home Economics program at UP College of Home Economics.

 


Environmental Sciences and Engineering

EMMANUEL C.B. LIBAN, D. ENV.

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Dr. Liban is the Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability in Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in Los Angeles, CA. He is a Commissioner of the LA City Board of Transportation Commissioners and the LA County Beach Commission. Under his leadership, his transit agency has received numerous notable achievements including Best Environmental Management System among transit facilities; and first sustainability training program in the public sector to achieve a Model Program Award from the National Transit Institute. He served as a Technical Adviser for the Philippine Development Foundation in working to eradicate poverty through education, innovation and entrepreneurship He earned his BS Geology degree magna cum laude from U.P. in 1989 and his Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering (D.Env) from UCLA in 2003. 


Pediatric Medicine

WINSTON C. UMALI, MD 

Dr. Umali is a Pediatrician. He is the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at CarePoint Health - Christ Hospital in Jersey City, NJ. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is a Fellow of the

American Academy of Pediatrics. He is active in providing leadership in several professional societies and community organizations including serving as President of UPMASA NY-NJ-CT Chapter and President of the Handang Tumulong Foundation. He received the Award of Excellence in Pediatrics from the Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League in 2016 and recognized as “One of the Top Three Pediatricians in Jersey City, NJ in 2017 by Bestrated.com. He earned from U.P. his BS Psychology degree cum laude in 1988 and his MD degree in 1994.


Pediatric Medicine

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Dr. Umali is a Pediatrician. He is the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at

CarePoint Health - Christ Hospital in Jersey City, NJ. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is a Fellow of the

American Academy of Pediatrics. He is active in providing leadership in several professional societies and community organizations including serving as President of UPMASA NY-NJ-CT Chapter and President of the Handang Tumulong Foundation. He received the Award of Excellence in Pediatrics from the Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League in 2016 and recognized as “One of the Top Three Pediatricians in Jersey City, NJ in 2017 by Bestrated.com. He earned from U.P. his BS Psychology degree cum laude in 1988 and his MD degree in 1994.



 

Education

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LUISITO S. PABLO, DVM, MS

Dr. Pablo is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at University of Florida. He has a strong track record of research and clinical experience on anesthesia and pain management. He has written numerous scientific publications and book chapters. He earned his DVM cum laude from U.P in 1978. He completed a Master of Science and Large Animal Surgery and Medicine Residency at Auburn University in 1982. 

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Biochemistry and Community Service 

 JUANITA F. CACCAM, PhD            

Dr. Caccam developed a laboratory screening method for neonatal hypothyroidism at the San Diego Institute of Pathology and Maas Diagnostic Laboratory. She was involved in teaching and performing Filipino folk dances and music including the Samahan Rondalla.  She founded the UPAA of San Diego in 1983. She earned her B.S. Chemistry from U.P. in 1956 and her PhD in Biochemistry from the Duquesne University in 1964. 



EDWARD C. MADER JR., MD 

2019 UPAAA Distinguished Alumnus in Neurophysiology and Medical Education

 

Dr. Mader is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Louisiana School of Medicine in New Orleans. He is currently the Program Director for the Clinical Neurophysiology training and Co-Director of the EEG and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit of the University Medical Center. Realizing the power of online outreach, in this ever-expanding on-demand 24/7 world of cyberspace, he is very innovative in his vision to teach medical education. He also replied to neuro-related questions from lay people as virtual audience, mostly on Quora, using Morpheus as his avatar. His science-related answers are filed in the 4 blog sites he created. He earned from U.P. his B.S. Biology degree in1983 and his MD degree in 1987.


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MEDICAL SCIENCE

JOSEFINO B. TUNAC, PHD

Dr. Tunac is the President and Chairman of Arterez, LLC, a biotechnology group. His expertise is in the design and discovery of pharmacologically bioactive molecules from various sources including microorganisms, tissue culture cells and other organic sources. He has been involved in the discovery and development of a range of bioactive compounds including anticancer, anti-infective, anthelminthic, cardiovascular,anti-arthritic, immunosuppressive, and antiviral drugs. He invented the TunairTM shake-flasks and the AirmentorTM bioreactor. These vessels have been instrumental in the development of proprietary and production processes of a number of fermentation-based compounds. He has 22 patents. He earned his BS Plant Pathology degree from U.P. in 1964 and his PhD in Medical Science in 1974 from Rutgers University.