Face-to-face: Chem Unit holds first on-site classes since COVID

Last July 11 to August 5, 2022, the DPSM Chemistry Unit conducted limited face-to-face (F2F) classes for graduating and third year BS Biochemistry students to strengthen and bridge the gap in hands-on laboratory skills due to the lockdowns. Classes were conducted at the Gusaling Andres Bonifacio (GAB) while enforcing the health and safety protocols set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Classes were held in one-week skills training programs focused on fundamental chemistry and biochemistry laboratory techniques like titration, cyclic voltammetry, spectrophotometry, and electrophoresis. A total of 25 seniors and 35 juniors participated in the sessions and reported an increase in their confidence and understanding of the practical techniques taught to them.

The Chemistry Unit, then headed by Asst. Prof. Mark Cleofas, established an ad hoc committee in November 2021 to prepare the laboratories, protocols, and necessary materials for the midyear F2F classes. The ad hoc committee heads are May Bernardo, Ciara Lim, and Jamie Sy, with members, Ruel Bagallon, Judee Cagay, Dr. Ma. Constancia Carrillo, Mark Cleofas, Fatima Cruz, Aaron Genato, Engracio Huelgas, Shirley Nulud, Dr. Voltaire Organo, Marvin Pelovello, Jervee Punzalan, and Dr. Noel Quiming. Also assisting with the preparation and instruction were research assistants, Cyrill Arce, Allen Diño, Erryl Espiritu, Christina Ferrer, John Roxas, and Patricia Villaran.

The committee, in cooperation with the CAS administration led by Dean Ma. Constancia Carrillo, Associate Dean for Planning and Development Ignatius Vinzons, and Health and Safety Committee Chair, Dr. Christopher Robidillo, prepared the facilities to ensure the safe conduct of classes and the well-being of both personnel and students.

The preparation for the limited F2F classes was partially funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) through the Academic Program Initiatives.

Currently, the BS Biochemistry program’s application for the CHED Safety Seal is underway in preparation for the coming First Semester, Academic Year 2022 to 2023.

IN ACTION. Students performing experiments for the first time since the lockdowns in the newly renovated GAB Chemistry labs.
NGITING WAGI! BS Biochemistry graduating students (top) and third year students (bottom) posing for a photo during the culminating activity where they were asked to present their research designs in person after two years of online reporting.
THE KEY PLAYERS. The Chemistry lab staff, Ruel Bagallon (left), May Bernardo, and Engracio Huelgas are the main movers in setting up the GAB Chem labs and assisting the college in the physical preparations for the F2F classes.