Celebrating the women of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

These DLSU professors are slaying it in various STEM fields

By Tracey Crisostomo

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Having women pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields was viewed as uncommon, since these were thought of as male-dominated industries. Women in hard hats? Women trading heels for utility boots? Women sending shuttles to outer space? For a long time, this didn’t seem normal.

However, due to the fast-changing world with more technology-driven demands, having more women in STEM fields is increasingly becoming important. More than raising awareness for gender equality or meeting “diversity quotas,” it is now recognized that more women should be in STEM fields, so they may help with important decision-making processes. Their perspective on things are becoming more valuable, as they represent an additional demographic that must be accounted for.

Fortunately, there are inspirational women from De La Salle University who are excelling in STEM through their practical contributions in both research and development. Challenging perspectives about women in STEM fields, these professors are notably a source of inspiration to all women and everyone who aspire to become scientists!

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Dr. Kathleen Aviso

Assistant Dean, Research and Advanced Studies, Gokongwei College of Engineering,
President, Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering

Dr. Kathleen Aviso received several prestigious awards for her notable contributions to her field of specialization in Chemical Engineering, such as the National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award for Engineering and Industrial Research in 2016, and the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Outstanding Young Scientist Award in the field of Industrial Engineering in 2013.

Her interest in Chemical Engineering led her to pursue her Masters in Environmental Engineering and Management and PhD in Industrial Engineering at DLSU, and was eventually granted Graduate Fellowships for her Masters and PhD.

Aviso is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Cleaner Production, Research and Advanced Studies. She is also the Director of the Gokongwei College of Engineering, and Graduate Fellow/Research Assistant, Center for Engineering and Sustainable Development Research. With her work, Aviso hopes to provide decision-support tools which can improve the performance of various industrial systems.

She shares, “Women bring to the table a different portfolio of skill sets which can potentially lead to new perspectives and discoveries that are essential for solving problems.”

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Dr. Esperanza Cabrera

2017 Metrobank Outstanding Filipino,
University Fellow, De La Salle University,
Philippine Professional Regulation Commission Outstanding Professional in Medical Technology

Dr. Cabrera is a woman of innovation. Specializing in Bacteriology, Microbial Drug Resistance, Probiotics, she received the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino for her important contributions to better healthcare systems in the Philippines.

Cabrera teams up with Philippine hospitals and students to learn how microbial drug resistance impacts our healthcare systems, particularly how the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has led to the spread of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aurous or MRSA.

She pursued her PhD in Biological Science at University of Santo Tomas and Masters in Public Health Major in Medical Microbiology at the University of the Philippines, and became a full professor to excel in her profession, inspired by her “dynamic” Grade 1 teacher.

Concerned for the health of others, Cabrera investigated infectious and dangerous bacteria lurking in the Manila City Jail and New Bilibid Prison and developed preventive measures for medical practitioners to end boil outbreak among inmates.

Advocating towards proper prescription of antibiotics to provide optimal healthcare, she urged people to learn about the proper use of antimicrobioal agents.

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Dr. Angelyn Lao

DLSU College of Science, Assistant Dean for Research and Advanced Studies

Dr. Angelyn Lao uses her passion for research and mathematics to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

She completed her PhD in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics as summa cum laude at Rostock University her work involves understanding the intractive relationship of SorLA, a receptor in the brain that properly sorts protein to ensure cellular function, and Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing, an integral membrane protein expressed in may tissues and concentrated in the synapses of neurons, through mathematical modeling.

Continuing her line of research as a Systems Biologist, Lao shares, “There have been several studies though showing the importance of STEM education to the growth and prosperity of a country’s economy. Hence in my opinion, we push to create greater interest in the STEM fields should be done among our children and youth, regardless of gender.”

When she’s not doing research or mathematical modeling, Lao travels and collects pin and from the countries she visits. She also engages in extreme/adventure sports.

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Dr. Ethel Ong

Researcher for DLSU Center for Language Technologies,
Assistant Professor, Software Technology Department, College of Computer Studies

Dr. Ethel Ong is a woman who is not afraid to follow her dreams. Her interest in Computer Science was sparked by Star Trek and NASA Space Station where scientists and engineers are able to control large space crafts and travel through outer space with the help of intelligent machines.

As an Assistant Professor of the Software Technology Department at DLSU, Ong wishes to develop applications that allow computers and humans to collaborate more efficiently, and at the same time instill good ethical behavior in the use of computers in all aspects of our lives with her specialization in Natural Language Processing.

Ong shares, “Women can bring their intuition and compassionate nature into the design of computer systems. We can design systems that think beyond simply achieving the goals, but also consider how the users will be affected by their interaction with the computer.”

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Dr. Charlle Sy

Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering

A Lasallian achiever, Dr. Charlle Sy pursued Industrial Engineering to continuously improve existing industrial systems and ensure that things are done more efficiently and effectively.

She took her Bachelors and Masters in Industrial Engineering at De La Salle University and Doctorate of Philosophy in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the National University of Singapore. Her dissertation on A Target-Oriented Robust Optimization Approach to Production and Logistics Planning System hopes to improve decision making processes under production and logistics in manufacturing and supply systems.

As an advocate of gender equality, she expresses the importance of having more diversity in STEM fields to gain different perspectives in the development of organizational functions.

Despite being continuously engaged in her field, Sy also lives an active lifestyle as a triathlete. This motivates her to accomplish her responsibilities more efficiently.

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