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Topor is Bato Balani Foundation, Inc. “The Many Faces of the Teacher 2016” honoree

Dr. Vivian Azucena-Topor, a biochemistry professor of the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Visayas, is one of the four honorees in the 2016 The Many Faces of the Teacher (TMFT) of the Bato Balani Foundation, Inc. The honorees, who are selected to become ambassadors of hope, goodwill and inspiration to teachers and students, were chosen by a select panel of judges from the academe and civil society.

Topor, who is also the current Director of the UPV Graduate Program Office, received her award along with her fellow honorees during A Tribute to Teachers 2016 held at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino on October 1, 2016.  TMFT is an advocacy campaign of the Bato Balani Foundation, Inc. which aims to extol and honor the teachers who have dedicated themselves in the teaching vocation and had gone out of their way to become inspirations to their students, colleagues and the community.  It recognizes the exemplars in the teaching profession – the honorees – who play significant roles in the lives of the students, molding them to become successful professionals and leaders of the nation; develop teaching innovations; and become catalysts of change for a progressive academic community and society.

According to Topor, her dedication to the teaching profession is a moral obligation, which led her to develop innovative teaching materials.  She developed the chemistry game card called ChemTrump (available nationwide at C&E Bookshop) which stimulates student interests in the properties of the different elements in the periodic table.  She pioneered the conduct of the Chemistry Camp for high school teachers and students in Region VI. The Chemistry Camp is aimed to enhance the teachers’ knowledge in teaching chemistry, both lecture and laboratory classes and for the students to experience chemistry through simple experiments using ordinary household materials and solutions.  She also developed the chemistry games, ChemSquabble and ChemFactory, all geared toward awakening the interests of students in chemistry. Just recently, she submitted ChemSearch and ChemPuzzle (in press) to help enhance students’ learning of basic chemistry concepts.  A number of students took up BS Chemistry because they were inspired by the games, chemistry quiz bee and training conducted by the Department, which were spearheaded by Topor.

Topor is an inspiration and role model for her colleagues. She consistently receives excellent evaluation from her students.  Aside from excellence in teaching, she is also active in research and public service.  Recently, she developed a cyanide color wheel test kit through the support of UPV Foundation Inc., and the Department of Chemistry which find useful applications in food and human safety.  She and team mates Mr. Anthony Salvador Albaladejo and Ms. Rnie Shayne Gaurana, both faculty members of the Department of Chemistry have been conducting information dissemination campaigns on cassava cyanide and have held trainings on the use of the kit to LGU technicians (agriculturists, agricultural technologists, research specialists, cassava farmers and implementers) in the region, in coordination with Ms. Charmae Antipatia, Regional Cassava Focal Person of the Department of Agriculture, Regional Field Office 6. She had been presenting various papers in local and international conferences and had published them in peer-reviewed journals.  Topor is the first faculty from UPV to receive the TMFT award.(By: Enrique N. Legaspi III & Steve P. Janagap)

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