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Chemistry prof is 2017 Taube Medalist

Dr. Concepcion P. Ponce, a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Visayas was awarded the 2017 Taube Medal by the University of Saskatchewan - Department of Chemistry. The Taube Medal is an annual award given to the graduate student in the Department of Chemistry who is judged to have made the most significant overall contribution to research and scholarly activity.

Dr. Ponce finished her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK Canada in October 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Paige.

Dr. Ponce’s primary research project was aimed at understanding and controlling non-coherent photon up conversion (NCPU) in solids and in thin films. In addition, she also worked on a number of side-projects, including the synthesis of gemini surfactants and measuring photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Her research has led to four peer-reviewed publications. Her research contributions have been in the field of NCPU, a cutting-edge area of spectroscopy research that is also a very challenging one. The challenges in this field are unusual because the optical signals that are being detected are quite small and the kinetics of the spectroscopic processes involved in the energy transfer are very fast.

While not directly related to her research, Dr. Ponce’s contributions to the scientific enterprise extend well beyond her immediate research. During her PhD program, she made outstanding contributions to science outreach activities. She played a leadership role in the “Let’s Talk Science” and “Science Rendezvous” programs – both major outreach activities, during the period that she was at the University of Saskatchewan.

She was also the Department’s first lab demonstration assistant, a new position that required her to carry out live chemistry demonstrations to large first year classes. This was a huge undertaking as it was the first time the Department of Chemistry attempted the exercise and she had to compile manuals and prepare the materials for these demonstrations. The Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan wrote in their newsletter that her efforts raised the profile of the Department dramatically. (Source: University of Saskatchewan, Department of Chemistry Newsletter)

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