by Rex Godinez Ortega and Michelle Jeanne C. Caracut
In what can only be described as a big step towards MSU-IIT’s goal of becoming a research university, the Institute inaugurates last Friday (December 2) its Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM) building.
The new building, which according to its director, Dr. Ferdinand Jamil, costs around P200 million to build, will house IIT’s state-of-the-art research laboratories and equipment, and is looked upon to provide inspiring new spaces for Institute faculty researchers to work in.
The construction of the PRISM building was made possible from funding from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and other sources, Jamil explained.
Institute Chancellor Sukarno D. Tangol is credited for being very instrumental in finding funding for the building.
The inauguration of the PRISM building was conducted amid simple ceremonies that was attended by Dr. Zenaida G. Gersana, Director IV of the CHEd Region X office; Dr. Mary Joyce Guinto-Sali, Secretary to the University and the MSU Board of Regents, representing MSU System President Habib Macaayong; Atty. Orlando Maglinao representing Iligan District Congressman Freddie Siao; Atty. Dexter Rey Sumaoy, City Administrator, representing Mayor Celso Regencia; and city councilors Samuel Huertas and Ryan Ong.
Other guests included visiting professors Dr. Ludwig Streit of Germany’s University of Bielefeld; Dr. Wathuge Thamara Priyantie Sandun Kumari Senarath of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka; and Dr. Christopher C, Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido of the Research Center for Theoretical Physics of Jagna Bohol.
Dr. Gersana praised MSU-IIT for constructing the PRISM building, and said that she was “very impressed with the Institute’s College of Science and Mathematics, which has already made all its four departments Centers of Excellence in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics”.
Gersana said that the building’s construction will allow MSU-IIT to support a research climate that would encourage “collaborations among research groups as it houses state-of-the-art equipment and research facilities”.
“[It would] create a conducive academic and research environment involving the university faculty, the community, and PRISM members,” she added.
Chancellor Tanggol, listening to the speeches of how MSU-IIT was standing at the threshold of the future with the inauguration of the PRISM building, provided the cautionary words, saying that IIT should take care to remember that “research should be for development, and that the D in R&D should represent development of humanity rather than for its destruction”.
The PRISM is divided into nine sections or programs, each headed by leading faculty members in their fields.
These sections/programs are – Biodiversity (Dr. Olga M. Nuneza), Biotechnology (Dr. Franco G. Teves), Natural Products and Drug Development (Dr. Mylene M. Uy), Nanoscience (Dr. Reynaldo M. Vequizo), Applied Mathematics and Statistics (Dr. Daisy Lou L. Polestico), Theoretical Science (Dr. Sergio R. Canoy, Jr.), Climate Change (Dr. Cesar G. Demayo), and Complex Systems (Dr. Mark Nolan P. Confessor).
The different program leaders make up the PRISM Council, who are tasked to work with the PRISM Director Jamil.
The PRISM building inauguration ceremonies included a blessing, ribbon-cutting, unveiling of the building nameplate, and laying of the time capsule that will be unearthed in 50 years.
Retired College of Engineering and Technology faculty member, Engr. Geronides P. Angcog who chairs the Technical Working Group for the PRISM building construction, presented the building’s environmentally-responsible and resource-efficient features to the guests and Institute officials.
It was also announced during the inauguration that the PRISM will be a cost center under the direct supervision of the Office of the Chancellor, and which will be managed by the PRISM Council and the PRISM Director.