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The University of the Philippines System showcased its top scientists and artists at its Research and Creative Work Leadership Conference (RCWLC) dubbed "Utak at Puso para sa bayan (A Knowledge Festival)." This was held on 17 to 19 April 2016 at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City, Philippines. The conference featured UP’s most highly cited academics and researchers based on Google Scholar. Three of these are UP Open University (UPOU) professors, namely, Dr. Alexander G. Flor, Dr. Inocencio E. Buot, Jr., and Dr. Patricia B. Arinto.

Dr. Flor, UPOU’s Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) has an H-index of 7 with a citation of 207 on Google Scholar. He is an expert in the area of development communication, knowledge management, distance education, information and communication technology or ICT for Development, ICT for Education, and indigenous knowledge systems, and has published numerous books and journal articles in these fields. At the RCWLC, he exhibited his publication entitled "Dysfunctional Digital Demeanors: Tales from (and Policy Implications of) eLearnings Dark Side."

Dr. Inocencio E. Buot, Jr., UPOU’s former Dean of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), is a UP Scientist III and has an H-index of 6 and a citation score of 105. He has done numerous researches on vegetation ecology, landscape ecology, biodiversity hotspots and conservation, vascular plant systematic, wild plant domestication, ethnobotany, medical botany, developmental and systematic anatomy, plant geography, environmental science. His works are published and cited in various international publications including the American Journal of Environmental Science, Asia Life Sciences, and the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology.

Dr. Patricia Arinto, is UPOU’s Dean of the Faculty of Education (FEd). She scored 5 on the H-index and listed 62 citations on Google Scholar. Dr. Arinto is a recognized expert in distance education, learning design, and teacher professional development in technology-supported learning where she has led several projects and researches, and has been invited to speak in conferences abroad on these subjects. She exhibited her research "A Framework for Developing Competencies in Open and Distance e-Learning" at the RCWLC.

Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, UPOU’s former Chancellor, was also recognized for her contributions as an artist. Dr. Alfonso is a painter and a sculptor, a filmmaker, director, film researcher, a multimedia expert, and a film critic. She has acted as writer and director in several television dramas, narrative features, documentaries, and educational videos. In addition to these, she has directed numerous educational videos that are used in a range of courses at the UP Open University. Dr. Alfonso is one of only two artists that have been permitted by the University of the Philippines to cast and create the iconic UP Oblation.

The RCWLC also served a gathering of UP’s top scientists, researchers and artists to forge stronger interdisciplinary collaborations, and work together to effectively showcase their products to the media and the general public. Authors of projects and researches that were funded by UP and externally were also invited to participate and exhibit their projects.

UPOU’s project under the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) Program of the UP System, "Multimedia and Multidisciplinary Teaching and Learning Materials: Production, Research and Assessment" by Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, Dr. Melinda F. Lumanta, Dr. Jean A. Saludadez, and Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria was exhibited at the conference. Another project under the UP Enhanced Creative Work and Research Grant (ECWRG) by Dr. Ricardo Bagarinao entitled "Changing Faces, Facing Changes: Landscape Changes in Calamba City and the Environment" was also displayed. Dr. Sheila Bonito, the recipient of ASEA UNINET’s Bernd Rode Senior Research Award 2016, also exhibited her study "Data Mining in Twitter during Typhoon Events in the Philippines."

This conference is spearheaded by the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and was held as part of the University’s efforts to increase the scientific literacy and artistic awareness of the country. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

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21st Century Education in an Open World