By Albino C. Gamba Jr., image by Jefferson Villacruz
(JAN. 7)—The Senate of the Philippines honored Dr. Alonzo A. Gabriel of the UPD College of Home Economics (CHE) on Dec 15 for being one of the 2014 Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP).
Gabriel was recognized under the category academic leadership and/or accomplishment.
Senate Resolution No. 875, introduced by Senator Manuel M. Lapid, states “Dr. Gabriel helps micro and small scale industry stakeholders who do not have the ability to conduct their own research to stay updated with the newest food safety and processing innovations, as they are often marginalized or underprivileged across communities.”
The resolution further states, “His advocacy for improved food quality, safety and defense moves farmers, fishermen and food manufacturers to comply with international standards for production, distribution and trade.”
Gabriel, a noted food scientist/technologist, was recognized by JCI for his knowhow in food science, focusing on food hygiene and nutrition and for sharing his thoughts and knowledge on proper food preparation to street vendors and mothers.
He received the award on Nov 28 at the 2014 JCI World Congress in Leipzig, Germany.
JCI is a worldwide non-profit organization of young active citizens, ages 18 to 40, dedicated to creating positive change in their communities through projects that target solutions to local problems.
Each year, the JCI honors 10 outstanding people under the age of 40 who excel in their fields of expertise and provide extraordinary service to their communities whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, thus creating a positive impact on a local or global level.
Gabriel told UPDate he was overwhelmed and quite humbled by the award. “My co-honorees have dedicated their lives in making a change in their respective fields. There is this challenge that I should continue doing what I am doing, and as much as possible share the value of serving our fellowmen to our students. “
Gabriel acknowledged the UP faculty members’ unique tripartite function (teaching, research and extension) which according to him is not distinct from but rather interconnected with each other.
“We do not just teach our students textbook lessons, we teach them cutting edge knowledge that we establish in our research works and make them competitive with the manpower the rest of the world is producing. We teach them the value of going out to the community to address real-world problems that the Filipino family faces everyday. We also go out to the community and share whatever resources we develop in our laboratory/ research works to stakeholders, especially the marginalized and underserved,” explained Gabriel.
Gabriel is an associate professor of food science at the CHE. He is a member of various professional societies, among them the Saint Gallen of Japan, European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Germany), and the International Association for Food Protection (USA). He obtained his PhD in Bio-functional Science and Technology (Food Microbiology and Hygiene) from Hiroshima University in Japan.
He is a recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Young Scientist Award (for the field of Microbiology and Hygiene) from the National Academy of Science and Technology, the TOYM 2013 (The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines) for Food Science and Technology, the 2013 IUFoST (International Union of Food Science and Technology) Young Scientist Excellence Award, and the 2014 Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Applied Research of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science or PhilAAS.