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Our Mentors' Legacy PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 11 November 2006
 Our Mentors' Legacy:  Articles about two of the College's former Deans, Drs. Leonor Lago and Naty Gervasio. (by Dr. S. Hernandez, Dr. M. Sunico)

DR. LEONOR LAGO        by Dr. Sandy Hernandez

Dr. L. LagoOne of our retirees this year needs no introduction. For at one time or another, she may have been your teacher, your mentor, thesis adviser or just a friend. Dr. Lago has been in the service of the university for a good number of years now. She graduated from UP in 1965 and obtained a certificate in Orthodontics from the Osaka University in 1972. On December 11, 1967 she began her teaching career as an Instructor at the College of Dentistry. She is now a full professor. Married to Engr. Vicente, M. Lago, Jr., the Lagos are blessed with two children namely: Leinard, now a physical therapist practicing in New York and Vivienne, a dentist practicing in Southern California, UPCD batch 2000.

Dr. Lago’s career is highlighted by her various high positions in the university. In 1977-1989 she was Faculty-in-charge of the Orthodontic Section at the College of Dentistry. She concurrently held the position of Department Chair of the Basic Sciences (1981-1984) and College Secretary (1981-1989). Along with Dr. Luz C. Macapanpan, she was the main proponent to develop a graduate program in Orthodontics. It was in 1989 when this program finally began and she sat as its first Chair. In 1995-1997 she held the position of University Registrar and in 1997-2000 she was Dean of the College of Dentistry.

She is credited with authoring a book, written in Filipino, entitled, "Morfologia at Pisyologia ng Ngipin" published in 1998 by the UP Sentro ng Wikang Pilipino.

She is active in the profession through her membership in various organizations such as: fellow (since 1990) and vice president (from 2004-to the present) of the International College of Dentists RP Section, Philippine Dental Association as a member of the speakers’ bureau, chaired the 97th and 98th annual convention and scientific meeting in 2005 and 2006 and chaired the free communications from 2000-2004, and 2006.

Dr. Lago was awarded the UPCD Alumni Association’s Most Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2004; UP Manila Alumni Association, Inc.’s Professional Award in Dentistry in 1984, International College of Dentists Achievement Award in 1997, UPCD Outstanding Service Award in 2000, UP Manila Service Award for 30 years of service in 1999 and for 35 years of service in 2003.

Dr. Lago remains down to earth, approachable and friendly. With her retirement drawing near, we will miss her.


by Dr. Michelle Sunico

Dr. N. GervasioOne of the pillars of the UP College of Dentistry is Dr. Natividad C. Gervasio. This formidable-looking yet gentle lady with Castilian features and deeply-ingrained Caviteña pride has led the College into several triumphs.

Today’s students may know her as their awe-inspiring teacher in Oral Pathology who can enumerate the symptoms of all oral lesions and neoplasms with such expertise, or remove impacted or fractured teeth in the blink of an eye.

The Harvard University and Worcester City Hospital-trained (Massachusetts, U.S.A.) Professor served two terms (1991-1997) as the first lady Dean of the College of Dentistry. Her greatest achievements during her six-year term as Dean:

•Made possible the construction of the new College of Dentistry building at Pedro Gil St. by soliciting donations amounting to around Php56M.

•Formalized the linkage Nippon Dental University in Japan in 1995. Under this, 3 faculty members were able to undergo graduate studies in Japan.

After serving as Dean, she was appointed as Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs during Chancellor Alfredo Ramirez’s term (1999 – 2002). She also served as the Head of the Department of Dentistry of the Philippine General Hospital. She is currently the Chairperson of the Technical Committee for Dental Education (TGDE) of the Committee on Higher Education (CHED). Two years ago, she was conferred an honorary degree (PhD) by the Nippon Dental University. Best known for her professionalism, no-nonsense administrative style and sound judgement, she is the epitome of a hardworking, disciplined leader who led by example. Punctuality is one of her trademarks (aside from her Oral Pathology exams) and she has been known to lock those habitual latecomers out of the lecture room.

However strict or how high her position is though, people always find her approachable, exchanging jokes, stories or advice with almost anybody, no matter how humble their position is. After all her success, she has managed to keep her feet on the ground. We thank her for the many years she had selflessly shared with the College and for the inspiration she gave us; not to mention, the stories, advice and the occasional cup of brewed coffee and slice of that delicious taisan bread; most of all, for being one of the reasons why we are proud to say that we are from the UP College of Dentistry.

Last Updated ( Friday, 27 February 2009 )
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