The Faculty of Engineering officials led by the Dean, Dr. Philipina A. Marcelo, and the Executive Director of the Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev), Mr. Alexis Kayanan, welcomed the Visiting Professor from Cornell University, Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour, in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony at the Café Ilang-Ilang, Manila Hotel on 22 August 2016. Dr. Padilla-Zakour’s visit is under the Visiting Professor Program (VPP) of PhilDev S&T’s Innovative Development for Entrepreneurship Advancement (IDEA) project with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The MOU was signed by the Rector of the University, Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., the PhilDev S&T Executive Vice-Chairman, Mr. Jones M. Castro, Jr., and Dr. Padilla-Zakour.

Dr. Padilla-Zakour served as Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Engineering from 22 August to 29 August 2016, conducting seminars and working with the officials of the Faculty to design multi-disciplinary Entrepreneurship Program as well as research-based Extension Service Program leading to entrepreneurship. The Department of Chemical Engineering (ChemE), led by the Chairperson, Engr. Mark Emile H. Punzalan, and the Department of Industrial Engineering (IE) led by the new Chairperson, Engr. Angelo O. Valte, will lead the Faculty in hosting Dr. Padilla-Zakour. She is co-hosted by the Department of Food Technology of the College of Education and the Department of Entrepreneurship of the College of Commerce and Business Administration. She will also conduct discussions with Engr. Charlie A. Marquez, who was a visiting scholar at the Saturdja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) in University of California – Berkeley, under the auspices of PhilDev in its IDEA Program, to assist in his progress in piloting Technopreneurship in the IE Department and ChemE Department.

The IDEA project is aimed at assisting Universities in infusing entrepreneurship in the curriculum of Science and Technology Programs in Higher Education. Similarly, aside from creativeness and innovativeness, the Faculty of Engineering aims to cultivate the culture of entrepreneurship among its students. Recognizing that the Cornell University has a strong Entrepreneurship Program across various disciplines, Dean Marcelo invited and led the Faculty in hosting Dr. Padilla-Zakour to share the Cornell experience in Entrepreneurship. They applied for and obtained funding from PhilDev under the VPP of the IDEA Program.

Dr. Padilla-Zakour is Professor and Chair of the Cornell Department of Food Science. She is the Director of the NY State Food Venture Center and Director of the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship. She has served in the research-based Extension Service Programs of Cornell Food Science, which lead to entrepreneurship, since her first year in Cornell as a faculty member, and has been very much involved in technology transfer activities of the Cornell Institute of Food Systems – both as a scientist and official.