A warm welcome to the new IPC Director and IPC Associate Director for Research


May 31, 2016


The Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) of the School of Social Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Maria Elissa Jayme Lao as the Director of the IPC for a three-year term from 1 June 2016 to 31 May 2019, as well as the appointment of Dr. Enrique Niño P. Leviste as the IPC Associate Director for Research also effective 1 June 2016. Their appointments were approved by the Vice President for the Loyola Schools, Dr. John Paul C. Vergara.

Dr. Lao is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Ateneo de Manila’s Department of Political Science where she teaches courses on politics and governance, international relations, Philippine foreign policy, issues and problems in Philippine governance, diplomacy and consular practice, among others. She obtained her Masters in International Science from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and her doctorate in Public Administration from the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Her research interests include elections and electoral systems, political parties, migration, international relations, and social change, among others. Dr. Lao was former IPC Associate Director for Research in school year 2010-11. As IPC Research Associate, she has conducted studies on the processes of social change, the social impact of Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng on communities in Metro Manila and Northern Luzon, the social assessment on the urban renewal for the Welfareville Compound in Mandaluyong City, and population displacements in the Philippines, among others.

Dr. Leviste is Assistant Professor in the Ateneo de Manila’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology where he teaches subjects ranging from introductory sociology and anthropology to more advanced courses such as quantitative methods in the social sciences, sociological perspectives on politics in Southeast Asia, and education and social and cultural reproduction. He obtained his PhD in Sociology from the National University of Singapore in 2011 and was conferred the Ananda Rajah Prize for Best PhD Thesis in Sociology in 2012. He was a Research Fellow of the National Institute of Education, Singapore from 2012 to 2013 and was a member of the research team that worked on the project “Singapore Teachers’ Perspectives on Diversity and Multicultural Education.” His areas of research interest and expertise include political sociology and sociology of education. Currently, Dr. Leviste is the Project Director of the IPC research on “The Dynamics of Counter-hegemony: Women’s Participation in the Population Policy Debate and Advocacy Process.” The IPC is thankful to Dr. Lao and Dr. Leviste for accepting the responsibility of leading the Institute of Philippine Culture towards greater accomplishments in research, capacity building, and knowledge dissemination on Philippine society and culture. The Institute also wishes to thank Dr. Marita Concepcion Castro Guevara who served as IPC Director from 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2016. It is likewise grateful to its two Associate Directors for Research during school years 2013-16, namely, Dr. Francis A. Gealogo (1 June 2013 to 31 March 2015) and Dr. Ma. Elizabeth J. Macapagal (1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016). A warm welcome to Dr. Melissa Lao and Dr. Niño Leviste as they assume leadership roles in the IPC!