Ateneo climatologist, alumna among TOWNS 2013 awardees

January 27, 2014

A climatologist and a social entrepreneur/educator represent the Ateneo de Manila University in this year’s The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) awards.

Dr. Gemma T. Narisma of the Department of Physics of the School of Science and Engineering and the Manila Observatory received the TOWNS Award for Atmospheric Science, and Eleanor Rosa I. Pinugu (AB Interdisciplinary Studies 2005; currently an MA Education student majoring in Educational Administration) is the TOWNS awardee for social enterprise and education. Narisma and Pinugu are among nine women to be honored by the TOWNS Foundation this year. 

From the TOWNS Foundation announcement:

Gemma Narisma is presented the TOWNS Award for Atmospheric Science for her contribution to national understanding and relevant response to climate change. She has been working to refine climate models of the effects and risks to communities brought about by climate change; her work has been used by policymakers and national development planners in agriculture, oceanography, geological sciences and forestry in the design and implementation of effective climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction programs. In 2012, she was named Outstanding Young Scientist in Atmospheric Science by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

Eleanor Pinugu, TOWNS awardee for social enterprise and education, is the founder and executive director of the Mano Amiga Academy, a non-profit school that aims to uplift the lives of underprivileged families through education. To ensure the sustainability of the school, she put up Bistro 3846, a high-end cafeteria that donates 100% of its profits to Mano Amigo, as well as provides training and employment to the community. The Bistro 3846 currently enjoys a net profit of 30-37% a month, demonstrating the viability of social enterprises. Pinugu was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2012, and was a recipient of the Social Entrepreneurship Star Award at the 2012 Asian Social Enterprise Summit in Korea.

TOWNS Foundation Inc. is a national organization of dynamic and effective women who by their common shared activities help transform the lives of Filipinos. The TOWNS Awards are given every three years following a year-long nationwide search. Once selected, recipients are expected to continue their excellent work as leaders in their respective fields. Since its inception in 1974, TOWNS has cited 149 women.

Dr. Narisma and Ms. Pinugu join the growing list of distinguished Ateneo women who have been honored by the TOWNS Foundation—Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno (AB Economics 1980; TOWNS 1998 for Law), Dr. Queena Lee-Chua (BS Mathematics 1987; Professor, Department of Mathematics; TOWNS 2001 for Education), Catherine S. Babao (BS Business Management 1986; TOWNS 2004 for Public Service), Dr. Catherine P. Vistro-Yu (BS Mathematics 1984; Professor, Department of Mathematics; TOWNS 2007 for Mathematics Education),  Atty. Arlene Javellana Bag-ao (Ateneo Law, 1993; TOWNS 2010 for Alternative Law); Therese Clarence Fernandez-Ruiz (BS Management 2007; TOWNS 2010 for Social Entrepreneurship); and Dr. Regina Hechanova Alampay (Professor, Department of Psychology).

* Eleanor Pinugu's photo from