What is PACES?

Mission:
To support needy but outstanding Filipino university students in the form of scholarships in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Vision:
A sustainable scholarship programme in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) leading towards a strong scientific and technical base in the Philippines.

PACES stands for the Philippine-Austrian Cultural and Educational Society. It is an association of like-minded members of the Philippine-Austrian community who believe in promoting the study of science and technology as a vehicle for development and progress.

PACES’ core activity is a scholarship program – STEMS70 – which aims to provide full scholarship to deserving students in the Philippines pursuing college degrees in the scientific fields, and will promote this learning process by strengthening the inter-cultural dialogue and the bilateral relationship between these two nations .

The Philippines and Austria are two countries with distinct historical and cultural backgrounds, and there are important knowledge and values that the people of one country can learn from the other. PACES is founded on the idea that peoples and societies develop and progress by learning from each other.

PACES activities build around the following concepts:


  • PACES promotes intercultural exchange between Austria and the Philippines;
  • PACES supports science as a vehicle for progress and development;
  • PACES supports education initiatives in science and technology; and
  • PACES helps provide full scholarships to deserving students.

PACES in Under a Minute

The Faces Behind PACES

Officers and Executive Board, 2021-2022

Marizel Magistrado Rojas

Marizel Magistrado Rojas

President

Marizel is a product of the National Science Development Board / National Science and Technology Authority-Department of Science and Technology with a BSc in Physics for Teachers.She is an alumna of Europa-Wirtschaftsschulen Wien (EWS). She taught Physics for four years and is currently working at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. In 2019, Marizel was recognized as the Most Influential Woman in the World by the Filipina Women’s Network.

Priscila Ramo-Confiado

Priscila Ramo-Confiado

Vice President, Internal Affairs

Priscila is a Social Development Consultant and Practitioner with over 20 years of professional experience working with grassroots communities in the Philippines. She obtained her BSc from the University of the Philippines and her Masters in Rural Development Management from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain. Priscila believes that that education is key to a nation’s development, and
has devoted herself to the education of underprivileged children for the past 17 years.

Franz Berner

Franz Berner

Vice President, External Affairs

Franz Berner is a multi-awarded film maker and script writer from Vienna, Austria. He studied at the Wiener Filmakademie, University of California Los Angeles and Kobe Shukugawa Gakuin University in Japan before earning a  B.A. “cum Honoribus“ in Film and Video Studies from Pitzer College (part of Claremont Colleges, California, USA). He has participated in several international film festivals like the Viennale, and his work has been featured in television channels such as ORF, ATV and Puls 4.

Robee Sallegue

Robee Sallegue

Secretary

Robee Sallegue studied at MODUL Tourism Institute in Vienna and earned her BA degree from the University of Derby in the UK. She has completed a Management Training Program at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Cleveland and also spent 18 months as a full-time pastoral missionary in Botswana, Africa. Robee currently works as a Commercial Specialist and Budget Analyst for the Department of Commerce at the US Embassy in Vienna. Together with her spouse, she also serves as Country Head of the Couples for Christ organization in Austria.

Nilsa Fischer

Nilsa Fischer

Treasurer

Nilsa is a practicing nurse at the Department of Neurosurgery at the Vienna University Hospital AKH. She is President of the Austrian Association of Neurosurgical Nurses, Representative of Austria to the European Association of Neuroscience Nurses and Austrian representative to the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses.
Jane Gerardo-Abaya

Jane Gerardo-Abaya

Auditor

Jane holds a PhD in Applied Geology and Geothermal Hydrology and is currently a director for the Asia and Pacific program of an international organization based in Vienna. She has over 30 years of professional work experience in the fields of environment, geothermal energy and program management in the Philippines and internationally.

Efren Abaya

Efren Abaya

Scholarship Committee

Efren formerly worked at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), where he headed a unit responsible for the worldwide communications network which connects monitoring stations to its International Data Centre in Vienna. Prior to this, Dr. Abaya was a professor and former Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of the Philippines, Dilliman.

Gina Villanueva-Weinzierl

Gina Villanueva-Weinzierl

Fundraising Committee

Gina has been in the education and training field for over 15 years. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Institute of International Marketing Management at the Wirtschaft Universität (WU) Wien and a senior lecturer for accounting and controlling at the IBC-Hetzendorf. Gina is an MBA graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and completing her doctoral studies on marketing strategic management at the WU Wien.

Rodolfo Quevenco

Rodolfo Quevenco

Auditor

also rRodolfo Quevenco is a communications and outreach professional with over 30 years experience in digital imaging, social media, and web publishing. He is an avid landscape photographer. In his former job as senior communications officer and editor at the international, Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rodolfo dedicated much of his career in editing and rewriting complex, scientific and technical information to be easily understood by the general public, and in exploring new ways and processes to make scientific information more accessible.   

Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson

Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson

Founding Ambassador

Ambassador Collinson was the former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines to the Republic of Austria.

Maria Lourdes Reininger

Maria Lourdes Reininger

President, 2018-2020

Malou has a background in Computer Science and Information Technology and spent 29 years of her professional life in these fields in various managerial and leadership positions. She obtained a BSc from the University of the Philippines in Manila and completed post graduate studies at Webster University in Vienna, the Regional Information Management Center in Paris, and at the Department of State in Washington D.C. An active member of the Philippine community in Austria since 1995, Malou was founding chairwoman of a Philippine women’s organization based in Vienna, and in 1997, chairperson  of the Philippine Centennial Celebrations in Austria. In 2013, she was appointed honorary Integration Ambassador under the auspices of the Republic of Austria, Ministry of Integration.

Thomas Hohenberg

Thomas Hohenberg

President, 2016-2018

Thomas studied law at the University of Vienna and completed a postgraduate study at the University College London. He worked as a Business Analyst at Citigroup in New York and then trained as a lawyer in commercial law firms in Vienna before establishing his own legal practice in 2014. In November  2014, he was appointed as Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Austria.