The experience and administrative talent of Dr. Moisés Orengo Avilés were evident in his performance as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Acting Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Research of the same College, Associate Director and later Director of the Professional Enrichment Center and Associate Director of its Physics Department of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez . Also, Dr. Orengo held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from February 2003 to November 2009. He was a member of the Board of the Center for Research and Development (CID), the Governing Board of MuSA (Museum and Academic Senate) and secretary of the Mayagüez Foundation Celebration Committee. In these tasks, he has shown his sensitivity, leadership and commitment to the goals of our institution and the community.
His performance as dean of the campus's largest faculty resulted in the unprecedented hiring of teaching staff in all academic areas, especially in departments with high human resource needs. He strategically used seed funding support as an incentive to attract the best research talent. Likewise, the research program was nurtured by its emphasis on multidisciplinary research and creation, in the areas of the arts and humanities, an approach unparalleled in the Faculty so far.
In addition, he managed to increase seed funds for the development of basic, applied and arts research. As dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, he was a promoter of collaborative agreements with universities such as the University of Millersville, in which the cultural and educational exchange of teachers from Spanish-speaking communities in the United States and Puerto Rican educators was achieved.
Updating technologies for teaching and learning occupied a prominent place in Dean Orengo's management with the updating of classrooms and computer centers. With the remodeling of teaching rooms and improvements to the existing infrastructure, Dr. Orengo was able to enhance the teaching and work environment of the academic community.
Dr. Orengo has been an outstanding educator for more than 23 years, starting as a teaching assistant in the Department of Physics, a part-time professor in the Department of Natural Sciences of the Inter-American University in San Germán, and a full-time professor at the Ponce campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He has been a member of the faculty of the Physics Department since 1984, in which he has been distinguished with the rank of Professor. At the same time, he has an outstanding record in student evaluations throughout his career, which demonstrates the appreciation of the student body for his teaching.
His academic degrees include Bachelor of Science, Concentration in Physics, from the Mayagüez Campus, (1980), Master of Science, Concentration in Physics, also from our Campus (1984), Master of Science from Brown University in Rhode Island (1989) and Ph.D. in Physics also from Brown University (1996). Dr. Orengo has made valuable contributions with his master's degree research in electron paramagnetic resonance in the area of solid state physics and in his doctoral thesis on the subject of nuclear magnetic resonance of glasses.
However, the most prominent area in his projects and publications is the magic of teaching and learning, to which he has devoted two of his best talents (learning and teaching) and the most significant portion of his professional time. In this regard, Dr. Moisés Orengo Avilés has articles in refereed magazines and national publications. His works on “Assessment of University Physics in Puerto Rico”, published in the Proceedings of the Conference on the Introductory Physics Course, by John Wiley & Sons, and the article entitled “After so Much Effort: Is faculty Using Cooperative Learning in the Classroom? ” in the Journal of Engineering Education. In turn, Dr. Orengo is co-author of four publications aimed at improving teaching performance: the Compendium of Experiences in Cooperative Learning, the Manual for Teaching Task in the Classroom, the book Active Learning: Activities for the University Teaching of Sciences, Mathematics and Education and the digital publication: “Sharing Our Journey to Improve Mathematics and Science Education”. His students have benefited from two manuals that he published on the Lulu.com platform: “Presentations and Tasks Physics 1 (Fisi3151)” and “Presentations and Tasks Physics 2 (Fisi3152)”. Both manuals are available to students in print and digital versions.
Consequently, he is linked to the projects that have proven to be successful in improving teaching at the university and pre-university levels in Puerto Rico: the Systemic Initiative for Educational Reform in Science and Mathematics K-12 (PR-SSI ), the Project for the Scope, Sequence and Coordination of the Reform of Science and Mathematics Teaching (SSC), the Alliance for the Advancement of University Teaching in Puerto Rico (AMP), the Project for the Enrichment of the Curriculum in Sciences, Mathematics and NASA Technology, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DOE / EPSCoR), the Institute of Physical Sciences, the National Association of Science Teachers, the Science Fair, and the Alliance for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) . In addition, he was the Co-Principal Investigator of the successful AlACiMa (Alliance for Science and Mathematics Learning) project in which he concentrated his efforts on the training of science and mathematics teachers in hundreds of schools in PR.
For his part, as academic leader, Orengo fostered a successful model to contribute to the economic development of PR through strategic support to the Industrial Biotechnology program under to the Dean of Arts and Sciences. In the first place, it sponsored the analysis of strengths and needs together with an industrial advisory council with Vice Presidents of multinationals and the director of PRIDCO, who inspired the curricular review and directed the initiatives to be implemented. Second, he was able to increase contributions to the program through external funds. Finally, it made it possible for outreach and outreach to schools through industry sponsored camps. Later, the program expanded the Campus's educational impact platform to the local and international community through Latin American and Caribbean biotechnology congresses. In the later stages of the model, global biotechnology clinics between industry and academia were formalized, and training programs for displaced employees were initiated in collaboration with WIA and for plant employees sponsored by manufacturing companies. .
The final stage consisted of strengthening biotechnology research through one (1) million dollars from the Amgen company in the Bioments project. This example demonstrates one way in which we can conceptualize academia as a driving force for the island's economic well-being, for which Dr. Orengo as an academic leader promoted strategic collaborations with our constituents in academia, industry, and government.
His leadership extended to the arts, supporting a broad cultural agenda based on the promotion, dissemination and strengthening of cultural initiatives. He collaborated closely with the cultural managers, making alliances and coordinating with the local talent of the Campus to intensify their presence in the extended community and in all opportunities. With his support, the cultural agenda was strengthened and expanded in concert resulting in the conception of a dynamic, vibrant and enriching cultural environment for the entire western community.
In the same way, through his active participation as dean, he helped in the articulation and strengthening of the collaborative project between the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Casa Pueblo. The collaborative project with Casa Pueblo grew significantly and funds were allocated for an adjunct researcher position to institutionalize long-term research initiatives.
The rapprochement with the Mayagüez community was an aspect that Orengo cultivated as a member of the Committee to celebrate the anniversary of the city of Mayagüez. In this committee he contributed to the implementation of cultural and academic activities in tune with that anniversary.
The initiative, optimism and ingenuity of Dr. Moisés Orengo are the product of his birth. He was born in 1957 in the Algarrobo neighborhood in the municipality of Yauco, eleventh of a total of twelve siblings, (the first five, women, and then seven men), children of Don Diego Orengo Torres (RIP) and Delfina Avilés Galarza (RIP). Illustrating fundamental principles of human capital formation, Doña Delfina decided that her two youngest children, Moisés and Jaime, would not work on the farm, but would have to study. With this family inspiration and with careful discipline both managed to develop successful university careers: Jaime in Electrical Engineering and Moisés in Physics.
This family experience has allowed him to value university study as a good for people and society in general. He is convinced and committed that all actions that are forged in the university context must lead to the success of our students. Academic leadership, teaching, and research should be catalysts for student inspiration and, eventually, the successful completion of their studies.
For all that has been said, Dr. Moisés Orengo Avilés is committed to innovation that is reaffirmed in the richness that resides in our diversity, the virtue in our physical and human resources, the tenacity of our promise of academic and administrative excellence and our certainty that education is the future to sow hope and success.