Luciana “Luchie” Villafranca Ilao, a distinguished alumnus of Adamson University, began teaching at her alma mater in 1977. By 1995, she became an affiliate faculty of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). She later joined the Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics at the College of Arts and Sciences in UP Manila. She taught various Chemistry subjects from General Chemistry and Natural Sciences to Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Biochemistry. She also mentored more than 40 undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry students involved in research studies on biosensors, natural products, and environmental chemistry.
Her passion for teaching inspired her to co-author two General Chemistry textbooks published by Rex Publishing. She was also part of a team of educators who developed a Chemistry textbook written in Filipino. This book, published by the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, was used by students who took Agham Pangkalikasan as a general education course in UP. She was also instrumental in developing the curriculum for the BS Biochemistry program of UP Manila. She wrote several syllabi, learning modules, and laboratory manuals for General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. She also assisted and evaluated learning materials produced by the Department of Education.
Her “leading by example” leadership style has earned her much respect from various academic institutions and professional organizations. She served as Head of the Chemistry Unit for six years and was appointed Associate Dean for Planning and Development in UP Manila for two terms. In professional organizations, she became the President of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc. (PACT) and served for seven years. She was also a Board Member and Secretary of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, and Director of the Philippine Alliance of Laboratory Equipment Users, Inc. (PALEU). She also led several successful national conferences, conventions, seminars, and teacher training workshops in various regions of the country.
Her laudable accomplishments in the field of Chemical Education earned her recognition from the Adamson University Alumni Association, Inc., where she was awarded the Outstanding Alumna in Education. She was also a recipient of the R. S. Benedicto Professorial Chair conferred by UP Manila.