Dr. Lizzy Mathew was the first research scholar who obtained a Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Sr.Margaret Mary, one of the stalwarts of the Botany Department. The Ph.D. thesis of Dr. Lizzy Mathew on the family Polygalaceae is an outstanding, rare piece of work well appreciated by the scientific community. Dr. Lizzy Mathew is still an ardent researcher and builds a keen research aptitude in her students. Her soul always strives to go deep into the underlying mystery of seemingly simple things in nature, which is exemplified by her national and international research publications.
She did her schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Naval Base, Kochi. Her college education was completed at Bharath Mata college, Thrikkakkara, and Sacred Heart College, Thevara. She obtained M.Phil degree from Madhura Thyagaraja Arts college. Dr. Lizzy joined St.Teresa’s college. In 1994 as a junior lecturer in the Department of Botany while she was pursuing a Ph.D. in the Research center of the Department. She took Doctoral degree from the Research Centre of the Botany Department of our college in 2003 under the guidance of Dr. Sr. Margaret Mary. Dr.Lizzy is a recognised research guide of Mahatma Gandhi University and Bhrathiyar University. Under her guidance, six scholars have been awarded Doctoral Degree and 6 students are pursuing Ph.D. The area of her specialisation is Biodiversity and Taxonomy. She has completed one minor and one major project each sponsored by UGC. She has more than 50 research publications to her credit. Her contributions to the college’s research and consultancy cell- TRAAC- are to be specially mentioned. She prepared pictorial documentation of the flora of our college campus in 2019. In addition to these, she has authored a lab manual and contributed book chapters. Lizzy madam had served the institution in many other capacities as well, such as NSS coordinator, TRAAC Coordinator, Research Dean, staff advisor of ASTA, staff advisor of student grievance redressal, Arts club music club, etc. She was the student dean during the academic year 2008-2009.
Dr. Lizzy Mathew was the Head of the Botany Department from 2015 to 2018. Under her able headship, the Department progressed substantially. It was during her tenure that M.Phil Programme started in the Department. She was instrumental in obtaining DBT/STAR funding for the institution. Among their innumerable qualities in her – the most important one is the systematic and quick way of executing of her official duties. She was appointed as the Principal of the college in 2020. She was a very passionate and extremely dedicated teacher. Teaching was a part of her being. It was not just a profession for her but her vocation. She imparted knowledge with passion and love. As her students fondly recall, more than a teacher, she was a mother and mentor. She was a loving companion to her students with a compassionate and empathetic heart, but she never compromised on quality, ethics, and values. She has set amazing examples for the young generations to follow. The clarity with which she conveyed the ideas in the classroom was always appreciated by the students. She is a person who strived for the holistic development of the students.
Dr. Sajimol Augustine M (2014-2020)
Dr. Sajimol Augustine. M joined the department of Physics in 1987. She has a total of 33 years of service in teaching. She was awarded Ph.D by Cochin University of Science & Technology in the year 2013. She was the head of the department of Physics from 2006-2015 and the dean of the college from 2005-2006. She was the Controller of Examination from 2014-2015 when the college transitioned to being one of the first Autonomous Colleges in Kerala. Her commendable leadership steered the college achieving the highest NAAC grade of A++ with CGPA 3.57 in the fourth cycle. She has several national and international research publications to her credit. Her interdisciplinary research work has been filed for patent was published in the Indian Patent Journal in 6th May 2017. She was awarded the FLAIR (Fostering Linkages in Academic Innovation and Research) Research Excellence Award instituted by the Department of Higher Education, Government of Kerala (2016). Many of the college projects under her leadership have received state and national awards.
Rev. Dr. Sr. Celine E (Sr. Vinitha CSST) (2013-2014)
Dr. Sr. Vinitha (Celine E.) joined the department of English in 1988. She was awarded Ph.D by the Mahatma Gandhi University in1999 for her doctoral thesis on Marxism in Dorris Lessing. She is a recognized research guide of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, research supervisor of Anna University, Coimbatore and recognized Ph.D examiner of Bharatiar University. She is also the recognized M.Phil guide of Bharathidasan University. She has several research publications to her credit. She is the author of the works Passage to the Sun -Collection of Poems(1999), Encounters-Collection of Poems (2012) and Road Less Travelled and Other Stories (2013). Her spirituality and academics are closely linked. Her motto in life is to reach God through her deeds and help others find the divine. She believes that everything she sees and hears bear the touch of the master and even her writing is an expression of her communion with the supreme.
Rev. Sr. Teresa CSST (Dr. Helan A.P.) (2011-2014)
Sr. Teresa CSST (Dr. Helan A.P.) joined the Department of Economics as a lecturer in the year 1986. She was awarded Ph.D. by the M.G. University in 2004, for her Doctoral thesis on ‘Institutional Finance for housing in Kerala – A study with reference to HDFC and KSHB’. She has several publications to her credit. She is a recognized guide under M.G. University at the Research Centre of St. Teresa’s College.
Dr. Sr. Teresa CSST is appointed as the Secretary General of Xavier Board of Higher Education in India which has 360 Catholic member colleges and 5 State/ Deemed to be Universities. The tenure of office is for three years (2021-2024).
Her spirituality and academics are closely linked. Her motto in life is that knowledge should lead to wisdom and wisdom should lead to enlightment. The Christian and human values she upholds is a source of inspiration for many.
Rev. Sr. Christabelle’s leadership skills has enhanced the stature of the institution. She has streamlined the functioning of the college and multiplied the effectiveness of the services offered. Her administrative skills and able guidance have created a close bond among the management, faculty and students and unified them into a single entity striving towards excellence in the field of education.
Her association with the college began when she joined the college as a student in 1971. She joined the Department of Mathematics as a lecturer in 1981 and became the Principal in 2005. During her tenure, the college has undergone tremendous progress and advanced admirably in both academic and non-academic areas. Sr. Christabelle’s leadership, guidance and foresight have been responsible for this successful climb to the pinnacle of excellence. In keeping with the motto of the college, ‘Empowering today’s woman for tomorrow’, Sr. Christabelle has orchestrated every activity towards achieving this aim.
‘Technosavvy’ is the adjective that suits this mathematical wizard, whose strongest passion is to infuse technology into every realm of activity. Sr. Christabelle has several firsts to her credit. She was the first Principal to introduce a college anthem, a concerted extension programme(TROP), add-on courses, revival of the college emblem, formal farewell for the outgoing students, flight trip for the non-teaching staff, and much more. She belongs to that rare breed of human beings who never measure success in terms of power or fame. She gave to her fellow Teresians what they most desired: time, a patient ear and acceptance.
She received the Rev. Fr. Theo Mathias Award for Innovative College Educators for the year 2009, instituted by the All India Association for Christian Higher Education (AIACHE). She also received the honour of Dr. M.V. Pylee Award for the Best Principal of Kerala 2010. This honor is being bestowed on her in lieu of her outstanding and meritorious services in the field of education and human welfare.
Rev. Sr.Tessa CSST (1998 – 2005)
Sr.Tessa can be described as a judicious combination of admirable leadership qualities, strong value system and unfailing faith in the Supreme Power, which have been guiding her path in leading St. Teresa’s College to greater and greater heights. Appreciated by the Management and colleagues, loved by students and parents and admired by the public as a renowned academic, an efficient administrator and an educationalist of exceptional quality, Sr.Tessa remains a Principal with a difference.
She has been the motivating force behind the excellent achievements of St.Teresa’s in the academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular fields. Dedicating herself totally to the formation of the youth entrusted to her care, she worked very hard, day and night, to bring them up as intellectually creative, emotionally mature, morally responsible and spiritually enlightened women who will excel wherever they are. She put in sincere and earnest efforts to instil high quality and credibility to the academic and nonacademic programmes of the college, whether they are related to the development of infrastructure facilities, student and staff development, sports and games, co-curricular activities or introduction of new courses or new systems of education. Under the able stewardship of Sr.Tessa, St.Teresa’s College was brought to a pinnacle of glory through innumerable richly deserved distinctions and awards, which are far too many to mention, but some of the outstanding ones are:
1. FIVE STAR status by National Accreditation and Assessment Council.
2. R.SANKAR AWARD for the Best College of Kerala (third time) for the year 1998-’99.
3. Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Award for the best college in the state of Kerala for the year 1999.
4. R.SANKAR AWARD for the Best College of Kerala (forth time) for the year 2000-2001.
5. Fr.Joseph Thannipara Educational Trust Award for the best women’s college in the state of Kerala 2001-2002.
6. First among the Ten Best Colleges in Kerala short-listed by Vanitha, one of the Malayala Manorama Publications.
7. Fr.Joseph Thannipara Educational Trust Award for the best women’s college in the state of Kerala 2002-2003.
8. Eight National and State-level awards for the Best Principal.
9. Countless awards, trophies, prizes and other distinctions brought home by the staff and students.
In her ride towards excellence, she has given emphasis to providing employment opportunities to students by introducing job oriented programmes of study, empowerment of women and high moral and spiritual values; and puts in exemplary and admirable work for the uplift of the down-trodden and disadvantaged groups such as physically and economically challenged boys and girls and destitute children by getting the help and co-operation of students, parents and public.
The much-coveted multi-purpose indoor stadium cum auditorium ‘Teresian Gym Plaza 75’ has taken shape in 2002; and the long-cherished dream of her predecessors of having a spacious auditorium for the college is getting realized, as part of the Platinum jubilee Celebrations.
Rev. Sr. Emeline CSST (1986-1998)
For a long period of 12 years, her sure hand guided the institution. Though the going was not smooth, with her steady thoughts and mathematical precision, she prepared the staff and students to leap forward to the modernist trend in administration and education. She opened the windows of the college to newer ideas and started many new courses – post graduate course in Economics and two vocational courses viz. B.A. Communicative English and B. Sc. Computer Application (UGC Sponsored).
Participation in extra curricular activities was given equal importance as education. Empowerment of women was her motto and she encouraged students to venture into all areas where women could make a mark, and work towards self-realization. The Women’s Cell was started in the college during her period.
An uncompromising and successful Principal, she was an incarnation of good will and optimism, of energy and hard work, of perfection and devotion. She was a charismatic person, and everything she did bore the imprints of that charisma. She was open and accepted everything good without hesitation, as a result of which everything worked towards success.
With Sr. Emeline, started the era of awards for the excellence of the college and its Principal. St. Teresa’s won the first R. Sankar award for the Best College in the State. Teresians had the rare privilege of winning the same prestigious award for two consecutive years, which no other college has till today. She won the Fr. TA. Mathias National Award for the most innovative, outstanding Principal in 1998.
Success did not alter her person. Her innocent and disarming smile drew all to her, like honey attracts flies.
Rev. Sr. Marie Cecile CSST (1982 – 1986)
Only very rarely do we find persons of Sr. Marie Cecile’s calibre. She was gifted with creative intelligence and the spirit of courage and daring. She lived a fifty years ahead of her times. Her mental alertness was remarkable, her love and concern for the poor and those in the periphery of society was outstanding. She was a vibrant person and it was during her tenure in 1985, that the departments of Botany, Home Science and Sociology were recognised as research centres and a Sports Hostel was started. She maintained high academic standards in the college.
She was a jovial spirit; even in the most trying situation she could see its lighter side and laugh it away. People used to be mesmerized by the torrent of her words – it poured like a cataract, a mixture of humour, satire, paradoxes, beyond the high ranges of an artistic and amicable nature.
Rev. Sr. Seraphia CSST(1976 – 1982)
She was a shining example of selfless hard work and meticulous devotion to duty, born out of disciplined life. To Sr. Seraphia, the college owes much. A splendid library, a new administrative block, amenities in both lecture halls and staff rooms are only a few outward expressions of her vision and hard work.
Gentle and silent and most unassuming in her ways, she has taught the staff and the students the dignity of labour. Wherever her service was needed there she was – a lab attender, a typist, a peon, a teacher, a gardener and even a sweeper. She did everything with the same dignity. Malayalam was her discipline but she handled English admirably. She was a lady of character, a rare spirit who walked this earth and made it a blessed place. Deep was her faith in God and prayer was her sap of life. Her deep tranquility resulted from her trust in God and man. She found goodness in all and appreciated every little effort made by others. She had a grateful heart, which endeared her to all.
Rev. Sr. Concepta CSST(1970-1973)
Short was her tenure of office. But she has left an indelible mark on the annals of the institution through her kindness, simplicity, and sincerity. The welfare of the students and staff were her prime concern. She encouraged the staff to attend quality improvement programmes like refresher courses and seminars and gave a human facelift to the administration. She was a true lady, in speech and in demeanour who followed the motto of being strict with oneself and lenient with others. Hers was a short period of peace and tranquility much valued by the institution after the strenuous leap and progress of the previous years. Her students and colleagues remember her more as a teacher of Shakespeare who made the characters alive and vibrant, than as a Principal. Greatly God-fearing, she discharged her duties as the lady at the helm of St. Teresa’s College with courage in hand and confidence in God. This helped her to steer the ship smoothly.
Rev. Sr. Digna CSST (1944-1970, 1973-1976)
Sr. Digna and St. Teresa’s College have become synonymous terms. Barely two years after she started teaching in the Department of Economics, she was appointed Principal of the College in June 1944. She steered the college during the strenuous period of its infancy and succeeded in making it a full fledged, pioneering temple of learning, offering several programmes of study. What helped her in her ventures were her strong optimism, courage and implicit faith in God. She could plan the introduction of new courses well in advance. The task begun by her worthy precursors was raised to transcendent heights by her own buoyant spirit and vivid enthusiasm. In recognition of the active part she has played in the cause of Christian Higher Education in India, she was elected to the Executive Council of the International Federation of Catholic Universities as the only member from India.
She has made St. Teresa’s, one of the foremost educational institutions in South India, by her strenuous and sincere hard work. Her pioneering spirit, youthful vigour and stamina for hard work, cheerful disposition and dogged determination enabled her to overcome every hurdle and reach her set goal. The science block of St. Teresa’s College came into existence during her tenure.
Rev. Sr. Antoinette CSST(1937-1944)
A truly charismatic person, and an authentic Carmelite with a contemplative spirit, she was dignified and noble in her bearing, and combined in equal proportion the nun, the lady, the scholar and the Principal. Meticulous in planning, unflinching in dedication and a visionary in thinking, she loved to call herself, “a true daughter of the church”. She was a poet at heart and composed many devotional poems, which the congregation still sings and cherishes. Compassionately humane and an idealist grounded in reality, she was an eminent administrator and innovator, qualities which made the C.S.S.T Congregation choose her as the first Principal of Mount Carmel College, Bangalore in 1944.
Rev. Sr. Beatrice CSST(1925-1937)
St. Teresa’s College, the long cherished dream of Mother Teresa of St. Rose of Lima, the foundress of the C. S. S. T. congregation, was established in 1925, with Sr. Beatrice as its first Principal to provide higher education for Kochi’s progressive womanhood. The college was given First Grade status in 1929, and since then it has grown steadily, earning the approval of the successive University commissions as a progressive institution. The fast and enviable progress of the institution was due to the personal holiness and inexhaustible energies of its Principal Sr. Beatrice who had a spirit of rare optimism, to surmount the difficulties of the initial years of the institution.
She was a grand veteran educationalist and a truly versatile genius, who had her higher education in England where she took her Master’s Degree in seven subjects from the famous Edinburgh University She endeared herself to everybody with her simplicity, humility, attractive cheerfulness, kindness, humour and wisdom. Deep was her faith in God, and she was the beloved of God and her fellow beings. To her students, she was a storehouse of knowledge.