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Woodbury University President Dr. Luis Calingo Honored by University of the Philippines

For most of us, college homecoming is all about football, tailgating and tales of what we’ve been up to all these years.

Not so for Luis Maria R. Calingo, Ph.D, president of Woodbury University. Calingo returned to his hometown of Manila recently to receive the 2013 “Most Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of the Philippines College of Engineering, his alma mater.

The day after Typhoon Haiyan slammed into another part of the Philippine archipelago, Calingo delivered the distinguished alumnus lecture to engineering faculty on the subject of educational practices that maximize student engagement and learning. He went on to connect those practices to the Woodbury Integrated Student Experience (WISE) program. A bit later during his stay, Calingo presented a paper about smarter cities at an international conference on urban planning. He is the second of only three Filipino-American university presidents.

Stateside, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America (UPAAA) has conferred on Dr. Calingo its Distinguished Alumnus Award in Education and International Development, describing him as “a role model, not only to the Filipino-American academic community, but to the whole Filipino-American community, especially among the youth.”
“Being honored by the University of the Philippines was at once humbling and inspiring,” he said. “This recognition from my alma mater stands apart, both professionally and personally. I owe so much to the institution, and I was grateful that I was able to spend this difficult period with longtime associates and friends. By the same token, recognition from the UPAAA is immensely gratifying – the organization is an important force in the Filipino-American community in the United States.” He noted that his success is grounded in the support of his wife Gem and their close-knit family life.

“Despite my expatriate status in a country I have called home for 33 years now, I share with all University of the Philippines alumni a moral and ethical obligation to give back to the people who invested in our education,” Calingo said, in his acceptance speech. “From my education at the College of Engineering, I have developed the passion for analyzing and designing complex social systems – a discipline that has made me distinctive among my peers, to this day.”

An international expert in strategic planning and quality management, Dr. Calingo has assisted the governments of Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam on the establishment and implementation of their national awards for quality and business excellence, as well as the infusion of quality assurance into their higher education systems. He has served as a member of the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the country’s highest award for quality and performance excellence, since 1997. Dr. Calingo’s professional interests include servant leadership, strategic planning, total quality management and international business with a focus on Southeast Asia.

Calingo was installed as Woodbury’s 13th president in October 2012 after serving in leadership roles at Dominican University of California; the Boler School of Business at John Carroll University, the Jesuit School of Cleveland; and the College of Business Administration at California State University, Long Beach, among others. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines, and a B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of the Philippines.