Davaoeño is first Filipino president of US university

Jan. 13, 2015

By Roberto Gumba, Jr., Davao Today Intern

Davao City – A Davaoeño is making a name in the field of education in the United States after being appointed as the president of a New York university.

Dr. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, who became the current president of St. John’s University in Queens, New York, United States is the first Filipino president of an international school.

During Tuesday’s regular session, councilor Danilo Dayanghirang proposed a resolution to recognize the achievement of Gempesaw.

“I humbly urge my colleagues in this Council to pass a resolution acknowledging the exemplary works of Dr. Gempesaw in the field of academics and higher learning,” said Dayanghirang.

“Dr. Gempesaw is an accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator who came to St. John’s with almost three decades of academic and administrative experience,” Dayanghirang said in his privilege speech.

Gempesaw was a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Ateneo de Davao University. He also obtained a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at West Virginia University, and doctorate degree in Agricultural Economics from Pennsylvania State University.

Before he was installed president, he was the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

According to New York Times Schools For Tomorrow, Gempesaw as a provost “led the development of new academic and advisement strategies to enhance retention and graduation rates, initiated a multi-term registration system and new winter term, increased international enrollment and global partnerships, established student learning outcomes assessment practices, devised a distinct e-learning market strategy and introduced new revenue initiatives.”

Gempesaw was also the Dean of the University of Delaware (UD) Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Vice-Provost for Academic and International Programs, Interim Dean of UD’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Food and Resource Economics.

A report from Miami University said “the Lerner College witnessed unprecedented growth in undergraduate and graduate student demand and selectivity during Gempesaw’s tenure. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Center for International Studies in 2001, which led to the university’s recognition as a top study abroad institution in the nation.”

“It is noteworthy to mention Dr. Gempesaw’s achievement because as a Dabawenyo, he has brought honor and pride to the people of Davao,” Dayanghirang said.

Gempesaw is also the cousin of the late Celso “Popo” Gempesaw, who previously headed the Traffic Management Center (TMC), and of the former City Administrator, Atty. Carmelo Gempesaw.(davaotoday.com)

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