Carmelita I. Quebengco is Chancellor Emeritus and University Fellow at De La Salle University (DLSU), where she also currently serves as Consultant to the President. She has had a challenging and colorful professional journey from being a classroom teacher at La Salle Green Hills High School to becoming a faculty member of the DLSU Graduate School of Education, Director of its University Research Office, Chair of the Educational Leadership and Management Department, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Founding Dean of the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, Academic Vice President, then the first woman Executive Vice President/Chancellor of the university, where she also became its first lay and first woman President in 2003. After her retirement from DLSU in 2008, she served De La Salle Philippines as its Executive Vice President-Chief Operating Officer, then was appointed by the Superior General of the Christian Brothers as Co-Secretary of the Lasallian Education Mission Office of the Institute of the Christian Brothers in Rome, Italy.
Dr. Quebengco obtained a Monbusho Scholarship at Kobe University in Japan, Ford Foundation grant on Indigenous Education in the United States, and a Freeman Fellowship in Salzburg, Austria in 1998 and 1999. She was a Visiting Professor at Waseda University in Tokyo, and Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. In March 2010, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership by St. Mary’s University in Minnesota, USA. She was likewise bestowed the highest honor that a lay person can receive from the Christian Brothers’ Institute as an Affiliate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. She is a Trustee of 18 schools and universities, national professional organizations, NGOs, educational accrediting bodies, and the International Association of Lasallian Universities.
As an educator she has consistently lived her commitment to the Lasallian mission of service to the marginalized. Her research on Philippine indigenous education gave rise to the establishment of the Pundasyon Hanunuo Mangyan School in the uplands of Southern Mindoro, where she developed a culturally specific basic education program for the poorest Hanunuo Mangyan children. Established in 2004, she helped supervise and develop this school until her retirement in 2008. The Pundasyon Hanunuo Mangyan School is DLSU’s longest existing project for the poor.
She is also known for having initiated and developed educational innovations, among which are the Educational Development Special Program, the Arts Management Program, and the program for the deaf at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde; the STAR Scholars program, The Museum, the Lasallian Transformative Learning and Quality Assurance at DLSU; the development program for Philippine Lasallian education and Learning Leaders at De La Salle Philippines, and many more. It was during her watch when DLSU was granted the highest accreditation level which can be conferred on a Philippine private university.
During her early years as a classroom teacher, she had to refuse administrative positions in order to attend to her only child, Rommel, who was then in elementary school, as she was widowed at an early age. When her son grew up and became independent, she began to accept leadership roles in the university. In 2007, she established the Rommel Quebengco Memorial Foundation, which now supports the education of seven children of poor solo parents, as her loving tribute to her only son, who has gone back to God in March 2007.