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Architect John Joseph T. Fernandez’s vision for MLQU’s School of Engineering (SOE) and School of Architecture (SOA)

Ms. Cassandra Lopez had the opportunity to sit down with Architect John Joseph Fernandez, the Dean of the School of Architecture (SOA) and the Acting Dean of the School of Engineering (SOE) at MLQU.  The interview delves into his plans for both schools as the School Year 2023-2024 approaches.  Dean Fernandez shares his immediate, short-term and long-term goals emphasizing initiatives to improve further the licensure examination performance of SOA and SOE graduates, enhance faculty profiles, develop enriched curricula, further upgrade facilities, and provide faculty enhancement programs.

As the interview begins, Dean Fernandez’s eyes light up with passion as he speaks about the future of MLQU’s SOA and SOE. 

For his immediate goals, Dean Fernandez expressed his determination to improve the performance of graduates in the licensure examination.  Recognizing its importance, he reveals that the school will be offering free in-house review classes to ensure that graduates are fully prepared for the demanding examination.  By strengthening correlation courses, Dean Fernandez aims to bridge any gaps in knowledge, equipping students with the necessary skills to excel in their professional journeys.

In the short-term, Dean Fernandez understands that a strong faculty profile is vital to the success of both SOA and SOE. Since he assumed as Dean, he has actively recruited efficient, effective, and qualified faculty members who will bring diverse range of expertise to the schools. By doing so, he aims to provide students with a well-rounded education that encompasses different perspectives and approaches within the fields of architecture and engineering.

Looking into the future, Dean Fernandez envisions an enriched curriculum that will elevate the learning experience at MLQU.  He highlights the importance of upgrading school facilities, such as the computer laboratory, which was already approved by management, and engineering laboratory, enabling students to engage in enhanced hands-on training.  With the goal of fostering global competitiveness, Dean Fernandez is committed to providing MLQU students with the necessary tools and resources to thrive in their careers.

Additionally, Dean Fernandez emphasizes the significance of faculty enhancement programs.  By supporting faculty members in acquiring higher degrees, such as MS, MA, and PhD, MLQU aims to nurture a culture of continuous learning and development.  This investment in faculty expertise will undoubtedly enrich the educational experiences for students and contribute to the overall growth of the institution.

To further address the challenge of licensure examination performance, Dean Fernandez reveals MLQU’s plan to offer in-house review classes to graduates.  Recognizing that this additional support can make a significant difference, he is determined to ensure that MLQU graduates have every opportunity to succeed.  He noted that this is part of the Mentorship and Protégé Program that MLQU is known for.  Furthermore, Dean Fernandez emphasizes the importance of strengthening correlation courses, which will enable graduates to approach the licensure examination with confidence and readiness,  In cases where graduates face challenges, MLQU will actively monitor and assist them in joining review classes offered by the university.

Dean Fernandez is a strong advocate for an outcome-based education (OBE) curriculum, in line with CHED’s requirements. To create a unique learning experience, he envisions the development of an OBE syllabus for all courses offered by SOA and SOE.  This syllabus will not only define the course content and delivery methods but also incorporates the nurturing aspect of MLQU’s teaching approach.  By emphasizing practical applications and experiential learning, Dean Fernandez aims to make the learning journey more engaging and memorable for students.

One of the remarkable advantages of MLQU’s SOA and SOE programs is the administration’s commitment to supporting graduates beyond graduation day.  Dean Fernandez highlights the university’s initiatives to provide free in-house review classes to graduates, giving them an edge in their licensure examination preparations.  This extra support sets MLQU apart from other institutions.

Architect Fernandez, known affectionately as Architect Jojo or Dean Jojo, had always been a prominent figure in the world of architecture.  As the principal architect of Fernandez Architectural Design, he has established a reputation for his exceptional talent and expertise in the field. However, his contribution extended far beyond the realm of design.

Before his appointment as Dean of the School of Architecture at MLQU, Architect Jojo dedicated a decade of his life serving as the Dean of the College of Architecture of the renowned University of Sto. Tomas (UST). His tenure at UST allowed him to shape the minds of aspiring architects and inspire a new generation of creative thinkers.

Dean Jojo’s passion for education did not stop there.  He was part-time lecturer at the Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts of Enderun College, sharing his knowledge and experiences with eager students.  Additionally, he served as visiting lecturer at the School of Engineering and Architecture in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran – Calamba.  His commitment to teaching extended to MLQU, where he held a position as a professor at the School of Architecture.

Beyond academia, Dean Jojo possessed an astute business acumen. He owns several business in diverse fields, including construction, food, medical supplies, and import and export of various products.  His entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to contribute not only to the architectural community, but also to the economic growth of his country.

Dean Jojo’s involvement in professional organizations was nothing short of impressive.  He held significant positions, such as Vice Chairman of the ASEAN Architecture Education Committee, Chairman of the Committee on Architecture Education for the Architecture Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) from 2016-2018, and National Treasurer of the United Architects of the Philippines from 2014-2016.  Furthermore, he served as the Secretary-General of the United Architects of the Philippines from 2013-2014 and the Executive Director of the Commission on Education within the same organization from 2010-2013.

His dedication to promoting architectural excellence was recognized internationally as well.  Dean Jojo served as the Philippine Representative for ARCASIA from 2010-2016 and holds the esteemed title of International Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects in the United States.  Additionally, he is a member of the Philippine Institute of Architects.  He served as President of the Council of Deans and Heads of Architectural Schools in the Philippines from 2007-2013, and contributes his expertise in committees, such as the Technical Committee for Architecture in the CHED and the Committee of Continuing Professional Regulation in PRC.

Dean Jojo’s passion for heritage preservation was evident in his pursuit of further education.  He completed a Professional Diploma Course in Conservation of Heritage Buildings as a grantee of the Swedish International Development Authority Scholarship at Lund University in Lund, Sweden.  His commitment to advancing his knowledge led him to complete a course in Public School Planning as CHED Scholar at the Harvard University of Graduate School of Design in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Currently, Dean Jojo is working to complete his doctoral degree in Development Studies at UST, further expanding his expertise and contributing to the academic world.  With his extensive background, vast experiences, and unwavering dedication to the field, Architect John Joseph T. Fernandez continues to make remarkable contributions to the architectural community and inspire future generations of architects.

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