Dr. Connie Tingson Gatuz

Executive Council, Madonna University

Dr. Connie Tingson Gatuz developed a heightened awareness of the impact of leadership and mentorship while growing up in a struggling multigenerational extended family, who emigrated from the Philippines. As Vice President for Student Affairs and Mission Integration for over a decade, she is the first Person of Color and currently the only woman to serve on the Executive Council at Madonna University. Under her leadership, she pioneered the university’s largest and longest running Study Abroad and Service-Learning program to-date. To advance student enrollment and retention, Dr. Gatuz conceptualized and executed a university Strategic Enrollment Plan priority through a multicultural student academy focused on leadership for an inclusive world; ushered a nationally awarded Black Male Initiative; and procured several international enrollment agreements abroad. 

She co-engineered the university’s comprehensive Strategic Planning process; co-created the Madonna Higher Education Administration Master’s program, established in 2013; and crafted the mentorship elements of a student leadership program for North America including the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Previously, Dr. Gatuz championed several national and regionally- recognized student retention initiatives while at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. For over a dozen years, she was a lead consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship Program as well as a grassroots national college leadership program, based in Washington, DC. Spanning a twenty-eight-year career in higher education, she is a recipient of the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators API Knowledge Community Outstanding Mentor Award, the National OCA Pioneer Community Educator Award, the International Mentoring Association Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award, and the Republic of the Philippines’ Outstanding Educator Recognition. In 2020, she mentored women aspiring to executive leadership at the national NASPA Alice Manicur Symposium.

Dr. Gatuz is a contributing author in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education: Research and Perspectives on Identity, Leadership, and Success and A Mission Officer Handbook: Collaborating with Partners. She received a doctorate in Higher Education Administration, a master’s degree in College and University Administration, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, all from Michigan State University. She and her husband, Ryan, reside in Livonia, Michigan.