A clinical psychologist by trade, Dr. George Kallingal teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of Guam School of Education as an emeritus professor.
But for the last 30 years, Kallingal has shared his knowledge of psychology with thousands of people in his home country of India as a selfless mission to educate people on mental health and wellness.
Because of this dedication to enlightenment, Kallingal was one of five recipients of the North East India Education and Youth Affairs Award 2016 from the Trust for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children in India (TAPC) awarded to him in December.
What started out as family vacations to India turned into annual educational trips where Kallingal shared his knowledge at no cost with various people—professors, doctors, clergy, and more—from all over the country.
In the mid-1980s, a couple colleagues from his alma mater in Darjeeling asked him to be a guest lecturer during his stay.
Both schools asked that he share his educational psychological philosophy.
The following summer, not only did both schools invite Kallingal to return, but also to his surprise, additional schools in the area also requested he spend a few days talking to their faculty.
Modestly, Kallingal said over the years through word of mouth, the amount of schools he visits has grown significantly, adding two or three more to his packed schedule each time he returns.
“I'm so happy to go,” he said. “I’m sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired, and I enjoy doing community service like this.”
Inside his Barrigada home office is a wall display of accomplishments—degrees, certificates, and awards—juxtaposed by a boyish grin suppressing his excitement and pride to accept such a prestigious award.
And while TAPC and the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture selected Kallingal as one of the recipients, it was the Honorable Governor of the state of Meghalaya Shri V. Shanmuganathan that presented the award to Kallingal in December as part of a joint Annual Christmas Celebration where Kallingal was also asked to be the keynote speaker.
“The governor presented the awards,” he said. “To get the governor of a state in India to come to a conference is a big deal. At the keynote speaker, the governor also listened to me speak.
“UOG is the center for learning on Guam,” Kallingal said. “I love the work that I do. Teaching is my forte. I enjoy seeing the students.”
His love for teaching has spanned over the course of 53 years, nearly 40 years of which, he spent at the University of Guam. Although Kallingal retired in 2004, he said he continued to teach every semester because of his passion for molding young minds. After having spent so much time at the University, Kallingal said seeing generation after generation of new, bright minds in his classroom keeps him satisfied in the work that he’s doing.