The Pilipino Alumni Association of the University of California, Los Angeles, announced that Fortunata “Tania” Azores Gunter, Sweet Briar Class of 1959, is the recipient of its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Azores will accept the honor at the 2012 UCLA PAA Fundraising Benefit, themed “One Family. Isang Pamilya,” on Saturday, April 21.
Azores graduated from Sweet Briar with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. She holds a master’s in language teaching from Ateneo de Manila (Philippines) and a master’s and doctorate in urban planning from UCLA.
According to a PAA of UCLA news release, Azores was the first professor to teach the Tagalog language at UCLA in 1992-93. Before that, she was one of the incorporators and charter board members of PAMANA Foundation Inc., renamed Filipino American Heritage Institute in 1999, where she served as president from 1991-1999. She previously served as an assistant director and as a research associate at UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center, where she co-authored a number of publications on Asian-American demographics, immigration, labor participation and political participation. She also taught Tagalog at Loyola Marymount University and served on the UCLA PAA Advisory Board.