Former AB assistant dean and veteran Spanish professor Josefina Gonzalez passes away

Art by Janssen Judd Romero/THE FLAME

FORMER UST Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) assistant dean Josefina Gonzalez died on Monday, Nov. 20.

She was 82 years old.

The AB administration mourned Gonzalez’ death on its official Facebook page, citing her competency and excellence during her tenure as a faculty academic staff.

“She was known for advocating the sense of propriety among her students, never compromising compliance with school regulations and policies, and her commitment to quality education,” it said.

Gonzalez served as AB assistant dean from 1996 to 2007.

She was an academic staff in the University for almost 46 years, leaving behind memories among students she taught from different programs and batches. 

Some Artlets alumni, who encountered Gonzalez as their Spanish professor, remembered her with great admiration and respect.

UST political science Asst. Prof. Dennis Coronacion, a student of the late professor in 1994, described Gonzalez as a “strict, no-nonsense administrator” who had a rare but infectious smile.

“As my Spanish 1 professor, she was a stern mentor. But some of my classmate-friends managed to find a way to make her laugh. Back then, I knew that she has a soft heart despite her image as a strict professor,” Coronacion told The Flame.

The same sentiments were expressed by UST Graduate School of Law faculty secretary Romeo Teope, Jr., who became one of Gonzalez’s students in 2007. For him, Gonzalez was a “mentor who saw potential in everyone,” including those who struggled with Spanish fluency.

“Señora Gonzalez’ dedication to teaching Spanish, her genuine concern and that warm smile of hers made her more than just a teacher. She cared. [I] passed her class, sure, but gained way more—a respect and love for the language, thanks to her,” the legal management graduate said.

Gonzalez was also revered by some of her peers. Office of the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs clerk Rita Monteagudo said the late assistant dean would be “unforgettable” for her positive and hospitable rapport with her fellow administrators.

“She [had been] so accommodating whenever I [would] ask a favor [from] her…I love the way she carrie[d] herself as [an administrator] — respectable and elegant,” Monteagudo told The Flame.

Aside from teaching through classroom lectures, Gonzalez shared her language expertise by co-writing ¡Hola, amigos!, a textbook designed to teach readers how to speak and write in Spanish.F

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