In a unanimous vote, the UPAA-W Executive Board approved the renaming of UPAA-W’s Value Our Heritage (VOH) to Dr. Asuncion Miteria Austria Value Our Heritage last January 4th, 2021. The gesture honors Dr. Austria’s enduring contributions to the organization’s core mission of promoting cultural awareness amongst its members and the community.
The Board believes that the recognition extended to Dr. Austria will continue the legacy that she built with the establishment of the Value Our Heritage committee in 1974 and where she provided great leadership until 2019. The annual sponsorships of valuable events, seminars, workshops, and symposia on various topics of interest truly made a difference in the community. Some of these activities were the first “Santacruzan” held in Milwaukee on June 12, 1976, Parenting in Modern America, Separation and Loss, Dementia, Mindfulness, and the Filipina Authors in Wisconsin.
Her vision, to cultivate and inculcate the value of Filipino culture by the genre of topics that will benefit the present and future generations, will certainly live on. Dr. Austria will be an incessant inspiration to UPAA-W and to the Filipino community.
In a letter responding to UPAA-W’s recognition, Roger Austria, widowed husband of Dr. Austria and founder of UPAA-W wrote:
“Maraming Salamat for your wonderful decision in making an award of Recognition to our beloved Asuncion Miteria Austria, PhD, for her dedicated service to our UPAA-W. As we are all aware, Dr. Austria invested a lot of time in conducting symposia for our association, not only for the benefit of members but for the Wisconsin community as well. She established the VOH committee during the founding of UPAA-W in 1974, serving as Chair until she retired in 2020 because of illness.
Because of her established relations with prominent psychologists in Wisconsin and other states, she was able convince her colleagues to deliver highly informative presentations without compensation, much less honorarium. (I should say, there was some kind of honorarium after each symposium: like a plate of pancit or adobo. And the speakers appreciated that!)
As a consequence of her work, she helped fulfill the two missions of UPAA-W, to wit: 1) Continue intellectual growth and development of members through seminars and symposia, and 2) Reaching out to the community to provide assistance where needed.
My family and I appreciate your good act. Blessings and love to everyone for 2021 and beyond. “
UPAA-W will forever be grateful for Dr. Austria’s contributions.