LONG-TIME UST Public Affairs Director Giovanna Fontanilla passed away on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the age of 62, following heart failure.

Her death was confirmed by the University in a statement, and by UST Museum Director Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. to the Varsitarian.

Fontanilla’s service to UST spanned 41 years, including as executive assistant to Father Abaño when he was secretary general from 2000 to 2006.

In 1990, Fontanilla became director of the Public and Alumni Affairs Office (PAAO), a position that made her the University’s public face and organizer of special events.

She was named director of public affairs in 2006 after the alumni relations office was separated from PAAO.

An English and speech professor, Fontanilla was also one of the pioneers of the UST Educational Technology Center, where she was consultant from 1994 until 1999.

She edited various publications in the University including the Academia, the official international bulletin of the University. She was also associate editor of the Rector’s tri-annual report from 2000 to 2006.

Fontanilla was a member of various national and international organizations, including the International Communication Association based in Washington and the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, where she was secretary general.

In 2001, Fontanilla was given the Dangal ng UST Award for outstanding associate professor, an acknowledgment of her service and contributions as a Thomasian educator.

The associate professor graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in education, major in English in 1979, and earned her doctorate in philosophy, major in English language studies from the University in 2017 with a grade of benemeritus.

She obtained her master’s degree in education from the University of the Philippines in 1982, and took a specialist training course at the Loughborough University in England in 1994.

She is survived by daughter Genevieve Fontanilla Trinidad and her daughter’s husband Al Niño Trinidad, and son Immanuel Fontanilla.


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