oca-advocates-logoDr. Connie Tingson-Gatuz, a Filipino-American educator, received recently the National Pioneer Award for Community Educator from OCA Advocates at awarding rites held in Washington, DC.

Dr. Connie Tingson-Gatuz
Dr. Connie Tingson-Gatuz
Doctor Tingson-Gatuz is vice president for student affairs and mission integration at the Madonna University in Livonia. Born in Detroit, she resides in Livonia with her husband, Ryan Gatuz. She is a daughter of Pete and Teresita Tingson (retired nurse).

The awarding body, OCA Asian Pacific American (APA) Advocates, is a national organization “dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of APAs.”

The prestigious award was presented to top Filipino-American educator during OCA’s Awards Gala held on July 20, 2013 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

The Pioneer Award was “created to recognize APAs who have paved the way for members of the community in their chosen fields.”

Sharon M. Wong and Tom L. Hayashi, national president and executive director of OCA, stated in a letter that Doctor Tingson-Gatuz is being recognized “for her exemplary achievements that allow younger generations to follow in your footsteps.”

“As an activist for over 20 years on a variety of topics such as LGBT issues, equal access to education, health care and immigration, you

exemplify the type of Asian American citizens OCA seeks to recognize through the OCA Pioneer Award,” the letter also stated.

Past recipients of the OCA Pioneer Award include former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Bill Lann Lee, Architect I.M. Pei, Asian American studies pioneer Betty Lee Sung, Nobel Laureate (Physics) C.
N. Yang, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Actor B.D.Wong and Major Kurt Lee.