Dr. Riz A. Oades Memorial Scholarship Award

Posted on March 27, 2017

Dr OadesThis March 27, 2017, Kalusugan Kalakasan Center for Health and Wellness (KKCHW) will be remembering the 82nd birth anniversary of  Rizalino  A. Oades (PhD) who passed away October 9, 2009. He was Co-Founder and First President of the former Kalusugan Community Services (KCS) founded in 1992. It is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to improving the health of Filipino Americans in San Diego. The other Co-Founders are: Dr. Ofelia Dirige, current President of KKCHW and Mr. Paul Ones, Board Vice-President and three times COPAO President.

In 2015, KCS was renamed KKCHW, to reflect the revised and expanded vision, mission, goals, objectives and programs of the organization. The FilAm Wellness Center was also sold and part of the sales was used to establish the Dr. Riz A. Oades Memorial Scholarship Fund, an Endowed Scholarship fund to honor and legacy of its First President and Co-Founder. This scholarship provides funds to support college students attending San Diego colleges and universities who exhibit similar scholarship, leadership traits and community service values of Dr. Oades.

This scholarship award is administered by The San Diego Foundation and is now in its third year of operation. Notices of the scholarship for the following year are usually posted in December and ends in February of the next year. Applicants are notified in April or May and funds are given out before the fall semester of next year. The qualifications include:

  1. Current SD County Filipino or Filipino American attending a community college or four-year university or will attend a graduate school in SD.
  2. Plan to major in Health Sciences, Asian Studies or Public Health
  3. Have a minimum of weighted GPA of 0 on a 4.0 scale
  4. Have a demonstrated leadership at school or in their community involvement.
  5. Have demonstrated financial need.

We were fortunate that in the last two years we had very excellent candidates and we would have liked to fund all of them except that we do not have enough money and we were wishing we were millionaires. Our first awardee in 2015 is Bryan Salinas, a Public Health student from SDSU and a very active member of AB Samahan and other community groups. Our 2016 awardee is Patty Duffy, a graduate student at USD studying to be a Nurse Practitioner who has recently graduated. She is an all- around lady. and thanked Kalusugan for enabling her to achieve her goal. Our 2017 awardee will be announced soon.

We are continuing to accept donations to fund more students so if you interested to donate or need more information, please call Dr. Dirige at (619) 254-4702 Cell or send email to odirige@msn.com

 

BACKGROUND OF DR. RIZ OADES

Riz, as he is called, was born in Lumban, Laguna as the eldest of eight children of Lorenzo and Beatriz Oades. He finished high school at the Jose Abad Santos High School (Arellano University) in Pasay City, as salutatorian. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in History (magna cum laude) from Far Eastern University in Manila; MA in Asian History from the University of Hongkong; and PhD in East and Southeast Asian History from the University of Hawaii. He also did a postgraduate study at Cornell University in New York on a Fulbright/Smith-Mundt scholarship.

 

ACADEMIC WORK

Riz is well-known in San Diego as a Professor of History at San Diego State University. He accepted this faculty position at the Department of History in 1970, where he settled down and became known as the only Filipino tenured professor in the SDSU system. He taught Southeast Asian History and pioneered Asian Studies courses in collaboration with the newly formed Center for Asian Studies. This includes “Contemporary Issues in Filipino American Communities” and “Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities” that is now being taught by the Co-founder of Kalusugan Community Services’, Dr. Ofelia Dirige.

Among his publications are: Filipino Migration and Labor Movement in America; Defining Ourselves: Voices and Images of Sec­ond-generation Filipino Americans; Filipino Youth Gangs in San Diego; and The Philippines: The Birth of a Nation. His most notable book is “ Beyond the Mask: The Untold Stories of U.S.-Navy Filipinos” in which he detailed the lives of Filipinos who served in the U.S. Navy  beginning in the early 1900’s to the time of publication in 2005. He has also written a few monographs and some 2,000 newspaper and scholarly journal articles in Asian Journal and other newspapers that covered varied subjects on Asian and Filipino-American cultures, society, history, public health, and politics.

Textbook Reviewer, Commentator and Narrator. Riz served as a textbook reviewer for West Publishing Company; editorial consultant to SDSU’s Center for Asian Studies Asian-Pacific Horizons publication: and commentator or narrator in TV documentary films. The most popular of the latter were “ In No One’s Shadow: History of Filipino Migration to America”, sponsored by KPBS and “The Challenge of Diver­sity: Becoming American”, sponsored jointly by SDSU College of Education and San Diego City College for the San Diego County Office of Education.

For over 30 years, Riz has been supportive of Filipino student and youth organizations and programs, especially SDSU’s AB Samahan’s sports events, cultural nights, and annual high school conferences. Off-campus and through community-based organizations, he has pioneered ongoing Tagalog and Philippine his­tory classes, and administered funded projects that address the social and mental health problems of Filipino youth and elderly. He also runs columns in the Asian Journal (i.e., Voices & Images and Growing Up in America) and Philippine Mabuhay News (i.e. “Portraits”) and periodically contributed feature arti­cles to mainstream newspapers and magazines.

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Riz’ most favorite organization and where he devoted most of his time during his retirement is Kalusugan Community Services (KCS). He is also most well known in his service to the community as one of the Founders of KCS in 1995. Kalusugan is a non-profit community based organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of FilAms and other underserved groups through promotion of positive changes in lifestyle and the environment. From a small organization in 1995 to 2009, through the efforts of the two Founders (Oades and Dirige) it has grown, prospered and was able to build a FilAm Wellness Center that provided high quality health services to the community. KCS also hosted a monthly FilAm Forum at the Center that was built and administered in National City. The Center has been a hub of local activities and programs, made possible through the grant writing and fundraising skills of the founders. After Riz’s death and due to the economic recession of the times, KCS had to sell the building and create new directions for it to grow and expand again.

Riz has actively participated in community-based organizations, such as the Vice-President for five years of the Council of Philippine-American Organizations (COPAO). He has also served as an advisor and consultant to numer­ous student, professional and civic associations, and government boards or task forces. As a well-respected educator and tena­cious civic leader, Riz is

an outspoken critic of Filipino-American politics and an advocate for much-needed community projects and programs in San Diego, addressing such issues as affirmative action, higher education, civic organizations, coalition building, political empowerment; youth gang violence, teen suicide, substance abuse, high-school dropout, inter-racial relationships; the elderly; and other socio-cultural issues.

We surely miss someone like him in the FilAm community today. Such academic and journalistic talent, dedication, advocacy, commitment and pride for being a Filipino are admirable qualities that we should all follow and aspire for, especially the young people of today!