Azalea’s passion for minority experience and language training stems in part from her immigrant journeys from the Philippines to the United States of America and Canada. They are reflected in her B.A in Humanities, M.A. in Comparative Literature and M.A. in English degrees, and a Ph.D. in English, specializing in Post-Colonial Studies, the latter two from the University of Saskatchewan. They are similarly demonstrated in her past work, which included teaching and working in various administrative, coordination, community liaising, and management positions as well as membership in relevant committee advisories largely within the academic and settlement sectors.
Azalea joined Global Gathering Place in 2013, with her interest in newcomer settlement and language aligning well with her work as Language Services Manager. She manages a department that offers language classes and childcare programs attached to these classes, funded by both provincial and federal governments. She has been privileged to grow within a department that under her helm has added a new location, new community partnerships, expanded staff, and increased number of classes meeting newcomers’ needs to settle successfully in the city.
Azalea is particularly interested in gender and minority studies, life and women’s writing, and about writing itself, having done research/publication on Indigenous and Asian Canadian women writers and their poetry and prose. She is keen on building community and advocating for the marginalized, and is always excited by possibilities to grow in any way she can.