Augsburg News

News Archives - 1996

Obituary for: Blanca-Rosa Egas, Associate Professor of Social Work at Augsburg College

Sept. 12, 1996

Blanca-Rosa Egas, 47, associate professor of social work at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, died Thursday of cancer at her home while in hospice care.

Egas, of St. Paul, was involved in Augsburg's faculty senate and made a major contribution to the College's graduate program in social work, said Clarice Staff, director of the program.

During her career, Egas's contributions to humanity on both the local and international levels exemplified Augsburg's motto--"Education for Service." She received a Minnesota state certificate of commendation from Gov. Arne Carlson for her support and service to Augsburg's Latino community and was approved by the Greater Minneapolis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross as a delegate to the 1995 American Red Cross national convention.

She also made educational visits to several countries in Central America as a volunteer on behalf of the Minnesota International Health Volunteers, helping establish child survival projects and improve health care in various municipalities there, and also taught classes for Augsburg in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Rosemary Link, chair of Augsburg's social work department, said Egas was a much loved, respected and creative colleague who brought a global perspective to her work and a special approach to life.

"Blanca-Rosa gave students and colleagues a deep understanding of the cycle of life and a holistic approach to our existence, which I believe she carries with her in the birthing of her spirit," Link said.

A quote Egas chose for the syllabus of a human behavior class that she and Link taught together exemplified Egas's reflection on life, Link said.

It was a quote by Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) of Chile: "Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto" which translates to "thanks to life that has given me plenty."

Egas was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on May 7, 1949. She grew up in Guayaquil and was valedictorian of her Dolores Sucre High School graduating class. After high school, she earned a doctor of medicine degree with a specialty in psychiatry and also a license in education from Universidad de Guayaquil. She later earned a master's degree in public health and interdisciplinary studies from the University of Minnesota.

Egas was an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Universidad de Guayaquil from 1978-86 and beginning in 1987 served as the director of Latino Community Chemical/Mental Health Services for Centro Cultural Chicano in Minneapolis, a capacity in which she worked as a field instructor at the College of St. Catherine, University of St. Thomas and Macalester College.

Egas joined Augsburg in 1991 as an associate professor of social work and was tenured in 1994.

Among her other professional activities, she also served as an independent consultant for prevention and control of alcohol and drug use and for AIDS education for the Pan-American Health Organization/World Organization.

In her free time, Egas, who was single, enjoyed traveling and had a special interest in holistic medicine.

Egas is survived by a brother, Julio Egas Sellan, of Guayaquil, Ecuador; and two sisters, Cecilia Egas deAyala, of Galapagos, Ecuador; and Pilar Egas deAlmeida, of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

A private family funeral will be held on Friday and a memorial service is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. in Augsburg's Hoversten Chapel, located at 625 S. 22nd Ave. in Minneapolis.