Ines O. Agina

Ines Agina

April 12, 1959 – January 11, 2012

Ines Agina served as a Union of Rutgers Administrator – AFT Steward, an Administrative Assistant for the Executive MBA program at the Rutgers Business School for 22 years and a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Social Work. At the young age of 53, Ines succumbed to cancer on January 11, 2012. She leaves behind two adult children, Eric Cartegena and Lillian Riley, a sister and two brothers. This caring, reliable, and hard working person was a great friend. Her devotion to helping others was so strong that even while fighting her own battles she was still willing to fight for others.  Ines Agina
In 2009, Ines wrote an article for the AFT higher education publication On Campus about workplace bullying. Read Ines’ article

Maria Lozada-Batista:
What I will remember most about Ines is her laugh, her sense of humor, her love for her children, her kindness, and her sincerity. She would always have some funny story to tell you to make you comfortable and for a moment forget your sadness. What I will miss most about Ines is HER, my friend –the person I laughed and cried with. The person I now mourn for and celebrate knowing. My memories of her and our seventeen year friendship will be with me, forever cherished. I will miss my friend dearly.
He put his arms around, and lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best.
He saw the road was getting rough, and the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids, and whispered “Peace be Thine”.

It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn’t go alone.
For a part of us went with you, the day God called you home. (Author unknown)

Narda Acevedo:
Ines was a phenomenal woman. I admired her independence, her ability to speak up against injustice (which led her to become a union steward), her sense of humor, her honesty (albeit sometimes brutal), her work ethic, her devotion to her religion, her love for her family, her strength to have endured an over ten year battle with cancer. I am so honored to have been a part of her life and so grateful to have had her in mine.

Monica Giron:
Friends are a gift from God
They bring us joy and happiness
And help us in times of need
That’s why I can truly say

How glad I am I had this friend.

I will miss her very much, but I know she’s in a much better place now.

Dawn Gist:
What I remember most about Ines was her sense of humor. She enjoyed laughing and telling funny stories, jokes and sharing beautiful pictures. She would bring humor to any situation. She enjoyed life, love, her family and friends. She absolutely ADORED her children, Son-in-law, and Granddaughter! She had the highest respect for them as they grew into responsible and caring adults. She had pictures of them as they grew. She was so proud of them! I will certainly miss our conversations about various things; things that really mattered in life. She was certainly a hard worker and tried to do her very best in her positions at Rutgers. Although she had health issues in the last few years of her life, she still persevered! She was a fighter! She fought a good fight, but her body was tired and weary, so it was time to rest. All I can say is God rest her soul, and she will be SORELY MISSED.

Ingrid Castillo:
I met Ines almost ten years ago at Rutgers. I do not hesitate sharing that she was one of the kindest, funniest, and most truthful person I have met in my life. She was always there to encourage me, even while she was in such pain. Until the end, she would make me laugh. What a special and amazing person she was! This is how I will always remember her. Now, I pray that she is at peace and finally resting. Her friendship to me can be summarized by a quote from the poet, Khalil Gibran, “In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. “

Maria Marin:
Ines was my acquaintance for over ten years and my dear friend for the last twelve years. There are at least two things that stand out most in my mind about Ines. One of these is the love she had for Destiny, her granddaughter. The other one is the amazing personality she had. You will be missed dear friend. 

Darlene M. Smith:

When I heard Ines was hospitalized in December I knew I had to speak to her and I am so glad I did. Even though she was in pain she was still able to make me smile. Through all her trials and tribulations she always worked hard at representing our members and always made us laugh. I for one am proud to have known and worked with her…even while fighting her own battles she was still willing to fight for others. She will be deeply missed but always remembered for her courage, uplifting spirit, and funny stories.

Mary Ann Albanese: 
To never hear her complain, to always see a smile, to see her stand tall…..that’s the person I will remember.

Luz Kosar:
Ines was a great person with strong personality, those that did not get to know her for who she really was got the wrong impression. Ines was nice, gracious, always very dynamic, acting, and vibrant, but most importantly, very honest. She gave me courage and support when I had to deal with my problems, she guided me at work, she made laugh and she made cry. Before we moved to the new building, we used to have lunch together, she introduced me to a nice group of ladies that now I consider my friends. I will remember Ines, as the person who was there for me when I needed it. She was the one who would calm me down with her beautiful pictures and emails while I was stressing at work. I love Ines, and I want to think she is still with us.

Gillian Allen:
Ines was a compassionate people person with a strong desire to help others. She had great patience and perseverance. She was also a warm, comical, outspoken and honest person. She was indeed a great friend and will be missed by all who loved her.

Professor Farrokh Langdana:
Ines Agina truly put students first. I learned a lot from her. She taught me that one must always put the human consideration first–not the rules or the regulations. She taught me to always show compassion and to try and understand what the students were going through. In many ways, she defined the Rutgers EMBA program and was really a “sister” and a “friend” and a “parent” to all the students that she came in contact with. Their outpouring of grief upon hearing of her passing is testament to the esteem and affection that they held her in.

Most of all, she was my dear friend, and I miss her enormously. Her legacy will live on in the Ines Agina Award that will be presented by Rutgers Executive MBA to the staff member that has demonstrated the most caring and the most compassion for students.

Nat Bender:
I always appreciated Ines’ sense of humor and commitment to justice. She was very proud of being a Social Work grad–explaining to me that social workers were always looking to apply community solutions to problems.