OSWEGO — Distinguished Service Professor Alfred Frederick of SUNY Oswego last month earned the title of Citizen of the State of Piauí, an award bestowed by the northeastern Brazilian state’s Legislative Assembly for his more than 25 years working to improve education in the state of Piauí and elsewhere in Brazil.
Sen. Themístocles Sampaio, president of Piauí’s Legislative Assembly, presented the award to Dr. Frederick in the presence of professional colleagues, students, friends and government officials.
Following a biographical presentation by Sen. Joao de Deus related to Frederick’s work on four continents, Frederick addressed the audience, speaking passionately of his desire and mission to bring people together across ethnic and cultural boundaries, a goal and talent Frederick has repeatedly demonstrated.
Frederick, a member of the curriculum and instruction faculty in SUNY Oswego’s School of Education, used the occasion to speak of the need for more inclusion in terms of gender, culture, ethnicity and race in the male-defined, Eurocentric curriculum that characterizes the educational reality in Brazil and other culturally pluralistic societies.
Numerous former students and colleagues of the honoree attended the March 14 ceremony at the state Legislative Assembly of Piauí.
“It was very emotional to see people from three periods of my life,” Frederick said. As a visiting professor, he has taught at five Brazilian universities, including both the Federal University of Piauí and the State University of Piauí, as well as the Federal University of Paraná, the University of Zumbi dos Palmares and the Federal University of Santa Maria.
“My work is designed to promote intercultural communication and understanding,” said Frederick, honored in 2015 as Outstanding International Educator of the Year by the International Center of Syracuse, which noted his efforts to build inclusive communities at home, as well as in the Republic of Benin (West Africa) and Brazil, through his teaching and research.
On that occasion, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent Frederick a congratulatory note that said, in part, “Your efforts to improve cultural understanding and to help those abroad are remarkable. I commend your hard work and dedication to international and local communities. Your work as a Fulbright Scholar and Distinguished Service Professor has inspired so many of your students and colleagues to pursue work in intercultural relations. I am proud to serve as Senator to such a committed individual.”
Other recipients of the prestigious title of Cidadão Piauiense (Citizen of the State of Piauí) include former Brazil President Luiz Inácio da Silva; the Hon. César Rocha, president of the Supreme Court of Piaui; and theatrical director Acy Campelo.