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Frederick Aldama

Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2017

Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor Frederick Aldama, professor in the Department of English, is being honored with the 2017 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Aldama has been hailed as a mentor and advocate, not only for his students on campus but for younger individuals in the community. He is widely recognized as the founder and director of Ohio State's Latino and Latin American Space for Enrichment and Research (LASER), a mentoring and research hub for Latinos in 9th grade through college. LASER was selected as a 2015 Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

A graduate student who was one of four nominating him for the award said, “He is an inspiration in his teaching. He volunteers with Latinx middle school, high school students helping them achieve their academic goals as he makes them college-ready. He has given up his office to create a space for Latinx students to succeed – when we have no other place on campus to call our own.”

Added another graduate student, “I cannot think of any other professor in my experience  here at OSU more deserving of this award. Dr. Aldama has made all of us very proud by bringing national attention to our efforts with the LASER mentoring program, by opening up multiple opportunities for publication and by bringing many valuable speakers to campus. He also empowers students by fostering connections between students and professionals.”

In his teaching and research, Aldama uses the tools of narrative theory and cognitive science to enrich understanding of literature, art, music, film, comic books and video games by and about Latinos. He has authored, co-authored or edited more than 29 books.

Along with his energy and motivation, passion and knowledge, his nominating students also pointed out his ready accessibility to them. Said one, “Dr. Aldama is always able to meet with me through either phone calls, texts, emails or in person. He has never been unavailable to meet with me. Ever.”