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Frederick Luis Aldama

Distinguished University Professor, 2019

Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor in the Department of English Frederick Luis Aldama was recently named a Distinguished University Professor, a distinction that anually highlights one to three full professors who have truly exceptional records in teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and service. This permanent, honorific title became effective July 1, 2019, and was conferred at the Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 20, 2019.

“I never imagined when I joined Ohio State in 2005 that my name might be attached to this exceedingly rare professorial category that confers the highest recognition to a university faculty member,” Aldama said. “This is a huge honor. It’s also an honor that is made possible through the amazing support of my wonderful colleagues, staff and students. For those of us, like myself who daily overcome different debilitating forms of kryptonite, the support of all of those here at Ohio State make this kind of a triumphal story possible.”

Aldama’s contributions to the Latinx community are vast. Also a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, he is co-founder of SÕL-CON: The Black and Brown Comix Expo, a two-day convention that brings together Columbus area youth, Ohio State students and general public to meet and learn from African American and Latinx creators. Aldama also founded and directs the award-winning outreach center, the Latinx Space for Enrichment and Research (LASER), a community aimed at expanding the presence of Latinx students at Ohio State.

In 2018, Aldama was presented the Eisner Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work. The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, considered the “Oscars of the comics industry”, are handed out each year in a ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con. Named for renowned cartoonist Will Eisner, the awards are given in more than two dozen categories covering the year’s best publications and creators.

Aldama has received numerous other accolades, including the Ohio Education Summit Award, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Outstanding Latina/o Faculty Award, the White House Hispanic Education Bright Spot Award, the University Emerging Community Engagement Award, the University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, and the MLA Award: Outstanding Scholarly Book Chicano/Latino Studies.

One to three Distinguished University Professor appointments are awarded annually to faculty members who have been at Ohio State for at least five years. Distinguished University Professors automatically become members of the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee. In addition, recipients are awarded a $30,000 one-time grant to support their academic work.