Professor Frederick Aldama was recently selected as a Distinguished University Professor. The Office of Academic Affairs awards the permanent, honorific title on a competitive basis to full professors who have truly exceptional records in teaching, in research, scholarly or creative work, and in service. One to three appointments may be 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 and are expected to maintain a regular program of teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and service.
Asked about winning the award, Professor Aldama stated: “When the deans and my chair announced that I would be named a Distinguished University Professor, it was more than a surprise. 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. 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.”
Professor Aldama is the award-winning author, co-author, and editor of 36 books. Aldama’s ongoing research program seeks to explore the sui generis artifacts made by the fusion of visual and verbal ingredients, and to determine their aesthetic characteristics. His scholarship seeks to open up and solidify areas of scholarly inquiry in comics studies and Latinx studies—always seeking to understand deeply how we create and actively receive, make our own, then recreate this cultural phenomenon in materially transformative ways. To this end, he draws together and synthesizes the insights of multiple intellectual disciplines—narrative theory, ethics, aesthetics, and cognitive development—to explore, widen, and deepen concepts and formulations present in all variety of cultural phenomena. He is editor and coeditor of 9 academic press book series, including with OSU Press “Cognitive Approaches to Culture” and Latinographix. He is founder and director of the award winning outreach center at OSU, LASER: Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research. He is founder and co-director of Humanities & Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute. Aldama earned a BA in English from the University of California-Berkeley and his PhD in English from Stanford.
Within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Aldama serves as the inaugural director of Latinx Space for Enrichment and Research (LASER), a Latinx community dedicated to academic excellence and expanding the presence of Latinx students at The Ohio State University.
The original version of this article appeared on www.odi.osu.edu/laser. Reprinted with permission.