Frederick Named Distinguished Service Prof
The SUNY Board of Trustees has named Oswego’s Alfred D. Frederick a distinguished
service professor, among the system’s highest faculty honors.
The professor of curriculum and instruction was born the son
of an Alabama sharecropper and a mother, Sallie Frederick, who left the cotton
fields and moved to the small city of Opelika when Frederick was 2, insisting her
son eventually earn a college education.
Frederick went further,
earning a master’s degree at Columbia University and a doctorate at the University of Brussels
and doing post-doctoral work at Harvard
Frederick has taught at SUNY
Oswego since 1985, building a series of cross-cultural partnerships, programs
and events in places as distant as Benin
and Brazil, and as close as Syracuse and the
classrooms and theatres of his own campus.
The SUNY system named just six distinguished service
professors from among its 64 campuses this year; there have been 259 since the
program’s inception in 1963. Frederick, the
first to earn the rank in Oswego’s
of Education, joins three other current SUNY Oswego faculty members at this
rank, and only three others before them.
speaks passionately of his mission to bring people together across ethnic and
cultural boundaries, a goal and a talent the professor has repeatedly
* He established a curriculum development and teacher
training program in the West
African nation of Benin, followed there over the years by three teams of
educators from SUNY Oswego and by exchange groups from Benin to Oswego.
* With help from contacts established in his years teaching
at Brazil’s Federal
University of Santa Maria, Frederick has built a
similar program in the states of Piaui and Rio Grande do Sul. He has brought the work of
Brazilian and African artists here for years.
* Learning that after Brazil
freed its slaves in 1888, many freemen returned to West Africa, Frederick established the
African and Brazilian Academic and Cultural Initiative.
* The professor, who is fluent in English, French and
Portuguese, has published works on multicultural education, including his books
Curriculum and the Social-Cultural
Context and Integration of Language,
School and Community: Bridging the Gap Between Home and School, and,
collaborating with professors from Auburn University, the concluding chapter of
Africans in the Americas: A History of
the African Diaspora.
* Closer to home, Frederick
developed the first multicultural education course at SUNY Oswego. His
students, mostly white, often have little knowledge of diverse cultures when
they arrive, but leave with a wealth of personal and cultural experiences,
including trips to diverse neighborhoods and to churches such as Tucker
Missionary Baptist in Syracuse.
* Frederick, who won
a 2009 Post-Standard Achievement
Award, has collaborated on multicultural community outreach, including an
annual arts festival in Syracuse
for all communities, especially those of color. He volunteered for seven years
to substitute teach in Syracuse
city schools to better understand the needs of today’s students.
Frederick, a six-time Fulbright award recipient, talks about
how teachers form a crucial part of a student’s extended family. They can
literally make or break a life. He speaks fondly of the impact primary and
secondary school teachers made on him.
He will take a delegation from the University
of Washington, Syracuse
University and SUNY Oswego to the
second International Seminar on Educational Management and Research Aug. 16 to
20 in Brazil.
And he will return to Benin
in January with a fourth group of SUNY Oswego faculty.
— Jeff Rea '71
Dr. Alfred D. Frederick of SUNY Oswego has been named
a distinguished service professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees.
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