Dr. Elmano Costa, Professor of Teacher Education at California State University, Stanislaus, has been honored by the government of Portugal for his efforts to promote awareness of the Portuguese culture.
Costa received the honorary insignia of Commendator of the Order of Public Instruction during a September 24 ceremony conducted at the Portuguese Consulate in San Francisco by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, Dr. António Braga. The President of Portugal, Dr. Aníbal Cavaco Silva, approved awarding of the title which originated centuries ago as the entrusting of duties to a layman by the king.
Dr. António Carvalho, Consulate General of Portugal in San Francisco, nominated Costa for the award in recognition of his dedication to promote the teaching of the Portuguese language and culture, to promote citizenship and voting, and for his many philanthropic endeavors. Costa was instrumental in the establishment of the Center for Portuguese Studies at CSU Stanislaus and the creation of a Portuguese language minor academic program.
“The title is presented only to those people whose character and work exemplify the highest standards, and Dr. Costa is one of these few individuals,” Carvalho said.
A native of the Azores Islands of Portugal who immigrated with his family as a youngster to California’s Central Valley, Costa was the first in his family to graduate from high school and earn a college degree. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at CSU Stanislaus and a doctorate in education from the University of the Pacific. Before joining the CSU Stanislaus faculty 12 years ago, Costa served as a junior high school mathematics teacher, elementary school teacher, and principal.
“While I am most grateful for this recognition, I am also humbled that the country which I left has seen it fit to recognize me,” Costa said. “I am but one among many who give so much of their time for the betterment of all.”
Costa received the Alumni Service Award from CSU Stanislaus in 2001 and was honored with the Portuguese Cause Award by the Portuguese Union of California in 2002.