FDU Presidential Citations Awarded to Fernando Alonso and Fernando Oliver
TEANECK, N.J. (Sept. 24, 2009) ó Fernando Alonso, director of Puerta al Futuro, Fairleigh Dickinson Universityís program for Spanish speakers with limited English skills, and Fernando Oliver, chairman of the programís advisory board, were honored with a Presidential Citation at FDUís annual Academic Convocation on Sept. 23.
FDU President J. Michael Adams, in presenting the citations, said, ďWith uncommon understanding and insights on the culture we sought to reach, they have built a groundbreaking program. Remarkable agents of change, the Fernandos have aligned program goals exactly with the desires of an underserved population lacking access to higher education.Ē
Puerta al Futuro (Gateway to the Future) combines high-quality language training with academic and professional instruction. Started in 2003 with 55 adult students working toward an associate degree, enrollment has expanded to 300, and now Puerta students are earning bachelorís and masterís degrees as well. Its offshoot for traditional-age students, the Latino Promise program, has more than 100 enrolled freshmen this fall.
Puerta al Futuro fills a need for the regionís growing Latino immigrant population, many of whom have undergraduate and graduate degrees from their home countries but face a language barrier in the United States. For that reason, beginning Puerta students spend as much time in English as a Second Language classes as they do on their academic course work, which is taught in Spanish at first and gradually transitioned to all English.
Alonso and Oliver are both admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey and admitted to the federal courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts in New York. Both are members of the Hispanic National Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Alonso, who is a senior lecturer of business at FDU, has a bachelorís degree from College of the Holy Cross and a law degree from Pennsylvania State University. Alonso lives in Oradell, N.J., with his wife, Donna, and two children.
Oliver, professor of business and law, has a B.B.A. degree from the University of Puerto Rico, masterís from Glassboro State College and law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Oliver also lives in Oradell, with his wife, Patria, and three children.