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UC Faculty Awards 2020: Ibrahim Amidou

College of Arts and Sciences awardee honored as Outstanding Adjunct Professor

Ibrahim Amidou is widely known in UC’s Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures (RALL) as an accomplished and versatile adjunct associate professor. Amidou is hailed as an erudite French language scholar and is well-versed in French literature, culture and civilization of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. 

His classroom repertoire extends from the ability to not only teach the fundamentals of the French language, but adeptly expound on the writings of French novelist Gustave Flaubert, or he can dish up a tasty presentation on “Togo-style Rice and Veggies,” a common cuisine in his native Togo in West Africa. 

Ibrahim Amidou standing outside on campus

Ibrahim Amidou, in the Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures (RALL), receives UC's Outstanding Adjunct Award for 2020. Photo: Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

Moreover, his colleagues say he is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher with a broad concern for the total welfare of his students. Amidou says he feels this approach causes a “ripple effect” and fosters academic achievement.

“Over the years Professor Amidou has proven to be one of our most committed and reliable adjunct professors who has provided a valuable support to the French curriculum,” says department head Thérèse Migraine-George.

Students lined up in a classroom to taste Togo style food prepared by professor Amidou

Students line up to sample Togo cuisine prepared by Amidou's wife, Fadilatou Amidou. Here, Amidou explains to students that the yam he is holding is a staple food source in his homeland, Togo, West Africa. Photo provided by Amidou.

And the years add up. Amidou came to Cincinnati in 1991, the summer after he completed his bachelor’s degree in applied linguistics, English, American and African literature and civilization at Université du Bénin, Lomé, Togo. He joined UC in 1992 and started teaching as a graduate assistant while working on his doctorate in French/Francophone literature, culture and civilization from RALL. He received his doctorate from UC in 2002 and began teaching as an adjunct. 

Amidou stayed in the city and at UC, he says, because, “I feel I have a calling,” and he’s represented that calling through a combination of service to academia and community: Amidou has taught at UC for over two decades  all levels of French language as well as French literature, culture and civilization and teaches at several other regional institutions of higher learning. 

Adjunct associate professor Ibrahim Amidou teaching at the front of a classroom

Ibrahim Amidou says that teaching is his "calling" and what he gives to UC students is a token of gratitude for the opportunities he's received from the community and the university. Photo: Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

He is a member of the American Translators Association, serves as an interpreter for the state of Ohio and has helped relaunch a translation certificate course at UC. He belongs to the UC International Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy Group and is scheduled to lead UC’s first Study Abroad trip to Togo in May 2020. He assists youth in the African immigrant community of Greater Cincinnati, whether it be as a soccer coach or as an academic advisor.

He says his professional and personal sense of duty is a way to give back to UC and the community that fostered his own success, and he is constantly improving himself in order to bring skills he has accumulated into the classroom.

Featured image at top: UC's College of Arts & Sciences/UC Creative + Brand

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/JhCHEasBrck?rel=0

UC Faculty Awards

UC is saluting the 16 winners of our 2020 All-University Faculty Awards in a three-part series in UC News weekly through April 22. Beginning April 23, all winners will also be showcased on the Faculty Awards website.