As a boy Elmano Costa lived in the Azores and was surrounded by stories his grandfathers’ stories about small-town life in the Central Valley in the 1920’s. At the age of ten Dr. Costa came to California with his family. He learned English, went to school and worked on a dairy as a youth. Later he became an elementary school teacher and principal in Merced County.
In 1995, Dr. Costa became a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and coordinator of the elementary teacher credentialing program at CSU Stanislaus. In 1999, he founded the Center for Portuguese Studies at the University and was named its first director. He also helped found the Portuguese Education Foundation of Central California, an organization that annually awards more than $20,000 in scholarships.
In 2008 Dr. Costa was recognized by the President of Portugal with the tile of “Comendador da Ordem de Instrucao Publica,” (Comendador of the Order of Public Instruction) a form on knighthood in Portugal. A year later he was elected as the West Coast representative to the Council of Communities, a government advisory committee that makes policy recommendations on emigration issues.
Under his leadership, the Center for Portuguese Studies continues to flourish. Portuguese language courses as well as course in culture and literature are offered at CSU Stanislaus, which help students of all nationalities become aware of the contributions of the Portuguese community to our region. Dr. Costa’s continues to build upon his accomplishments of providing unprecedented education, research, scholarly, and cultural exchange opportunities to CSU Stanislaus students and the broader community.