Lincroft, NJ – An agreement between Brookdale Community College and Cameos Instituto da Cooperacao e da Lingua will result in an increase in classes and programs in Portuguese language and culture and open the door for exchanges and partnerships with higher educational  institutions in Portugual. The protocol of cooperation was signed by Dr. Maureen Murphy, Brookdale president, and Dr. Amelia Paiva, consul-general of the Portuguese Consulate in Newark, in a ceremony at Brookdale July 23.

Camoes is an entity of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged with facilitating cooperation between Portuguese and foreign entities and promoting Portuguese language and Lusophone cultures. Under the agreement, Camoes will help Brookdale develop its Portuguese curriculum and provide resource materials and support for guest lecturers. In return, Brookdale will promote Portuguese language and culture though classes and programs related to Lusophone cultures. Brookdale joins 13 other United States institutions of higher education with similar protocols, including Rutgers, Georgetown and Brown.

The partnership has already resulted in college’s offering of elementary Portuguese this fall. The course will be taught by Antonio Oliveira, deputy coordinator for Portuguese language program and educational affairs at Camoes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with our existing Brazilian and Portuguese community and to broaden our connection to the global community,” Dr. Murphy said.

Prior to the formal signing ceremony,  Dr. Murphy, Dr. Pavia, and Dr. Janice Thomas, director of the Brookdale Community College International Center, chatted with one of Brookdale’s international students about his experience studying in the United States.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Thomas welcomed the consul-general, who was signing on behalf of Camoes President Ana Paula Laborinho.

“On her behalf and mine, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the college and its leaders on the beginning of a new relationship with the Portuguese language and culture, a relationship that I’m sure will be a very successful one in the years to come,” said Dr. Paiva. Dr. Paiva pointed out a 2012 study that noted 254 million people speak Portuguese. Portuguese-speaking countries account for 4.3 percent of the world’s gross national product (GNP) and are responsible for two percent of international trade, she said.

Brookdale has been an active proponent of international educational for nearly 40 years. The college hosts international students from more than 45 countries and offers study abroad programs to 30 countries. Last year, 68 Brookdale students participated in study abroad programs. The college has existing partnerships with Scotland and Canada.

Also attending the ceremony were international students Carmem Pessoa of Brazil and Cristiano Dos Santos Azevedo of Portugal and Brookdale officials Dianna Phillips, executive vice president of educational services; Nancy Kegelman, dean of academic affairs; Webster Trammell, vice president of development, governmental, and community relations; William Burns, academic division dean, arts and communications; Ed Johnson, director of the Long Branch Higher Education Center; Ann Tickner-Jankowski, director of transfer resources and articulation; and Carl DeJura, director of adult basic education.

To view photos from the event, click here.