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Rafael Cortada

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Information about Rafael Cortada

Profile image of Rafael Cortada

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
College President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans, Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/12/1934
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
College President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans, Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/12/1934
Birth Location:
New York
See how Rafael Cortada is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Rafael Leon Cortada, Ph.D, was born on February 12, 1934, in New York City. His mother was a seamstress and his father was a postal worker. He attended Public Schools 99 and 39 until his family moved and enrolled him in a Catholic school. In 1951, Cortada received his high school diploma from St. Francis Xavier Military School in New York.

Shortly after earning his bachelor’s of arts degree in philosophy from Fordham University in 1955, he was drafted into the army and stationed in Korea. In 1958, he received his master’s degree in secondary education from Columbia University. He went on to further his education earning his Ph.D from Fordham in Latin American and modern European history in 1967.

Cortada taught high school history from 1957-1964 at New Rochelle High School in New York while working on his Ph.D. From 1964 to 1966, he taught Latin American history at the University of Dayton in Ohio. He then went on to work as a Foreign Service officer in the State Department from 1966 to 1969. From 1969 until 1974, Cortada taught at a number of colleges including Federal City College in Washington, D.C., Smith College in Massachusetts, Howard University, Medgar Evers College and Hostos Community College, both in New York.

In 1974, Cortada wrote and published his first and only book, Black Studies, An Urban Comparative Curriculum, and received his first job as a college president. From 1974 to 1977, Cortada served as president of Metropolitan Community College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He then moved back East and accepted the presidency at Community College of Baltimore, where he served from 1977-1982. From 1982 until 1987, he served as president of El Camino College in Torrance, California. In 1987, he was appointed president of the University of the District of Columbia and served in that post until 1990, when he was named president of Wayne County Community College in Detroit, Michigan. From 1994-1999, Cortada was president of Central Ohio Technical College in Newark, Ohio. From 1999 until his retirement in 2001, Cortada taught history education at Ohio State University at Newark.

Cortada passed away on April 11, 2017 at age 83.

See how Rafael Cortada is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rafael Cortada interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rafael Cortada's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rafael Cortada recalls his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rafael Cortada describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rafael Cortada remembers his grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rafael Cortada shares memories from his family life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rafael Cortada remembers his childhood environs, Bronx, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rafael Cortada recounts his early school life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rafael Cortada recounts his high school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rafael Cortada describes his college pursuits, part 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rafael Cortada describes his college pursuits, part 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rafael Cortada recounts his time in the U.S. military
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rafael Cortada discusses his pursuit of graduate studies in education, Columbia University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rafael Cortada evaluates his early career in secondary education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rafael Cortada describes his experiences teaching at the college-level
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rafael Cortada details his employment with the U.S. State Department
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rafael Cortada discusses his career teaching black studies, 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rafael Cortada recounts his presidency at Metropolitan Community College, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rafael Cortada discusses his book, 'Black Studies: An Urban and Comparative Curriculum'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rafael Cortada recalls his posts at two community colleges
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rafael Cortada reflects on his post at the University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rafael Cortada shares thoughts on today's students
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rafael Cortada reflects on the state of historically black colleges and universities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rafael Cortada discusses the significance of history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rafael Cortada reflects on the course of his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rafael Cortada evaluates the costs of higher education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rafael Cortada evaluates affirmative action in higher education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rafael Cortada expresses his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rafael Cortada reflects on challenges in his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rafael Cortada considers the impact of minorities in higher education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rafael Cortada discusses African American/Hispanic relations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rafael Cortada discusses his political involvement in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rafael Cortada reviews his collegiate appointments in Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rafael Cortada reflects on his experiences in the classroom