Portuguese professor awarded prestigious Order of Rio Branco award

Augusta Vono, Portuguese Program director and director of the Strategic Language Institute, has been awarded the Grand Officer honor of the Order of Rio Branco (Ordem de Rio Rio Branco).

Vono, the only award recipient currently residing in the U.S., received the medal from Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a decoration ceremony at the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami.

Augusta Vono (center), poses with Ambassador Helio Vitor Ramos Filho and  FIU professors of Portuguese received the Order of Rio Branco awards.

Augusta Vono (center) poses with Ambassador Helio Vitor Ramos Filho and FIU professors of Portuguese at the Order of Rio Branco awards.

“I feel very honored to be awarded the Ordem de Rio Branco, especially for the fact that I am not currently living in my country,” said Vono, who is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. “For me, this is motivation to continue disseminating the culture of Brazil and Portuguese language, and a big responsibility to make sure FIU’s Portuguese Program continues to be as successful as it has been.”

The Order of Rio Branco is an honorific order of Brazil. It is awarded annually to Brazilian and foreign nationals for service and achievement in diplomatic service, government and civil fields. The order is composed of six ranks of merit, including Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, Knight and Medal. It is named for José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior (1845-1912), baron of Rio Branco and minister for foreign affairs.

The Portuguese Program in the Department of Modern Languages offers a major and minor in Portuguese, as well as a certificate in Portuguese Language and Brazilian Culture. While program content includes material on Portugal and its former colonies, it is designed for students with a special interest in the language and culture of Brazil.

The department also offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Wolof, as well as certificates in Court/General Interpretation, Translation Studies, Professional Language, and study abroad opportunities.