Distinguished Service Award

The purpose of the Award is to recognize and further encourage the achievements and contributions of the members of the AATI for distinguished teaching and / or published research in the fields of Italian language, literature, and civilization. The now annual award, consisting of a plaque and lifetime membership, is presented under the auspices of the AATI Selection Committee at the Association’s annual convention.

Any current AATI member who has made a significant contribution to building the Association, fulfilling its objectives and developing the profession, can be nominated.


About the Award

One award is granted annually in each category:

  • K-12; and
  • College/University.

Among the Committee’s considerations for conferring the award will be:

  • Current membership in the AATI;
  • The number of years the nominee has been a member of AATI;
  • The nominee’s quantity and quality of service to the organization;
  • The nominee’s presence at AATI conferences;
  • The nominee’s promotion of Italian Studies in North America, Italy, and beyond;
  • The nominee’s general collegiality (collaboration and empathetic support of colleagues) as detailed by the nomination, letters of support, and CV; and
  • The nominee’s accomplishments in teaching (K-12) and teaching and published scholarship (College/University).

In 2012, the AATI Executive Council Approved the Following Guidelines for the Two Distinguished Service Awards: 

  • Nominators submit a letter of nomination presenting the candidate and explaining the individual’s qualifications.
  • Nominators submit three letters of support in addition to their own letter of nomination.
  • Nominators submit a current curriculum vitae of the nominee, to be obtained directly from the nominee with the nominee’s consent.  Service listed in the nominee’s CV should be highlighted either in yellow or with an asterisk (*).
  • Nominators specify the award for which the person is being nominated; i.e., nominators must explicitly indicate in their letters the award for which the nominee is being named, either K-12 or College/University.  In the event of a cross-nomination (for example, a College/University nominee for a K-12 Distinguished Service Award), the specific nature of the nominee’s service to the other level must be clearly identified.
  • Nominators provide complete and accurate contact information (nominee, nominator, recommenders).
  • The Distinguished Service Committee will NOT solicit materials.  Nominators submit materials—in a single email with multiple attachments—to the Chair of the Distinguished Service Award Committee prior to or on the designated deadline date.
  • Nominators will submit complete files, if they wish their nominee to receive full consideration by the Committee.
  • No self-nominations will be accepted.
  • Nominees must consent to the nomination.  Once the nominee has been notified, they should inform the committee chair of their acceptance or refusal of the nomination in writing within one week.


The final draft of this award was approved by the Executive Council.

Virginia Picchietti, Chair, 2021-2022

  • Enrico Minardi, 2022-2023
  • Teresa Picarazzi, 2022
  • Colleen Ryan, 2022
  • Lyn Scolaro, 2021-2022

The Recipients of the AATI Distinguished Service Awards

  • 2021 Colleen Ryan, Professor of Italian, Indiana University Bloomington
  • 2021 Teresa Picarazzi, Teacher of Italian, Hopkins School (New Haven, CT)
  • 2020 Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, Assistant Professor of Italian, University of Arkansas
  • 2020 Lucrezia Lindia, Teacher of Italian/Dept. Chair,
  • 2019 Patti Grunther, Watchung Hills Regional High School
  • 2019 Mark Pietralunga, Florida State University
  • 2018 Antonietta DiPietro, Teacher of Italian, Florida
  • 2018 Frank Nuessel, Professor of Italian, University of Louisville
  • 2017 Dino Cervigni, Professor of Italian, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 2017 Mariastella Cocchiara, Teacher of Italian, Massachusetts
  • 2016 Irene Marchegiani, Professor of Italian, Stony Brook University
  • 2016 Barbara Borghi, Teacher of Italian, Pascal Valley High School
  • 2015 Elissa Tognozzi, Professor of Italian, University of California Los Angeles, CA
  • 2015 Ida Lanza, Teacher of Italian, San Pedro High School, CA
  • 2014 Salvatore Bancheri, Professor of Italian, University of Toronto, CA
  • 2014 Beth Bartolini-Salimbeni, Teacher of Italian, Cibola High School, NM
  • 2013 Carlo Sclafani, Professor of Italian, Westchester Community College, NY
  • 2013 Anthony Tamburri, Professor of Italian, Calandra Institute, and CUNY
  • 2012 Mario Mignone, Professor of Italian, SUNY, Stony Brook
  • 2012 Lyn Scolaro, Teacher of Italian, Prospect High School, IL
  • 2011 Michael Lettieri, Professor of Italian, University of Toronto
  • 2010 Graziana Lazzarino, Professor of Italian, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • 2009 Paolo Giordano, Professor of Italian, University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • 2008 Bruna Petrarca Boyle, Teacher of Italian, Narragansett High School, Narragansett
  • 2007 Nicholas J. Perella, Professor of Italian, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2006 Christopher Kleinhenz, Professor of Italian, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • 2004 Rosa Bellino Giordano, Teacher of Italian and French, Lyons Township High School, La Grange, Illinois
  • 2002 Anthony Mollica, Professor of Education, Brock University, Ontario, Canada
  • 2000 Albert N. Mancini, Professor of Italian, Ohio State University
  • 1998 Julius A. Molinaro, Professor of Italian, University of Toronto
  • 1996 Joseph A. Tursi, Professor of Italian, SUNY at Sony Brook
  • 1994 Edoardo A. Lèbano, Professor of Italian, Indiana University
  • 1992 Robert C. Melzi, Professor of Italian, Widener University
  • 1990 Olga Ragusa, Professor of Italian, Columbia University
  • 1988 S. Bernardo, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, SUNY at Binghamton
  • 1988 Giovanni Cecchetti, Professor of Italian, UCLA
  • 1986 Joseph Tusiani, Professor of Italian, Herbert C. Lehman College, CUNY

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