M. Marina Melita
Department of World Languages & Cultures
M. Marina Melita is the Senior Lecturer of Italian, as well as the Italian Studies Coordinator at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She coordinates Marist’s World Film Program and serves as a member of the Global Studies Advisory Committee as well as the Queer Trans Sub-Committee of the Marist Diversity Council. Melita has served the AATI previously as the New York State Regional Representative and as the Vice President for Colleges & Universities. She is also a founding member of the Diversity, Transformation, and Italian Studies Collective. Her research fields include cinema, theatre, and literature by Italian women from the Second World War to the present, Black Italia/Italians, and Advocacy/Activism for L2 Italian programs in the United States.
Ms. Melita holds a Ph.D. in Romance Studies (Italian) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Italianistica from Middlebury College, and a B.A. in Theatre Design and Technology from the State University of New York College at Brockport.
Daniele De Feo
Department of French and Italian
Daniele De Feo is Senior lecturer and the Director of the Italian Language Program in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University. His research interests include Italian as a second language, Italian literature, and Italian food culture. In the past three years he has worked with colleagues to develop an online platform for language teaching which brings a different approach to language pedagogy, focusing on new trends and on the students’ ability to challenge pre-conceived notions of Italianess and the modern world.
Other research examines the 19th Century European discourse of taste, both in its sensorial and metaphorical significance, and considers the contribution of literary, philosophical, and culinary writings in their ability to challenge aesthetic and social boundaries. He has published articles on various authors of the period, and published a coedited volume entitled Food and Women in Italian Literature, Culture and Society: Eve’s Sinful Bite published in November 2020 with Bloomsbury Press. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2014, where he served as Program Coordinator and was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Language Teaching and Technology.
Steven La Peruta
Teacher of Italian
Nutley High School in New Jersey
Steven LaPeruta is a teacher of Italian at Nutley High School in New Jersey and a part-time Lecturer of Italian at Rutgers University. In addition, he is a member of the College Board AP Italian Development Committee and an AP reader.
Steven holds a Master of Arts in Italian Linguistics from Middlebury College, a Master's in ITALS from the Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, and a Doctorate in Modern Languages from Middlebury College. His research interests include the use of technology in second and foreign language acquisition and 21st-century game-based learning. His doctoral research concentrates on Italian teachers' perspectives on technology use in the language classroom in the post-pandemic period. In 2022, Steven authored a linguistic analysis of the works of the famed Italian author Italo Calvino, titled "La poetica di Italo Calvino," published in the anthology Sulle ali della leggerezza: Calvino oltre la pandemia.
Northern Valley Regional High School District, NJ
James Goetschius is currently a teacher of Italian at Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, Bergen County, NJ. He previously taught for six years at Lenape High School in Mount Laurel, NJ.
James serves as High School Co-Chair of the AP Italian Exam Development Committee with the College Board, and has served on that Committee since the 2020-21 school year. James holds a B.S. in International Business from The College of New Jersey, and a M.A.
in Foreign Language Teaching from Michigan State University.
James grew up in northern New Jersey, and learned Italian in public school starting in the first grade. After eight years of studying the language and culture in high school and college, James made the decision to leave a short stint in the private sector to become a teacher of Italian in the New Jersey public school system.
James is a member of AATI, ITANJ, FLENJ, and the ILF. He has facilitated workshops and roundtable discussions for the America Italy Society of Philadelphia (AATI Keystone), AATI LongIsland, and the Italian Language Foundation. He currently resides in Westwood, NJ.
Department of World Languages and Cultures
Chapman University, Orange (CA)
Sara Mattavelli is Program Director and Instructional Assistant Professor in Italian Studies in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Chapman University (Orange, CA). She holds a Ph.D. in Italian with a minor in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree in Italian from the University of Virginia, and a laurea magistrale in Language Sciences and Foreign Literature from the Università Cattolica in Milan (Italy). Her research interests include second language acquisition, literacy-based approaches to L2 instruction, translanguaging, and contemporary Italian literature.
Dr. Mattavelli has extensive experience teaching language and culture courses at various levels, advising students and clubs, and mentoring colleagues. She has previously taught at Duke University, William & Mary, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Virginia, and Scripps College.
Department of World Languages, Literatures and Culture
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Dr. Ryan Calabretta-Sajder is currently Associate Professor and Section Head of Italian at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he teaches courses in Italian, Film, and Gender Studies. He serves as Associate Director of Gender Studies and Affiliate Faculty in African and African American Studies, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, and Jewish Studies.
He is the author of (Celluloid Divergences: Color, Migration, and Sexual Identity in the Gay Series of Ferzan Ozpetek) with Mimesis editore and editor of the collections of essays, Pasolini’s Lasting Impressions: Death, Eros, and Literary Enterprise in the Opus of Pier Paolo Pasolini with Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and Italian Americans On Screen: Challenging the Past, Re-Theorizing the Future with Alan Gravano (Lexington Press, 2020). His research interests include the integration of gender, class, and migration in both Italian and Italian American literature and cinema. He has recently been awarded one of four Fulbright Awards for the Foundation of the South to conduct research and teach at the University of Calabria, Arcavacata for the Spring of 2017. His next research project examines the visual, semiotic, and affect foodways provokes in Italian and Italian American cinema.
Calabretta-Sajder is a former President for the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the President of Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honors Society, founding and current editor of Diasporic Italy: Journal of the Italian American Studies Association, and President of the Italian American LLC (Modern Langauge Association). He is the Chief Designate Reader for the AP Italian Language and Culture Examination and serves on the Osservatorio nazionale.
Department of Modern Languages & Classics
University of Alabama
Fabio Battista is an Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Alabama, where he also directs the Italian Language Program. His scholarly interests include early modern European culture, translation studies, and second language acquisition. His research has been funded by, among others, a Northeast Modern Language Association Summer Grant (2015) and an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship (2018-2019). In 2021, he was awarded the Anne Jacobson Schutte Early Career Research Grant by the Society for Reformation Research.
Dr. Battista has just published his first book, The Queen of Scots / La reina di Scotia, which is the first bilingual edition of Federico Della Valle’s early modern tragedy on Mary Queen of Scots, for the Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library Series of the University of Toronto Press (2023). He is also working on his monograph, provisionally entitled Staging English Affairs in Early Modern Italy: History, Politics, Drama, in which he investigates the transmission of knowledge and the fictionalization of facts across the European continent, with a particular attention to the Anglo-Italian case. In addition to his work in early modern studies, Dr. Battista is active in second language acquisition and curriculum development, having recently published an article on “Black Italians and the Case of Zero” in Teaching Italian Language and Culture Annual. He has also authored several translations (including Christian Uva’s book Sergio Leone: Cinema as Political Fable for Oxford University Press, 2020) and is a contributor to Stories for a Year, the English-language digital edition of Luigi Pirandello’s short stories.
- PhD, Comparative Literature, The Graduate Center, CUNY (2019)
- MA, Modern Languages, Literatures, and Translation, Sapienza Università di Roma (2012)
Department of World Languages
College of Southern Nevada
Barbara Bird is Lead faculty and for the Italian language program and Professor (Community College tenure track) at the College of Southern Nevada, a large community college with several campuses in the Las Vegas metro area. She also teaches a class on US and college pragmatics and policies for International students, and a cross-listed Italian culture course. She serves on several department and school-wide committees relating to diversity, assessment, curriculum, and online teaching. She also collaborates with Casa Italiana di Las Vegas and the state foreign language association, PLAN, which is affiliated with regional (SWCOLT) and national (ACTFL) organizations.
Dr. Bird earned a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition with a minor in Italian, and Certificate of European Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed an MA in Italian literature at UW-Madison, and bachelors degrees in Italian and History at Brigham Young University. Her research focuses on Italian literature acquisition, literacy practices, motivation, and classroom dynamics. Other areas of academic research include heritage identity and critical pedagogy. In her teaching practice, Dr. Bird is currently exploring project-based language learning and online course development.
Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures
Texas Tech University
Sarah Cantor is Lecturer of Italian and the Italian Language Foundations Director in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures at Texas Tech University. Having earned her PhD in Italian from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020, she now teaches all levels of Italian language and works to promote the Italian minor at Texas Tech. In 2023, she co-created the inaugural summer study abroad program in Sicily. Her primary research focus is on gender in Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature, in particular epic poetry and the ways in which early modern female poets modify epic motifs to promote proto-feminist ideas. Her most recent article, “Epic Halves, Epic Doubles: Calvino, Tasso, and the Self-Reflecting Enemy,” appears in the journal California Italian Studies.
Luisa Canuto is an Associate Professor of Teaching at the French, Hispanic and Italian Studies department, where she has been teaching and coordinated language and culture courses since 1994. Luisa founded and coordinated the Italian Program for UBC Continuing Studies developed the curriculum for all the courses, from beginner to advanced, from conversation to culture to the Study in Italy program. As a Manager for UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, from 2002 to 2015, she developed and facilitated numerous educational programs for Faculty members, Teaching and Learning Institutes and the Academic Leadership Development Program for new UBC Academic Leaders.
An invited speaker for workshops and seminar presentations, she regularly presents at national and international conferences on the topics of the scholarship of teaching and learning, intercultural competence, educational technologies and pedagogy.
Luisa has acquired graduate degrees in disciplines ranging from History to Publishing to Second language acquisition and teaching. Since July 2017, Luisa has also been serving as the Peer Review of Teaching program coordinator for the Faculty of Arts and co-coordinator of the UBC Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice.
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
University of Missouri, Columbia
Carla Cornette is an Instructor of Italian at Mizzou where she teaches the elementary language sequence and where she will teach a course on “Black Italy: The Politics and History of Race in Contemporary Italy” as part of the Mizzou Afro-Romance Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s in Italian from Middlebury College. She specializes in Italian postcolonial literature and film, focusing on works that feature the voices of African diaspora women and engaging with them via interdisciplinary theoretical lenses including Postcolonial Studies, Black Feminism, Adolescent Identity Development Theory, and Critical Adoption Studies. Carla has been an invited speaker for the AATI-Italian Embassy Professional Development Seminar and the AATI-Teaching Black Italy webinar organized by Fred Kuwornu where she presented on Teaching Black Italy. She has been a panel organizer and presenter at several AATI conferences on topics ranging from Sicilian Studies to teaching literature in language courses to fostering inclusivity, equity, and diversity in Italian Studies. She has published on “Colonial Legacies in Family-Breaking and Family-Making” in gender/sexuality/Italy (2020) which examines the adoption trauma memoirs of an Ethiopian-Italian woman through the lenses of Critical Adoption Studies and Postcolonial Theory. In addition to teaching Italian language, culture, film, and contemporary literature courses, Carla has co-led study abroad programs in Reggio Calabria, Sicily, Bologna, and Rome in her previous positions at Pennsylvania State University and Colorado College and is currently establishing a new study abroad program in Sicily for Mizzou students.
- PhD, Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- MA, Italian, Middebury College
Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultures
Rochester Institute of Technology
Elisabetta D’Amanda is Principal Lecturer and coordinator of the Italian Program at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her primary areas of teaching and research are Italian cinema, Film Studies, Second Language Acquisition, along with creating internships opportunities in Italy for college students.
Elisabetta has decades of work in the Greater Rochester community both for the Italian Civic League, RIT Italian Program is part of the umbrella organization, and the Italian community at large for whom she serves locally all the way to the Embassy of Italy in D.C, where she is preparing new events every year since last Spring. These experiences also provide depth to her perspective in working not only to make her university part of an national scenario but also to continue to be well connected to the people of our region.
DML in Italian and Spanish (Middlebury College)
Master of Fine Arts in Film Production (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Master of Science in Education (Nazareth College of Rochester)
Dr. James M. Fortney is Director of the Italian Basic Language Program at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In addition to teaching an Accelerated Italian course for Speakers of Spanish and other Romance Languages, he teaches a general education course on contemporary Italian fiction in translation. Recent projects that he has worked on include directing and teaching language courses on USC's Maymester in Rome. His work has contributed to an internship course and opportunities with Italian owned and operated businesses in Los Angeles for USC students of Italian thanks to his department's affiliation with the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West.
Department of World Language, Literatures and Culture
Suffolk County Community College, NY
Annamaria Monaco graduated from the University of Pavia, Alma Ticinensis Universitas, in Lombardy, Italy, where she received a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Italian Literature and Philosophy. Immediately after her graduation, she moved to the United States and was admitted into a doctorate program at Stony Brook University, receiving, after completion of her coursework and a dissertation in Neapolitan Dialect, a Doctorate in Foreign Language Education. She is currently a Full Professor of Italian at Suffolk County Community College, where she also serves as the advisor for the Italian Club. She has been coordinator and faculty leader of the Summer Study Abroad Program in Italy.
Since she immigrated to the United States, Dr. Monaco has always been involved in teaching and promoting Italian language and culture, first as a scholar and then as a valuable instructor. She regularly gives presentations, lectures, and workshops on foreign language pedagogy and Italian culture and society. She has published several articles, translations, and book reviews. She wrote a book to teach Intermediate/Advanced Italian at secondary and postsecondary institutions, Parliamone, Sentia 2019.
She is a member of several language organizations at the local, state, and national levels, and has been President of AATI-LI (Association of Teachers of Italian/Long Island Chapter), 2014-2018.
In 2012 Dr. Monaco received the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She was also the recipient of the 2015 Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Award, which recognizes outstanding Italian American women in education for their significant contributions to their profession and their communities.
Dr. Monaco’s research interests include the study of the changes in Italian society and culture in the last fifty years, immigration to Italy, Italian Cinema, and Italian language teaching materials and methodology.
Department of Italian
Carmela Bernadetta Scala received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York. Her main field of research is Baroque literature, fairytales, folklore, and dialect literature. She is also interested in contemporary literature and has published a book on contemporary cinema, “New Trends in Italian Cinema: “New” Neorealism.” She has also published a book on Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti titled “Fairytales- A world between the Imaginary. Metaphors at Play in Lo cunto de li cunti by Giambattista Basile” and an Italian reader “Un viaggio fantastico nella lingua e nella cultura italiana.”
Her last article, “Matteo Garrone’s The Tale of Tales-Visual Metaphors and Transmedial Storytelling,” was published in the book entitled “The Body of Naples: Corporality and Performativity in Baroque Naples” (Lexington Books, 2017). She has published articles on language acquisition in the NEMLA Italian Studies journal. She is the Director of the Italian Language Program at Rutgers University and the study Abroad Program Director. She is the founder and chief editor of the Language Teaching and Technology (LTT). She has won an entrepreneurial grant to develop a Professional Development workshop entirely online for Italian teachers and many other small grants to develop innovative online language courses. She is the recipient of the Rutgers prestigious Ernest E. McMahon Class of 1930 Award for the academic year 2019-2020. She is currently working on a manuscript, “From Design to Teaching: Granting Our Students An Engaging Learning Experience On-Line” to be published in spring 2021.
Department of Classics and Italian
Since 2004 Morena Svaldi (Senior Lecturer in Italian) teaches Italian Language and Culture in the Department of Classics & Italian at Mount Holyoke College. Over the years Svaldi received several Mellon Grants to develop blended material for elementary and intermediate Italian. She also worked on several exchange projects between Mount Holyoke College and Italian Universities using videoconferencing. In 2021 and 2023, Svaldi received the Racial Equity Research and Action Grant Program (RERA) to develop an advanced Italian course in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In 2022 she was awarded by the Italian Consulate in the U.S. and the Department of Education and Foreign Affairs for designing a new course: Innovative Teaching of Italian Culture through Arts and Science. Since 2005 Svaldi organizes and presents at the Five Colleges Italian Symposium in Pedagogy. Since 2014 she is the Faculty Director of the Language Assistant Program, a program that supervises student assistants in ten languages offered at Mount Holyoke College.
Georgetown University, Villa Le Balze
Fiesole (Fi) Italy
Dr. Fulvio S. Orsitto is the Director of Villa Le Balze, Georgetown University’s study center in Fiesole (Italy), where he also teaches courses on Italian Culture and Italian American Cinema. He was previously an Associate Professor at California State University, where he taught a wide variety of courses, ranging from Italian language, culture, and literature (from Dante to Pasolini), to Italian and Italian American cinema.
He has published more than thirty essays and book chapters on Italian and Italian American cinema and Italian Literature. His book publications include the edited volumes The Other and the Elsewhere in Italian Culture (2011) and Cinema and Risorgimento: Visions and Re-Visions (2012), the manual Film and Education. Capturing Bilingual Communities (2014, with C. Peralta and F. Caramaschi), and the co-edited volumes Cultural Contaminations (2014, with S. Wright), Pier Paolo Pasolini. American Perspectives (2015, with F. Pacchioni), Cultural Crossings (2016, with S. Wright), TOTalitarian ARTs: The Visual Arts, Fascism(s), and Mass-Society (2017, with M. Epstein & A. Righi), The Italian Economic Miracle in Cinema, Television and Literature (2019, with I. Lanslots, L. Martinelli, and U. Perolino), Crossroads. Paths to Intermediality (2022, with F. Ciabattoni & S. Wright), Italian Americans in Films. Establishing and Challenging Italian American Identities (2023, with D. Fioretti), Composite Identities (2023, with A. Chierici), and Italian Americans in Films and Other Media. The Immigrant Experience from Silent Films to the Internet Age (2024, with D. Fioretti).
Department of European Languages and Cultures
University of California, Los Angeles
Megan Tomlinson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of European Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has studied in the UK and Italy prior to her studies in the US. Her dissertation project focuses on Giovanni Boccaccio’s conceptions of female community and his reception amongst the community of Italian Renaissance women writers. Her work on Boccaccio has been recognised by the American
Boccaccio Association, which awarded her their national graduate student essay prize. She has published on travel as transgression in Boccaccio’s work and a co-edited volume, Physiognomy at the Crossroad of Magic, Science and the Arts is forthcoming this year. She is also invested in pedagogy and served as her home department’s Teaching Assistant Co-ordinator, facilitating the training of new language TAs in Italian, French, and German, and has presented UCLA’s approach to the teaching of Italian to the Italian Ambassador to the United States.
Lucrezia G. Lindia, former Language Teacher and Department Chair at Eastchester Union Free School District for 31 years, is currently an Adjunct Professor of Italian and a Foreign Language Liaison of Early College Education High School Partnerships at SUNY-Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY.
She served as President of the ITA-AATI for close to 20 years where she initiated an Annual ITA essay contest, the ITA Carnevale Celebration in February; she edited the ITA monthly newsletter, and she fostered collaborations with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Consulate in New York. For 18 years, she has been a Consultant to the New York State Education Department for the Italian Regents and the Proficiency Exams. She has contributed to the AATI National Italian Examination, the New York State Learning Standards for Languages Other Than English and the ACTFL’s Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. Professor Lindia served on a committee with the Italian Consulate in NYC initiating the AP Exam. In addition, she was a member of the Committee that composed the AP Vertical Team Guide in World Languages, published by the College Board; She was also hired by the College Board to write the AP Italian CPPG #2, and served on the College Board’s Italian AP Committee as a reader and on the SAT II Test Development Committee, chairing it the last two years. Lucrezia is the author of Edmondo DeAmici’s Cuore Tre racconti, Ed. Soleil; Cultura Italiana di regione in regione, Edizioni Farinelli; Co-author of Italian for CommunicationTextbook and Workbook, Curriculum Press; Cinque film italiani, Ed. Soleil; La donna arbëreshe ieri, oggi, domani…tra sacro e profano, Edizioni Il Coscile.
Among other initiatives, Lucrezia served as President of the Westchester Association of Foreign Language Educators, an affiliate of the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT). She was also elected to serve as regional representative of NYSAFLT and regional representative for AATI for a few terms. She is the President of the National Italian Honor Society/Società Onoraria Italica, Board Member of the Italian American Committee of Education (IACE) and Board Member of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of NY (IHCC-NY, Inc.); Westchester Coalition of Italian American Organizations, and Trustee of the SOI, Garibaldi Lodge. Over the years, she gave more than 200 workshops at the local, state, national and international levels, and continues to offer her professional expertise to colleagues representing secondary schools and colleges.
Department of World Languages, Literatures and Culture
Giovanna Summerfield is Professor of Italian and French, as well as director of the Mediterranean Studies undergraduate certificate and the Languages Across the Curriculum program at Auburn University, where she has also served for ten years as Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts. She received her PhD in Romance languages and literatures with a Minor in European and Mediterranean history from the University of Florida. During her time at Auburn, she has been recognized with the Creative Research and Scholarship Award (within Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, Architecture & Design, Business, Social and Human Sciences), 2022, the College of Liberal Arts’ Engaged Scholarship, 2009-2012 and the Outstanding Scholarly Achievement in Women’s Studies, 2009-2010. She has also served as an ambassador in the Office of Sustainability’s Peer Network, earning the Spirit of Sustainability Award, 2019. Summerfield has served as Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar, dissertation outsider reader, and keynote speaker for several national and international academic institutions, as well as Global Teaching Academy Fellow and Imagining America Research Fellow.
Summerfield has published extensively on French and Italian literature of the long-eighteenth century, comparative literature, women’s studies, film studies, and Mediterranean studies. Among her most recent books are Sicily on Screen. Essays on the Representation of the Island and Its Culture (2020) and Sicily and the Mediterranean: Migration, Exchange, Reinvention (2015). Her works have been published in journals such as Annali d’italianistica, Rivista di studi italiani, L’Avventura, International Journal of Italian Film and Media Landscapes, Cahiers d’études romanes and in many collective volumes. Summerfield is also a published short story writer and poet.
She currently serves as book review editor of Modern Italy, Cambridge University Press, as editor-in-chief of Italica, and as co-founder and co-editor of a new journal on modern and contemporary Mediterranean Studies, I.S. Med, Interdisciplinary Studies on the Mediterranean, Mimesis International.
Anthony Julian Tamburri
John D Calandra Italian American Institute
Anthony Julian Tamburri is Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College, CUNY) and Distinguished Professor of European Languages and Literatures. He is co-founder and co-director of Bordighera Press, past president of the Italian American Studies Association and of the American Association of Teachers of Italian. Concentrating on cinema, literature, and semiotics, he has authored more than a dozen books, which include: Of Saltimbanchi and Incendiari: Aldo Palazzeschi and Avant-Gardism in Italy (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1990); To Hyphenate or not to Hyphenate (Guernica, 1991); A Semiotic of Ethnicity: In (Re)cognition of the Italian/American Writer (SUNY, 1998); Italian/American Short Films & Videos: A Semiotic Reading (Purdue UP, 2002); Semiotics of Re-reading: Guido Gozzano, Aldo Palazzeschi, and Italo Calvino (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2003); Narrare altrove: diverse segnalature letterarie (Cesati, 2007); Una semiotica dell’etnicità (Cesati, 2007); Re-viewing Italian Americana: Generalities and Specificities on Cinema (Bordighera, 2011); and Re-reading Italian Americana: Specificities and Generalities on Literature and Criticism (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2014). He is executive producer and host of the Calandra Institute’s TV program, Italics, produced in collaboration with CUNY TV. He was also one of the founders of i-Italy.org (www.i-Italy.org). He currently writes a column for La Voce di New York (www.lavocedinewyork.com).
K-12 School Representatives
Serena De Candido
Somerset Academy Chapel Trail
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Originally from Maggiore Lake, Italy, I moved to Florida ten year ago. I have thought Italian for the past five years at Somerset Academy, a charter school in Pembroke Pines FL. I teach middle and high school classes , included one AP Italian Language and Culture. I am also the sponsor of the National Italian Honor Society for my high school students.
I received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Milan and master’s degrees in ” Didattatica della lingua e della letteratura italiana” from University of Siena.
Elizabeth Public Schools
Melissa Wells is a teacher of Italian in Elizabeth Public Schools in New Jersey where she has contributed to the school communities and curriculum writing teams since 2009. Ms. Wells teaches Italian courses from levels 1 through AP and has also offered adaptive Italian courses for our special needs language learners. She has a bachelors in Italian Studies and Psychology from Rutgers University as well as an MAT in Italian. During her time at Rutgers University, she was inducted into the Phi Sigma Iota National Honor Society for Italian. She also has a Master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Montclair State University and a certification of Educational Leadership in Supervision from New Jersey City University.
Ms. Wells has been providing professional development throughout her district of 3000 educators since 2012 with respect to both educational technology integration as well as curriculum and language learning pedagogy. You may recognize her from AATI’s summer series Flipgrid training video. More recently she was also a co-presenter at the 2021 NECTFL virtual conference for her pre-recorded presentation on “Redefining Digital Language Learning Techniques” which aligned language learning with the SAMR model of technology integration to serve teachers of all languages whether their instruction was remote, hybrid or face to face.
Ms. Wells was voted her school’s teacher of the year by her administrative team and peers in 2017. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Elizabeth Education Association as well, as the Co-Chair of the Instructional Advisory Committee. In 2019, she was a recipient of the Italian Teacher Association of New Jersey’s Borsa di Studio in which she was granted the opportunity to study in Taormina. She is a member of ITANJ, AATI and the Italian Language Foundation (ILF) as well as an active Coccia Student Alumna.