Center for Italian American Studies Honors Four at the Italian American Awards Dinner, November 8

Professor Anthony Sclafani, '66

The Center for Italian American Studies, the Italian Culture Club, and the Italian American Student Union will hold the first Italian American Awards Dinner, Monday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Gold Room of the Brooklyn College Student Center. The dinner will honor four Italian Americans who have made significant contributions to their community. Tickets to the event are $40; $25 for students. The center, which was founded in 1972, provides a social setting where Italian American students can meet and hold extracurricular activities. It supports research in Italian American Studies and offers counseling, tutoring, internships, noncredit courses of cultural interest for adults, and information about study-abroad programs. The center strives to establish and maintain close relations with the Italian American community by sponsoring cultural events, lectures, conferences, exhibits, and films related to Italy and the Italian American experience. The center has an extensive collection of books in Italian and English, with free borrowing privileges for Brooklyn College students, faculty, and staff, housed in Boylan Hall in the S. Eugene Scalia Library, named after Brooklyn College's longtime professor of Italian and father of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

Reservations are required. If you would like to attend please contact the director of the Italian American Center, Vito De Simone, (718) 951-5070, or  

Anthony Sclafani, who will receive the Special Service Award, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College. He is a second generation Italian-American, was born in Staten Island and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1966 with a B.S. in psychology. He then studied at the University of Chicago where he received a Ph.D. in biopsychology in 1970. Sclafani is the director of the Feeding Behavior and Nutrition Laboratory, which is investigating the psychology and biology of appetite and obesity in laboratory animals. His research has been supported for the last twenty years by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition to his distinguished professorship, Sclafani’s honors include a Tow Professorship, an NIH Merit Research Award, a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award, and the Manheimer Award for Career Achievement in Chemosensory Sciences from the Monell Chemical Senses Center. He is a past president of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is on the editorial boards of four scientific journals. Sclafani has authored or coauthored more than two hundred scientific articles and chapters in national and international journals and books.


Mary Crisalli Sansone

The recipient of the Community Leadership Award, Mary Crisalli Sansone, was born and reared in Brooklyn and worked in the Social Service Department of the Red Cross during World War II. After the war, she organized American Medical Aid to Italy and traveled for the United Nations Appeal for children to raise funds for the orphans of Europe. She is a founder and organizer of the Congress of Italian-American Organization (CIAO) and has been its executive director since 1970. Sansone has developed twenty-two programs geared toward helping the poor and has assisted people with their problems regardless of color, creed or race.

Together with the late Bayard Rustin and Monsignor Geno Barone, she formed the first coalition of blacks, Latinos, and Italians in 1971. CIAO is committed to forming coalitions that will create racial harmony. It supports all causes that can strengthen human rights.

In 1976, the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Sacco and Vanzetti, she was responsible for organizing a group of people of all colors and creeds to urge Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts to review the case. As a result of their insistence, the proclamation that was issued on March, 1977 reads as follows: "The trial and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti should serve and remind all civilized people of the constant need to guard against our susceptibility to prejudice, our intolerance of unorthodox ideas, and our failure to defend." In 1988, realizing the tremendous racial problems in the city, she and a number of concerned citizens met and formed Community, Understanding, for Racial and Ethic Equality (C.U.R.E.).

Sansone is on the advisory boards of the New York State Division of Human Rights, New York State Division of Women, the Association of Italian American Educators, the Center for Italian American Studies at Brooklyn College, among others. Sansone has received numerous recognitions and leadership awards from many associations and from the City of New York, and recognitions from several mayors of the City of New York, including former mayor Rudy Giuliani. She is considered to be among the one hundred most influential Italian American women today.

Sansone and her husband, Zachary, were married in 1949 and have two children: Carmela and Ralph.

Antoinette Crapanzano, '72

Born, reared and educated in Brooklyn, Antoinette Crapanzano, ’72, teaches elementary grades at P.S. 97 in Brooklyn. The recipient of the Brooklyn College Center for Italian American Studies Alumna of the Year Award, she is a model of dedicated professionalism. Crapanzano has served as a leader with numerous responsibilities in the life of Brooklyn College. She has been treasurer of the Graduate Student Association in Educational Administration and has also served on the association’s program planning committee for numerous community leadership events and on the board of directors of the Student Center. She represented the Congress of Italian American Organization (CIAO) as advisor on organization to the former president of Brooklyn College, Vernon E. Lattin.

The focus of her research is the influence of the university preparation of school supervisors to their effectiveness on the job, both in Italy and the United States. Her research has focused on two major projects to which she has provided critical support from her knowledge of organization theory. The first project, based in Italy, is a feasability study for the sharing of professional knowledge between Italy and the United States. It resulted in a proposal for a university-based curriculum for the preparation of future school principals in Italy. The second project, based in the United States, was designed to provide field-based feedback to the curricular modification of the performance-based educational administration program.

Crapanzano earned a B.A., cum laude, from Brooklyn College with majors in both art history and elementary education, then earned an M.S. in art education and an M.S. in neuropsychological learning disabilities. Her credentials include the professional diploma (PD) in educational administration from Brooklyn College, the New York State District Administration (SDA) certificate, the New York State School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) certificate, and the New York City principal’s license. Crapanzano was recently honored by CIAO as an Outstanding Educator of the Year.

John Maher
John Maher, winner of the Student Leadership Award, is a senior majoring in English literature. He plans to graduate in June 2005 and enter law school. Maher is a presidential ambassador of Brooklyn College through which he attends round-table meetings with alumni of and donors to Brooklyn College. Maher also gives weekly tours to prospective freshmen and transfer students. Maher created the BC Mentor Program, which will provide mentors for three hundred incoming freshman and transfer students beginning with the fall 2004 Semester. He is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. He volunteers for Joe Torre East Highway Little League to help young kids learn the basics of baseball and soccer, and he pulls weeds and cleans up their little league fields each summer. Maher has also volunteered at James Madison High School, where he helped coach the varsity soccer team for two years, and occasionally returns for soccer, baseball, and softball clinics. Maher has spoken on behalf of the CUNY student body before the CUNY Board of Trustees in order to ensure that students will continue to receive Vallone Scholarships. He has given a tour of Brooklyn to Brooklyn College donors and has frequently given tours of the campus and library to prospective donors. He has attended on-campus town hall meetings and aided in the process thorough which the Office of Student Life makes decisions that affect the entire student body. Maher is an Italian-Irish American.

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