Center for Italian American Studies
Welcome to the Center for Italian American Studies. I am very pleased to have been appointed Director of the Center, and I am actively working to revitalize the Center and its programs. I am trained as a psychologist, and I have been a counselor with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute since 1985. Through the Calandra Institute, I have worked at several CUNY campuses providing counseling services, serving as student club advisor, organizing events, and developing programs. I have been placed at Brooklyn College by the Institute, which is under the aegis of Queens College.
The Center works closely with the program in Italian American Studies, which offers an interdisciplinary minor. In the near future, we are hopeful that Italian American Studies will become a major at Brooklyn College. From its discovery, to its early beginnings as a nation, and to the present day, people of Italian decent have made enormous contributions to this country. In all areas of the arts and sciences, in business, economics, government, and politics, Italian Americans have had a tremendous impact on the very fabric of our society. Our story, however, is not without a dark side. Like many ethnic groups in this country, Italian Americans have faced great discrimination. Indeed, the largest mass lynching/execution of any ethnic group took place in the 19th century in New Orleans, when an angry mob murdered 11 Italian Americans. Today, more subtle forms of discrimination and stereotyping exist. I encourage students from all backgrounds to take our courses, and to learn about the rich history of Italian Americans.
The Center sponsors symposia throughout the year, and I encourage anyone with ideas for a lecture or other event to contact me. Part of the Center’s mission is to sponsor and conduct research. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with any faculty or staff member who is conducting, or plans to conduct, research on the Italian American population.