During her spring semester junior year, Megan studied abroad through the Brown in Bologna program. Not yet ready to return home after the semester concluded, she opted to stay in Italy for the summer helping out on a small family farm and agritourismo. After graduating in 2013 with concentrations in Religious Studies and Italian Studies, Megan spent the next two years volunteering with the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. She worked as an agriculture extension agent in a small village promoting improved agricultural techniques and sustainable field management practices. Living with a host family and learning their native language of Pulaar, Megan once again recognized the value of cultural exchange that comes with living abroad. Since early 2016, Megan has been working on a diversified, organic farm on a small island twelve miles off the coast of Maine. She recently received a Fulbright to pursue the Master of Gastronomy program at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, where she will study after this growing season. The program approaches the study of food from a variety of angles -- historical, cultural, anthropological, environmental, political -- and incorporates hands-on learning through tasting workshops and various study trips. With this Fulbright, Megan hopes to deepen her knowledge and understanding of food systems and production in order to better connect people to their environment, with food as the medium that unites them.
JANET MINICHIELLO ‘07
I have stayed very involved with the Italian Studies department since graduating. I spent my last semester (fall 2007) studying at the Università di Bologna through the Brown in Bologna program, and returned after Christmas to work as an assistant in the Brown in Bologna office as well as a translator for the Galleria Neon (http://www.neoncampobase.com).
MICHAEL PRENTICE ‘07
Since graduation, I have worked at a small management consulting firm and I have recently begun work at Verse Group, a New York-based branding company working on their strategy and research team. I am eternally grateful for the liberal arts background that I received from Brown in Italian Studies and Anthropology that has made me stand out in the business world for the ability to think critically, think outside of the box and be creative. I returned to Italy in the spring after a year's absence and found that my Italian was still as sharp as when I graduated from Brown.
VALERIA KHISLAVSKY ‘07
Right now I am finishing up my first (and last) year as a high school Art Teacher and Coach (Cross Country Running, Snowboarding) at Brewster Academy, a private boarding school in New Hampshire. This summer, I will be returning to a position at The Putney School Summer Programs in Vermont, and after that it's sort of a mystery. I am starting to think about traveling abroad again and have considered going back to Italy, which I can now do with confidence after having spent nine months learning the country's language and culture during my junior year at Brown.
BRIAN COMMAROTO ‘05
After Brown, I spent two years in Italy living in Milan and Parma for both study and work experiences. Immediately after commencement, I started a summer internship with the US State Department at the Consulate General in Milan. In Septemeber, 2005 I enrolled in the MSc program at Universita' Bocconi. My program CLEMIT (corso di laurea specialistica in economia dei mercati internazionali e delle nuove tecnologie) was taught in Italian and I studied alongside Italian students. After my first year at Bocconi, I was selected to do an internship in the Corporate Services division of Academia Barilla, a subsidiary of Barilla. During my second year of graduate school, I also had the opportunity to do some translating and editing of academic articles. Finally, I graduate from Bocconi in July, 2007 and started working in the Revenue Management department of JetBlue Airways in New York City.
For me, Italian means much more than professional experiences. I met my girlfriend of 4+ years during my study abroad year in Bologna. She is now planning on coming to the United States to teach Italian. I have also become very close to her family and continue to maintain friendships from my watershed Bologna year. So even though I don't use Italian in the workplace, I do take advantage of airline industry discounts to travel back and forth and see my friends on the other side of the Atlantic.
As you can see, I chose a new direction for my life after cultivating my passion for Italian at Brown.
MEREDITH REICHES ‘05
Italian has come in handy since graduation in funny ways! I'm in a PhD program in biological anthropology at Harvard. Biological anthropology is the study of human evolution, and my particular project concerns the evolution of puberty. I'm curious about how bodies negotiate the transition from childhood growth to adult reproductive function. For the first two and a half years, my work focused on an indigenous population in Argentina. I showed up in the semi-arid Gran Chaco of northern Argentina without speaking Spanish but, thanks to Italian Studies, I spoke Italian, and it helped me communicate while I learned Spanish.
SUSAN HARRISON ‘04
I graduated in 2004 with a double concentration in Classics and Italian studies. I now live in San Francisco and work at an investment management firm. Unfortunately I don't get to use my Italian very often, but I enjoyed my Italian classes in college and my year at the University of Bologna was one of the best experiences of my life.
JAENNY GRACE LIN ‘03
LESLIE NUNEZ ‘02
I am happy to report that since graduating from Brown in Italian Studies and International Relations in 2002 I am now a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State (U.S. Diplomatic Corps). I am currently on my first tour working at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. I am also happy to announce that I am engaged to Charles Goodman, also a Foreign Service Officer working at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We will be celebrating our marriage on December 20th with friends and family in Miami, FL. After the wedding we will be heading to our next tour in Georgia at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. Of course, I hoping that one day I will be able to use my Italian with a tour at the U.S. Embassy in Rome or Vatican City or one of the consulates either in Florence, Milan, or Naples. The language study I received at Brown was essential preparation for the language training I have received with the Department of State. But the biggest credit goes to the Brown in Bologna Program which sparked the insatiable desire in me to experience cultures all around the world.
AMBER LEVINSON ‘00
After graduating from Brown in 2000, I taught foreign language in New York City for two years. My travel-lusty youth and ear for a good rhythm then led me to Rio de Janeiro, where I lived for six years. I worked with filmmaker Katia Lund (City of God, News of a Personal War) to set up a film-based educational program for underprivileged youth called Cinema Nosso, and worked on several of her film projects. I later worked as a writer and researcher in an independent documentary production company. I have just returned to the US to pursue a Ph.D. at the Stanford University School of Education, with a focus on how the filmmaking process can be used as a learning tool. My Italian Studies education prepared me with language skills to work with Italian producers as well as a broad perspective on film, literature, aesthetics and teaching. My summer work on the Decameron Web gave me a glimpse of the possibilities that technology offers in Education. I am often overwhelmed by "nostalgia" for Italy hope my work will take me back there soon.