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Dr. Giuseppe Gazzola Named Interim Director of the Center for Italian Studies

December 7, 2019

Dear Friends of the Stony Brook University Center for Italian Studies:

We are pleased to announce that Professor Giuseppe Gazzola has agreed to assume the position of Interim Director of the Center for Italian Studies.  Professor Gazzola, Associate Professor in Italian Studies at Stony Brook, is a well-known and accomplished scholar in Italian and Italian American Studies.  He received his BA at Universita' di Genova, his MA at the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. at Yale University.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions in the field of Italian Studies.

Professor Gazzola will lead the Center after the untimely passing of its founder, and our friend, Mario Mignone.  He has a deep understanding and appreciation of the important scholarship emanating from the Center, and has an equally important understanding of the critical work the Center does with the Italian American community.  He will serve in this position until a permanent director is selected.

We are excited that a person with Professor Gazzola’s impressive credentials has agreed to take on this important role.  In making this announcement, we would also like to thank the faculty and staff that are working hard to continue Professor Mignone’s legacy.  Specifically, we would like to thank the Center’s Advisory Council, Professor Luigi Fontanella, Professor Irene Marchegiani, Josephine Fusco, Annette Palazzo, and all the other stakeholders, including UNICO, Sons of Italy, and the Association of Italian American Educators, for their continued support.

We are also pleased to announce that Mario’s wife, Lois Mignone, an educator and administrator  in her own right, has agreed to join the Advisory Board.

The Center’s important work continues.  For example, the community favorite Robert D. Cess Concorso D’Eleganza was held on September 15th, featuring Italian classic vehicles.  On  October 23,  the Center has hosted the Annual Award Ceremony of the Gradiva International Poetry Prize  (thank you Professor Fontanella for your work on this project).  On November 14-16,  the Center has sponsored an international conference on the new European Union. Many thanks to Dr. Sal Rotella for his stewardship of this latter conference.

We are also pleased to announce that the search for the Alfonse M. D’Amato Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies is underway.  We expect to  be in a position to announce the successful candidate very shortly.

As you can see, a lot is going on at the Center for Italian Studies.  We want to thank you for your engagement and support and urge you to continue your support by attending and participating in Center events and making monetary contributions to the Center.  A check in any amount made payable to SBF/Center for Italian Studies, and forwarded to:  Center for Italian Studies, Stony Brook University,  Stony Brook, New York  11794 -3358  would assist us do this important work.  You may also visit the Center’s website at


Richard T. Nasti
Chairman, Advisory Council
Center for Italian Studies                                             

Nicole Sampson
Interim Dean
College of Arts and Sciences