Alumni

Here is information on what some of the past Italian students are doing. If you would like to send us word of what you are doing we would be delighted to include your news on the alumni page. Please send your news to the Italian Studies program's coordinator, Kate Flaherty.



Michael Colbert, '16
Michael Colbert '16After graduating, I moved to a small town in the north of Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Program. Time TA-ing for the Italian Department at Bowdoin helped ease my transition to new work, but the language came as a shock as it was remarkably different from studying in Bologna after taking Italian at Bowdoin. Since JET, I work in the Bowdoin Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. I continue to seek out ways to use Italian every day through reading, films, and talking with friends. Thanks to my independent study with Professor Saiber my last semester at Bowdoin, I laid the groundwork for some freelance translating. I've worked with a couple of Italian authors and found a way to combine my love of creative writing and Italian.


(updated 2017)



John Mortelliti, '13John Mortelliti '13
I started Bowdoin as a Spanish major but after a spending a summer studying in Rome and another teaching English in Parma, I added Italian and graduated a Romance Languages major. My grandparents are from Italy and I wanted to explore the language and culture of my heritage. Learning Italian came easily to me as I was already fluent in Spanish. I loved my Italian classes, my amazing professors and the close-knit family of the department. 

Italian and Spanish have had a profound impact on my career post-Bowdoin.  Spanish: I was a Spanish teacher in New Mexico, I completed a MA in Spanish Translation and Localization Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and I have done Spanish translation and interpretation work as a freelancer.  Italian: I am a Certified Court Interpreter for the State of New York and interpreted an Italian divorce/domestic violence case in California.  I use my language skills every day in my career in the localization (language services) industry. I worked at Art.com, an e-commerce company in Emeryville, CA and I currently work at SimulTrans, a language service provider in Mountain View, CA. I work closely with translators and though I no longer translate or interpret, I still use my language skills in every-day communications and linguistic QA.

(updated 2017)



Michael Hannaman '13
michael-hannaman-13During my freshman fall at Bowdoin, I decided on a whim to take Italian 101 and quickly fell in love with the language and with Bowdoin's wonderful and supportive Italian department. Though I entered college with the intention of pursuing Psychology as my major and eventual career path, my fascination with Italian led me to minor in the department and, ultimately, to change course and pursue graduate studies in Italian instead! Spending a semester abroad at the Università di Napoli "L'Orientale" was a highlight of my Bowdoin experience, through which I gained a deep appreciation for the culture and history of southern Italy. I came to love Italian literature through Professor Saiber's course on Dante's Commedia and my independent study on Petrarca and Boccaccio, which left me hungry for more and inspired me to pursue Italian literary studies after Bowdoin. Currently, I am an entering graduate student in the Ph.D. program Italian Studies at UC Berkeley, and hope to one day become a teacher of Italian language and literature.



Christian Ebersol, '11Christian Ebersol, '11
Having spent my Junior year of high-school abroad in Italy, living with an Italian family and learning the language from scratch, I knew wherever I ended up for college had to have a strong Italian department. When I toured Bowdoin the summer before my senior year of high-school, I happened to literally bump into Prof. Saiber coming out of Sills Hall. Ultimately that fortuitous encounter helped me make the right choice in coming to Bowdoin. Professor Saiber was instrumental in getting me actively involved in the Italian department early on, encouraging me to serve as a TA to elementary Italian students as they worked to better their speaking skills.

I would rank the course I took on Italian Crime novels with Professoressa Gavioli as my favorite, in particular the works of Andrea Camilleri with the one and only Commissario Salvo Montalbano! Another highlight of my love for Italy was the semester I spent in Bologna, the world capital of Prosciutto, Mortadella, Salumi e Pasta Bolognese.

I spent my first 2 years out of Bowdoin working in New York as an Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Deutsche Bank, and I am now doing the same from San Francisco. Working for a global bank has given me the great joy of continuing to speak the language with Italian co-workers and clients. I sincerely hope and believe that my love for Italy will one day take me back to live and work amongst the Azzurri.



David Gruber  '11David Gruber '11
I am the Director of Marketing at B&B Hospitality Group, the restaurant management company owned and operated by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. I oversee media and communications for the restaurants, leading the redesign and maintenance of the restaurant websites as well as their PR and digital strategies. 

Though I don’t speak Italian on a daily basis, I’m surrounded by the culture and vocabulary of Italian food. My independent study with Professor Saiber on the history of the pig in Italy and its representation in Italian literature and culture informs my work on projects like restaurant menu design and event promotion.

(updated 2017)



Kara Wilson '11Kara Wilson '11
I have spent the majority of the six years since graduation living, working and studying in both Austria and Italy. I spent one year as an Austrian Fulbright Teaching Assistant, a stint on the Obama Campaign back in the USA, and then returned to Europe to embark on a master's journey with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria, and Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy. I made the decision to do the cooperative degree program because I wanted to use both my German and Italian languages. In Italy, I had the opportunity to write my Master's thesis on the economic history of the Mezzogiorno with the leading Italian Economic Historian, Professor Vera Zamagni. I also worked at Prometeia, an Italian consulting firm, as an intern researching Italian regional development. All of this would not have been possible without the Bowdoin Italian Department. Currently, I am applying for PhD programs in Europe after enjoying my first summer post-Master's working in a Trattoria speaking Italian, and enjoying Italian cuisine thanks to my Roman boss.

(updated 2017)



Tiernan Cutler '11Tiernan Cutler '11
I'm still living in Florence, Italy! After I completed my masters in Graphic Design in 2012 I was able to find a job as the head graphic designer for Bus2alps, a student travel company. We are based in Interlaken, Switzerland, Florence and Rome, so I travel frequently between our offices to work with our different teams. 

In addition to work, I play on several calcetto teams, and this year I have actually just signed with a Serie C Calcio a 11 team, so will be going semi-pro! Coming out of retirement for 11 a side since my days on the Bowdoin field.

I live in the center of Florence with my fiancé, Leonardo and my dog, Pino (who I also bring to work everyday with me), and this October, We'll be getting married here in the hills of Florence, in a castle in Fiesole!

So as you can see, my decision to study Italian and study abroad in Italy has GREATLY impacted my life, and I couldn't be happier that I decided to sign up for Italian 101 that first day of freshman year.

(updated 2017)



Turner Kufe '11Turner Kufe '11
I am currently working in Boston in a hematology/oncology research lab at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and I am planning ot enter medical school in the fall of 2013. Though I majored in Biochemistry at Bowdoin, I studied Italian for four semesters during my junior and senior years. Taking Italian at Bowdoin was a refreshing break from the sciences, and I loved learning the language and about the wonderful culture. Over the past year I've been fortunate enough to spend time in Rome and ski in northern Italy around Cervinia - finally putting my Italian to good use! Italian language and culture are two things that I have become truly passionate about, and I have continued to foster these interests since graduating.

(updated 2012)


Carina Sandoval ‘10Carina Sandoval '10
My experience at Bowdoin, particularly in the Italian department, nurtured in me a deep appreciation for language and cultural exchange. Since graduating, I've explored the field of international education, working with international high school students in various capacities. My interest in how people represent themselves and communicate with each other has led me to pursue graduate studies in Branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where I hope to apply a global and multicultural perspective when evaluating brands.

(updated 2017)



Eric Ardolino ‘10Eric Ardolino '10
As the great-grandson of Italian immigrants, the role of Italian culture was definitely a present but partially unexplored aspect of my upbringing. My parents made sure to uphold the traditions from their Italian-American childhoods, especially the focus on the importance of family, food, and the importance of appreciating the little joys in life, or "dolce far niente". I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit Italy twice during middle school and high school, so that was really my first taste of what soon would be my love affair with Italy and the Italian language. 

When I arrived at Bowdoin, I had no doubt in my mind that I would take courses in Italian. I had learned Spanish in high school and knew that I loved studying language, but I wanted to learn a language that I could feel close to, that I could make a part of my life. Soon, the Italian Department became a home away from home. Professors Saiber, Gavioli, and Rein made Italian classes something to look forward to. Before I knew it, I was on my way to Italy for a semester to study at the Universita' di Bologna. Here I immersed myself in the culture and improved my language skills. The experience was unforgettable in all ways. But it was one other experience while abroad that best describes the impact that studying Italian had on my life. With my parents, I traveled to the small town where my great-grandmother was born. When we entered the town hall I was able to fluently speak with the town officers to retrieve her birth documents. It was at this moment where I realized how influential learning Italian at Bowdoin was in connecting me with my roots. Now that I am in medical school, I am studying something completely different than Italian, but I know that the cultural education and connection to my ancestors that I was afforded while at Bowdoin will be an integral part of who I am for the rest of my life.

(updated 2011)



Alexandra Brasili '10Alexandra Brasili '10
I am in the middle of my second year as an Island Fellow with the Island Institute in Rockland.  The Island Fellows program places recent graduates in island and coastal communities in Maine to work to address community-identified needs.  I have been working at the Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde, a small fishing village at the end of the St. George peninsula.  Herring Gut is a nonprofit marine science and aquaculture education center.  During the school year I work mostly with at-risk middle school students, using hands-on aquaculture and an entrepreneurial, business-based model to reengage them with school.  These students learn academic concepts in addition to running their own aquaponics business and selling tilapia and produce to local markets.  During the summer I run a first work experience program for local teens ages 13-15 in outdoor gardens and indoors in our aquaponics facility.  I'm planning on continuing my work at Herring Gut as an employee after finishing the Island Fellows program.

Italian was one of the most enjoyable parts of my academic career at Bowdoin.  I'm still hoping to visit Italy one day and reconnect with the Italian courses I took at Bowdoin.

(updated 2011)



Rebecca Podell '10Rebecca Podell '10
Since graduating as a psychology major in 2010, Becca has lived in Thailand, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and now Philadelphia. Her time in each place has been marked by a quest for the region's best food, but it will always be hard to beat the ragu di cinghiale of her semester abroad in Siena. Although she has not had many chances to speak Italian since graduating, her love of language has found a new home in her work with children with autism.

(updated 2017)



Diego Rivera '10Diego Rivera '10
After graduating from Bowdoin I moved to Busto Arsizio, Milano for a year. I taught English at a Public High School as part of a program launched by the Italian Consulate in NYC together with the public school of the regione di Lombardia. At the same time, I was offered a wonderful job at two private language schools in Milan, where I worked as a "professore di madrelingua inglese" for several months before making my way to Toronto. At the organization where I am currently working, I was surprised by the importance of knowing Italian and all of the advantages that I had over my co-workers. Lately, Canada has received many refugee claimants from the African Horn nations (such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, etc.) as well as many Roma families from different Eastern European countries (such as Albania, Croatia and Slovenia). Many of these refugee claimants spoke fluent Italian-- the legacy of Italian colonialism. My fluency in Italian has helped me effectively communicate with them and at the same time create a closer relationship with my clients. The Italian community in Toronto is big and powerful, and knowing Italian has definitely opened many doors.

I am currently working as a social and support worker at a non-profit organization in Toronto, Canada. I usually provide all kinds of settlement support for newcomer refugees to Canada. During my afternoons, I work at an Italian restaurant here in the East End of Toronto and I get to practice my Italian with my co-workers as well as with important members of the Italian-Canadian community. Moreover, I am in the lengthy process of improving and learning more about Southern Italian cuisine, something that I started back in Busto Arsizio as my napoletani neighbors Luca Billanova and Lucia Billeci inspired me to enrich my life by taking a lot of time and patience to show me how to cook delicious cibo napoletano.  Here is the website for the organization where I am currently working: romerohouse.org and the restaurant: tommasostrattoria.com

(updated 2011)



Sarah Luppino '10Sarah Luppino '10
As a Chemistry major and Italian minor, I enjoyed studying these two different subject areas in tandem during my four years at Bowdoin. During my Junior semester abroad, I studied in Ferrara with Middlebury's program. Following graduation, I sought an internship in Padova, Italy, where I worked in a chemistry laboratory for three months. There, I not only built on my chemical synthesis skills, but also had the opportunity to practice and enhance my Italian language skills by carrying out our daily research speaking Italian. This experience was great in that it not only enabled me to explore my two passions simultaneously, chemistry and Italian, but also opened my eyes to the world of international collaboration among the sciences. After working in industry for two years as a staff chemist, I am now beginning my graduate studies in organic chemistry at MIT in Tim Swager's lab. My experiences abroad and my Italian studies at Bowdoin have all demonstrated the importance of international communication and collaboration, and for these reasons I hope to travel and live abroad once again either during my PhD or in later stages of my career.

(updated 2011)



Benjamin Le Hay '08Benjamin LeHay '08
One of the reasons I decided on Bowdoin was its intimate and superior Romance Languages department: it functioned as a tight-knit community that successfully fostered learning and discussion, with endless possibilities. Although I benefited a bit coming from a half-Parisian family, I arrived at Bowdoin with basically no Italian skills. I quickly fell in love with my professors and dedicated classmates. I was challenged and supported to explore both the language and culture on campus and then studied at Università di Bologna through the Brown program. It was then that I began supporting a fashion stylist and editor in Milan. I went on to work as a luxury lifestyle and celebrity editor and stylist for the New York Observer as well as other publications and private clients in New York, LA, Paris and Milano with a focus in fashion, travel, film and performing arts and fine jewelry. I still work closely as a contributing editor with Italian high-end brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Giuseppe Zanotti, Canali, Etro, Versace and Costume National.

In 2015, I decided to transition into public relations when I served as the U.S. PR manager for the U.S. market at Atout France, the official tourism and culture agency, and part of the French Foreign Ministry. I still used plenty of Italian, especially with my colleagues and contacts in Côte d’Azur and Monaco. Today, I am with Quintessentially as a PR Director where we work with clients such as LVMH, Moët, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton, HSBC Premier, BMW, and s.b.e group's SLS Hotels. I get to use my Italian in the office regularly, which is a joy.

Foremost, Bowdoin instilled in me a lifelong passion for all things Italian. Not a day goes by when I do not greatly benefit from my written and spoken Italian (or French). Some of my fondest friends are Italians from Bologna and Milano that I connected with through the years and the wonderful part of New York City is that my community here is full of Italian speakers!

(updated 2017)



Emily Goodridge '08Emily Goodridge '08
Since graduating Bowdoin I have worked as a mentor and then program coordinator at Friends of the Children-Boston, a non-profit that matches at-risk youth with mentors.  I also worked as a Program Manager at Jumpstart in NYC, which does literacy programming in inner-city preschool classrooms.  I then briefly taught at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill, a charter school part of a larger network of charter schools called Uncommon Schools.  I am now working part time, doing a hodgepodge of things and very excited to be applying masters programs in theatre education!  I loved being an Italian Minor at Bowdoin and studying abroad in Italy.  I went on Middlebury's program in Ferrara and all my courses were in Italian at the Universita' di Ferrara!  Being in Ferrara, traveling in Italy, and being able to speak another language fluently was one of the best experiences of my life!  Studying Italian and abroad in Italy contributed to my confidence to speak in front of others and try new things with courage and an open mind. Communicating well with my Italian friends in Ferrara was challenging at times, and I relied on my theatrical abilities to help me out.  And I'm sure my study of Italian will help me teach students theater, and my study of Italian literature will give me innumerable material to work with.  One thing I would love to do, for example, is a commedia dell'arte workshop with them!

(updated 2011)



Kate Geraghty '07​Kate Geraghty '07
During two summer breaks in high school, I studied music in Italy at an arts immersion program called Spoleto Study Abroad. I played the oboe in an orchestra alongside American students and local Italian musicians. Classical music is written in Italian, so I was able to understand the locals through musical terms, but we couldn’t have a conversation because of the language barrier. When I got to Bowdoin, I was thrilled to be able to study Italian. I learned the language and later used it to land an internship working for the same Spoleto Study Abroad program. It was great to be able to go back and communicate easily with everyone.

I graduated from Bowdoin in 2007 with a major in English and a minor in Italian, which was the only option available at the time. I am so happy to learn there is now an Italian major at Bowdoin! Arielle Saiber's "Dante's Divine Comedy" was one of my favorite classes. I read Dante in both English and Italian through an Independent Study.

Today I live in San Francisco and work as an account manager in real estate finance. While I am very far from Italy and work in an unrelated industry, I still carry with me a deep appreciation for Italian culture through food, art and music. Studying Italian at Bowdoin was an enriching experience I will always cherish.

(updated 2017)


Zac Milner '07Zac Milner '07
After graduating in '07, I was lucky enough to receive a Fulbright teaching fellowship in Milan. It was a tough adjustment at first, but after a few weeks I found my niche. My Italian improved, along with my wardrobe. I made new friends who brought me to strange underground clubs and impassioned soccer games, scooting around on their Vespas. I learned (sometimes the hard way) what it took to teach a classroom of twenty-five barely-English-speaking 15-year-old Italians. A group of us teachers even got to appear on Unomattina (Italy's version of Good Morning America). We came on after a segment about pet tricks, for what it's worth.

When I returned to the states I worked for a non-profit in D.C. called the Order Sons of Italy in America. The name sounds menacing but it's just an antiquated moniker for the country's oldest and largest group for Italian Americans. I spent my time helping with charity fundraising, building the organization's website and writing articles for their magazine, Italian America. This past year I went back to grad school - I'm getting my Masters in Communication from the VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, VA.

(updated 2011)


Hope Stockton '07Hope Stockton '07
Since graduating in 2007 I have lived in Boston on and off, working first at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and currently at a small architecture firm that exclusively designs museum, Verner Johnson, Inc. In 2009, I left Boston to pursue a Masters degree in Art History at the University of Oxford. I arrived at Oxford with no particular focus for my studies. Because I had studied Italian, my supervisor suggested I work on Italian art since I would be able to read all of the sources in the original. I ended up writing a paper on Gothic architecture with a focus on Rome, meaning I had the chance to explore in more depth some of the places I loved to see everyday when I studied abroad in Rome. To find a thesis topic, I immersed myself in the University's Bodleian Library collection of manuscripts since studying an object firsthand was an opportunity too good to be missed. Thanks to my Italian studies at Bowdoin, including a really great course on the Divine Comedy, I settled on a 14th-century Italian illuminated Divine Comedy as the topic for my thesis. (For a look at the manuscript and other holdings at the Bodlein, visit http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/). Being able to sit with the manuscript and turn each and every page to explore the illuminations was an incredible experience. However, being able to actually read some of the text itself, including tiny notes scribbled in the margins centuries ago was something I will never forget. I am not sure yet if I'll pursue a further degree, but if I do, I'm positive my Italian studies will come into play in some way!

(updated 2011)


Tim Kantor '07Tim Kantor '07
I am currently pursuing my doctorate in violin performance at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.  As a classical musician I encounter Italian on a daily basis written in the music, and my knowledge of the language has helped me to form many of my interpretations.  I often think fondly of my Italian studies at Bowdoin and the semester I spent studying in Bologna.  And I often think of the Dante course when I see the Dante references that abound in everyday life.  I was very lucky to return to Italy a couple years ago for a music festival in Courmayeur (a lovely ski town at the foot of Monte Bianco), and I performed throughout northern Italy for several weeks.  An interesting anecdote: one of my performances was in the small town of Barbaresco, and while I was there I discovered that this tiny medieval town is not only the home to one of Italy's finest wines but also the hometown of the luthier who made my violin in 1854!  I've recently begun a new undertaking - I'm trying to learn Spanish.  I'm going to be teaching violin a few times a year in the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), and my Italian studies have certainly accelerated my learning process! 

(updated 2011)


Kelsey Abbruzzese '07Kelsey Abbruzzese '07
I live in Boston and work in media relations for an economic development agency, which does financing for nonprofits and businesses around Massachusetts. Previously, I received my master's degree in print journalism from Boston University and was a reporter for the Associated Press.

My Italian helped me in publishing an article about Dante and Longfellow in the 2011 "Dante Studies," for which I have to thank Prof. Saiber for all her insight and guidance. I also developed a multimedia website in graduate school that focused on Italian grandmothers and their love for food, something that I've continued to explore in my life after Bowdoin as well. While the most Italian I speak these days is to my two young sons ("mignolino" is one of my new favorite words), what I learned in my Italian classes at Bowdoin has been a source of love and connection in my visits to Italy and in meeting Italians here in the States.

(updated 2017)


Sandy Davila '06Sandy Davila '06
As a marketing manager for E! and Style at NBCUniversal International, I work closely with over nine regional offices abroad including our Italian office in Rome. I develop and execute marketing campaigns for in-language brands and television series. I also manage the networks' international social media pages and E!'s global websites for the UK, Australia, Germany, France, and... Italy! Most importantly, I apply my Italian language skills on a daily basis when considering taglines, sound bites, music, translations, cultural references or interpreting research data for Italy. My experience at Bowdoin was challenging and extremely rewarding, and my Italian literature courses played a significant role in my academic and professional growth.

(updated 2011)


Emily Glinick '06Emily Glinick '06
Since graduating from Bowdoin, where I did a Student-Designed Major in Theater & Italian, I have been working full time as a professional stage manager for a variety of theatre companies. I moved to New York City four years ago, and since then have had the great fortune of working for New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater and Lincoln Center Theater, among others. I also recently joined the Board of Directors for a Brooklyn based theatre company, Brave New World Repertory Theatre. I am looking forward to returning to Italy soon - I miss it so much!

(updated 2011)


Sam Donovan '06Sam Donovan '06
After graduating with a Romance Languages major in 2007, I spent a couple of years working for a construction firm in Boston renovating the Museum of Fine Arts (if you ever go, see if you can find the sculpture of Dante!); then I did a big backpacking trip for nine months that included a return to Bologna and a stay with the family of my roommate from study abroad. After the trip, I moved to Peru for a year to volunteer on community-based health interventions and a large epidemiology study with Partners In Health in Lima. I came back to the states to get a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins, and did six months of research in Ethiopia (where there are plenty of Italian ex-pats to practice with!); and I am now a fourth-year medical student at the University of Rochester. Despite filling my head with (mostly latin) disease names, I have managed to keep my Italian fresh by doing a month of anthropologic field research in the Dolomites this past summer. I will be applying to Family Medicine residencies this fall, and hope to keep practicing both Italian and Spanish with my patients as a primary care doc.

I loved the Italian classes I took at Bowdoin, and studying abroad through Brown University's program in Bologna was an incredible experience as well. The independent study I did with Professoressa Saiber on Dante's Divina Commedia will always stand out for me as one of my favorite classes; and I had an absolute blast playing the part of a feisty Italian housewife in Dario Fo's Non tutti ladri vengono per nuocere for our Italian Theater class. Some advice to current Bowdoin students: if you have any interest in languages in general, Italian culture and/or great literature, don't miss out on Italian classes at Bowdoin! 

(updated 2017)


Lucas Johnston '05Lucas Johnston '05
Every college student hopes to find their niche at school whether it is on the sports field, in the studio or in the classroom. In fact, many of us find different places where we feel "at home." I found one of my niche zones amongst the likes of Dante Alighieri, Italo Calvino and Alberto Moravia. My courses concentrated on literature in conjunction with critical reading and writing that helped me develop thinking and reasoning skills I still employ today. Almost more importantly, from within my Italian courses, my professors pushed me to go beyond the reading. They encouraged me to search out and try to connect with other media and forms of art and culture.

After graduating from Bowdoin, I continued to study Italian and teaching. I did graduate work at both Middlebury College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I received a TEFL certification from a school in Rome and then taught in Sassari, Sardegna at a small foreign language school where I was essentially the only teacher leading classes of all levels and ages. I then returned to the States and moved to Boston where I taught at an English language school for foreign students from all over the world. 

Throughout my twenties, I had been falling in love with mountain and road biking. I left Boston and took a job as a mechanic in a shop back on my home island of Nantucket to explore my love for the sport and to become completely self-sufficient mechanically. After only a couple years, I am the assistant service department manager and a proficient mechanic. We close our shop during the winter and I spend January and February fulfilling my biking wanderlust out in Arizona and California, and someday hope to return to Italy to ride both its roads and trails.

Happily, I get to converse with the Italians who visit Nantucket during the summer season, and my coworkers like to use me for correct pronunciation of Italian tour riders or stops along the Giro d'Italia. I love and cherish my language ability and the skills i absorbed from the challenging but caring intellectual mentorship I received from my Italian professors at Bowdoin.

(updated 2011)


Maciek Wojdakowski '04Maciek Wojdakowski '04
Italian has played a key role in my life since I signed up for my first language class at Bowdoin. I studied abroad in Bologna twice, once as an undergraduate at Brown University's program, and again while working towards my master's degree in International Economics and International Energy Policy at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). My wife, who is from Sardegna, and I have spoken only Italian with each other since our first meeting in Italy, so I use Italian everyday.

I work at Power Advocate, and focus on the energy industry and international economics. Reading the Italian press and following current events in Italy have become a part of my daily routine.

(updated 2011)


Christopher O'Leary '04
Christopher O'Leary '04At Bowdoin I graduated with a Self-Design Major in Italian Studies. I subsequently pursued an MPhil degree at Cambridge University in Modern and Medieval Languages with a focus on the works of Dante.   After briefly flirting with academia, I began working as a journalist, first with the magazine La Cucina Italiana and later as a free lancer for publications including The New York Post and as an online content writer for various Italy-related websites. After this experience I moved to London, United Kingdom and completed an M.A. in Journalism at the London College of Communications and worked for publications including Time Out London.

I am the owner of a boutique digital marketing company called Epicure Digital Marketing (www.epicuremarketing.co.uk); we are based in London. I still use my Italian language skills as a few of my clients have been Italian, which allows me to speak and write occasionally.  Yet, despite not speaking it nearly as much as I would like, my Self-Designed Major in Italian Studies was an extremely rewarding experience that continues to inform my personal and professional mind. 

(updated 2017)


Joseph Mayo '04Joseph Mayo '04
I’m still in Ferrara, but have travelled extensively all over Italy for work (especially in the Tri-veneto, Marche, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany)! My son Massimiliano, Max for short, was born in 2012. With him we do One Parent One Language in the house, and now, after 5 years, he has started to speak some English with me. He has always understood what I say, but responded in Italian. He’s just starting to put together some short phrase responses which is exciting.

On the professional side I work in the publishing industry here in Italy. I’ve worked with Pearson, Cambridge University Press and most recently I’ve been working with the biggest textbook wholesaler on the distribution side called TXT Spa. With Pearson and Cambridge I obviously spoke some English at work, but in my current job as the Client Relations Manager I speak only in Italian. I work very closely with our big customers in the wholesale retail chains (if you’ve ever been shopping in Italy think Coop Alleanza, Unicoop Firenze, Esselunga, Carrefour, Iper La Grande, Aspiag (Interspar), etc.).

If anyone needs help with all things Italy, please feel free to look me up on Linkedin.

(updated 2017)


Maggie-Fritz Morkin '03Maggie Fritz-Morkin '03
I went to grad school at The University of Chicago for medieval Italian literature and started as assistant professor of Italian at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2016. I study and write on rhetoric and obscenity in the tre corone, and feel lucky to have begun with such a rich experience in Italian Studies at Bowdoin!

(updated 2017)





Kate Semro '03Katie Semro '03
I loved studying Italian at Bowdoin. I actually started with a literature class in English - Mona Lisa & the Mafia - my first year. It was so fascinating, I took another Italian lit class with Professor Saiber & then an Intro to Italian Language my junior year - alongside an independent study on Italian Futurism with Professor Saiber. The Intro course with Professor Rein was fantastic and prepared me well for spending the summer in Padova doing an intensive intermediate Italian course through Boston University. I have very fond memories of the summer I spent in Italy, and of being Professor Saiber's research assistant in Cambridge, MA when she was on sabbatical at Harvard and also in Naples, Italy! 

I now live in South Berwick, Maine with my husband and kids, aged 7 & 3. As well as being mom, I have a small company, Shipwreck Ferments. I have a Kraut Club which offers members a different kraut each month using locally-grown seasonal vegetables. After college I lived in England for 11 years. I did a masters degree there, worked as a researcher, then married and ran a business making wedding stationery. We then had our 2 children and moved back to Maine in 2014. I still love Italy and the Italian language although it's not part of my daily life. It's fun to find reminders of my Italian studies like one of my futurism books that my daughter loved to look at when she was 2! She used to make her own art and say she was drawing "movement"!

(updated 2017)


Lindsay Harris '00Lindsay Harris '00
I started studying Italian at Bowdoin as part of my major in art history: I wanted to learn basic Italian skills before leaving Maine to study Renaissance art in Florence for a semester.  It wasn't until I returned to Bowdoin for my senior year - and Prof. Saiber's first (!) - that I fell in love with Italian language and culture.  Her enthusiasm, encouragement, and support made all the difference.  She helped me figure out ways to pursue my passion for both Italian and art by doing an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, where I managed to stay on for a year beyond my intended three-month stay.  From there, internships at a contemporary art center in Prato, outside of Florence, and at Christie's auction house in Rome followed, as did my fluency in Italian and understanding that I wanted to develop a career in the art world.  I moved to New York to start graduate school at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and my language skills quickly opened up avenues for practical art world experience and academic research.  These included working as a research assistant for exhibitions on collage, photography, and, eventually, contemporary art at the 2007 Venice Biennial, as well as spending three years in Rome to complete my doctoral dissertation on photography and architecture in Italy in the early twentieth century.  After finishing my Ph.D. in the history of art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, I now work in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC, where I continue to use Italian on a regular basis for exhibition research and my own scholarship.  Since graduating from Bowdoin, knowing Italian has led to many unique and wonderful opportunities, most importantly the lifelong friendships I've made with fellow Italian-enthusiasts along the way!

(updated 2011)

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