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Presenting our 2018 Massimo Bonavita / U of M scholarship winner!


In honor of our co-founder, Massimo Bonavita, and in keeping with our mission to promote Italian language and culture, our $3,000 scholarship offers students majoring/minoring in Italian at the University of Minnesota the opportunity to spend one semester in Italy.

The winner of this year’s scholarship is Elena Cattaneo

I was born in Zurich, Switzerland and moved to Minnesota at fifteen months old, where I grew up speaking German and English. Most of my relatives are from Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland and I try to visit them regularly. As a child I forged friendships with my cousins, all the while speaking different languages, and as I became older my desire to learn Italian and communicate properly with my family became stronger every time I returned to Switzerland. A large part of my decision to attend the University of Minnesota was due to its Italian program, and I have been lucky to be taught by incredible teachers and professors for the past two years. I have learned more than I thought I would in such a short amount of time, and already my ability to communicate with my family has flourished. I can only imagine how much more I will learn this fall while studying at the University of Bologna, where I hope to take courses in Italian literature and history.

I am so grateful to the ICC for helping make my dream to immerse myself in Italy’s beautiful language and culture a reality. I believe that this opportunity will not only allow me to learn a new language, but it will also allow me to grow and learn about myself in a way that can only be done by leaving the comfort of normality, and by vulnerably embracing a new way of life.

We congratulate Elena and look forward to reading about her learning adventures in Italy!

2018 - Presenting our St. Cloud State scholarship winner 

In keeping with our mission to promote Italian language and culture, our $1000 scholarship offers a student in the Educational Administration and Leadership program, at St Cloud State University, an opportunity to study abroad at the University of Macerata, in Macerata, Italy.  The winner of this year's scholarship is Aspen Easterling.

Hello!  My name is Aspen Easterling, and I currently serve as the Advising Coordinator and Certification Officer for  Bemidji State University's Department of Professional Education.  Prior to working at Bemidji State, I taught middle school (grades 6-8) in Colorado.  I'm now enrolled in the Educational Administration and Leadership, EdD. program at St Could State University.  I selected this program, which focuses on K-12 leadership, to help bridge my role in higher education with our K-12 partners.

The opportunity to study abroad in Italy is a dream come true.  I will use this course, Critical Issues in Italian Higher Education, to meet the final elective requirement for my doctoral program.  I will also be able to do further research relating to my dissertation topic, educational games, while visiting the University of Macerata.  I am looking forward to immersing myself in Italian culture and exploring the second oldest university in Italy.  I am also excited to visit the homeland of my great-grandparents; my mother's grandparents came to the United States from Italy, via Ellis Island, in the late 1800's.

I am so grateful to the Italian Cultural Center for awarding me the 2018 scholarship to study abroad for two weeks in Macerata, Italy.  I've only had one other opportunity to travel abroad, back in 2004, when I student taught in New Zealand.  It was a life-changing experience, which altered the way I view the world and my place in the world.  I'm certain this experience will leave a lasting impression as well.

Thank you, and I look forward to sharing my experience with you through my travel blog.

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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