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Presenting our 2017 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 Sohrab Rostami

 Sohrab is a senior at the University of Minnesota where he had the opportunity to expand his knowledge of the Italian language and literature.  He enjoyed reading the written works of some of the greatest Italian writers; among his favorites are Italo Calvino and Giovanni Verga.  Furthermore, taking a course about the history of Italian cinema has given him the opportunity to know better the history of “il bel paese” by means of film and not only through literature.

 This fall, he will study at the University of Bologna where he hopes to take courses in Italian literature, cinema, and history, as well as in sociology. While in Bologna he will also write his senior thesis for the Italian major at Minnesota: it will analyze the role of the Camorra in the quartet of novels written by Elena Ferrante.

 This will be Sohrab’s second visit to Italy. Years ago, Sohrab spent time in the city of Napoli, where he enjoyed le sfogliatelle and where he was able to see his favorite soccer team, I Partenopei.  This time he looks forward to venturing further south to the regions of Calabria and Sicilia in the hope of deepening his knowledge of the Italian peninsula.

 After Sohrab concludes his studies at the University of Minnesota, he hopes to relocate permanently to Italy, where he will be close to Italians and will speak the language every day.  

 We congratulate Sohrab and look forward to reading about his 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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