Students Graduated with a Minor in Italian Studies


Nicole Crisalli. My name is Nicole Crisalli. I am graduating this May 2016 with a Childhood Inclusive Education major with an Italian Studies minor. Coming from an Italian heritage, I wanted to know so much more about my background.  I decided that I wanted to pursue my minor while studying abroad in Florence, Italy in the fall of 2014. Completing my minor here was truly life changing. The classes I took, the people I met, and the food I ate was everything I had imagined and more. I learned about Italian culture, foods, cities, etc. I immersed myself in the culture every day I was there. Florence became my home away from home by the warmth I felt while I was there. As I wandered the streets and alleyways, being able to navigate the city myself, I felt completely emerged into the culture. With this being said, I would love to go back to Italy some day to teach in the future. After graduation, I will be attending Syracuse University in the School of Education for my Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education.

Victoria McMahon. Coming to Fredonia, I had no idea what major I wanted to pursue, but I knew I wanted to join Italian Studies. The spark began in high school when I fell in love with my ancestry, the culture, the language, and everything about it. I also knew I wanted to study abroad in Italy my junior year. I soon joined Unione Italiana and was the Secretary, Vice President, and current President of the club now and love what we have created these past four years of being apart of it. Being a Public Relations major, it is a requirement for me to either have a minor or study abroad, and having both paired very nicely. My time studying abroad in Sorrento, Italy for five months was the most amazing experience of my life. I was able to take Italian language, culture, and history classes while also interning at a travel agency, Inedito Viaggi ed Eventi. I was also able to live the Italian lifestyle in a small Italian city where very few people spoke English and not many tourists visit most of the year. I also found out that this was the same general area that my ancestors originated. This experience combined my Public Relations skills and all of the knowledge I have gained through my Italian studies minor helped me form my future. I learned more than I thought I would, and am forever grateful I chose this minor. In the future, I hope to find a career within international relations working with different cultures and coordinating events for businesses. I also plan to move to Sweden in August 2016 to work in international companies for a couple years. Having this minor was the perfect stepping stone in making my dream, a reality and helped me figure out what career I would want to do post graduation.

Jeremy Wilner. My name is Jeremy, and I am a Criminal Justice major here at Fredonia. Growing up in an Italian family has allowed me to explore my heritage from an early age. In high school, I took college level Italian and decided to join the Italian Club.  However, I never really participated much in the club. In February of 2012, I had the opportunity to go to Italy, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned an a lot, and found a newfound interest in my heritage. Attending college over 400 miles from home, I searched for clubs and organizations to get involved in to occupy myself. I stumbled upon Unione Italiana and opted to try it out. I was sucked in and immediately ran for executive positions, eventually making my way to becoming president. After enjoying Unione Italiana as much as I have, I decided to take up the Italian Studies minor. The course topics for this minor are extremely interesting, ranging from food, cooking, and language, to film, mafia, and modern day culture. I am confident in saying that choosing to enroll in the Italian minor was the correct decision, and I am going to miss learning all that the professors here have to teach.


Nathalie Guzman. I graduated from Fredonia with a Major in Social Work. The reason I choose the Italian Studies minor is because of my passion in culture and languages. I enjoy learning about other cultures and I feel that language is what makes up majority of the culture. My interest in Italian studies is not only language based, but culture based as well. I have family that lives there and wanted to learn more about Italy as a whole.


Gina Lanfranchi. My name is Gina Lanfranchi, and I am a French Adolescence Education major with an Italian Studies Minor. I have always been curious about my Italian American roots, so I took Italian 115 my freshman year at Fredonia and I fell in love with the language—being a French major, I thought a minor in Italian would be a perfect pairing. College is a safe place for self-discovery and for the longest time I did not know what made me, as an Italian American, different from those who did not identify as Italian American. I wanted to study the language, the culture, and the history of Italy in the hopes of better understanding where I came from and in turn, who I am.


Nicole Ceppaglia. I graduated in May 2013 with a B.S in Communication Diorders and Sciences and a minor in Italian studies. I am currently enrolled in Fredonia's graduate program for Speech Pathology. I am beyond happy I chose to minor in Italian Studies during my undergraduate years. Being Italian has been a passion of mine since I was first able to understand what it meant. Studying Italian with Chiara De Santi brought to me an even greater understanding of the true beauty of the culture my family comes from. Connecting with adults and other students on campus that share my passion of everything Italian helped to make my first fours of college at Fredonia some of the most memorable times of my life!

Noelle Panepento. Noelle Panepento, one of the first to graduate with an Italian Studies minor, took interest in Italian culture because of her family’s heritage. Growing up around Italian traditions, Panepento wanted to develop a better understanding of the country and language as an homage to her ancestors. Panepento performed an in depth study of the massaia, the transformation of the Italian housewife’s role in their culture, cross examining it to America’s own iconic 1950s housewife role and booming consumerism. Panepento continued her minor abroad in Florence, Italy, attending La Accademia Italiana della Moda in Spring 2013. “The trip was an unreal experience. Being immersed in any culture for such a long period of time is really eye opening, and completely beneficial. I entered Florence a foreigner with no sense of direction and very broken Italian, and I left as a Florentine, navigating the City as my own and speaking the language with much more ease. It was brilliant.” Upon her return, Panepento graduated with a B.S. in Music Industry. She will be moving to Nashville in the fall to begin work as a Tour Manager for a country music artist.

World Languages and Cultures Department Office

2113 Fenton Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3380