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Major: Italian studies
Hometown: Wilmette, Illinois
Award: Fulbright Study/Research Award
What will you be studying/doing?
I will be studying urban agriculture in Turin, Italy. This budding movement integrates agricultural practices in urban zones to reestablish sustainable, local food chains and create resilient cities. Beginning in the fall, I will conduct interviews in Turin’s urban gardens to understand their creation, management, challenges and goals. I especially want to discover the socioeconomic, educational, and environmental impacts that these green spaces have on their community. I will study if and/or how these initiatives are interlinked to support their development. The final step will be the creation of a model for the successful organization, implementation and management of an urban garden network within the city. I plan to present my findings to local officials involved in sustainable development in hopes that this will promote the dissemination and growth of urban agriculture networks in Turin and beyond. The project is supervised by Professor Serenella Iovino at the University of Turin, where I will also be attending courses in the Socio-Environmental Sustainability of Agrifood Networks Masters Program supported by the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Development and Territory Management.
How has Dickinson prepared you for your future?
Dickinson taught me the beauty and value of an interdisciplinary approach. I acquired the ability to confront issues through a multilingual and multicultural lens, enriching my perspective. Studying abroad in Málaga, Spain, and Bologna, Italy, further developed my curiosity and confidence necessary to confront the future with an open mind and inquisitive attitude.
What internship or research experiences have you had at Dickinson?
This project stems from my Italian honors thesis, which I wrote with [Associate] Professor [of Italian and Film Studies] Nicoletta Marini-Maio and [Lecturer in Italian] Luca Trazzi as my advisors. I studied the history of Italian agriculture, the roots of urban agriculture, the phenomenon of urban green zones in Bologna and four urban garden case studies in Bologna, where I conducted field research thanks to a generous grant from the William G. and Elke F. Durden International Initiative Fund. This experience eventually flourished into my Fulbright project in Turin.
What are you most anticipating about your future?
In this upcoming endeavor, I’m most looking forward to making connections with inspiring, creative individuals dedicated to sustainable food practices. Establishing an international network in this field will undoubtedly lead to opportunities, both academically and professionally. After completing this Fulbright experience, I’m planning to further my studies and ultimately seek a dynamic career promoting sustainability at the global level.
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
The insightful discussions in [Vice President and] Dean [of Student Life] Joyce Bylander’s Sustainability: Social Justice and Human Rights course left an everlasting impression on my way of thinking. With her guidance, wisdom and warmth, we examined our impact on the planet’s food, water and energy systems. She instilled a sense of responsibility for the future that left me questioning how I could connect my foreign language studies to sustainable development. I must also mention my decision to switch into Luca Trazzi’s Italian 101 course my freshman year, which ultimately led me to find my place on campus. Throughout my four years, the Italian department became my second family thanks to the professors’ joy, passion and motivation. This opportunity would not exist without them.
Published May 1, 2018