Hometown: Fairfield, New Jersey
University/School: NYU, Tisch
Major: Cinema Studies, Italian Studies/Philosophy minor
Related Interests: Italian culture and politics, US politics, women and gender, film/media, art, journalism
Biography: This is my second year at NYU, having transferred into the cinema studies program as a sophomore. Most days, I’m just a writer and film lover, but I also have a habit of finding myself in adamant political debates about current social issues. I couldn’t be more excited to be studying here in Florence and learning all about Italian culture.
What is your favorite Italian film?
Otto e Mezzo, also known as Federico Fellini’s 8 ½. I was even lucky enough to visit Cinecittà in Rome this past October and take a tour of the famous sets and studios in which this, and many other famous Italian films, were made.
What does “dialogue” mean to you?
I believe that the heart of the word “dialogue” implies a conversation, a discussion among multiple parties. There are many lecture series in which a distinguished speaker will come to impart his knowledge on the audience, but in contrast, a dialogue should be about give-and-take from all participants, as to foster a mutual understanding among all sides.
As an American student, what has been your experience of the ongoing dialogue between Italian and American culture in Florence? Have you had any surprises?
Study abroad, for me, is all about learning about new cultures, places, and people. I have had to adapt in a multitude of small ways in order to “become Italian” during my stay—no longer do I drink something called a “latte” and I certainly never get anything “to go,” and the slower pace of the city took some adjustment coming straight from New York. However, I think more interesting have been all the ways in which Italians and Americans are the same, in our interests, values, and goals. Just because Italians and Americans have different habits and speak different languages does not mean that we are so vastly dissimilar in the end, and I think that has been the most beneficial lesson.
What brought you to LPD?
While filling out the job application for NYU work/study, I read the description for La Pietra Dialogues and thought that helping to organize international policy dialogues sounded like a great use of my time. I have always been interested in politics, and last year I found myself involved for the first time in the legislative process in New York at the grassroots level. Although politics and policy-making it isn’t directly related to my major, I thought that LPD would be a great way to expand my interests in both US and European politics. And there is a place for the arts in policy: LPD regularly holds dialogues that address the humanities.
Why should students get involved with LPD?
Because the opportunities never end! Every semester LPD organizes so many dialogues on such a wide variety of topics that there is something to pique everyone’s interest. You get to hear about the most pressing topics of the day from some of the smartest people in the field—all for free. You have nothing to lose, and you’ll probably even learn something new!