Everyone knows Frank Sinatra, but no one knows about his agitation for leftist causes in the 1930s and ‘40s. Fiorello La Guardia got an airport, but Sacco and Vanzetti got a march and a folk song. Italian-Americans are known for their cultural contributions to American society and, of course, New Haven in particular — look no further than Wooster S...

“As you are aware, due to COVID-19, these have been challenging times for everyone,” Johnston resident George Lazzareschi Jr. reiterated when he stepped to the podium Monday night. “People have lost their jobs, become ill and businesses have closed, but the Italo-American Club remained strong.” So strong, in fact, the proud social club – which is l...

The Montville Chapter of UNICO National, the largest Italian-American civil organization in the country, recently awarded four scholarships to local high school seniors totaling $5,000. The Chapter’s Educational Grant was awarded to Vanessa Van Bodegon of Morris Hills High School who will be attending Seton Hall University to study physical therapy...

The inspiration for this website came to me in the winter of 2019, when my daughter was writing an essay for her US History 2 class. The subject matter was the internment of enemy aliens in the United States during World War 2. She was a high school junior at the time, and her US history teacher instructed the class to write an essay about the inte...

When a reporter from the magazine Education Week put together a profile on my involvement in the movement to better America’s schools, a detractor observed, “Nobody’s ever called her subtle.” And that’s just fine. I’m full-blooded Italian; we don’t do subtle. For decades, I’ve been in the mix—as a student, as a parent, as a reformer, and sure, as a...

Dream Big Dream Small is Elissa Ruffino’s first children’s book.  A longtime public relations and communications specialist in Washington, DC, Ruffino currently is an adjunct faculty member at Marymount University School of Business and Technology and the Lutheran College Washington Semester program.  The book for children ages 3 to 10 is published...

One hundred and fifty years after Maria Montessori’s birth, tens of thousands of teachers around the world still hail her innovations and educational philosophy. One of Italy’s first female doctors, Montessori applied her training as a scientist to teaching children in new ways. She upended conventional thinking about education by, among other thin...

Loyola University Chicago has named Sam Marzo, M.D., dean of its Stritch School of Medicine. “We are confident that Dr. Marzo will continue to shape and grow the Stritch School of Medicine,” says Norberto Grzywacz, Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago provost and chief academic officer. “With Jesuit values as part of his moral foundation, Dr. Marzo wil...

“Home to many of the world's greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other,” Lonely Planet enthuses. Indeed, precious few people would argue that Italy isn’t an amazing place to visit. It’s also a phenomenal destination for something else: international studies. Read on for a roundup of seven rea...

From Roman statesman Marcus Cicero to pioneering activist Angela Bambace to accomplished music composer Henry Mancini — Italy’s contributions to the world stage are legion, and Robert Barbera is determined to shine a light on them. A frequent and long-time donor to California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Barbera has most recently made a con...