Dr. Sara Mattavelli, a Gifted Educator, Joins Chapman Italian Studies

Chapman University’s Italian Studies Program is pleased to announce that Dr. Sara Mattavelli will join the faculty as instructional assistant professor of Italian starting this fall. With her expertise in language acquisition and pedagogy and her extensive and award-winning teaching experience, professor Mattavelli will support and innovate the Italian Studies curriculum and program in the coming years. Thanks to her unique approach, which integrates multi-literacy and critical thinking with language acquisition, professor Mattavelli brings creative and intellectual depth to the teaching of foreign languages, particularly Italian. Chapman Italian Studies faculty and students are eager to collaborate with professor Mattavelli and to be inspired by her educational vision.

Below is a letter from Dr. Mattavelli to the program’s community.

“I’m very excited to be joining the vibrant Italian Program at Chapman University this Fall, and I look forward to meeting students and colleagues very soon! I have been living on the East Coast for the past six years, but I am no stranger to Southern California. Fifteen years ago, after graduating with a laurea magistrale in Language Sciences and Foreign Literature from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan (Italy), I landed at LAX to start my avventura americana. I worked as an instructor and language resident at Scripps College for one year, and then I went on to pursue graduate studies.

I received my Master’s in Italian from the University of Virginia and my Ph.D. in Italian Studies with a Minor in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests include second language acquisition, literacy-based approaches to L2 instruction, as well as contemporary Italian literature. For my dissertation, I focused on Italian feminism and the works of four Italian women writers: Dacia Maraini, Franca Rame, Elena Ferrante, and Alina Marazzi. In the classroom, I encourage students to explore contemporary issues such as immigration to and from Italy, citizenship law, gender roles, and gendered language. To support students’ learning, I use various authentic resources, from rap music to newspaper articles, from videos to short stories.

Outside of work, I enjoy photography, binge-watching reality competition shows, trying new restaurants and cafés, and spending time with my cute puppy, Petrillo.

I look forward to start working with colleagues and students (and the Italian club!) and creating exciting opportunities to learn more about Italian language and cultures in and around campus. Ci vediamo presto!

Professoressa Mattavelli”

* You can send your personal welcome message to Sara at: mattavelli@chapman.edu

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