Italian Studies Minor Receives Kugelman Arts and Humanities Award

Dulcie and Lawrence Kugelman have been underwriting the Annual Kugelman Arts and Humanities Awards Ceremony for over a decade in the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. The Kugelman Awards celebrate and acknowledge the top academic students within the departments of Art, English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and World Languages and Cultures. This year, Bella Ocaña, graduating this spring with a major in Art History and a double minor in Advertising and Italian Studies, is one of the recipients of this prestigious award.

Recalling Bella Ocaña’s success in the Italian program, Professor Pacchioni and Professor Mattavelli stated: “She successfully completed advanced coursework in Italian language, including translation methods and business language, and deepened aspects of the culture through seminars on Etruscan and Roman Art and Italian cinema. Bella successfully participated in an intensive language immersion travel course in the southern Italian region of Puglia where she lived with a local family, advanced linguistically, and was introduced to the region’s identity. In addition, Bella was instrumental to the life of the Italian Studies student community by leading the student club for two years. We are proud of her academic success, the level of knowledge and skills she has achieved, and her commitment to the Italian community on campus and beyond. Congratulazioni e auguri, Bella!”

Bella conveys her experience in the program as follows. “To receive this award is an incredible honor. I started taking Italian courses in my Sophomore year hoping to enrich my Art History degree and learn a fun and new language. Little did I know that I would meet some of my best friends at Chapman, get close to the Italian faculty, and actually get to study abroad in Italy for a summer. My learning went beyond simply learning a language but enriched me with a beautiful culture filled with incredible people, food, and history. Over the years professors such as Dr. Paduano, Dr. Pacchioni, and more recently, Dr. Mattavelli have guided me through this process and have truly made me feel at home. I cannot count how many times we’ve all shared laughs in class or how much they have supported me through difficult times – to say I am grateful for the Italian department is an understatement. It is a bittersweet moment to graduate and leave the department, but I know I’ll be keeping in contact with all of them!”

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