Italian Heritage Events Present Art, Music, Environmentally Themed Lectures and More

October 19, 2021

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) will honor and celebrate Italian Heritage Month on Tuesday, October 26 with a full day of virtual performances and talks.

After welcoming remarks by BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe, a series of back-to-back events will kick off with Professor Claudia Terry’s presentation on Italian environmental theater.

Professor Michael Spath will follow with a lecture on Italy’s current environmental problems, and Professor Patrizia Comello Perry will deliver a talk, “Sustainable Energy: Italy and the ‘Green Deal.’”

Shifting to a celebration of the arts, Italian music will be performed by students from the BMCC Music Department and led by Music Professors Eugenia Yau and Can Olgun.

Modern Language Professor Tom Means, whose specialized area of scholarship is Task-based Language Teaching and whose books on vocabulary building present similar words in different languages, will deliver a talk, “The Italian language and the Spanish language: Two Half-sisters.”

New York–based painter and illustrator Riccardo Vecchio — an artist who has returned to his Italian roots, depicting the Alpine mountains where he grew up, outside Milan — will present his work, “31 Degrees: Climate and Social Justice.”

BMCC/TPAC Consulting Program Director and singer/songwriter Mario Giacalone will hit the Zoom stage next, with a program of Italian-American music.

A poetry reading by English Professor Caroline Pari and her ENG 360 students Julia DiVergilio and Galilea Piedra, “The Dreamscapes of Italy and Urban Industrial Nightmares of the U.S.,” will focus on the work of poet and immigrant laborer Pascal D’Angelo, who came to the United States through Ellis Island in 1910.

As the day of Italian Heritage programming nears its end, Senior Vice President and Provost Erwin Wong will give remarks. There will be a breast cancer awareness presentation and a presentation by Modern Languages Professor Lisa Sarti: “Italy’s Farm-to-table: the KM Zero” — referring to “Zero Kilometer,” the usage of local foods sold and eaten close to where they were grown.

Register online for the zoom link for this day of events.

Italian Heritage Month at BMCC is sponsored by the offices of President Anthony E. Munroe, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Erwin J. Wong, Dean Janice Zummo, the Modern Languages Department, BMCC Auxiliary Enterprises Corp. and the BMCC Association. Special thanks to Mark Goodloe, Thomas Volpe, Lisa White, Giulia Zeni and the Italian Heritage Month Planning Committee.

BMCC offers an Associate of Arts in Italian, as well as in French and Spanish. Visit the Modern Languages website to learn more.


The Italian Heritage Month events featured in this BMCC News article relate to BMCC’s Strategic Goals, including Goal 5: Strengthen our Culture of Care for Students, Faculty and Staff.  Read the BMCC Strategic Plan 2020-2025 to learn about college-wide initiatives, priorities and goals.


  • BMCC will celebrate and honor Italian heritage on Tuesday, October 26 with a full day of back-to-back virtual events
  • Professors Claudia Terry, Michael Spath, Patrizia Comello Perry, Eugenia Yau, Can Olgun, Tom Means, Caroline Pari and Lisa Sarti will present talks on the arts, the environment, language learning and more
  • BMCC President Anthony Munroe and Sr. VP/Provost Erwin Wong, students Julia DiVergilio and Galilea Piedra, TPAC Director Mario Giacalone and artist Riccardo Vecchio are also speakers or presenters for the day’s events

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