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News and Announcements

Coccia Institute Welcomes New Director

Posted in: Coccia Institute, Homepage News and Events

photo of Mark Rotella in a suit with grey backdrop

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with the Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Rotella as its new director.

Rotella joins the Coccia Institute from Publisher’s Weekly, where he has been Senior Editor since 2006.  Rotella is an internationally recognized writer on the Italian American Experience, including his books Stolen Figs: And Other Adventures in Calabria, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / North Point Press, 2003) and Amore: The Story of Italian American Song (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010) as well as the introduction to the reissue of Carlo Levi’s classic memoir Christ Stopped at Eboli (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006).  He has published nearly four dozen articles in a wide array of outlets including The New York Times, New York Times Book Review, The L.A. Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vanity Fair, Saveur Magazine, and NPR.org and has appeared on National Public Radio outlets across the USA (on flagship shows such as All Things Considered and the Leonard Lopate Show), CBS’s The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, and ABC News.

“I am thrilled to be leading the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America, working closely with Dean Peter Kingstone and the wonderful Coccia family,” says Rotella. “The Coccia Institute has been highly recognized throughout New Jersey, New York, and the country. I am excited to build on the excellent work done by Dr. Mary Ann Re to continue extending the scope of the Institute on a national and international scale. I look forward to working with old and new colleagues in the Montclair State community to continue advancing the growing interest in Italian and Italian American fields of study.”

Rotella’s appointment comes on the back of his cultural credentials as an observer and writer of the Italian American experience and a strong and inclusive vision for continuing and building on the Coccia Institute’s regional reputation as a center of engagement and learning about the Italian American experience.

Rotella is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Montclair State.  In addition, he has taught Creative Writing at Goucher and Lehman Colleges as well as in the MFA Program at Columbia University. Rotella’s own experience as a first-generation college student has helped him connect with students at Montclair State and informs his own passion for contributing to their education.  He will continue to offer his expertise to the students of Montclair State as part of his new role at the Institute.

Rotella joins the University with the enthusiastic support of President Susan A. Cole, Provost Willard Gingerich, the outgoing Director, Mary Ann Re, and Elisa and Elda Coccia. We are excited about Mark’s appointment and look forward to a successful tenure at the helm.