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News and Announcements

Relaunching the Italian Honor Society at Montclair State: Induction Ceremony (May 1, 2019)

Posted in: CHSS News, Inserra Chair News and Announcements, Italian News and Events

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The Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Italian Program at Montclair State University are very pleased to announce the local chapter of the Italian Honor Society Gamma Kappa Alpha was relaunched.

The Society encourages college students to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of, Italian language, culture, art and history by recognizing their academic performance and creating an opportunity for exchange on campus. The Society is open to all juniors and seniors who meet the eligibility criteria defined by the National Society.

The induction ceremony that took place on May 1, 2019 in Schmitt Hall Lounge 2nd floor featured guest speakers and a performance, along with the official pledge, infused with promises to follow values and dreams and with quotations from Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Full Program

Dr. Teresa Fiore, Associate Professor of Italian and Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, who will serve as Chapter Advisor, focused her introductory remarks on the importance of reading the nation in a critical transnational framework. She illustrated the artwork featured on the ceremony’s program, including the daring canvases of Italian Argentinian Lucio Fontana and a famous ironic take on the Italian flag by Michelangelo Pistoletto on permanent view at the Magazzino art space in Cold Springs, NY. The Italian Program at Montclair State University has traditionally embraced a fluid concept of Italianness whether in terms of migration or circulation of Italian products and ideas. Moreover, our student body’s composition reflects the diversity produced by relocation and cross-pollination (this society alone includes individuals fluent in two or more languages: besides Italian and English, a number of students speak Spanish, and also Portuguese). Guest speakers Dr. Antoinette Pole (Associate Professor for Political Science and Law at Montclair State University) and Chiara Pierangelo (Manager, Safilo Group USA, Secaucus) shared their experiences as learners of foreign languages (an American learning Italian and French, and an Italian learning Greek, Latin and English). They highlighted the relevance of these languages in their personal and professional lives both in academia and in the commercial sector. Entertainment included a song titled “Il canto delle lavandaie del Vomero” performed by tenor and orchestra director Sandro Naglia, who chose this Neapolitan protest song as a homage to the May 1st celebration of work (Labor Day) around the world.

The induction involved 16 new members this year, four of which will serve as board members. They all received a certificates and the official cord of the Italian Honor Society.

Executive board: President: Alexis A. Ventre, Vice President: Cristina M. Latino, Secretary: Julia Guerra, Treasurer: Christopher A. Boncimino
Members: Rosanna Coviello, Marco Collucci, Ashly M. Espinoza, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Teresa M. LeDonne, JonLuca Morzetta, Federica Piccitto, Damien B. Piñero, Claudia M. Orozco, Adriana P. Parodi, Daniella Rodas, Joanna Zaccardi.

The Inserra Chair’s Endowment was the sponsor of the life-long membership fee for all students inducted in 2019. Light refreshments were kindly offered by Aromi di Napoli Bakery in Nutley. Special thanks to Christopher Boncimino for the photos.


Come soci della Società onoraria italiana Gamma Kappa Alpha, ci impegniamo a mantenere e arricchire la lingua e cultura italiana. Promettiamo di prestar fede ai principi essenziali della Società – “Conoscenza e virtù” – e a seguire sempre i nostri sogni, restando legati ai nostri valori.

“Fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.”

We the members of Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honor Society, pledge to uphold and further the Italian language and culture. The initials signify “Knowledge and Virtue”, two attributes that we will strive to maintain throughout our lives. We pledge to stay true to our dreams and never stray from our beliefs, and to carry forth the traditions that have made Italians great.

“Ye were not form’d to live the life of brutes, but virtue to pursue and knowledge high.”

(Dante, Inferno 26; also quoted in Primo Levi’s Holocaust memoir If This Is a Man, “The Canto of Ulysses”)