chris boncimino

Student Assistantship

Student assistantships with the Inserra Chair have been offered on a regular basis in the past. At the moment the position is open to a person who has already earned a BA. This position provides unique pre-professional training (administrative work, event organization, website management, development of promotional materials) and exposure to Italian culture.

The experience has proven to be extremely useful for past student assistants to secure jobs (see for example the case of Emilia D’Albero). In the past, the Inserra assistantship has been supported through external donations. Since 2016, the Inserra Endowment has supported this position.

Inserra Program Assistants

Current Assistant (freelance filmmaker for the Inserra YouTube channel)

Christopher Boncimino

Christopher Boncimino

Christopher Boncimino is a Filmmaking major and Italian minor at Montclair State University. He will be graduating in the Spring of 2020. For the last five years Christopher has operated as a freelance filmmaker and most recently begun work on various short film, episodic, and documentary projects as both a director and cinematographer. After college he plans to work as a film director and cinematographer in both Italy and the United States.

Current Assistant (for web management and social media)

Sigrid Karner-Ruehl (Spring & Summer 2019)

Sigrid Karner-Ruehl

Sigrid Karner-Ruehl is an Italian and English major, enrolled in the Teacher Training Program in Graz, Austria, through which she is currently doing her exchange year at Montclair State University. “The student assistantship with the Inserra Chair is a unique opportunity for me to build on previous knowledge and skills both in the fields of web management and languages and to apply it in an intercultural academic setting. I am really grateful for this experience.” After graduating, she will be teaching high school students or possibly work in public relations in the tourism industry.

Student intern (High School Student)

Lara Funderburk (Spring 2019: May-June)

Lara Funderburk

Lara participated in the Summer Italian Intensive Course in 2018, after completing 3 years of Honors Italian at Montclair High School. “I am grateful for the opportunity to provide support for this year’s program, including assisting with promotion, presentations and social media.” In the future, she plans to continue her Italian Studies while concentrating in statistics and creative writing.

Past Assistants:

Laura Campisi (2015-16 and 2016-17)

A performer with years of experience in organization of events and in show business, Laura has a Degree in Musical Arts from the University of Palermo, Italy. “This new job opportunity has already broadened my professional horizons, as I started collaborating with Dr. Fiore on the new Inserra calendar of events. I am looking forward to being a part of such an inspiring set of cultural activities, which makes it possible for Montclair State and the NY-NJ community to welcome outstanding personalities from the most diverse fields, and to create a spotlight on all that Italians and Italian Americans have to offer to this country.”


For the AY 2016-17, Italian major Ashly Espinoza regularly offered her help on a volunteer-basis for select tasks related to the Inserra events.


Emilia D’Albero, Italian Major (2013-14, 2014-15)

“This assistantship has benefited me both professionally and academically. Not only have I learned interesting things about my heritage and culture that may perhaps play an integral role in my future research, but I have also acquired many useful professional skills through this position. Interpersonal communication, both in Italian and English; web management, and time management are all very good skills to have early on in my career, and I am thankful that I was able to learn them as the Inserra Assistant.


Celina Poggiogalle, Montclair State University graduate (Italian major) (Inserra Assistant Poggiogalle Awarded) (2013-14)

“The most rewarding part of the Inserra Program Assistantship was being able to actively participate in a cultural event’s growth from a concept to a successful evening for the campus and local community. I found new uses for my Italian language skills every step of the way by working with Dr. Fiore, communicating with Italian guests and the Italian Consulate, and co-writing post-event articles in Italian for local publications. This intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching experience showed me the practicality of my skillset in both academic and professional settings.”


Arianna Fognani, Rutgers University graduate student in Italian (2012-13)

“Through this incredible experience I gained a different perspective on how cultural events can be successfully integrated into academic curricula. I learned to get people and institutions involved in projects, to write grant proposals and refine my language skills. The Inserra programs allowed me to meet scholars, artists, journalists, and professionals coming from different institutions and cultural backgrounds whose impact on my work continues to be relevant to my research.”


Support to Assistantship

The assistantship is supported by the Inserra Chair with the generous help of external donors, such as the Columbian Foundation which contributed to the position in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

C‌harles DiLorenzo (Columbian Foundation) delivers Columbian Foundation check to Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair) (October 2013)