Student reading in CELS overlooking NYC Skyline

2019 Summer Italian Intensive Program for College Credit

Interested in improving your knowledge of Italian language and culture to advance your studies at both the high school and university levels? See MAIN PAGE for info about current edition

This one-of-a-kind program designed for high school students on a university campus, is available at Montclair State in an intensive summer format, including guest speakers and off-campus tours. In just three weeks (Mon-Thur, July 8-25, 2019), it prepares students to move with confidence from Italian 3 to an AP or advanced Italian class, while granting 3 college credits at a very affordable price. The program has been offered for two years in a row (2017 and 2018) and in its third edition in 2019 it will offer for the first time a RESIDENTIAL OPTION to better serve the high school population of New Jersey and the Tri-State Area at large.


Tuition: $750 (tuition, registration, and activity fees – note that lunches are not included for non-residential students)
Parking: $25
Residential package: $588 for room (accommodation Sun evening through Thur afternoon in The Heights dormitory) and board (meal plan valid at any time in all cafeterias open in summer: list with open hours).

SEVERAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FINANCIAL NEED have been granted thanks to our generous donors (winners were selected according to income-related questions for scholarship applicants)

Offered in the target language by a native speaker, this immersive approach leads to the study of more complex structures of the language and the expression of emotion, personal opinions, agreements and judgments, both in written and oral forms, and as part of thematic units on such topics as: immigration and Italian identity; Made in Italy (food, fashion) and sustainability; visual representation of culture in film and advertising, among others. Students benefit from an engaging college experience on a campus boasting a dynamic Italian program and proximity to New York City.

“If it weren’t for this course, I don’t think I would have wanted to study Italian in college” – Vincent Falcone (Fox Lane HS, Pound Ridge, NY; student 2019 Summer program participant; MSU student majoring in Language, Business, and Culture in Italian)

Do you have any questions? Please visit our FAQ PAGE, and for further inquiries contact the program coordinator Patti Grunther ( or write to the office at



“Prendiamoci un caffè insieme” – Lunch talks and afternoon activities range from the history of Italian landscaping to coffee tastings. Among others, students will meet architects, art historians, designers and pizzaiolos and learn about their very individual field of expertise in the realm of Italian and Italian American culture. Lunch talks are a mandatory part of the program and require attendance. Afternoon activities are primarily targeted to our residential students, however, will be open for commuting students on a first-come, first-serve basis.

LUNCH SPEAKERS FOR THE 2019 EDITION (Subject to modifications)

  • Patti Grunther (Original program developer and coordinator, High School Teacher): “Benvenuti al Campus di Montclair State University – Meet & Greet | Introduction | Q & A” – July 8
  • Julian Mossuto (Team Sales Manager, Far Post Soccer Supply, Portland, OR): “The History and Role of Soccer in Contemporary Italy – in Contrast to the US” – July 9
  • Enza Antenos (Assistant Professor, Italian Program, Montclair State University): “Interactive lecture on the ‘Made in Italy’ theme and the Italian Program at MSU” – July 10
  • Teresa Fiore (Associate Professor and Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures): Video Conference “Italian Culture on the Move: Migrations of People and Ideas in/out of the Country” – July 15
  • Jonathan Fargion (Landscape Designer, Rees Roberts & Partners): “Il Bosco Verticale and Other Modern Landscape Designs and Their Traces in Italian History” – July 15
  • Stefano Lago (Handbag and Textile Designer): “Italian Textiles and Design” – July 16
  • Emilia D’Albero (Catering & Events Manager – Specialty Grocer Greene Grape): “From the MSU Italian Program to a Culinary Career” – July 18
  • Kathleen Bennett (Art Historian and Chairperson of the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission) and Frank Gerard Godlewski (Architect): “Italian Architectural Influences on US and New Jersey Architecture” – July 23
  • Eveline Baseggio (FIT instructor, Former Metropolitan Museum Fellow): “Overview of Italian Art History” – July 24
  • Conclusions | Evaluations | Farewell Party – July 25

The program is offered by the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Italian Program (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures) at Montclair State U, in association with the Early College Program and Summer Sessions, with the co-sponsorship of IACE (Italian American Committee on Education), and the generous support of the NJIHC (New Jersey Italian Heritage Committee). It is the only program of this type in Italian in the U.S. It has been recognized as a Best Practice in Italian teaching in the Tri-State Area at the 2018 national meeting of the U.S. “enti gestori” (managing units), which are in charge of the promotion of Italian language in connection with the Italian Consulates.

Over time, the summer program has produced a consortium of local high schools, which is bound to expand given the great benefits to both the HS and the university systems created by initiatives such as this program.


Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren, NJ; Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield, NJ; Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School, Palisades Park, NJ; Clifton High School, Clifton, NJ; Lenape High School, Medford, NJ; West Orange High School, West Orange, NJ; Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver, NJ; Hackensack High School, Hackensack, NJ; Montville Township High School, Montville, NJ; Fox Lane High School, Bedford, NY; Parsippany High School, Parsippany, NJ; Mt. Saint Mary High School, Watchung, NJ – See also list of participating High Schools since 2017.


Original developer and coordinator: Patti Grunther

Patti Grunther lived in Italy for more than 20 years and has been teaching Italian at Watchung Hills Regional High School since she moved back to the U.S. with her family. She has taught Italian at all levels of the high school system as well as English as a Second Language and Linguistics at local colleges, including Montclair State University, Kean University and Bloomfield College. She serves on the AATI (Association of American Teachers of Italian) board as Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative and is the recipient of the 2019 AATI Distinguished Service Award in the K-12 category for her achievements in bridging high school, university and pre-professional experiences through Italian.

Instructor for 2019 edition: Roberta Scortechini

Roberta Scortechini was born and raised in Italy. After graduating from the University of Perugia with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures, she taught in the Italian public school system for a decade, before moving to the United States. Since then she has been teaching Italian on several university campuses in New Jersey, including Montclair State University for over half-a-decade. She regularly participates in professional development workshops and collaborates with various entities as a translator.

Co-developers at Montclair State University: Teresa Fiore and Marisa Trubiano

Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies) and Marisa Trubiano (Associate Professor of Italian) ‌are two Italian Program faculty members who are interested in curriculum innovation and pedagogical issues in dialogue with the high school system. They work as the active liaison with a variety of offices on campus as well as with supporting institutions and individuals off campus.


Academic Leader for residential students: Sigrid Karner-Ruehl

Sigrid Karner-Ruehl is an Italian and English major, enrolled in the Teacher Program at the University of Graz, Austria, one of Montclair State’s partner institutions. As part of her program she has completed several internships in teaching Italian and English as foreign languages in Austria and has worked as a tutor for Italian language and literature. Sigrid will be the Academic Leader for residential students and teaching assistant for the class.

Montclair High School student intern: Lara Funderburk

Lara Funderburk, a Montclair High School student of Italian, completed an internship with the Inserra Chair in Spring 2019 after attending the Summer Italian Intensive Program in 2018. Lara’s internship project was aimed at collecting data from the first two editions of the summer program (2017 and 2018) and, in particular, focused on the pedagogical value and impact of the program on students’ subsequent choice to study Italian in their last year of high school and/or after their high school diploma.


  • $10,000 NJIHC (New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission)
    Winners: Kimberly Briceno (Watchung Hills Regional HS), Christine Tanko (Watchung Hills Regional HS), Varronika Siryon (Elizabeth HS), Chelsea Flores (Elizabeth HS), Jessica Martinez (Elizabeth HS), Nicole Trucios (Bloomfield HS), Carmen Nieto Walle (Lenape HS), Gabriella Rayne Raad (Red Bank Regional HS), Andrew Little (West Orange HS)
  • $1,338 Associazione Cavalieri d’Italia New Jersey
    Winner: Isabel Alexis (Palisades Park HS)
  • $750 Carlo Di Nardo Di Maio Memorial Scholarship
    Winner: Isabella Angeles (Hackensack HS)
  • $750 UNICO National
    Winner: Alexandria Minetti (Watchung Hills Regional HS)
  • $750 Anonymous donor
    Winner: Dina Ali (Clifton HS)

Scholarships have been granted based on demonstrated financial need (family income related to number of family members, as well as eligibility for meal vouchers in school). They have covered tuition only, or tuition, room and board combined.