Italian Studies alumni have diverse career paths. Find out more about them here.
Tessa Sarr '17
Majors: Italian studies and studio art
"I entered Bucknell without the slightest clue of what I wanted to do with my life - it wasn't a problem of not having any interests, but rather there were too many things I wanted to do and not nearly enough time to figure it all out. When I stumbled into the Italian Department in the fall of 2013 it was more or less an accident, or a complete coincidence, which would end up impacting the rest of my college career as well as my life. My desire to continue taking Italian courses fell perfectly into a double major paired with Studio Art, as well as my interests in music and traveling. After a formative semester abroad in Bologna, which included exploring many other Italian cities, it seemed like the perfect choice to continue with my studies through the SITE Program - an opportunity to return to Italy for the year to teach English. Sometimes it is strange after an entire lifetime of being a student to switch into the role of a teacher, but it is also beautiful to think that I am giving my students the gift of a second language, which has the power to change their lives, just as the Italian language changed mine. Still now I am always listening, learning, and absorbing the culture that surrounds me, as I explore this whole new world. Every day is truly an adventure, and the best part is that I know this is still just the beginning."
Darren Kusa '16
Majors: Italian studies and music
"Finding something that you’re passionate about is no easy task. It’s simple enough to find joy in most of the things that you do, but finding that one niche in which you feel butterflies in your stomach every time you’re there is rare and much harder to attain. I was lucky enough to find it in the Italian Department at Bucknell. When I entered the department, I was still a chemistry major on the premed track, but the combined factors of the professors’ enthusiasm for what they do, their constant availability for one-on-one help with class material or any other problem, and their obvious love for everything Italian somehow hooked me in. I found that even though I still loved – and love – the sciences, my true passion lies in the Italian Studies. The professors, the TAs, and my cohort of students in the department helped my four years there to feel like a real community; they all encouraged me to explore my individual, interdisciplinary interests while still giving me a solid foundation in language, culture, literature, and an understanding of how to build sustainable, cross-cultural bridges. In short I belonged, and the professors, more than anyone, made sure that each student felt that way. That sense of belonging hasn’t ended, either; the Italian Department at Bucknell helped me to carve a path that I can follow for the rest of my life, one which I’ve already begun to traverse: I’m currently in my first trimester as a PhD candidate in Italian Studies at the University of Chicago. There’s no telling exactly what I’ll do when I attain this new goal, but I am more than certain that the Italian culture will now be part of me for the rest of my life. I’ve grown exponentially over that past few years, and I accredit so much of it to the Italian Department at Bucknell. The impact that those four years has made on me is lifelong and extraordinary. I count myself lucky to have been a part of it. "
Nicole Davis ’15
Majors: Italian studies and psychology
Current Position: Student teacher, Manalapan High School, N.J.
Further Education: M.A., Italian education, Drew University
"The Italian department at Bucknell University gave me the tools and confidence to pursue a career in Italian secondary education. The professors consistently encouraged me to reach farther and to take classes that continued to foster a passion for the Italian language and culture. The courses offered at Bucknell helped me to gain a strong grasp of the language, and made me want to continue speaking Italian as much as possible. Whether I was reading Italian poetry in Coleman or studying abroad in Padova, I had the constant support of the entire Italian department behind me."
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