Mattea Cumoletti ’12, of Guilderland, N.Y., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Italy, where she will teach English to Italian high school students. A history major and anthropology minor, Cumoletti also plans to conduct an ethnographic study comparing the way the Italian education system treats native children versus immigrant children.
An Italian-American, Cumoletti has always been interested in learning about the country of her heritage and traveling to other parts of the world. She says it was at Holy Cross, however, that her desire for education and cultural awareness grew through experiences inside and outside of the classroom. She volunteered as an after-school tutor for the Nativity School in Worcester through Student Programs for Urban Development, and spent her junior year studying in Bologna, Italy, where she volunteered as an English teaching assistant at a middle school.
Cumoletti plans to put to use the skills she learned in her academic work at Holy Cross by undertaking an anthropologically driven research project on the education system in a yet-to-be-determined city in Italy.
“I hope to incorporate students’ perceptions in order to understand the way in which education is conceptualized for international and immigrant versus native students, and how the mission of Italian education is manifested in students’ daily lives in regards to civics, identity and language,” she wrote in her statement of grant purpose.
At Holy Cross, Cumoletti was also the publicity director of the student-run radio station, WCHC (88.1 FM), and member of S.A.D.E.R. (Student Ambassadors Developing External Relations) and Williams House Council. In addition, she played violin in the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra.
Cumoletti plans to attend graduate or law school and pursue a career in international educational policy.
Each year approximately 1,000 college students are awarded grants through the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange. Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Since the program’s inception in 1946, more than 300,000 participants — chosen for their leadership potential — have had the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions.
Read about this year’s other Holy Cross Fulbright grant recipients: Joseph Cavanaugh ’12, Caroline Galiatsos ’12, Daniel Geiger ’11, Eliza Gettel ’12, Heidi Grek ’12, Maria Jaroszewicz ’12, Jaeyeon Lee ’12, Courtney Lesoon ’12, George Matthews ’12 and Peter Renehan ’12.