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FAU professor named Italy chair for Sister Cities International chapter

Ilaria Serra, an assistant professor of languages and linguistics and Italian study abroad director at Florida Atlantic University, has been named the new country chair for Italy by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities International chapter executive board.

The organization's goal is to develop municipal partnerships between U.S. cities and states and similar jurisdictions in other nations. It provides opportunities for city officials and citizens to experience and explore other cultures through long-term community partnerships, according to its president, Marianne L. Winfield.

“I am very excited to join this program,” Serra said. “I look forward to continue with the development of this organization, and come up with new ideas and programs that will benefit the relationship between the city of Venice and the Fort Lauderdale area,” Serra said.

The National Sister Cities International Foundation has played an active role around the world for over 53 years and represents communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Since 1986, the Fort Lauderdale chapter has joined with 16 sister cities, including Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Agogo, Ghana.

“We are looking to strength and encourage cultural and economic development exchanges,” Winfield said.

Serra has a doctorate in comparative studies from FAU and "laurea di dottore" from the University of Venice. She has written numerous articles and is the author of: Immagini di un immaginario: L'Emigrazione Italiana negli Stati Uniti fra i due secoli (1890-1924). Her most recent publication is “Tony De Nonno: Documentary of Italian Americana.”

“I have several plans for organization," Serra said in an interview. "I would like to get funds to save the art of Venice. I would like to do festivals, carnivals and, maybe have the glass factory of Venice involved in one of our events.

"Right now, we are taking 20 students to Venice for the summer and I plan for the future to get FAU students more involved and enjoy the benefits of this organization,” she said.

For more information about organization's mission, programs and events, go to: www.gflsci.org.

To learn how to get involved with the Venice program at FAU, contact Serra at 561-297-3623 or iserra1@fau.edu.




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