Tina Gianquitto, an associate professor in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Division (formerly Liberal Arts and International Studies) at Colorado School of Mines was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant and will be traveling to Naples, Italy this spring. She will be working with the American literature faculty at la Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale, teaching a graduate-level course on American literature and the environment, in addition to a PhD seminar.
The Fulbright Scholar Program is composed of merit-based grants that support international education exchange for students, teachers, professionals and scholars. Founded in 1946 by United States Senator J. William Fulbright, this scholarship program aims to support relations between U.S. professionals and those of other countries.
Gianquitto was inspired to pursue teaching in high school. “My senior English teacher was an elderly nun,” she explained. “In class one day, she read a Dylan Thomas poem, ‘Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,’ and she was just so riveting. She taught me so much that I thought, ‘I want to do that.’”
After attending Columbia University and writing her dissertation on women nature writers in the nineteenth century, Gianquitto took a teaching job at Vassar College in New York. However, when the opportunity presented itself to come to Mines, “it was a simple decision to come to a school like Mines where I could teach the coming together of literature, science and the environment,” she said. “It was a dream job.”
|Tina Gianquitto delivers a talk on her co-edited
book, "America's Darwin".
“Dr. Gianquitto is a valued member of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Division at Mines,” said College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering Dean Ramona Graves. “Her commitment to the students and broadening the scope of thinking of engineers and scientists is exemplary. As director of the Hennebach Program in the Humanities, Tina plays a major role in providing our students with the social science background necessary to complement their technical degrees, always leading with her passion to instill some of her own excitement into these future leaders.”
Gianquitto kept an eye on the Fulbright Scholar Program for years, and when the unique opportunity arose to teach at Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale, it was almost too good to be true. “They were looking for someone who works in the interdisciplinary fields of American environmental literature, gender and transatlantic studies,” Gianquitto explained. “These fields map almost fully onto my own, and I thought ‘this is a perfect opportunity.’” On June 23, 2016, Gianquitto got the news that she was being offered the Fulbright scholarship, which was an “utter and complete shock,” she said.
Gianquitto leaves for Italy in February 2017 and looks forward to conducting research on U.S. woman volcanologists of the 19th century while in Naples, teaching classes in American environmental literature, guest lecturing in Europe and hopefully becoming fluent in a foreign language. In addition to teaching, Gianquitto is excited to explore the city of Naples and engage with peers in her field on an international level. She noted in her application that she will “Investigate American studies from a global perspective by engaging with Italian students and colleagues, consider global environmentalism as reflected in comparisons between local and distant landscapes and finally consider how other U.S. women might have traversed similar landscapes seeking both knowledge and cultural exchange in an earlier century.”
Gianquitto is thankful to the Mines administration for supporting her dream to teach abroad and to apply for the Fulbright Scholar Program. “Dean Graves encouraged me to apply and everyone has been incredibly supportive of this fellowship opportunity,” she said.
Mines’ professors continue to achieve great things, and as a result, the school continues to shine.
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