The Association of Italian American Educators 18th Annual Awards and Scholarships Gala will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016 from 12:00-5:00 PM at the Chateau Briand, located at 440 Old Country Road, Carle Place, Long Island.

A cocktail reception in the garden, (weather permitting), will be followed by the ceremony, dinner and dancing in the Normandy Ballroom, with special attraction, Tenor, Daniel Rodriguez and Soprano, Marla Kavanaugh.  The Gala is AIAE’s major fund raising event and constitutes the basis of financial support for all its programs.

During the Gala Awards ceremony, AIAE will honor a distinguished roster of Italian American colleagues whose meritorious achievements and contributions warrant the recognition of all.  The 2016 Distinguished Awardees include: Dr. Antonio Giordano, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine: Outstanding Achievements in Medical Research Award; Prof. David S. Lalama, Hofstra University: Lifetime Achievement Award; Alberta Gulotta, Founder of the Little Language Studio: Educator of the Year Award; Nicholas Maurantonio, The Mary Louis Academy: Educator of the Year Award; Nancy Indelicato, Italian Heritage and Culture  Committee of New York, Inc., Board of Directors-Chair, Public Relations: Promotion of Italian Language and Culture Award;  Alessandra Belloni, Founder& Artistic Director of "I Giullari Di Piazza":  AIAE Award in Performing Arts Award; Dr. Almerinda Forte, St John's University: Higher Education & Administrative Award.

AIAE will also present the Programma Ponte scholarship recipients for 2016. All are outstanding students, representing some of the nation’s prestigious colleges and universities. They include:  Maria Antonietta Bevilacqua, Adelphi University, Major: Environmental Studies, Theatre Design & Technology; Candice Chieffo, Temple University, Major: Chemistry, Minor: Italian and Arabic; Alessia DiPaolo, Southern Connecticut State University, Major: Biology; Vincenzo Elvezio, Stony Brook University, Major: Biology, Minor: Italian; Alexander Hoelzli, Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Major: Architecture, Minor: Business.

The Association of Italian American Educators was established in 1997 to promote a positive Italian American image and presence in education.  Since 1999, AIAE has presented the Educator of the Year Awards Fellowship for Teachers of Italian language.  Collaborating with Hofstra University and other institutions, AIAE also participates in the Italian American Poets / La Piazza dei Poeti, Italian American Experience Lecture Series, annual Breakfast Networking Meeting with major organizations, and Lunch Networking Meeting with outstanding speakers and leaders in our community.  Of note, the AIAE received the “Silver Medal” from the President of Italy, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in 2002.                                                       

Commenting on the AIAE, Cav. Josephine A. Maietta, President, notes: “The AIAE is strongly committed to promoting the positive Italian American image, investing in our students and their experience; honoring and recognizing outstanding leaders and role models of our Italian American community; and celebrating and maintaining our rich Italian Heritage in the USA, as the Gala and its Award and Scholarship recipients so exemplify every year.” Contact: AIAE 516-483-2627                                                                                                                

Dr. Antonio Giordano, Outstanding Achievements in Medical Research

Antonio Giordano is Professor of Molecular Biology at the Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is also Director and founder of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine. He currently serves also as Professor of Pathology at the Siena University, Italy. Giordano was born in Naples, Italy, where he obtained his medical degree and PhD. He then moved to the US and worked at Cold Spring Harbor, under Nobel Laureate James Watson. Giordano made significant contributions to the cancer research field. His work identified several genes, implicated in the complex regulation of the cell cycle, whose aberrant expression proved to be a hallmark of different cancer types. Giordano groundbreaking discoveries laid the bases for the identification of important diagnostic and prognostic factors and new cancer therapeutics

Prof. David S. Lalama, Lifetime Achievement

Dave Lalama is currently Professor of Music at Hofstra University and is a founding faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Program.  He received his doctorate in music composition from New York University and is active as a clinician and performer throughout the United States. Dr. Lalama has performed and recorded with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis and numerous other Jazz artists and continues to actively compose, arrange and perform in the New York City metropolitan area.

Alberta Gulotta, Educator of the Year

Ms. Gulotta is currently a NYC Public School teacher of Italian and Spanish. For over twenty years, she has been teaching the Italian language, art and culture to children. She has taught Italian at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn as well as adult classes at the Garibaldi Meucci Museum in Staten Island, New York. Prior to teaching, Alberta worked in Italian commercial banking for Banca Nazionale dell’ Agricoltura (BNA) and Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) utilizing her bi-lingual abilities in the Credit Department.


Nicholas Maurantonio, Educator of the Year

Nicholas Mauhrantonio has been teaching Italian and Spanish for the last 14 years at The Mary Louis Academy (TMLA), Jamaica Estates, New York. Using varied teaching methodologies with the integration of technology, Professor Maurantonio consistently has prepared students to excel in their Italian studies as exemplified by the various awards achieved by his students from the American Association of Teachers of Italian both National and Local Chapters, Società Onoraria Italica, the New York State Foreign Language Teachers Association,  the Italian American Women’s Center, the Italian American Committee on Education Video contest and publications by  students in the Queens College sponsored Italian publication “Il Giornalino”.

Nancy Indelicato, Promotion of Italian Heritage and Culture

Nancy Indelicato, for over two decades, has served on the Board of Directors, Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York, Inc. and serves as its Chair, Public Relations. In addition, since 2010 to promote education, she authors the IHCC-NY’s Bookmark, Brochure, Related References and Word Puzzles on their annual historical theme, distributed widely to educational and cultural institutions.  She also authored Congressional Resolutions on historic Italian personages and events; served on other Italian cultural boards; and initiated the Manhattan Borough President's Italian Heritage Proclamation Ceremony.  In 2014, she was recognized by the Vatican when she was invested as a Lady in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Alessandra Belloni, AIAE Award in Performing Arts

Alessandra Bellona is the Artistic Director, Founder and Lead Performer of "I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA", Italian Music, Theatre and Dance Ensemble Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.  She is the designer of a line of signature series Italian tambourines made by Remo, largest percussion industry in the world. An award winning tambourine virtuoso, singer, dancer and actress, Ms. Bellona was born in Rome, Italy and is committed to preserving the strong and rich traditions of her culture. She  began her acting career both theatre and film as teen ager in Italy with Anna Manganic in "La Lupe" and Federico Fellini in "Casanova" and in New York in  "Next Stop the Greenwich Village" by Paul Mazursky.

Dr. Almeria Forte, Higher Education & Administration

Dr. Almeria Forte is a Full Professor and Chairperson for the Division of Administration and Economics for the College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University.  She received her Ph.D. from New York University.  Almeria received her M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from St. John’s University. Her most significant research has been in business ethics in management, a research interest that began with her doctoral dissertation at New York University.