In January term, distance-learning students Amy Hensberry and Chris Roos completed the CDL course Introductory Italian: Language and Culture. A few days after the semester ended, they hinted how fun it would be to go meet their instructor, Lucia Ducci, in person, in Florence, Italy, to practice their skills. Without hesitation, Ducci answered, “Come visit!” and the rest is history.
Two months later Amy and Chris were standing in Palazzo Vecchio, chatting with Lucia, sipping on cappuccino, and ready to stroll through the Boboli Gardens.
“I enjoyed meeting my students (now friends!) in person and realize what a huge passion they have for Italian language and culture,” said Ducci, a native Italian who speaks fluent English and French languages. “I was very happy to see that they could interact using proper Italian not only with me, but with the waiter, taxi cab driver, and hotel staff, too,” she added.
In 2007, Ducci studied at the University of Florence, Italy, to earn her Ph.D. in International Relations and Contemporary History. She worked at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA and at Boston College in Boston, MA for three years, before she decided to return to Italy to be closer to her family and friends. After returning to Italy, she always felt a tie to her students back in the States.
“I was on my couch, reading the New York Times, and I saw an ad for SUNY Empire State College. I immediately sent in my resume,” she said. A few months later, she was hired, teaching Italian language courses, and working to develop a new “Intermediate Italian” course for CDL. “Teaching at Empire State College is a wonderful opportunity for me. Although I have to stay up late because of the time difference, I can work in an American environment (which I love!), and stay and live comfortably at home here in Italy,” said Ducci.
Planning a visit to Florence? Lucia welcomes your email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Buon Viaggio!