Faculty Fellows Program

SAI offers this opportunity as an additional benefit to SAI affiliation for faculty to broaden their teaching and scholarship activities in Italy. No knowledge of Italian language is required. The award includes international air travel and a private studio or one bedroom apartment accommodation for one month (four consecutive weeks) in Florence or Rome. Faculty who wish to have family or friends accompany them may be subject to an additional housing fee.

The purposes of the Faculty Fellows Program are to foster a deeper connection between faculty from affiliate schools and Italian institutions and to provide opportunities to faculty for continuing their research and studies. In addition to pursuing individual research interests, the Faculty Fellow may be asked to deliver one lecture in their area of study for the SAI program in Florence or Rome. Proposed topics should be submitted as part of the application. The fellowship is individually designed, based on the faculty’s needs and interests.

For more information, contact facultyfellows@


Linda Sue Reeder, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of History, University of Missouri
  • Strangers and Refugees: Foreigners in Italy from 1860 to the Present

Dr. Reeder is embarking on a new research project exploring the history of foreigners in modern Italy tentatively entitled Strangers and Refugees: Foreigners in Italy from 1860 to the present. The goal of the larger project is to explore the role expatriates, refugees, and labor migrants played in shaping social relations and notions of national belonging in Italy from 1860 to the present. Dr. Reeder will be based in Rome. She commented, “This fellowship is instrumental in providing the foundation for a multi--year project. I plan on drawing from the research from the SAI Fellowship to write articles, and to shape the future book-project.”

金殿棋牌Jeanne Mercer Ballard

Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, M.A., NCIDQ, LC, LEED A.P.

  • M.A. Interior Design, [minor Architectural History] Cornell University
  • B.F.A. Interior Design, Iowa State University
  • Ms. Mercer-Ballard is an Associate Professor of Interior Design at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC

Her students have won many prestigious awards and lighting design competitions. Her recent research interests include: culture in design, cultural appropriation, lighting design, cultural preferences in lighting, and culturally inspired mid-century architecture and design. She has completed design projects in over thirty states and three countries. Mercer-Ballard’s designs have been published in several books and journals. As SAI’s Faculty Fellow, Ms. Mercer-Ballard continues her study of culture in design and lighting design. She plans to interact with several lighting manufacturers.


Joel H. Kastner, Ph.D.

  • B.S. Physics, University of Maryland Physics
  • M.S. Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ph.D. Astronomy University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Kastner is a full professor at Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics & Astronomy, and Director, Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology. A major portion of Dr. Kastner’s research centers on understanding the origins of our own solar system as well as the diverse assortment of planetary systems orbiting other stars. To further this work, Kastner and his research teams will seek to exploit the unique capabilities of European Space Agency’s (ESA) new Gaia space telescope. Under SAI’s Faculty Fellows program, Dr. Kastner will be able to spend the month of November working in close collaboration with Gaia experts at the Arcetri Observatory in Florence, Italy. Kastner and his Arcetri colleagues will begin to develop a framework for the broad and novel application of Gaia data to the essential task of compiling a comprehensive census of young stars within a few hundred light years of the Sun. By thus identifying a large sample of young stars right in our “back yard”, Kastner and other astronomers around the world will be able to scrutinize these “youngsters” for evidence of their newborn planetary offspring.


Virginia Lamothe, Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A. Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. Applied Music and Humanities, State University of New York, College at Fredonia

Dr. Lamothe’s fellowship focused on the continuation of research on the politics of musical festivities of Rome in relationship to the Holy Roman Empire and the members of the Habsburg family during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some of these festivities were very ornate and involved music for operas, parades, ballets and dances, and court processions, as well as sacred music.

金殿棋牌Steve Visser

Steve Visser, M.F.A.

  • MFA, Industrial Design, University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana
  • BA, Fine Art, Northwestern College

Steve Visser is a Professor of Industrial Design at Purdue University. His expertise is in the design and development new products. He has created designs for major corporations as well as entrepreneurs. He is regularly called upon as an expert witness in patent litigation cases. His designs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and numerous countries around the world. In Milan, he explored Etruscan designs, and other historical objects, looking for inspiration in the development of new product concepts. In Milan he exhibited some of his design work and lectured on Perception: How We Identify Great Design.


Dr. Clark Baker

  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Alabama
  • M. A., Journalism, University of Texas
  • B. S., Social Sciences, California Polytechnic State University

“Having grown up as an American living in Australia and the Far East, the child of an exploration geophysicist, I have long been interested in the experiences of expatriates living abroad. In Italy, I have met a number of expatriates who, for a variety of reasons, have been living in Italy for many years and have stories to tell.” Dr. Baker’s fellowship will provide a unique cultural perspective on expatriates in Italy. Dr. Baker will be photographing these subjects and recording their oral histories as part of a documentary project designed to give the viewer a glimpse into the lives of expatriates living in Italy. While in Florence for the SAI Fellowship, Dr. Baker will photograph the urban landscape of Italy inspired by the documentary works of Eugene Atget on “Old “Paris and Walker Evans’ pictures of New York.

金殿棋牌Anthony Viscardi

Anthony Viscardi

Anthony Viscardi is a Full Professor of Architecture, Department of Art, Architecture and Design at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A former partner and principal designer with Hoss/Viscardi & Co. in Atlanta, Ga., Viscardi specializes in the creative design process. Viscardi is the recipient of several academic and professional awards and earned the following degrees:

  • Master of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

He has been teaching international design based on pedagogy derived from his theoretical visual investigation into shadow-casting. Viscardi‘s current work on a series of shadow drawings/maps continues a process of imaginative 2-D transformation and 3-D construction. Integral to this work is his intention to return to a critical practice of art and architecture as a means of creative-collaboration and cultural engagement with full-scale models in the public arena where art can bring people together in labor for the nourishment of an idea. Viscardi’s research is entitled, “Measuring Space to Trace Time: Perceiving Italian Public Places through the Eye of the Hand.” In the architecture of drawing, “Measuring Space to Trace Time,” explores a graphic way to observe the architecture and culture of Italy’s public places.

Professor Viscardi commented:“I feel privileged that SAI is awarding me the time to immerse myself in the creative process of developing my visual notebooks while surrounded by the culture and history of Florence and the Tuscan region.”

Read Professor Viscardi’s blog here.

金殿棋牌Erica Gibson

Erica Gibson, Ph.D.

Dr. Erica Gibson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Gibson’s degrees are:

  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Alabama;
  • M.A., Anthropology, Louisiana State University;
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of Houston.

Dr. Gibson teaches Field Methods in Ethnology which covers qualitative and quantitative methods used in the social sciences, Women’s Health with a global focus, and medical anthropology courses including Cultures, Pregnancy, and Birth. As a Bio-cultural Medical Anthropologist, Dr. Gibson’s research focus is women’s reproductive health from an anthropological and feminist perspective. She has conducted research among women during the perinatal period in the United States and Mexico for the past four years. Dr. Gibson is looking forward to expanding her research on the perinatal period to Italy and will give two lectures on related topics to SAI students during her research time abroad.

金殿棋牌Mary Ann McGarry

Mary Ann McGarry, Ed.D.

Dr. Mary Ann McGarry is Associate Professor of Science Education and Environmental Science and Policy at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Dr. McGarry’ s degrees are:

  • Ed.D., Science Education, University of Maine;
  • M.S., Earth Science, Northern Arizona University;
  • B.A., Environmental Education, Dartmouth College.

One of her teaching responsibilities is environmental geology, with a key learning outcome being to specifically raise student awareness about how to reduce loss of life and property damage from natural disasters like volcanoes. Italy has two active volcanoes of significance and Vesuvius in particular is threatening as it is so near Naples- a large population center. Dr. McGarry is interested in researching how Italian service agencies develop resources and educational campaigns to prepare people for dealing with potentially very hazardous volcanic eruptions. She is looking forward to giving two lectures to SAI students and involving students in Italy in her research. .

Read Professor McGarry’s blog here.

金殿棋牌Jeffrey Lieber

Dr. Jeffrey Lieber, Ph.D.

SAI is pleased to announce that Dr. Jeffrey Lieber is SAI’s first Faculty Fellow selected from 47 applicants from 28 U.S. colleges and universities. SAI established the Faculty Fellows Program for SAI affiliate schools to recognize faculty from U.S. colleges and universities who are engaged in scholarship activities that promote global awareness and deepen the understanding of the arts and humanities. The Fellowship provides international travel and a one month stay in a private apartment in Florence or Rome. Dr. Lieber will be conducting his Fellowship in Rome during the month of July.

Jeffrey Lieber is Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture Studies at The New School in New York. He studied art history at Vassar College and received his Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In Rome, he will give a series of guest lectures from his book projectThe Boundless World: Art and Enlightenment in Italy, a comparative study of eighteenth-century art and architecture in Venice, Rome, Naples, and Turin, and conduct research on the same topic in local archives and museums. He has taught in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has received fellowships for his work from the Delmas Foundation, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture, and the Italian Cultural Institute. According to Dr. Lieber, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to return to Italy and continue my research and at the same time, be able to interact with SAI students to help them understand what they are experiencing as both student scholars and global travelers.”

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.

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