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Dr. Pulitano Led Global Program in Palermo Featured by International Center

Building inclusive study abroad opportunities in a multiethnic community in Palermo, Italy

Students in Palermo

Students in Palermo, Italy, summer 2023

Cal Poly's International Center recently featured a profile on Dr. Elvira Pulitano's, ES Faculty member, Global Program in Palermo, Sicily that took place in the Summer of 2023.

Listed below is the included content by Elvira Pulitano featured in the original article.   

This past summer Dr. Pulitano led twenty-two Cal Poly students in a Global Program in Palermo, Sicily’s capital. While technically part of Italy, the city of Palermo has always been considered the heart of the Mediterranean with its rich, multicultural history spanning millennia. Today the city is at the center of ongoing debates surrounding migration and border-crossing in Europe as it is considered the capital of rights, welcoming, tolerance, and culture. Besides daily visits to the city’s major historical, cultural and artistic sites, students had the opportunity to experience first-hand Palermo’s multicultural and multi-ethnic character. The program included a two-day cycle of activities with Moltivolti and Giochereda, two Palermo-based cultural associations run by young migrants and refugees from several African countries. These experiences offered a great lesson in storytelling, decolonial thinking, and collective learning. The program also included three excursions around Sicily, to the towns of Erice, Cefalú, and Agrigento, to visit local UNESCO Heritage sites. 

Inspired by the success of Cal Poly’s Global Program in Sicily, Dr. Pulitano has submitted a proposal for the 2023-2024 BEACoN Mentorship program. Through this endeavor, Dr. Pulitano hopes to produce a study that contributes to the current debates about decolonizing international education and suggesting alternatives to education abroad programming and pedagogies. A study of this caliber will support efforts that lead to more inclusive and sustainable international study abroad programs. The proposed BEACoN project will hire one research scholar among the students who participated in the Cal Poly Global Program. The selected scholar will conduct research and collaborate with Dr. Pulitano on a co-authored journal article. 

In 2024-25, Dr. Pulitano will serve in the role of director in the CSU IP Program in Florence, Italy. With expertise in international education and experiential knowledge about her native country, she hopes to make studying in Italy an inspiring and enriching experience for all our CSU students.   
Be sure to check out our info sessions during International Education week where you can learn more about our Global Programs, faculty and student opportunities.

Cal Poly International Center Highlights, Original Article

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