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Announcing the Search Committee for Dean Of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute


Maria Terrone
Executive Director of Communications
(718) 997-5591

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


NEW YORK, June 24, 2005 – Members of the Search Committee for a permanent Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of Queens College of The City University of New York (CUNY) were announced today. The Committee is Co-Chaired by CUNY Trustee John J. Calandra and President James L. Muyskens. Trustee Calandra is the son of the late State Senator for whom the Institute was named.

Members of the Search Committee include:

John J. Calandra (Co-Chair), litigation partner with the law firm of McDermott, Will and Emery. Calandra provides legal representation to Fortune 500 clients involved in substantial litigation in state and federal courts across the country. In addition to his CUNY Board service, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Bronx Columbus Alliance and has been active in educational issues and civic groups throughout the city.

James L. Muyskens (Co-Chair), President of Queens College of The City University of New York. Muyskens was previously CEO and Dean of the Faculty for the Gwinnett University Center of the University System of Georgia and, prior to that, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University System of Georgia. He also served as Associate Provost and Acting Provost at Hunter College.

Joseph Sciame, Vice President for Community Relations at St. John’s University in New York City and National President of the Order Sons of Italy in America, the largest and longest-established national organization for men and women of Italian descent in the United States. Sciame is a former Chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and sits on numerous community boards.

Joseph Grano, Chairman and CEO of Centurion Holdings, LLC, and former Chairman of UBS Financial Services, Inc. (formerly UBS PaineWebber). Grano is also the Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, reporting to Secretary Michael Chertoff under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and is involved in a wide range of educational and philanthropic endeavors, including CUNY’s Business Leadership Council.

Betty Santangelo, a partner with the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel, LLP. Santangelo is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Bar Council Foundation and a board member of several other law associations. She and her family have a long history of advocacy in the Italian American community, and she is the recipient of an award from AMITA and from the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee for her work as a lawyer.

Regina Peruggi, President of Kingsborough Community College of The City University of New York. Peruggi previously served as President of the Central Park Conservancy and President of Marymount Manhattan College. She has taught at the elementary, college, and graduate levels and is an active member of the boards of several educational and civic organizations.

James Periconi, an attorney who practices environmental law at his own firm in Manhattan, Periconi, LLC, and is immediate past Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Periconi is a member of the Board of Directors of the Italian American Writers Association and a past member of the Executive Council of the American Italian Historical Association, and has written extensively on Italian American literary and cultural topics.

Eugenia Paulicelli, Professor in the Italian Program in the Department of European Languages and Literature at Queens College. Paulicelli teaches courses on Italian and European cinema, is a member of the doctoral faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center, and is the author of several books, articles, and poetry. She is co-curator of an upcoming exhibition, “Couture and Cultures: Fashioning Identity.”

Douglas Muzzio, Co-Director of the Center for Transition and Leadership in Government and the founder and former director of the Baruch College Survey Research Unit, both at Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs. Muzzio has extensive political, governmental, and media experience, and has done polling and political analysis for ABC-TV and other news organizations for more than two decades.

In addition, the Search Committee will include one member to be recommended by the Italian American Legislative Caucus of the New York State Legislature.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein stated, “I am very pleased that a Search Committee comprising such distinguished individuals with longstanding records of both community service and academic experience has come together to find a new dean for the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. It is vitally important that we all work together to enhance the Institute’s standing in both the academic marketplace and the Italian American community.”

Added Trustee John Calandra, “The Search Committee’s job will be to identify the best possible candidates for the Deanship and to ensure that the new Dean will be responsive to the higher education needs of the Italian American community.”

President James Muyskens said, “On behalf of Queens College, I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure that we take fullest advantage of the extensive experience, talents, and insights of such a prominent group as we endeavor to strengthen the Calandra Institute at every level.”

The primary purpose of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute is to foster higher education among Italian Americans. This mission is carried out by:

• Conducting and sponsoring empirical, theoretical and analytical research which will expand, deepen and strengthen critical understanding of the Italian American experience.

• Serving as a central clearing house for the dissemination of research to academia, government, industry and the civic community.

• Organizing conferences, lectures, seminars and symposia on the Italian American experience.

• Operating specialized counseling programs in areas of outreach, articulation and student retention at CUNY.

• Administering an Exchange Program between CUNY and Italian public universities.

• Maintaining a resource library of printed material as well as videos pertaining to the Italian American experience.

• Working in collaboration with the Italian American Museum project to help maximize the development and impact of this important initiative.

• Maintaining up-dated listings of Italian American students and faculty at CUNY as well as faculty, academic scholars and professionals at other universities.

• Providing a Speakers Bureau for students, faculty and community groups on topics relevant to the Italian American experience.

• Producing and distributing a television program, informational in nature, geared to the Italian American community.

The Calandra Institute seeks to accomplish its mission through its research unit, Career Counseling Center, Academic and Cultural Programs, outreach programs, resource library, Columbus CUNY/ITALY Exchange Program and various community projects.

Dr. Peter Vellon is the current Interim Executive Director. Past Executive Directors have included Mr. Louis Cenci, Dr. Joseph Scelsa, and Reverend Francis Nicholas Russo, Ph.D.

The 2006 edition of The Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges ranks Queens College #8 in the nation—a rating based on outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages and relatively low costs. Founded in 1937, the college offers an exceptional liberal arts curriculum, with over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and a variety of specialized honors programs. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means, the college has nearly 17,000 students from more than 140 nations, which fosters an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment.


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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