Screenshot of the Italian Heritage Month Zoom event honorees and hosts

As the audience waited for the Hostos Italian American Heritage Month Celebration to begin, the sound of a Napoletana Tarantella had everyone shaking off a bit of the pandemic woes, just as the old tradition. It was the perfect occasion where music locked in a sincere spirit among attendees and honorees until the very end.

Dean Ana I. García Reyes welcomed everyone and introduced Dr. Charles Drago, Acting Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, as moderator. Drago, a proud Italian American was thrilled to celebrate his ancestry, his colleagues, and the honorees: Danielle Jones represented New York State Comptroller DiNapoli; Chair, John D. Calandra, Italian American Faculty and Staff Advisory Council; Dr. Donna Chirico, Italian American Institute; Luigi Ghidetti, Executive Chef, Porto Salvo; and Michael M. Knobbe, Executive Director, BronxNet.
Hostos President Dr. Daisy Cocco De Filippis, commented on her fluency in Italian and shared on her love of Italian history and literature. Dr. Ernest Ialongo, Hostos Senate Chair, was also part of the celebration and read a speech acknowledging some of the great Italian men and women that have come to define Italian American, from Joe DiMaggio, Geraldine Ferraro, and Frank Sinatra.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made his presence felt during the ceremony sending an official letter that read in part, “Today’s virtual awards ceremony will celebrate the tremendous contributions Italian Americans have made to Hostos and to our city and recognize outstanding individuals of Italian descent who are shaping the future of the five boroughs. I am pleased to applaud today’s award recipients, Hostos Community College, and all those associated with it for their efforts to enrich the cultural vibrancy of our city and forge a better, brighter tomorrow for all New Yorkers.”
The Bronx as a foothold of the Italian American experience, where so many made history is also where Hostos has grown into the anchor institution that it is today. Together, the Hostos leadership and honorees acknowledged and praised their shared interests demonstrating why New York City is the great city that it is.
Felicitazione a tutti premiati!