Faculty Fellows Program

SAI offers this unique opportunity to encourage faculty to broaden their teaching and scholarship activities in Italy. No knowledge of the host country language is required. The award includes international air travel, and private one bedroom apartment accommodation for one month (four consecutive weeks) in Florence or Rome. 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.
How to Apply


Virginia Lamothe

Virginia Lamothe, Ph.D.

  • Lecturer, Music History, Belmont University inTennessee

Virginia Lamothe

Steve Visser, M.F.A.

  • Professor, Industrial Design, Purdue University in Indiana


Dr.  Clark Baker

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.

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's post-fellowship show

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 Vicardi's blog here.


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.

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. Plymouth State University’s Dr. Mary Ann McGarry to Study Volcanoes in Italy

Read Professor McGarry's blog here.


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 project The 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.”

For information on the SAI Faculty Fellows Program please contact: Edna Farace Wilson, Ed.D., Vice President, Academic Affairs e.wilson@saiprograms.com