Patrons of Italian Culture award 2019 Casola Prizes

Continuing their long standing commitment of funding academic excellence for worthy college students of Italian descent, the Patrons of Italian Culture awarded Two "Albert J. Casola Prizes" for 2019, totaling $ 4,500, at their annual Ferragosto event. This years event wasin collaboration withe newly established Mentoris Voice project under the leadership of Mr. Robert Barbera and the Barbera Foundation. The Gala event was held on Saturday evening, Aug. 17, at the historic Casa Italiana.


The 2019 Casola Prizes were awarded to two outstanding UCLA academics who are candidates for their Ph.D.’s, to be awarded in 2020. Ms. Federica Di Blasio and Ms. Adriana Romero. Ms. Di Blasio, who was still in Italy with her studies, sent an acceptance video (see below). Ms. Romero, daughter of Chair, Dr. Clorinda Donato of Cal. State L.B. was present along with family to accept her award (see photo gallery).


Dr. Thomas Harrison, Chairman Emeritus of UCLA’s Italian Studies Dept. was on hand to accept Ms. Di Blasio’s award and addressed the members and guests as to the importance of the PIC’s work with the UCLA Italian Studies dept. and their Italian Club. These latest ‘scholarships’ follow a long standing tradition of college student scholarships awarded over many decades, reports Paul Romano, Patron President. To date more than $22,000 in Casola Prizes have been awarded.


The "Casola Prize" is a result of the Albert J. Casola Trust, bequeathing funds to be used to further the higher education of Italian-American students in developing skills, that will be used in their professional lives, to promote Italian language, culture and heritage.

Ms. Di Blasio accepting the Casola Prize.

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