In Memoriam: Remembering Tiziana Serafini, Esteemed Colleague and Educator

Author: Staff

Tiziana Serafini Refugees

In memoriam: Tiziana Serafini

It is with profound sadness that we communicate the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Tiziana Serafini.

Tiziana joined the Italian faculty in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2016. Prior to her arrival at Notre Dame, she had taught Italian language and culture at several institutions, including the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Santa Monica College, and Los Angeles City College, in addition to serving as the Director of the Italian Language Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her teaching and research interests encompassed literary translation and its theory, as well as pedagogical issues focusing on intercultural competence, social justice, and collaborative learning with technology.

To know Tiziana was to know her passion for working with students in and out of the classroom. A student of hers this past spring recently shared in an email “I took Italian 10101 with Professor Serafini this past spring, and I have never so loved learning. When I walked into this class three times each week, I felt so alive, competent, real, sensitive, and capable. I reveled in my class participation.” Tiziana was generous with her time and with her talents, as her students and her colleagues in Italian, those in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and many who knew her across campus could attest to. It was just as easy to find her holding extra office hours with a line of students out the door as it was to find her running a yoga class in Italian for our students of Notre Dame. She also served for several years as the co-advisor of the Multi-Language Reading Club and the Italian Club on campus and she cherished these personal interactions with
students. Most recently Tiziana collaborated with the Center for Social Concerns on an interdisciplinary and experiential-learning course on refugee issues and the basic principles of foreign language pedagogy, giving students the training they needed to work as teaching assistants in language courses for refugees. Through this course and her teaching philosophy in general, Tiziana
sought to bring students from the personal to social and global issues, making language learning all the more meaningful.

Tiziana’s passion for teaching and her boundless energy have undoubtedly touched and had a profound impact on thousands of students over the years. Her kindness and generosity have left a mark on friends and colleagues here at Notre Dame and in the broader Italian Studies community. She will be greatly missed.