Morena Svaldi

  • Faculty Director of the Language Assistant Program; Senior Lecturer in Italian
  • on leave spring 2024
Morena Svaldi

Senior Lecturer Morena Svaldi joined the Italian faculty in 2004 and she has been the Language Assistant Program Director since 2014.

Svaldi is originally from Padua, Italy where she received a Laurea in Psychology from the University of Padua. She worked for many years in the field of psychology in Italy and published articles on mental health. In 2003, she received the Specializzazione post universitaria (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology also at the University of Padua.

Svaldi relocated to the United States in 2004 and, since then, has focused on her new career in teaching Italian language and culture. In 2018 she received a Master's in Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language from the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice (Italy).

At Mount Holyoke College Svaldi teaches courses from elementary to advanced level and organizes and coordinates trainings in foreign language pedagogy for Language Assistants and Language Mentors for all the languages taught at Mount Holyoke College.

Svaldi developed many projects to engage students in learning Italian, examples are the Skype VP – 50 Exchange project with the University of Bologna and a recent Tandem Program with the University of Trento. Her goal is to allow students to connect with students in Italy, to arouse their curiosity about other cultures and languages, and to prepare them not only for their study abroad experience but also to be global citizens.

Over the year Svaldi received several grants from, among others, The Five Colleges Mellon Blended Learning Initiative, the Five College Consortium, the Racial Equity Research and Action Grants Program, and the Italian government.

In 2024 she received the Teaching Award from Mount Holyoke College.

In 2010, Svaldi created Mount Holyoke College’s first internship in Italy, at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

Since 2005, she has organized the Annual Five Colleges Italian Symposium in Pedagogy.

Svaldi is part of the Italian Language Observatory of the Italian Consulate in Boston with other representatives from schools and universities, professional associations, institutions, and Italian culture and business personalities in New England.

Svaldi is the Faculty Representative of AATI New England for colleges and universities.

Areas of Expertise

Foreign language pedagogy, teaching language adopting a multidisciplinary perspective (art, design, sustainability, and science)


  • Ph.D., B.A., University of Padua
  • M.A. Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent Campus News

Mount Holyoke College held its annual Faculty Awards Ceremony and celebrated five faculty members for their teaching, research and service.

Emma Taylor said yes her first semester and that has made all the difference.

My close connection with Morena Svaldi in Italian studies has made me realize that I am more capable of doing things than I may initially believe. Having her support throughout my entire four years has been incredible. I would not be where I am without her.

Recent Grants

Received a grant from the Consulate General of Italy, Boston, to support an Italian tutor.

Recent Publications

Svaldi, M. (2023) Article "Engaging Students in Conversations about Social Justice and Change in Italy, TILCA -Teaching Italian Language and Culture Annual" November 2023 Published

Svaldi M. Insegnare italiano in un’università del New England: analisi, pianificazione e proposta di un corso microlingua [Teaching Italian in higher education in New England: analysis, planification and a proposal of a micro language course]. Itals Journal, Supplement of the ELLE Journal, ISSN: 2280-6792, November 2019, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice.

Recent Honors

Svaldi, M. (2023) Presenting at the MAFLA (Massachusetts Association Foreign Languages) a paper "L’incanto della cultura italiana: Teaching Italian Language and Culture through Food, Design, Sustainability and Urban Planning", October 26-28, 2023

Presented "Immersive Teaching of Italian: Transforming a Challenge Into a Resource" at the virtual ACTFL Convention– American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 19-21 November 2021.

Ombretta Frau and Morena Svaldi held a workshop for teachers at the NEMLA conference in Springfield on October 25, 2019. The title of the workshop was "Learn In-Context Around Campus.”

Presented her research on Teaching Italian in Higher Education: Assessment, Planning & Retention at the ACTFL Convention–American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Washington, DC, November 22-24, 2019.

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