Maria Montessori would have loved Mount Holyoke College.
Marly L. Stasi '12, Graduate Student
Study Abroad: Boston University Padua Italian Studies
Additional Degrees: Assistance to Infancy (0-3 yrs) certified by the Association Montessori Internationale
Graduate Program: Masters in Early Childhood Education through Loyola University, Maryland
After my freshman year at Boston University, two things became clear to me: I wanted to continue my college education at Mount Holyoke College, and I wanted to study abroad in Italy. After transferring to MHC, I chose to major in Italian Studies because learning the language and more about my family's heritage has always been important to me. In addition, I was able to study history, literature, language, art, and culture, because a language major is by no means limited to that language alone. If I were to do it all over again, I would have stayed in Italy longer than four months!
As graduation approached, Professor Ombretta Frau gave me excellent advice regarding graduate schools. She told me not to go unless I was really passionate about what I would be studying.
At the time I was unsure as to how I would use my Italian degree in the world so I decided to move back home and I began working at the Montessori school I myself had attended as a child. Five years later, I have directed a class of toddlers, been certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (birth-three diploma), and am currently working on completing my masters in Early Childhood Education from Loyola University.
Maria Montessori was a woman ahead of her times, she fought for the rights of women and children and believed that a person's education begins at birth. Everything I learned in my training always tied back to the values I took away from Mount Holyoke.
No, my major did not directly lead to a career where I am using my Italian language skills daily. However, while on campus it gave me the freedom to pursue many interests, and that freedom to choose has always been very important to me. So today, when people ask about the connection between my major and my current work, I tell them Maria Montessori was Italian and her educational philosophy began in San Lorenzo, Rome!