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Faculty & Staff

ISU Rome Faculty & Staff

Pia SchneiderPia K. Schneider – Director/Instructor
Pia K. Schneider (Dipl.Arch., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich; M.Arch, Southern California Institute of Architecture, Santa Monica), is an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) in the Departments of Art & Design and Architecture. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and prizes, including an Exchange Fellowship at the GSD, Harvard University, the Rome Prize at the Swiss Academy, Rome, and the IKEA Foundation fellowship for architects and designers. She has taught courses in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design for the ISU Rome program, the Penn State University and seminars on Urban Development for the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and the Pratt Institute, NY, Rome programs. Since 2007 she is the Resident Director of the ISU Rome program. In 2015, she has been nominated the chair of EUASA, the European Association of Study Abroad.

Sonia Morganti – Administration/Logistics
Sonia Morganti attended the Liceo Classico Leonardo da Vinci in Terracina (LT). In 2001 she earned her Master Degree at the College of Law at the University of Roma Tre, presenting a dissertation about the adversarial principle in civil and canonical trial from a historical-comparative perspective. Besides her current part-time job at ISU Rome, she works for independent authors and publishers as text editor and proof-reader. Furthermore, Sonia writes articles in Italian on topics related to art, literature and ecology. In her free time Sonia loves hiking and has a strong interest in astronomy and archeology.

Beatrice RosiniBeatrice Rosini – Accounting/Administration
Beatrice Rosini attended the Scuola Superiore per Interpreti e Traduttori and received a diploma as an interpreter and Translator for both English and Spanish. Prior to joining ISU Rome in 2000, Beatrice worked at a variety of businesses in Rome providing administrative support and language services, including OAI – Organizzazione Artistica Internazionale, IRI-Management, TV Broadcast International Srl, Consorzio Nettuno and Communications snc.

Alessandra FaggioliAlessandra Faggioli – Facility/Student Affairs
Alessandra Faggioli is fluent in Russian, Italian and English, Alessandra worked as a professional interpreter and translator for over 10 years before joining the Penn State University “Study Abroad Program” in 2001 and then Pantheon Institute as the Administrative Assistant for Financial Management and Planning. In 2016 she eventually joined the ISU Rome Office. After obtaining her Language Diploma in English and Russian in Rome, Alessandra spent three years specializing her studies in languages at the Polytechnic Institute of Central London and at the Centre d’Etudes Russes in Meudon, France.

William BersaniWilliam Bersani – IT Consultant
William Bersani attended the Department of Computer Science at La Sapienza University of Roma, and since 2005 started working in the IT sector for private companies such as Telecom, ENI, Total Erg and the Ministry of Security and Labor.
Since 2013 he has worked as a freelance IT consultant.



Simone BoveSimone Bove – Design Instructor
Simone Bove, Architect and Interior Designer, received a Laurea Architettura from the University of Roma Tre School of Architecture in 2003. During his studies he spent a semester at the University of Arkansas School of Architecture and collaborated with international programs. In 2004 he joined n!studio-Ferrini & Stella Associated Architects in Rome, where he has been responsible for projects including museums and cultural buildings, archaeological and historical sites, residential and landscape designs in Italy, Europe, China and Vietnam, with a focus on promotion of cultural heritage and sustainable development.

 Silvia Aloisio – Design Instructor
Architect and Interior Designer. She graduated with full marks and honors at Sapienza University of Rome in Industrial Design (2005) and in Architecture (2011). In 2018 Silvia got her PhD from Sapienza University of Rome. She was a visiting scholar at University of Florida in 2015 and 2017, where she led research on climate conditioned architecture and developments in Florida and the Caribbean islands. She collaborates with the Center for Hydrogenated Urbanism of UF and the Unesco Chair in “Sustainable Urban Quality and Urban Culture” of Sapienza University. Her professional work is based on the design development of architectural solutions on large and small scale. Silvia also works as instructor for the Interior Design Program at the Arkansas University – Rome Center and for Sapienza University (Architecture and Conservation Master program).

Tom Rankin Tom Rankin – Design Instructor
American architect Tom Rankin has lived in Rome, practicing architecture and teaching, since 1991. He received his Master’s in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a BA in Architecture at Princeton, and a “Laurea” in Architecture at Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. He was founder of the successful non-profit cultural travel association Scala Reale and continues to support culturally and environmentally sustainable travel as a partner in Context Travel and CEO of the travel consulting business Studio Rome. Tom teaches at the at Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (School of Engineering), the California Polytechnic Rome Program in Architecture and the Iowa State Rome Program. He is a Fulbright Scholar, a founding member of ISAR ( and Director of the association Tevereterno Onlus. Tom is the author of Rome Works: An Architect Explores the World’s Most Sustainable City and has written numerous articles on sustainable urbanism and presented frequently at conferences. His blog on the Still Sustainable City was chosen by Guardian Cities as the best Italian city blog and is a reference point for sustainable urbanism in Rome.

Simone CapraSimone Capra – Design Instructor
Simone Capra graduated with honors in Architecture at the University of Roma Tre in 2004. He got a PhD in architecture in 2012 at the University of IUAV – Villard De Honnecourt International Program in Venice. Since 2016 he is an advisor for Landscape Architects at AAR, the American Academy in Rome.
Simone is founder and partner of stARTT srl, an architecture design practice based in Rome. stARTT has received several awards and mentions including YAP MAXXI 2011, the European Architecture Award for Under 35 architects in 2011. In December 2013, stARTT has been selected for Small Utopias, the exhibition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the promotion of Italian architecture abroad. In 2014, stARTT has presented its works at Fundamentals, the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. In 2018 the work “Tribute to Luigi Ghirri”, has been given the first prize at S-Arch Award, category Urban Design, and the honorable mention at Premio Gubbio for contemporary design into an historical context. The works and projects of stARTT have been published in Italy and abroad.

Consuelo Nuñez CiuffaConsuelo Nuñez Ciuffa – Design Instructor
Consuelo Nuñez Ciuffa, architect, received a degree in Architecture in 2007 from the University of Roma Tre. During her studies she spent a semester at the Pontificia Universidad the Valparaiso – Escuela de Arquitectura, in Valparaiso,Chile. In 2007 she joined 2A+P/A Associated Architects in Rome, where he has been architect and project leader till 2014, being responsible for national and international projects Along with 2A+P/A she collaborated to the first 5 years of San Rocco magazine and to several others publishing initiatives. In 2015 she moved for a year to Philadelphia where she had the chance to collaborate with a local office, Jibe Design. Back in Italy she worked for two years at Costa Architecture Office, being part of a multidisciplinary team for several projects, between Italy and Dubai. In 2017 she joined StaRTT office, where she is responsible for several projects, including private and public assignment.

Cristiana Filippini – Art History Instructor
Cristiana Filippini is an art historian specialized in medieval art. She earned her PhD and MA from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and her Italian degree (Laurea in Lettere in History of Art) from the University of Florence, Italy. Her primary field of research is medieval art in Rome, while her research and teaching interests also include 17th-century art in Rome, women’s presence in the art of Rome, and museum history in Rome. She has given several papers and published articles on the subject of Roman art of the Middle Ages. Her current project is a book on narrative strategies in hagiographic painting of the medieval Papal city. Cristiana Filippini currently teaches art history at most prestigious American University programs in Rome.  

Linda Nolan Linda Nolan – Art History Instructor
Linda Nolan, Ph.D. in Early Modern Italian Art and an Classical Roman Art and Archaeology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Fascinated by both archaeology and artistic practice, Linda studied Fine Arts and Art History as an undergraduate, participated in art conservation internships in Chicago, IL, and Lugano, Switzerland, and excavated at Pompeii and in the Roman Forum. During her years in Los Angeles, Linda worked as a researcher and then educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum as well as a studio assistant to the Southern California artist Raymond Pettibon.Her interest in archaeology, Renaissance sculpture, and the history of women in Rome inspired her PhD dissertation about the installation and physical forms of devotion shown towards objects in Roman churches, including the famous “Mouth of Truth”, at S. Maria in Cosmedin, Michelangelo’s Christ sculpture in S. Maria sopra Minerva, and the bronze S. Peter statue in S. Peter’s Basilica. Linda received fellowships to support her travels and research, including ones from the Dorot Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the Samuel H.Kress Foundation, and the American Association of University Women.

Lavinia Ann Minciacchi – Architecture Instructor
Lavinia Ann Minciacchi is an Architect and Designer. She graduated with honors in Architecture at the Sapienza Università di Roma and got her PhD in Architecture, Theories and Project at the Sapienza Università di Roma in 2021. Previously she was a visiting researcher at the IST-Istituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa and an exchange student at the FAUL-Faculdade de Arquitetura de Universidade de Lisboa.

Her research focuses on modern and contemporary architecture. Lavinia has participated in several research projects, conferences and exhibitions. She has published books, papers and essays in national and international scientific journals.

In 2016 Lavinia founded the architecture office brunelli ann minciacchi with Alessandro Brunelli and their projects have been published internationally. They investigate the spatial and material qualities of architecture through physical models and experimental drawings. Their architectural work is strongly influenced by their academic research/teaching and vice versa.

Olmo Amato – Photography & Art Instructor
Olmo Amato earned a M.Sc. in Neurobiology from Sapienza University of Rome. In addition to his studies, he dedicated himself to photography and experimentation with digital manipulation techniques. As a photographer and filmmaker, he has worked with fine art printing and post-production. He teaches basic and advanced photography at ISU Rome, the Pantheon Institute and the Adams Center for Experimental Photography. Since 2019 he has held seminars and workshops on the relationship between photography, visual perception and neuroscience.

He utilizes analog and digital photography techniques in his works, combining archival photos, original shots and artificially generated images through photomontage. In 2018 he won the Setup Prize as Best Artist under 35, the MalamegiLab Prize and Tiziano Campolmi Prize in 2019, and his works were presented in various international and Italian festivals, galleries and contemporary art fairs.

Together with Samuele Sestieri, he wrote and directed the film “I Racconti dell’Orso” which was selected for the 33rd Turin Film Festival at the 2016 Rotterdam International Film Festival and numerous other international film festivals.

Manuela Cappellari – Italian Instructor
Manuela Cappellari has been a teacher of Italian as a Foreign Language since 2000. She graduated with honors in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the Roma Tre University. She received the Ditals certificate to teach Italian and earned a Master’s degree in Online Teaching at University of Siena’ s School of Foreign Studies. Manuela taught Italian at various schools in Germany and in the United Kingdom and from 2017 to 2020 she worked for the Centre for Language Evaluation and Certification (CVCL) in Perugia.

In 2016 she started to collaborate with Tor Vergata University, La Sapienza University and Roma Tre University.

Since 2022 she has worked for the ISU Rome program and for the AIA (Academic Initiative Abroad) Rome Program.

Valerio Di Lucente – Graphic Design Instructor
Valerio Di Lucente is a designer, teacher and co-founder of Julia. The practice founded in London in 2008, specializes in graphic and spatial design. Notable commissions include the exhibition design and identity for the Italian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale and the art direction of the ICA in London (2012–2017) and numerous books for publishers such as Sternberg Press and MIT Press amongst others. Valerio currently acts as art director of Publics, a curatorial agency in Helsinki. In 2020 co-founded Veii, a publishing imprint devoted to visual culture. Parallel to this, he has taught in universities in the UK, Italy and abroad, including the Royal College of Art, Kingston University, London College of Communication and IUAV in Venice. He is currently a professor at ISIA Urbino, and a lecturer at John Cabot University, Rome.

William Pettit – Art Instructor
William A. Pettit III (MFA) studied art in Rome as an undergrad and as a graduate student, receiving his MFA from Temple University. He has been a resident in Italy since 1999 and a professor at John Cabot University, Umbra Institute, Temple University Rome, ISU Rome and other programs, teaching drawing, painting, photography. He specializes in ancient media and techniques like fresco painting, egg tempera, and primitive photography with a nod to traditions relative to studying in Rome.

He has been awarded grants for his research on the origin of pigments from the Cini Foundation in Venice, Italy and from a Temple University Presidential Arts and Humanities grant.

William’s painterly work deals with the geology, geography, and poetics of the landscape. He is founder of The Bottega Projects, dedicated to shared research on the origins of making.

Valeria Cupelli – Italian Instructor
Valeria Cupelli is an instructor for Italian language & culture and has taught classes to Study Abroad students since 2005. She graduated with full marks in Oriental Studies at La Sapienza University of Rome (2003). The year after she earned a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at University of Siena and she spent six months working in Kigali, Rwanda. Back home she started working as an Italian instructor for immigrant students in public Italian schools. In 2007 she earned the Ditals certificate to teach Italian as a Second Language at the University of Siena’s School of Foreign Studies. In 2008 she started her collaboration with the University of Dallas Rome Program and since 2014 she is a professor at the University of Tor Vergata and the University of Roma Tre. In 2012 she earned another Master’s degree at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. Since 2021 she works for ISU Rome Program and for the AIA (Academic Initiative Abroad) Rome Program.

Rosa De La Cruz Rosa De La Cruz – Housekeeping

Ferdi Rapacon Ferdi Rapacon – Maintenance