For the first time in 2012-13, Santa Monica College will host a visiting scholar through the prestigious Fulbright Program – Dr. Paolo Torresan, a renowned Italian language professor.

The Fulbright scholar-in-residence will not only teach classes at SMC, he will be tapped for a wide variety of activities, including conducting workshops for faculty, advising students, and helping organize cultural events, both at the college and in the larger Southern California community.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. The primary source of funding for the program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“This is a great honor and exciting development that SMC will have such a distinguished Fulbright scholar on our campus in the coming academic year,” said Dr. Toni Trives, chair of the SMC Modern Languages and Cultures Department.

“We look forward to having Dr. Torresan teach in our department and provide professional development training for our faculty. Thanks to the Fulbright office, our students, faculty and community will benefit from Dr. Torresan’s expertise.”

Torresan, who has a tenured teaching position at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy but is currently a visiting scholar in linguistics at Lancaster University in England, joins a U.S. government program with a roster of distinguished alumni, 43 of whom have won Nobel Prizes and 81 of whom have received Pulitzer Prizes.

“Knowing what Dr. Torresan has done and also having seen him in the classroom, I am very excited to have a world-class methodologist join our faculty and contribute to the expansion of our program at a time when student demand is peaking but the existing resources would have otherwise not permitted such growth,” said SMC Italian professor Dr. Aned Muniz, who was instrumental in bringing Torresan to the college.

Torresan will not only teach two Italian classes in each of the fall and spring semesters, he is expected to play a key role in SMC’s Global Citizenship Initiative and bring his expertise to professors, students and the community, SMC officials said.

Torresan has been a visiting scholar and professor throughout the world, including the United Kingdom, Brazil and Spain. He has also taught Italian language and culture and trained teachers in Italian as a Foreign Language throughout the world.