The American Association of Teachers of Italian annually awards two outstanding undergraduate college students for an outstanding essay in Italian language, culture, literature, and cinema. Each award carries a cash prize of $500 and an official announcement is made at the annual AATI-ACTFL conference.

On behalf of the AATI College Essay Contest Committee, it is my pleasure to announce the names of this year’s winners:

Italian Competition: The winner of this category is Helena Ord, from Princeton University for her essay “L’influenza di Erec et Enide di Chrétien de Troyes su “Griselda e il Marchese di Saluzzo” nel Decameron di Giovanni Boccaccio.” Ord’s essay was submitted by Dr. Simone Marchesi.

English Competition: The winner for the English competition is Navya Dasari, from the University of Pennsylvania, with the essay “Restoring Women to Themselves: Trauma, Disgust, and “Surrogate” Motherhood in My Brilliant Friend.” Dasari’s essay was submitted by Dr. Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia.

This year AATI College Essay Contest Committee received fifteen essays, ten in Italian and five in English. The quality of the submissions was very impressive and that bodes well for the future of our field. Thanks to all the colleagues who submitted their students’ works. Please consider submitting one of your student’s essay for the 2017 contest. The deadline for submissions will be summer of 2017.

For more information on the contest, please visit

Chiara Mazzucchelli, Chair

AATI College Essay Contest Committee