Valentina Padula is a Senior Continuing Lecturer in Italian Studies and Director of the Italian Language Program. Her work focuses on teaching all levels of the Italian language as well as supervising all aspects of language instruction in the department. She is also in charge of applying new pedagogical approaches to the teaching of Italian. Among new courses that she has recently introduced in the Italian curriculum are the first-year Italian Hybrid course sequence and the two-course sequence of Italian for Spanish Speakers. For the upper division program, she regularly teaches Introduction to Italian Culture (20X) and The European Union (161AX-cross-listed with Global Studies and Political Science), both taught in English. Dr. Padula is the coordinator of the UCSB-Dante Alighieri Siena Italian Summer Program and is a participating member of the Education Abroad Ambassador Program at UCSB. Dr. Padula thoroughly enjoys mentoring students and believes that her mission as an educator is to help them find and pursue their life passion.
In the larger community, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Italian Cultural Heritage Foundation of Santa Barbara and on the UCAFT Unit 18 Board. She earned her B.A. (1989) in Political Science from the University of Bologna, and her M.A. (1993) in American Politics and her Ph.D. (1997) in Comparative Politics, both from the University of Maryland. In her free time, Dr. Padula enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, swimming, biking, and cultivating the study of languages.