ICSL was established to promote Italian culture in the Salt Lake community through education and social activities. The idea is to bring together both native Italian speakers and students of the language for regular, casual conversation. Our social events serve as an excellent opportunity to meet individuals of similar backgrounds, interests and a love for Italy! Plus, students of the language will be able to put into practice the vocabulary and concepts learned in the classroom.
A number of Italian scholars and professionals living in the Salt Lake City area ensure a strong pool of teachers, presenters, and seminar leaders that help share their knowledge and passion within the ICSL. A team of University of Utah students also ensures the maintenance and proper functioning of the ICSL website. Students often volunteer their time and energy for various activities making the ICSL successful in all its endeavors.
Who are we?
We are a large group of people who love Italy and everything Italian. You don’t have to be Italian or speak Italian to join us… You just have to be looking for a reason to get together to chat about il bel Paese!
Meet our fabulous Italian teachers:
In 2008, current director Giuliana Marple joined the ICSL as a teacher. Her enthusiasm for teaching has carried over to her leadership of the club. In describing her goals, she says, “I love to see a piece of my Bel Paese in Salt Lake City, a place where people can get a sense of Italy, read Italian books, watch Italian movies, eat together and share inspiring stories”.
Giuliana holds a Master’s in Foreign Language Teaching from the University of Utah where she teaches Italian and Italian Civilization. Her favorite period in Italian history is the “Risorgimento”.
Gina Fabbro is the Vice President of the Italian Club. She spent 10 months in the beautiful city of Perugia, where she interned at a study abroad organization and learned Italian. Gina is a resident of Salt Lake and currently works in education. She is an avid traveler, lover of culture, good food, and a general movie buff. Gina is excited to help share Italian culture and language with the Italian Club!
Troy Gulbrandsen grew up in Park City, Utah but considers Italy his true home. After living there for a couple years he fell in love with the country and it’s people. He has spent summer after summer traveling through Italy, exploring the country and it’s regions north to south. After teaching and completing a degree in Italian at Brigham Young University, Troy came across the wonderful opportunity to teach at the University of Utah and is currently there enjoying the ability to incorporate his passion for Italy and the Italian language into his daily life. His favorite place in Italy is Sicily and he is fascinated by dialects, Italian film, Italian literature, and of course…Italian food!
Natasha Pengue is an Italian/American. Her family lives in Italy but she was born here in the U.S. She has been living in Como, Italy for the past 6 years as a teacher and Service Manager for a private English School. Natasha has a passion for teaching and a passion for the Italian culture and language. She also has a TEFL certification for teaching English as a foreign language and wants to obtain a Masters degree in education and Italian language. She hopes to pursue her dream of opening a language school and traveling with students helping them to immerse in the language and appreciate the wonderful experience of seeing and learning a new culture.
Alaina Velarde graduated from the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business. She has studied Italian for two years at the U and recently completed an intensive Italian language study abroad in Siena, Italy. She loves learning and speaking the beautiful language of Italian, and hopes to be able to call herself fluent one day! Alaina loves to cook and bake, and she also enjoys running, especially with her dog Mochi.
Heather Coates Hamblin was born and raised in Northern Utah, and is a graduate of the University of Utah, having studied English and Italian. An insatiable explorer, she has traveled extensively internationally and domestically. Heather is a regular contributor for the London-based website, The Culture Trip, and writes on restaurants, culture, and food trends in the US. When she isn’t writing or studying, you can find Heather cooking, doing yoga, or exploring the hiking trails and ski runs in her native state…and sneaking away to Italy whenever she gets the chance.
Kelsey Bohman is currently a senior at the University of Utah. She is studying International Studies, Russian and Italian. She was born in Utah, but spent half of her childhood in Italy. She went to elementary school, middle school and her first two years of high school in public Italian schools. She loves anything and everything Italian and although not technically Italian, feels like a native at heart! She loves being involved with the Italian club and having a little piece of Italy here in Salt Lake. She is a travel enthusiast and loves to learn about different cultures and people. When not traveling, she enjoys playing volleyball, skiing and exploring beautiful Utah!
Daniel Alejandro Meza Rincon was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. He’s lived in the beautiful state of Utah since the age of 11. He has always had a passion for education and languages. He graduated from the University of Utah in 2012 with a Business Administration degree, an International Studies minor, Italian Minor, and TESOL Certificate. He taught English and Spanish for three months in the small town of Montecosaro Scalo in Italy. His passion for the Italian language and language teaching/learning has motivated him to join our Italian Club. He loves to travel, learn from other cultures, and hike whenever time permits.
Taylor Hahn recently graduated from the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business, with a Marketing B.A., and an Italian Minor. She took three years of Italian language and literature at the University of Utah and was able to enjoy her first international adventure through a study abroad program in Siena, Italy. She loves the diversity, history, and fascinating places that Italy has to offer and is excited to help promote its presence in Salt Lake as the club’s secretary and as a Beginning Italian I teacher.