December 4, 2018

[From Chapman University, Leatherby Library, written by Rachel Levinson-Emley]

The Mentoris Project: The Lives of Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma di Cesnola

Learning about two key Italian-Americans in American History

Dr. Rosanne Welch presented on the life of Filippo Mazzei

Dr. Rosanne Welch presented on the life of Filippo Mazzei

When Robert J. Barbera founded The Mentoris Project as a part of The Barbera Foundation, his goal was to add to the canon of names most U.S. students learn over and over again from fifth grade through high school. He remembered hearing the names of people like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln repeated from year to year, but realized that two very important populations were missing from the standard U.S. history books and narratives: Italians and Italian-Americans. With that in mind, he started The Mentoris Project, which publishes biographies and novels based on the lives of prominent Italians and Italian-Americans, specifically those who can be considered as mentors. In the words of The Mentoris Project, these books are intended “to inspire the reader in a very tangible way: To finish the book saying, ‘I can do something great, too.'” The books published by The Mentoris Project are written by a variety of scholars and authors, and cover subjects from Christopher Columbus to Enrico Fermi.

On Wednesday, November 28th, along with the Italian Studies Program, the Leatherby Libraries were happy to host The Mentoris Project, as we enjoyed a presentation by two of the Project’s authors, Dr. Rosanne Welch, and Dr. Peg Lamphier. Project founder Robert J. Barbera also joined us, and made an extremely generous donation to the Libraries of a complete set of all of the books that have been published so far by The Mentoris Project. All of these books will be cataloged and made available for the faculty, students and researchers at Chapman University. [Read the entire article here.]



October 25, 2018

[From La Canãda Flintridge Outlook]

Mentoris Project Aims to Teach Italian American Culture

Members of Branch 374 of the Italian Catholic Federation at St. Bede the Venerable in La Canãda Flintridge were introduced to the Mentoris Project by Robert Barbera of the Barbera Foundation at a recent Sunday evening meeting. Barbera is heading a movement to bring Italian culture to schoolchildren and the general public in a series of books about great people.

“Being Italian is more than a heritage of food,” Barbera said. “It goes beyond to the outstanding achievements of people such as Volta, Leonardo DaVinci, Mother Cabrini and others.”