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Elena Sergio

Elena Fiorenza Sergio
Lecturer in Italian


Office: Furman Hall 211

Professor Elena Sergio, a native New Yorker, has over 15 years of service in academia. Her affinity for the Italian language began during her formative years, spending first and second grade in the picturesque Chianti region outside Florence, Italy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University where she pursued dual majors in Italian and European History. Her interest in European politics and affairs led her to the University College Dublin in Ireland, where she pursued her Master’s degree in European Studies. During her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she participated in three study abroad programs in Italy (Pavia, Florence, Siena) and two in France (Tours, Montpellier) to deepen her understanding of European languages and cultures.

Her teaching career started at the University of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY, where she spent two years teaching introductory courses in Italian language and then onto Xavier High School in Manhattan, NY where she taught all levels of Italian language for eight years before finding her home at Vanderbilt University in 2018.

At Vanderbilt, Professor Sergio has taught the Elementary Italian courses (Levels 1101 & 1102), earning accolades such as nominations for the prestigious Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Teaching and the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. Professor Sergio’s passion for Italian language and culture extend beyond the classroom. She has organized extracurricular activities for her Vanderbilt students to see the Italian Operas Rigoletto and Pagliacci at TPAC and lectures on The Fiat 500 at the Lane Motor Museum.

Professor Sergio’s professional journey prior to academia included roles with renowned international organizations like the Peace Corps, the International Research & Exchanges Board, the American Museum of Natural History, and CEDEFOP in Brussels, showcasing her adeptness in grants program management, coordination, and international affairs. Balancing her academic endeavors with personal pursuits, Professor Sergio is a mother to her young sons Roberto and Alessandro who enjoys an active lifestyle playing tennis and exploring Nashville’s scenic hills, trails, and parks.


M.A. University College Dublin (Ireland)

B.A. & B.S. Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)