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Student Experience
Emanuela Quaglia
Emanuela Quaglia College of San Mateo, Broadcasting and Electronic Media

Emanuela Quaglia, a first year student at CSM, owns her own "little piece" of a castle in the Tuscany region of Italy, near the city of Pisa. As a performing artist, actress, director and producer of theatre, she uses what amounts to a large room in a historic landmark castle to store costumes and other theatre related items; it's also her office. Sitting at CSM, thousands of miles away, Emanuela said she sees her choice piece of property clearly in her head and smiles; she'll be back to her home country of Italy this summer to work, to earn money to fund her education in the United States.

But today Emanuela, 36, is an "A" student studying broadcasting and electronic media as an international student. She's also president of the student club Mediate-started this year at for all media technology students-and an officer in the honor society Phi Theta Kappa. And, she's a student assistant for Michelle Brown, associate professor of broadcast & electronic media."I'm here to join all the skills I can get with the experience I had in Italy," Emanuela said, explaining that she could then do part of promotional and other technical work by herself, saving money for other aspects of theatre production. Savings would also help fund her own, independent media production company to produce, among other media, documentaries "that shed light on important social issues" and video for art galleries.

"Knowledge is the door to freedom of expression," she said, "and I'm here to set myself free." But why come all the way to the United States and a community college in California? "I love to travel and explore new sides of the world," Emanuela explains. "I was coming to San Francisco to look for a school because the city has a good reputation in Europe."

While on the plane coming here, Emanuela struck up a friendship with a woman who coincidentally was a former CSM employee. The woman, learning of Emanuela's educational interests, brought her to CSM for a tour and Emanuela discovered her college."The people were friendly and kind, with a nice, open-minded attitude, and I liked the relaxed atmosphere," she said, adding that on "sunny, green" days at CSM she feels that in the school she's found "the taste of my Tuscany hills."

Emanuela also found all the programs in which she was interested: broadcasting, electronic media, multimedia and graphics. She always found a welcoming International Student Program and the "family" atmosphere it creates for its students.Emanuela was as effusive about the various CSM professors as they were about her, using words like "amazing, very smart and witty.""They not only know their material, but they also know how to teach it very well," she said. Diana Bennett, an associate professor in Multimedia, described Emamuela as having "fresh and innovative ideas in her work," which is "exceptional in all facets."Michelle Brown, who calls her a "great communicator," said that Emanuela "has mastered the language of people, who she seems to read like books, sensing what they need at the time." Brown also said that Emanuela provides an international perspective in the classroom which provides CSM, it may be added, "with a taste of Tuscany."

This feature first appeared in CSM's President's eNews in March/April 2008.