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Past Newsmakers

Winter 2005

ANTHONY BIANCHI was elected to the city council of Inuyama, making him the first North American to hold elected office in Japan. Bianchi, 44, won the most votes in the council's history. In Japan since 1988, teaching English, he plans to interest young people in government and make the tradition-laden council more open to new ideas.

RALPH CICERONE has been elected president of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. A leading environmental scientist, Cicerone now heads the nation's leading society of scientists that includes more than 190 Nobel Prize winners among its 2,000 members and is in charge of advising the government on issues of science and technology.

LUCIANO D'ADAMIO, M.D., Ph.D., is a leading researcher in the causes of Alzheimer's disease. From his laboratories at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, D'Adamio has discovered that an overproduction of amyloid beta deposits kills neurons in the brain essential to attention, judgment, learning and memory. His work could lead to better treatment and drugs for this disease.

SALVATORE Di MASI is the new Speaker of House in the Massachusetts state legislature. Elected in Oct. 2004, Di Masi together with Senate President Robert Travaglini are the two most powerful men in the Massachusetts legislature. Their elections mark the first time in the state's 224-year history that Italian Americans hold these two positions. Other notable Italian Americans serving Massachusetts are Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and State Auditor Joe DeNucci.

THOMAS FOGLIETTA, former U.S. ambassador to Italy and long-time U.S. congressman from Philadelphia, died Nov. 13 following routine surgery. He was 75 years old. He began his career at age 26 as a city council member, the youngest in Philadelphia's history.

SUSAN NIGRO GELSOMINO is one of the world's few contrabassoon soloists. In 2004, she had several world premieres playing music written specifically for her. For recital dates, to hear audio clips or order CD's, visit: www.bigbassoon.com.

MICHAEL GRECO, will become president-elect of the American Bar Association (ABA) in August 2005. He is the first immigrant and the first Italian American to head the ABA since its founding in 1878. Born in Italy and raised in the U.S., Greco graduated from Princeton University and Boston College Law School and has built a 32-year career as a trial lawyer, mediator and arbitrator. Currently he is a partner in the Boston office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, LLP.

A. DAVID MAZZONE, the federal judge whose landmark rulings led to the massive $3.8 billion clean-up of Boston Harbor in the early 1980's, died Oct. 26 of cancer. He was 76 years old. A Harvard graduate and Korean War veteran, Judge Mazzone was appointed to the federal bench in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.

CAROLYN MANTO is one of only 52 artists whose work has been accepted by the National Sculpture Society Exhibition in New York City, which begins in January. Her "Arethusa" was chosen from more than 568 works by 127 sculptors competing for this important exhibit.

MARIO PANICCIA was named among the top 50 U.S. scientists in 2004 by the Scientific American magazine. The director of photonics technology at Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, Paniccia built low-cost, mass-produced silicon circuits for high-speed optical switching—a technology that could lead to cheaper, faster connectors between servers in corporate data centers, between personal computers and servers and eventually between chips inside PCs themselves.

RACHEL RAY is teaching busy families how to prepare meals that are fast and healthy. Of Italian and Cajun heritage, she began her career selling candy at Macy's in New York. Ray has had a successful run operating gourmet markets but found her passion teaching cooking classes that became the popular Food Network series, 30 Minute Meals. Check local listings for times.