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Past Newsmakers

Spring 2006

RITA ROSSI COLWELL, PH.D. has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 1998, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton as the first woman director of the National Science Foundation. With a Ph.D. in marine microbiology, Dr. Colwell has won many awards and authored or co-authored over 500 science publications, 16 books and produced the award winning film, Invisible Sea.

ROBERTA GAMBARINI is considered by many as one of today's finest young jazz singers and a successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae. This Italian native is known for her near-flawless pitch and vast range. Her first American CD is entitled Easy to Love.

LINDA GIUDICE, M. D. is one of the nation's leading physician-scientists. Recently appointed the chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California at San Francisco, she also is president of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine—one of the highest honors in her field. Born and raised in New York City, Giudice specializes in treating cancer of the uterus.

FRANCIS J. RICCIARDONE, JR. was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2005 as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. Born in Boston, Ricciardone graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and received a Fulbright scholarship to Italy. He entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1978 and in 2004 helped re-establish U.S.-Iraqi relations. He comes from a family of achievers: his brother is a lawyer and both his sisters are doctors. He is married to Dr. Marie Ricciardone, a molecular biologist.

DAN TANGHERLINI is the new general manager of the Washington DC public transportation system, the country's second busiest subway line and fifth largest bus system. Together they transport 1.1 million commuters daily and have 10,000 workers. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Tangherlini, 38, also holds an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


A stamp commemorating the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York will be issued by the U.S. Postal Service on May 27.

One of the 10 longest suspension bridges in the world, it is more than a mile long and took nearly seven years to build at a cost of $320 million. Completed in 1964, it was fully operational the following year.

The bridge is named after Giovanni da Verrazano, the Italian explorer who sailed up the Hudson River in 1524, 85 years before the Dutch explorer Henry Hudson for whom the river was named. – DDS


Charles R. Bernardini, a partner at Ungaretti & Harris law firm, is the new president of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce Midwest in Chicago. The Chamber, which just celebrated its 99th anniversary, is part of an international network that includes 103 chapters in Italy and 71 elsewhere.

Working closely with the Italian Consulates and state and local agencies, the Italian American Chamber attracts Italian investments to the Midwest and promotes Midwest products in Italy. – KC


Was someone in your family a law enforcement officer? Do you have his badge or her uniform? If you can prove these items are authentic, they can become part of a new museum in the works in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the men and women in law enforcement.

The National Law Enforcement Museum needs everything from uniforms, badges and training manuals to weapons, vehicles and photographs. All accepted items will be acknowledged and are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. For more information, contact Exhibitions Coordinator Kim Hanser at (703) 278-0791 or - DDS