Is there such a thing as Italian food? The answer, Samantha Dell’Imperio said, is a little complicated.

Italian food, like many traditional cuisines is a fusion of cultures, she said, partly due influences from the number of Italy’s conquerors, from Muslims in the 800s to the Normans from western Europe through the 1100s.

This is one slice of a whole pie of knowledge Dell’Imperio is diving into, as the University of Michigan graduate-turned-Fulbright Scholar studies all angles of food in northern Italy.

Dell’Imperio graduated from the Ann Arbor campus in spring 2023 with a degree in biology, health and society and a minor in Italian. That background is coming together as a master’s degree student at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo studying how food affects wellness.

“Basically, I want to study how do we get the world to live healthy,” she said.

Read the story at MLive.

The Fulbright Student competition is administered at the International Institute and supported by several dedicated advisors as well as U-M faculty who guide students through the application process. The full list of 2023-24 U-M Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar finalists is here, and additional information about the current grantees can be found at Michigan News.

For more information about Fulbright and how to apply, visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program pages on our website. Students and alumni are encouraged to sign up for information sessions and advising as they prepare applications for the 2025-26 program year. Faculty and staff may apply now for 2025-26 awards.