Roads to Appalachia through the Mezzogiorno

June 20 – July 3, 2014
Featuring the regions of Campania, Calabria & Sicily in Southern Italy
Arrangements by National Travel of West Virginia

Invitation to Town and Gown Participants

Announcing:  An exciting excursion to southern Italy, also known as the Messogiorno, the land of “the midday sun,” between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.

The Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University and  Pierpont Community and Technical College, in collaboration with the Calabria – West Virginia Italian Heritage Association,  will sponsor  this “Roads to Appalachia through Study – Travel Abroad” from June 20 – July 3, 2014, that focuses  on the unique similarities between Appalachia and southern Italy’s heritage, especially as found in the prima regions of Campania,  Calabria, and Sicily where many Italian West Virginians can trace their cultural roots through ancestors  who were part of the massive migration of labor force needed  to fuel the Industrial Revolution  in American at the beginning of the 20th Century. As outlined in the itinerary, travelers will experience the contrasts of regional  landscapes, architecture, works of art and folklore, as well as exploring famous cities, visiting small villages and forests, eating wonderful food, seeing historical monuments and buildings, and meeting artisans. At the heart of our journey are two special excursions.  The first is the annual festival in honor of San Giovanni (Feast Day – June 24) in the hill town that bears his name.  The second is a visitation and recruiting program to the University of Calabria, in Rende, which has a student exchange program with Fairmont State University.

Academic Credit and Student Travel Scholarships

This 2014 Study – Travel through southern Italy is being hosted by professors Dr. Judy Prozzillo Byers, Director, and Mr. Noel W. Tenney, Cultural Specialist, for the Folklife Center.  Pre-travel sessions, materials, and presentations, along with a listing of selected readings will be housed at the Folklife Center and its Fidura Special Collections Library.  Folk 3350,  Special Tropics:  Roads to Appalachia Study – Travel Abroad, will be available for three hours of credit, during Spring Semester 2014, on Thursday evenings.  A number of student travel scholarships will also be available, selected through a competitive application process, for those interested in exploring the Italian language, culture, or study at the University of Calabria.  For scholarship applications students can contact the Gabor WV Folklife Center at 304–367– 4403 or  or Dr. Judy P. Byers at 304–367–4286 or

Prices, itinerary and application are available.

Scholarship Application

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403

Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286


FSUNow Stories

Friday, August 29, 2014

West Virginia author Jayne Anne Phillips, who has received acclaim for her novel “Quiet Dell” and other works, will speak on the Fairmont State University campus on Thursday, Sept. 11.

The event, sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in the Falcon Center third floor conference rooms. Admission is free and open to the public.

The following biographical information is from

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Fairmont State University College of Liberal Arts honored its high achieving students during the fourth annual Academic Awards Ceremony at the end of the spring 2014 semester.

Dr. Deanna Shields, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Christina Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Mary Jo Thomas of the Fairmont State Foundation Inc. presented greetings and congratulations to the students for their academic achievements.

Following is a list of student award winners:

Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center

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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host a special event in April honoring the work of acclaimed poet Maggie Anderson and the legacy of former West Virginia Poet Laureate Louise McNeill.

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