Dr. Ponce de Leon has taught various components of Italian Studies (Literature, Prison Literature, Linguistics, Cinema, History, Relation to the European Union, Vatican, Economic Trade, Business, etc.) in Roman prisons and numerous international and Italian universities such as Northwestern University, University of Malta, Luiss and for the former Institute of the Middle and Far East. Since 1994, she has been teaching at Temple University Rome (TUR) and throughout these years she has organized and conducted numerous TUR semester break trips to Tunisia; curated the art show Colori contro il tempo in 2000 at the Gallery of Art of TUR, exhibiting inmates’ artwork from the Roman prisons: and represented TUR at various international academic conferences. Contemporaneously, she was for 6 years Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Monastir, Tunisia.

In 2013 Dr. Ponce de Leon served as Interim Dean at Temple University Rome. Previously she was Director of the Study Abroad Program at St. John’s University from 2002 till 2005, worked as the Assistant Provost at American University of Rome from 2000 till 2001 and from 1994 till 2000 she translated and did research for La Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi, Vatican City.



Ph.D., in Italian Language and Literature, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA

M.A., in Italian Language and Literature, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA

B.A., in Political Science, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, USA


Courses Taught

ART HISTORY 1148: International Cinema: Italian Culture through Film

ENGLISH 2712: International Film: Italian Culture through Film

ITALIAN 3240: Topics in Italian Cinema and Literature: Italian Culture through Film

ITALIAN 4240: Topics in Italian Cinema and Literature: Italian Culture through Film

ITALIAN 2096: Composition I: Italian Composition and Conversation

IH 0851: Intellectual Heritage I: The good Life

ITALIAN 0815: Language in Society




The Culture of Peace for the Security of Future Generations. A Series of didactic manuals designed to further the culture of peace amongst students from Kindergarten through University, Published by the Al Babtain Foundation, Kuwait, 2019.

Meccanismi di sopravvivenza: letteratura carceraria contemporanea in Italia, poesia, narrativa e teatro 1970-1997, (Ph.D. Dissertation) UMI series, University of Michigan, 1998.

Selected Articles

“Senza patria e senza terra: uno sguardo al mondo dei Rom Kanjarija in Italia”, in Acts of the International Conference on Mediterranean Studies, 2020.

“The Need for Dialogue in the Globalized World”, in Al-Jaeza Magazine, 2015, p. 14, 16.

“Studying Studio Art in Italy”, in Italy Italy, 1993, no 3.

 Selected Translations

English Translation: “Light beer and Peanuts”, by Viola Chandra – in Multicultural Literature in Contemporary Italy – Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007.

English Translation: Guide to the main Provisions on Immigration (The Condition of Foreigners in Prison) by Raffaele Miele – CIDSI, Sinnos, 2000.

English Translation: Ancient Rome and India. Commercial and cultural contacts between the Roman world and India – Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente and the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, New Delhi, 1994.



Arabic & Mediterranean Cinema and Literature


Criminal organizations and mafia



Service Provision

Member of VIC Caritas

Member of The Italian Association of Italian Studies

Member of The American Association of Teachers of Italian

Member of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Member of the Northwestern University Alumni Association

Past member of the Board of trustees of The VIC Caritas (2000-2014)

Past member of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees, American Club of Rome (1996-98)

Past member of the Board of Trustees of the American Overseas School of Rome (1992-97)


Additional Information