Michael Vena received his Ph.D. at Yale in Romance Languages and Literature. A professor emeritus of Italian at Southern Connecticut State University, he has been interested in modern Italian theater from a scholarly point of view and as a teaching tool for language classes. He has published a number of textbooks, translations, and articles on modern drama and on the Renaissance.
In summer of 1997, Dr. Vena was an invited visiting scholar at the Italian Academy of Language in Florence. Since 1980, he has directed an exchange program with the University of Urbino in Italy.
During the summer of 2003, one of the plays edited and translated by Dr. Vena was staged and it ran daily for two months at the Tasso Amphitheater in Rome.
He has been a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the Renaissance Society of America, the Modern Language Association,and the Connecticut Italian Teachers Association. He taught at Yale University and the Yale Summer Language Institute before joining SCSU, where he served as Chairman of Foreign Languages and Bilingual Education.
Over the years, he has been active in several state organizations, was a founding member and president of the Dante Alighieri Cultural Center, Inc. as well as president – now honorary member – of Saint Ann’s Club in Norwalk, and a member of the Yale Club of New Haven. Vena was a founding member and former president of the Connecticut Italian Teachers Association, a founding member and former president of the Italian American Historical Society of Connecticut.
Dr. Vena lives with his wife Anna and daughters in Hamden.