I have known Antonella since the 1980s, so we go back a long way! I have watched her move with assurance and grace through her academic career. She is an example to many of us; a renowned scholar in international academic circles, an academic writer of great critical acumen and rigor, an interdisciplinarian in the full sense of the word. Her research work is always at the cutting edge of her disciplines. Furthermore, she has the gift of drawing together teams of young researchers for the multiple projects she has undertaken over the years. She thus enables an international projection for young scholars and exposes them to the rigors of first-class critical research. Those who have worked with her have been extraordinarily lucky to be able to count on the warmth of working within a well-led and adjusted research team
A result of Antonella’s ability to draw people in towards what she does with such enthusiasm came to full fruition when she founded The Partnership Studies Group at Udine University in 1998. This, together with its online journals and press, is an outstanding achievement in the work being done in multi-disciplinary, cross disciplinary areas of scholarship which is fundamental if the humanities and sciences are to come together in fruitful coalition. It was no surprise to those of us who have followed Antonella’s work to hear that this year Center for Partnership Studies (CPS, California) had awarded her its inaugural prize for distinguished scholars “in acknowledgement of her international scholarly work on partnership studies”
Antonella’s abilities go beyond her research and her team work, however. She has organized multiple international conferences and seminars over the years. The meticulousness of her organizational abilities is outstanding and having worked with her on one conference, she again revealed how “teamship” is one of her great abilities. She may be rigorous, but unlike many who are so, she carries her administrative work through with a warmth and passion not often seen. Becoming a Pro-Vice Chancellor was, I think, just an extension of her ability to pull together both extraordinary research and high-powered administration, no mean feat in tertiary institutions today.
Antonella is intrinsically honest, plain speaking and with a strong sense of justice. These are some of the qualities that have brought to where she is now and will, I hope, allow us to see her continue her work and hear her voice for many years to come.