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Summer Institute In Rome Honors Supreme Court Justice Alito

Published: August 1, 2011

At an event co-sponsored by CSULB’s Center for First Amendment Studies and John Cabot University (JCU), a private American liberal arts university located in Rome, Italy, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was presented with the Presidential Medal and a commemorative silver plaque at the 2011 Summer Institute in International Communication in Rome.

The July 12 ceremony was attended by hundreds of students and faculty members from four universities, with a large contingent from the Villanova University School of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law Summer Law Study Abroad Program in Rome.

Following the award presentation, there was a private dinner, and Alito discussed First Amendment issues with Craig Smith and Kevin Johnson, center director and research director, respectively, of CSULB’s Center for First Amendment Studies, among others.

Alito is featured in Smith’s and Johnson’s book A First Amendment Profile of the Supreme Court, which is being published by the John Cabot University Press. The book also was the subject of a July 20 forum that was part of the summer institute’s programming.

Smith, Johnson and Jennifer Asenas, CSULB assistant professor of communication studies, were part of a July 13 institute panel discussion on “Media Representations of the Intimate Sphere: Censorship, Freedom and Equality.” Additionally, they took part in an institute forum on “Freedom of Expression, Democracy, and Religion” on July 27.

Summer Institute That Honors U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Craig Smith (r) with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Each forum consists of a panel discussion of Italian, American and international perspectives followed by a reception where the audience may continue more directed discussions with each panelist while enjoying Italian food and wine.

The Summer Institute in International Communication brings together students and faculty from around the world to study communication in Rome. Courses are taught by renowned faculty from the United States, Italy and Europe and provide students a global experience within the context of a program of intellectual integrity and positive student engagement.

–Rick Gloady