Story by Callie Newton | Photos courtesy of Alan Bakalinsky
For one month each year, associate professor and microbiologist Alan Bakalinsky finds himself in Italy. While his days are spent in labs, there is nothing he enjoys more than a long, slow Italian meal in the evenings, usually not beginning until 8 or 9 p.m.
In Italy, he explained, time is taken around food. Meals are the main event. It could be a huge plate of spaghetti, a zesty pizza, sweet gelato – maybe even all of the above – but it will be enjoyed and savored with friends.
One particular friendship with a visiting Italian Ph.D. student led to Bakalinsky’s fascination with Italy.
“He did most of his work in my lab,” Bakalinsky said. “My connection with Italy grew out of that friendship.”
During his many professional trips, Bakalinsky has made even more friendships and connections throughout the country. When Paul Dorres, Director of Student Services for the College of Agricultural Sciences, approached Bakalinsky about guiding a trip to Italy for students, he was thrilled to be able to share his experiences with students.