Skip to main content

Sincere Condolences

Luisetta E. Chomel

Dr. Chomel

Luisetta E. Chomel, Emeritus Professor of Italian at the University of Houston, began her teaching career at Liceo-Ginnasio Italiano in Mogadishu, Somalia where she taught Italian from 1955 to 1959. She earned a B.A. in French from the University of St. Thomas in 1969, after which she held a teaching fellowship in French at Rice University until 1972 when she joined the University of Houston as an Italian language instructor. A dedicated classroom teacher and researcher, Chomel completed her Doctorate of Philosophy in French in 1975 at Rice while continuing her course instruction work at UH.

During her thirty years on the faculty at the University of Houston, Chomel significantly expanded the program of Italian study. In 1992 she introduced a number of new courses and established a Bachelor’s Degree in Italian language. She further expanded the curriculum in 1997 to include an understanding of Italian culture and art by offering classes that addressed architecture, cinema, and theater. Fittingly, that same year the Italy in America Association honored Chomel with the distinguished Light D'Albergo Bailey Award. Named for the founder of the University of Houston’s Italian program, this award honors teachers whose work and inspiration touches the community with the beauty of the Italian language, culture, and people.

A celebrated educator and scholar, Chomel was also awarded a knighthood in the Stella della solidarietà italiana (Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity) by the Italian Republic in 1990 in recognition of her outstanding efforts in promoting Italian language and culture. A three-time nominee for the Master Teacher Award (1990, 1991, 1994), she would win the honor in 1994. The Italy in America Association made her an honorary member in 2011.

In her lifetime Chomel authored two books, D'Annunzio: un teatro al feminile and Italia: cultura e civilizzazione (co-authored with Prof. Paola Lorenzi), and wrote numerous articles on Italian literature, theater and cinema.

She retired from her post as director of the Program of Italian Studies in 2001, having built a thriving interdisciplinary program that gives undergraduate students a comprehensive vision of Italian civilization that now also includes courses in history, political science, and economics.

To celebrate his mother’s remarkable legacy, Marc Chomel has established The Luisetta Chomel Scholarship in Italian Studies. This fund honors Luisetta Chomel’s passion for study of Italian language and culture and her commitment to inspiring students to pursue this field of study.

To give, please return the attached form. Or visit; select Modern & Classical Languages from the drop down menu; and enter “Chomel Scholarship” in the special instructions box.