Get Cinematic: Paula Cullison on PC's Italian Film Class

Monday, December 4, 2023
Paula Cullison at Changing Hands Bookstore is a Italian Film buff and has watched many films thanks to Anna Macro at Phoenix College who offers a non-credit Italian Film class.

There’s a high probability that you’ve seen Paula Cullison somewhere around town. At five-feet tall with a silver bob, she’s like a lightning bolt of energy in every encounter. If she’s not curating events like “In Celebration of Women,” an art show of 36 local women artists, on view at the Arizona Capitol Museum through December 16, you’ll likely see her out hiking a trail, viewing art at gallery openings, listening to jazz at a local club, going to lectures, meeting friends at a cafe, or traveling to worldwide destinations with her husband Tim. Last year they went to Switzerland, and this summer they visited Japan and South Korea. 

Paula's career began in New York City as a child welfare caseworker. At night, she took classes to become an educator and taught in Brooklyn. Eventually married with children, Paula and her young family moved to Arizona where she became involved in civic issues often crossing paths with now retired PC Political Science faculty Dr. Albert Celoza, who has become a good friend. She worked as a job placement director and then at Bell Systems, where she was an account executive “because you analyze a customer’s problem and come up with a viable solution,” she said. 

A public relations master, Paula connects people to the vast resources all over the world she has logged in the card catalog of her mind. In 2002, she started the all-volunteer non-profit Arizona Women’s Partnership dedicated to promoting the status of Arizona women and empowering women’s grassroots organizations through mini grants and publicity. In 2011, she organized a symposium on Refugee Women’s Health for World Health Day at Phoenix College in partnership with the United Nations Association of Phoenix

A proud New Yorker, Paula, whose maiden name is Giangreco, decided to reconnect with her Italian heritage. In 1996, she started taking Italian language classes and studied for a month in Florence. On her return to Phoenix, she heard Anna Macro was offering Italian film classes at Phoenix College. “I love film and Italian films are obviously very important to me,” Paula said. “I took Anna's class for five semesters. She was so knowledgeable about the directors but also the actors and the storyline. She facilitated really good conversations after each film.” Each semester brought a wave of new films. “Anna would go see her mom in Rome and bring the films back from Italy where she often knew the directors.” Paula’s favorite Italian film? “Cinema Paradiso, of course, but I also like Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch).  

Do you love Italian Film?  Sign up for this Spring 2024 non-credit class with Anna Macro: COMM_ED100-99001: Italian Contemporary Life Through Cinema