The Rome Global Gateway welcomes two new faculty members

Author: Carli Williams

This semester, the Rome Global Gateway welcomes two new faculty members to campus: Fr. Riccardo Lufrani and Dr. Meng Wang.

Fr. Riccardo Lufrani teaches Theology and Historical Reality

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Lufrani, though originally from Rome, has been to many parts of the world on his search for “truth and happiness.” His personal quest and self-discovery included time spent following two of his passions: working with harpsicords in Bari and with horses in Israel. It wasn’t until he took a personal trip to Egypt, where he ended up living for six years, that he found his vocation and changed the course of his life. There he found the truth and happiness he had been searching for.

 “I ended up, at my big surprise, to find that the truth is Jesus Christ and happiness is to be in communion with Jesus in the Catholic Church,” says Lufrani. “And here I am after years of search, so I’m quite convinced.”

Following his conversion, he entered the Dominican order as a novitiate in 2000 and was later ordained. Before returning to Rome, Lufrani’s journey led him to Jerusalem to work in the field of archaeology. He recently studied theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Lufrani returned to Rome five years ago as a faculty member at Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta (LUMSA). Starting this fall, he joins the faculty at the Rome Global Gateway, teaching a course on theology and historical reality. He describes his course as an introduction to the anthropology of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

“The disorientation that we are experiencing, in what Pope Francis defines the change of epoch, urges solutions that only a theological view of the historical reality may offer,” he says. “The course presents the main challenges that our contemporary world is facing, namely transhumanism and artificial intelligence, and proposes a practical way to build a ‘civilization of love,’ as urged by Saint Pope Paul VI since 1970.”

He encourages introspection, reflection, and discussion in his course and is eager to share his personal experiences with students.

“It’s like giving them the tools to free themselves and choose for themselves and build a civilization of love,” he adds.

Dr. Meng Wang teaches Heat Transfer and Computational Fluid Dynamics

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Each spring, the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering provides its students with the opportunity to study in Rome. This semester, Wang, a professor from the department, joins the cohort to help provide a seamless academic transition for students, allowing them the ability to explore a new part of the world without a disruption in their curriculum.

Though a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame since 2006, Wang’s interest in engineering began much earlier, stemming from his interests in math and physics, combined with a practical application.

“You get into a field where you can actually make things happen and in the process, math and physics are very important,” he says.

Wang is no strange to Rome, but he’s eager to explore the city in greater depth with his wife over the next few months. Living just a fifteen-minute walk from the Rome Global Gateway, Wang enjoys his daily walk to work.

“It’s a very impressive city, especially when you see a mix of so much ancient architecture nicely blended with the new buildings,” he says. “In many other places in the world, like where I grew up, in China, though the country has a very long history of ancient civilization, but unfortunately, much of the ancient architecture was destroyed.”  

Apart from taking in his new surroundings, Wang has been quite busy preparing for and teaching two courses: one in heat transfer and the other in computational fluid dynamics.

It is evident that Wang is passionate about teaching in Rome and looks forward to working with his students. Aside from teaching, Wang hopes to first discover more of Rome and then expand possible travels to Italy and greater Europe.

Learn more about the faculty and courses available at the Rome Global Gateway.