Larry Gianinno, AM'79, PhD'99

A spotlight Q&A with ABG member Larry Gianinno, AM'79, PhD'99

Name: Lawrence J. Gianinno

UChicago Degree: AM'79 [SSD], PhD’99 [SSD]

Spouse: Susan M. Gianinno, AM'09 [SSD]

Children: Alexandra Gianinno, MPP'97

Hobbies/personal interests/community volunteer involvement
Hobbies: Road and Mountain Biking; Kayaking
Personal interests: For many years, my family and I have enjoyed living on the Humarock peninsula, along the Massachusetts coastline.
Community volunteer involvement: Enthusiastic supporter of the University of Chicago, the Social Sciences Division and, in particular, the Department of Comparative Human Development. A long-time supporter of other educational institutions such as Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA) and Greenwich Academy (Greenwich, CT).

A few words on what your U of C experience meant to you
The University of Chicago and its Department of Comparative Human Development (CHD) is my intellectual home. I have a strong loyalty to CHD, in particular. It sounds cliché, but I felt intellectually alive and challenged at the University of Chicago in a way I never had experienced before. The experience of meeting and working with others (faculty and classmates) whose academic interests and ideas intersected with mine (and sometimes not); and the process of acquiring the interdisciplinary knowledge, tools and other resources to expand my knowledge and understanding of various fields, including psychology, anthropology, sociology, and economics, and applying them to real-life situations—all of this was a real, ongoing turn-on for me. And this remains the case today!

Most meaningful University involvement since graduation
• Member (1997-Current) and Chairman (2003-2007) of the University’s Visiting Committee to the Division of the Social Sciences
• Co-Chair, Social Sciences Division New York Committee, Chicago Initiative (2003-2005)
• New York Campaign Cabinet, Chicago Initiative (2002-2005)
• Member, Advisory Committee, University of Chicago Magazine (1997-2004)

Anything else that you would like fellow alumni to know about you
My wife, Susan, and I were Resident Heads of Bradbury House in Shoreland Hall (1979-1981). Susan is an alumna of the University of Chicago’s Department of Comparative Human Development, and a member of the Visiting Committee to the Division of the Social Sciences.

After many years working in the business world, I returned to my academic roots, reconnecting with university scholars from my position at a private grant-making foundation which funds empirical research concerning the lives of young people 8-25 years of age.  From there, I found a research home at Tufts University (Medford, MA) where I currently am a Research Associate at the Institute for Applied Research on Youth Development.

My current academic interests focus on the role that cultural belief systems, including religion, can play in shaping the everyday economic values, practices, and decision-making of children of immigrant Lebanese Christian and Muslim parents living in the Boston metropolitan area.

What are your goals as a new member of the Alumni Board of Governors?
I look forward to meeting, learning from, and working closely and collaboratively with fellow Board members in our efforts to cultivate more meaningful and rewarding relationships between all Alumni--from the University’s Divisions, Professional Schools, and the College—and the University.  When possible, I also hope to do the same with representatives from other campus Alumni councils and organizations, Visiting Committees, Trustees, and University administrators—in order to learn their priorities with regard to Alumni, to map out their goals and strategies for achieving their goals concerning Alumni, and to learn the success they have had with regard to those efforts.