Two members of the University of Scranton Class of 2022 have been awarded 2022-2023 Fulbright Scholarships, the prestigious U.S. government-sponsored international scholar exchange program that awards competitive, merit-based scholarships to recipients to spend a year to conduct research or teach abroad.
As part of the 2022-2023 Fulbright American Student Program, Peter Amicucci ’22 won a graduate award from Fulbright-Lappeeranta University of Technology in Finland, and Crysta O’Donnell ’22 won an assistantship to teaching English in Andorra.
Widely considered the first international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program awards grants based on recipients’ academic achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
“Both graduates will benefit greatly from their Fulbright experience. Crysta’s aptitude for languages and her appreciation of different cultures make her ideal for a career in foreign service. Peter will absorb and learn sustainable supply chain management practices from a world-renowned institution and put that knowledge into practice throughout his career,” said Susan Trussler, Ph.D., associate professor of in Economics and Finance and Advisor to the Fulbright Program at the University of Scranton. .
Since 1972, a total of 127 university students have received Fulbrights.
The Fulbright US Student Program is funded by an annual appropriation from the US Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries around the world.
Peter Amicucci, Poughquag, New York
Growing up in the scenic Hudson Valley, Peter Amicucci has always been in awe of nature.
“I love hiking and just being in nature. Mount Beacon is a favorite place I go to all year round with my family and friends. The views are stunning,” Amicucci said. “Being near the Hudson River also made me aware of the damage pollution can have on the environment, as well as the positive impact of cleanup initiatives. This is where my interest in sustainability began.
Amicucci studied sustainable practices in his classes in Scranton. His quality management course included the study of environmental management systems.
As a Fulbright student, he plans to learn even more about sustainable practices.
Amicucci will be pursuing a two-year Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Management at Lappeeranta University of Technology in Finland. Dr. Anni-Kaisa Kankonen, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Supply Management at Lappeeranta University will serve as his mentor.
“Lappeeranta University of Technology is known for its expertise in supply chain management and Finland is one of the most sustainable countries in the world,” Amicucci said.
His research will focus on sustainable supply chains specifically for the tourism industry. It will look for ways to make environmentally friendly improvements throughout the service sector supply chain. His planned courses include “Green Logistics” and a project course on “Sustainable Business”. He will also take courses in Finnish language and culture.
His ultimate goal is to create a consulting company specializing in helping companies in the tourism industry, such as hotels, theme parks and commercial transport companies, to develop and support their sustainability efforts. in the procurement, manufacture and delivery of their goods and services.
In addition to classes, Amicucci plans to immerse himself in the local Finnish community through his love of music and sports. He has played trumpet since fourth grade and was a member of the University’s Performance Music Concert Band and Strings Ensemble. He was also a member of the Scranton varsity wrestling team. In Finland, he plans to join a music ensemble and a wrestling club.
Amicucci obtained a bachelor’s degree in operations management, summa cum laude, from Scranton with minors in Mathematics and Business Analytics. He is also a member of the Business Honors Program, one of the University’s five excellence programs. At Class Night, he received the University’s Excellence in Operations Management Award.
A Dean’s List student at Scranton, Amicucci was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon (international honor society in economics) and Alpha Sigma Nu (national Jesuit honor society), where he served as vice president. In 2021, he came in sixth place in the Future Business Executive and Organizational Behavior and Leadership categories at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference, and came in first place for Future Business Executive and second place for Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the 2021 Pennsylvania State Leadership Conference Qualifier. He was president and founder of the Phi Beta Lambda Chapter of Scranton. He was also a member of the Business Club, the PRISM (Portfolio of Responsible Investment Under Student Management), the Business Honors Club and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
His study abroad semester at Fordham University London Center was cut short in 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the summer of 2021, he participated with approximately 200 students from across the country in a leadership development internship at Hershey Park.
In the greater Scranton community, he volunteered with Big Friends, Little Friends.
Crysta O’Donnell, Riegelsville, Pennsylvania
Crysta O’Donnell was born in Nicaragua into a multi-ethnic home where French and Spanish were spoken daily.
As a Fulbright teaching assistant, O’Donnell will travel to Andorra, a small country bordering Spain and France, where Spanish and French are the dominant languages. She will teach English and American culture in an Andorran school.
“The official language of Andorra is Catalan,” said O’Donnell, who is eager to learn another language. “As a Fulbright student, I will also have the opportunity to learn and practice Catalan.”
Languages come easily to O’Donnell, who learned English at a very young age at a prestigious primary school she attended. She is fluent in Spanish and English and is advanced in French. She also has a natural love and interest in learning about different cultures.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award will also allow her to develop her other passions: teaching and diplomacy.
O’Donnell enjoyed teaching her younger sisters the languages she spoke. While an ESL tutor in Scranton, she developed creative approaches to helping students learn English.
“I used images, artwork and songs from popular artists to help students understand words, meanings and culture,” O’Donnell said. “I plan to do the same with my students in Andorra.”
O’Donnell’s interest in a future career as a diplomat began when she, her mother, and her sisters emigrated to the United States. She has seen firsthand the challenges and barriers faced by those entering the country, as well as the importance of the resources and assistance that others can provide. O’Donnell wants to be a resource for others in the future.
As a Fulbright student, O’Donnell will also volunteer to coach youth soccer. In addition, it will research how the cultural and linguistic diversity of Andorra is linked to their allegiance and commitment to the sport of football.
O’Donnell earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Hispanic Studies, summa cum laudefrom Scranton with a minor in French and a concentration in Latin American Studies.
A Dean’s List student, O’Donnell has been inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma (National Honor Society of Foreign Languages), Phi Alpha Theta (International Honor Society of History), and Pi Sigma Alpha (National Honor Society of History). political Sciences). At Scranton, she was president of the Spanish Cultural Society and a member of the Mountain Sports Club, Archery Club and Fencing Club. She also volunteered at the university’s Leahy Clinic, serving as an interpreter for migrant families.