What's Next for the Class of 2015? Meet Nine of our Recent Graduates

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Now that the Class of 2015 has graduated, see where nine of them are headed next.

Chadija BuijsChadija Buijs

Nationality: Dutch/Egyptian
Major: Humanistic Studies

Minor: Political Science

Chadija, who grew up in the Netherlands, is fluent in Dutch, Arabic, and English. She was one of the founders of JCU’s Interfaith Initiative, which received a grant from the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in Rome.

Chadija would like to combine her interests in politics and the arts and was accepted to graduate programs at New York University and Goldsmiths, University of London. She has decided to defer her enrollment for a year in order to do fieldwork at an NGO in the Middle East.

“John Cabot gave me the unique opportunity to take an active role in shaping the Interfaith Initiative and the International Scholar Series on Interfaith Dialogue. We even established a Meditation Garden, with the help of the Grassroots club and Student Government. This has been a fundamental experience that I will take with me always,” Chadija says.


Wei ChenWei Chen

Nationality: Italian/Chinese
Major: Political Science

Minor: Humanistic Studies

Born in Wenzhou, China, Wei has lived in Rome since he was six years old. He speaks Chinese, Italian, and English fluently and he has also studied German, French, and Spanish. All these languages will certainly come in handy since Wei hopes to become a diplomat.

Wei took advantage of JCU’s Going Global Program in order to spend the Fall 2012 semester at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He will return to NYC this summer because he won a prestigious internship at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations. Next stop for Wei is England, where he will begin a master’s program at the London School of Economics in the fall.


Valerio Dalla Torre

Valerio Dalla Torre

Nationality: Italian
Major: International Affairs

Minor: Business Administration

After enrolling in a large Italian university, Valerio decided that he wanted a more personal educational experience. “At JCU, I was able to get the attention and support that I needed from professors. This helped me develop my interest in international law and human rights,” explains Valerio.

Valerio is headed to NYC in order to begin a master’s degree program at the New York University Center for Global Affairs with a concentration in International Law and Human Rights.


Alexandria Maloney

Alexandria Maloney

Nationality: American
Major: International Affairs

Alexandria, who hails from Washington D.C, founded the Women’s Leadership Initiative at JCU in order to help female students emerge as leaders both on and off campus.

Alexandria just began a digital communications internship at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Cultural and Educational affairs. She is currently exploring various graduate school options since she would like to eventually pursue a master’s degree in public diplomacy.

“I don’t think I would have gotten this internship without the academic knowledge, practical skills, and opportunities that John Cabot gave me,” Alexandria says.


Loredana MihaniLoredana Mihani

Nationality: Albanian
Major: English Literature

Minors: International Affairs and Italian Studies

Born in Albania, Loredana has been living in Italy for many years and is fluent in Albanian, English, and Italian. One of the Class of 2015’s two valedictorians as well as the winner of this year’s Academic Achievement award in English Literature, Loredana is on her way to Oxford University, which has awarded her the highly competitive Ertegun Scholarship in the Humanities.

In Fall of 2014, Loredana presented a paper on John Keats at a conference held at the Keats-Shelley House in Rome. She was the youngest speaker of all participants, who were mostly postgraduate or senior researchers from Italy, the UK, and the USA.

“A hearty thanks to Professors Shannon Russell and Lewis Klausner for their encouragement, constant support, and help. John Cabot University is a dynamic, stimulating, and supportive environment, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it, “says Loredana.


Francesca MirabileFrancesca Mirabile

Nationality: Italian
Major: Communications

Minor: Psychology

Thanks to John Cabot’s Direct Exchange Program, Francesca was able to study for a semester in New York City, where she attended The New School for Social Research.

“After returning to JCU after my amazing study abroad experience in NYC, I have often wished for a 48-hour day, since there is so much to do and learn in and outside of the classroom,” says Francesca, who won this year’s Academic Achievement award for Communications. In addition to working as a student assistant, Francesca was Vice President of JCU’s student newspaper The Matthew and webmaster of the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Francesca is on her way back to NYC, this time to attend the Columbia University School of Journalism in the fall.


Reshma NarainReshma Narain

Nationality: Italian
Major: International Affairs

Minor: Art History

Reshma Narain’s parents are from Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, but she was born and raised in Catania, Sicily. She started to study law in Catania, but soon discovered a passion for art history and architecture, so she decided to transfer to JCU.

Reshma is going to begin a graduate program in urban studies and architecture at the Politecnico of Milan. As part of the application process, she presented a proposal for the urban renewal of the San Basilio neighborhood in Rome.

“John Cabot professors provided me with excellent guidance and support throughout my time here so I was able to figure out what I really wanted to do,” says Reshma.


Challis Popkey

Challis Popkey

Nationality: American
Major: Communications

Minor: Italian Studies

After a study abroad semester in Ferrara, Challis, who is from Boise, Idaho, decided that she wanted to complete her degree in Italy so she transferred to JCU from the University of Oregon. While at JCU, she was a student assistant in the Web Communications Office. Challis will soon begin an internship at the Nautical Channel where she will be filming, taking photographs, editing, and providing general production assistance.

“Working at the Web Communications Office turned out to be extremely useful for me since it gave me the opportunity to do hands on work in social media, photography, and video, all skills that I will be using in my internship,” explains Challis.


Giacomo Sproccati

Giacomo Sproccati

Nationality: Italian
Major: Communications

Giacomo Sproccati came to JCU from Milan in order to enroll in the dual degree program in Communications with the University of Milan. While at JCU, he was an active member of the Model United Nations and worked as an Orientation Leader many times. In June 2014, Giacomo won a prize for giving the best impromptu speech at a Rome meeting of the Toastmasters organization. In December 2014, Giacomo participated in the “Mazda Make Things Better” competition during the Nobel Peace Prize Summit held in Rome. His proposal for an innovative online platform for Italian high school students made the short-list.

After he graduates from the University of Milan in mid-July, Giacomo will leave for California State University at Long Beach, where he will pursue an M.A. in Italian Studies and Business. He also received an assistantship to teach Italian and a departmental scholarship for the first semester.

“JCU is a small school with much diversity. It’s a place professors know your name, follow your progress, and help you grow,” says Giacomo.