JCU Students Honored at the Italian Parliament by Italy-USA Foundation

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John Cabot students Kaelyn Barron, Katelynn Cunningham, and Benjamin North were chosen by the Italy-USA Foundation to receive medals of the Italian Parliament during the America Award ceremony, which took place in Rome on October 12, 2017 at the Chamber of Deputies.

The Italy- USA Foundation is an independent institution established to honor and promote friendship between Italians and Americans by playing a bipartisan public role on both sides of the Atlantic. Each year the Foundation confers the America Award, under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, in order to acknowledge and encourage initiatives aimed at favoring relationships between Italy and the United States. Within the framework of this award, the Foundation also confers medals to three American graduating students who have distinguished themselves through academic achievement and service to the university community.

JCU students Benjamin North, Katelynn Cunningham, Kaelyn Barron, and Dean Mary Merva at the America Award ceremony.

JCU students Benjamin North, Katelynn Cunningham, Kaelyn Barron, and Dean Mary Merva at the America Award ceremony.

The three students were nominated by JCU Vice President and Dean of Academics Mary Merva. “By deciding to take the unique path of pursuing their American university degrees in Italy these exceptional students are helping to build bridges across the Atlantic and consolidate the historic ties between the United States and Italy,” said Dean Merva.

Kaelyn Barron, who is from Riverside, California,  transferred to JCU after completing two years at UC Riverside. An International Affairs major and Italian Studies minor, she is considering pursuing a master’s degree in journalism.

Katelynn Cunningham hails from Martinez, California. A History major, she plans to attend an archaeology field school before continuing into a graduate program in History or Cultural Heritage Management. She plays soccer on JCU’s Lady Gladiators team, is a board member of the STAND club, and volunteers at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center in Rome.

Benjamin North is a History major from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts who hopes to go to law school after graduating from JCU. He recently founded the JCU Student Policy Advisors, whose goal is to help fellow students understand university policies and procedures.

The other recipients of the 2017 America Award were:  Nerio Alessandri, president Technogym, Giovanni Allevi, pianist and composer, Alberto Angela, science journalist, Mario Calabresi, editor in chief of La Repubblica, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, former president of Ferrari and Fiat, Valeria Fedeli, Italian Minister of Education, Veronica Mainetti, president of Sorgente Group of America, Gualtiero Marchesi, president Accademia Marchesi, John Phillips, ambassador, founding partner Phillips & Cohen LLP, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary general of NATO. A special award was also conferred in memory of Gianni Versace, fashion designer.

Congratulations to Kaelyn, Katelynn, and Benjamin from the entire JCU community!