John Cabot University Students Participate in International Essay Conference in Utrecht

Giuseppe Spatafora and Elizabeth Truffa

Giuseppe Spatafora and Elizabeth Truffa

On November 27 and 28, John Cabot University students Giuseppe Spatafora and Elizabeth Truffa took part in the first edition of the International Undergraduate Essay Conference, organized by University College Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

The JCU Dean’s Office supported the students’ participation in the conference, which was designed to offer undergraduates a podium to present a research paper and discuss the subject with a panel of fellow international students. Each participant presented a 15-minute paper to the panel, and then responded to questions from the audience. The aim was to stimulate and reward academic efforts at the Bachelor’s level, as well as encourage interdisciplinary peer-to-peer feedback.

Elizabeth Truffa, a Fall 2015 study abroad student from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, presented her research on “A Better Future for Women: Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) through Education.” In it, she analyzes the difficulties inherent in eradicating the practice of FGM in African tribal communities, and proposes exploiting the potential of education in order to produce a shift in collective consciousness among tribal groups and achieve the progressive abandonment of such a practice.

Giuseppe Spatafora, a JCU undergraduate majoring in International Affairs, presented his paper on “The Geographic and Historical Determinants of Italy’s Foreign Policy.” He describes Italy’s external action as constrained by the country’s geo-political context and by several long-lasting features that have shaped the decision-making process throughout its national history. The paper concludes by considering Italian foreign policy in relation to the behavior of other middle powers.