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

Four John Cabot University students were honored at the Italian Parliament on October 11, 2018 during the America Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Italy-USA Foundation.

Bebe Vio

JCU student Bebe Vio

Student Bebe Vio, a Communications major and wheelchair fencing champion, received the America Award in recognition of her work promoting positive values through sports. She is a  2014, 2016 and 2018 European champion, 2015 and 2017 World champion, and 2016 Paralympic champion in the foil B category. Bebe is active in the non-profit organization Art4Sport, which is dedicated to using sports as therapy for child amputees.

Students Matthew P. Beckmann, Denise Di Castro, and Andrew J. Mixson were awarded medals of the Italian Parliament for academic achievement and service. The three students were nominated by JCU Vice President and Dean of Academics Mary Merva.

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.

“It was a great honor to be with our JCU students at this event. They are an exceptional group of young people and we are very proud of them,” said Dean Merva.

Matthew Paul Beckmann, from Portland, Maine is a Humanistic Studies major with a passion for Rome. After having completed an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration in Maine, Matthew transferred to JCU where he cemented his love for the Eternal City. During his time at JCU, Matthew took part in the Italy Reads program, joined the Art History Society and the Think! Philosophy Club. After graduation, Matthew hopes to combine his business and humanities skills and work in the cultural or museum management fields.

JCU students Andrew James Mixson, Matthew Paul Beckmann, Denise Di Castro, Hon. Emilio Carelli, Vice-President of the Italy-USA Foundation

From left: JCU students Andrew James Mixson, Matthew Paul Beckmann, Denise Di Castro, Hon. Emilio Carelli, Member of Italian Chamber of Deputies and Vice-President of the Italy-USA Foundation

Denise Di Castro, an Italian/American citizen born in the US, chose John Cabot University for its extensive Art History program. Event Coordinator for the Art History Society, Denise is responsible for the organization of lectures and guided tours, as well as planning events for visiting art historians. Thanks to her club role, Denise was inspired to pursue a career that combines event planning and art history, with a special focus on attracting American visitors by creating culturally engaging events.

Andrew James Mixson is a Classical Studies major at John Cabot University. His love for Rome dates back to his early childhood when he would sift through books about Ancient Rome. The passion for ancient monuments has been with him ever since. Also a Resident Assistant for JCU Housing, Andrew hopes to continue his graduate studies in Rome and eventually become a teacher in order to share his passion for Italy with his future students.

The other recipients of the 2018 America Award were:  Piero Antinori, president emeritus Marchesi Antinori, Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, television personality, Marco Bussetti, Italian Minister of Education, Valentina Cervi, actress, Alberta Ferretti, fashion designer, Silvio Garattini, president Istituto Mario Negri, George G. Lombardi, president G. Lombardi Real Estate Investments, Federico Marchetti, founder and CEO Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, and Bruno Vespa, journalist. A special award was conferred in memory of Bud Spencer, actor.

Congratulations to Bebe, Matthew, Denise, and Andrew from the entire JCU community!