Connecting & Empowering Generations: President Pavoncello Delivers Keynote Address
On Saturday, February 19, 2019, President Franco Pavoncello was the keynote speaker at “Connecting & Empowering Generations,” a meeting of FAWCO (Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas) Region 8 (Italy and Greece).
Hosted by the American Women’s Association in Rome (AWAR), the meeting, which took place at John Cabot University, welcomed American women’s groups from Florence, Turin, Genoa, Naples, Milan, and Athens.
John Cabot University has long been a sustaining member of AWAR and JCU Director of Development and Alumni Affairs Jacqueline Falk Maggi is a past president.
President Pavoncello thanked AWAR for the invitation and welcomed the members of FAWCO clubs to John Cabot University.
“Transferring empowerment across generations is truly a powerful concept. In fact, we currently live in an unprecedented age, in which the chasm of knowledge, skills, world vision and opportunity has never been greater between generations,” said President Pavoncello. His speech concentrated on the central role of education in transmitting values and empowering younger generations.
The President cited the National Center for Education Statistics, which states that women in the United States currently make up more than 56% of college students nationwide. Women are completing higher-level degrees, from masters to professional and doctoral degrees, at increasing levels, earning proportionately higher marks than their male counterparts.
Unfortunately, however, female students often feel more anxious than males, leading the President to ask, “How do we provide a learning environment that not only facilitates learning, but also reduces stress and facilitates empowerment?” According to Dr. Pavoncello, the environment created by the liberal arts educational system, and specifically within an international context such as John Cabot University, offers some solutions to such a challenge. He referred to a recent study by the Andrew Mellon Foundation that examines the questions of the economic payoff of a liberal arts college education, concluding that the popular claims that a liberal arts degree isn’t worth its cost or will hurt a graduate’s career prospects are untrue. Specifically, the report says attending a liberal arts college for most students leads to meaningful economic mobility.
President Pavoncello then discussed JCU’s historical objective of enabling and encouraging students from underrepresented groups to attend the University, through important scholarships and structural support. He concluded by showing videos of truly inspirational female students who are currently attending JCU.