JCU Announces 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients Flavia Frigeri and Federico Giordani

John Cabot University’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs is pleased to announce that Flavia Frigeri (Class of 2007) and Federico Giordani (Class of 2017) are the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is conferred upon alumni who have demonstrated a steady growth of excellence in their careers and leadership within their respective fields. Award recipients exemplify John Cabot University’s values and mission of fostering intellectual tolerance, freedom, and integrity while promoting cross-cultural dialogue.

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award winner Flavia Frigeri

Flavia Frigeri

Born and raised in Rome, Flavia Frigeri holds a B.A. in Art History from John Cabot University, an M.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Art History from University College London. She is an art historian, curator, and lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Flavia has published academic and catalog essays and articles on a range of subjects, including post-war European art, focusing on Italian art, pop art, exhibition histories, and feminist art. Between 2018 and 2019, she published two books, Pop Art and Women Artists, in Thames & Hudson’s Art Essentials series.

Federico Giordani, also from Rome, holds a B.A. in Economics and Finance from John Cabot University and an M.Sc. in Financial Economics from the University of Oxford. In 2018, he joined a French quantitative hedge fund working as a quantitative execution trader, then he worked in quantitative strategy. His area of expertise was reinforcement learning (machine learning related to the autonomous execution of a task). Once he moved back to Rome, Federico joined Archangel AdVenture, a Venture Capital Fund focused on early-stage investments in the fields of A.I. and extended reality.

The Web Communications Office staff interviewed Flavia and Federico about the award, their work, and the advice they would give to students and graduates.

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award winner Federico Giordani

Federico Giordani

Congratulations on receiving the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award! How do you feel about this accomplishment?
Flavia: I’m honored to have been chosen as one of the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award and I’m flattered and humbled that my career can be of inspiration to current and future students.
Federico: It was a very pleasant surprise and an honor to receive such a special distinction from my alma mater. Since my university days, I’ve always worked hard, testing my limits and capabilities in different areas and doing my best to reach my goals. However, I couldn’t imagine that John Cabot University, the place to which I owe much of my current success, had followed my progress and appreciated it at such a high level, awarding me with this special title.

Tell us more about your work.
Flavia: As a curator, I organize temporary exhibitions and I’m currently working on a project for a private foundation in Romania and one for a museum in Moscow. Concurrently, I am leading a three-year project at the National Portrait Gallery in London looking at the representation of women in portraiture from the 16th century to the present. I am also writing two books, one on women artists in the modern period and another on the concept of “transcultural curating.” Last but not least, I teach on a regular basis and at the moment I’m teaching a course on Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Not even in my wildest dreams, did I think that I would be able to reconcile so many different things. But I love it and I find that all facets of my job are interrelated and productively inform one another.
Federico: I started my journey as an Investment Analyst at Archangel AdVenture just under a year ago. My job is an immersive experience into the A.I. startup ecosystem; I find it stimulating and inspiring to interact with young Italian entrepreneurs and hear their ideas on how to change the world through their innovative projects. Archangel is more than a venture capital fund, it is a company that helps bring brilliant ideas to life. The best part of my job is seeing how confident startup founders become when they realize we know how to help them grow and scale; from networking to recruiting talent, we’ve got their backs at every step of the journey.

What advice would you give to students and recent graduates?
Flavia: Make the most of your time as a student by learning and also trying to gain as much work experience as possible through internships. Most importantly, as cliché as this may sound, never give up on what you love the most. I was torn between studying International Affairs and Art History but in the end, my love for art prevailed. In hindsight, I am very happy that I followed my instinct, rather than opting for the major that seemed to have the most promising job outlook.
Federico: Try hard. And when you think you’re trying hard, try even harder. The world is highly competitive, but at the same time, it gives young people many opportunities to leverage what they’re good at and become successful. To stand out from the competition, it is important to know and use your strengths, as well as show dedication and continuously acquire new skills and knowledge. Take online courses, stay updated on what’s happening in the world, save money and invest it smartly. It will set you apart from your peers and give you a great advantage no matter what you end up doing in life.