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Academic Excellence Celebrated at the End-of-Semester Banquet

Academic Excellence Celebrated at the End-of-Semester Banquet

On December 5, JFRC students, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate academic success, new friendships, and the end of a life-changing semester in Rome. The event was held at Ristorante Le Terme del Colosseo, right behind the Colosseum, and featured a delicious, multi-course dinner, entertainment in the form of singers dressed in period costumes singing traditional and modern Italian songs, and, of course, good spirits and nostalgia for the memories of the past semester.

JFRC Director Dr. Michael Andrews gave an opening speech about the transformative effect studying in Rome has on students, and Father Dennis McNeilly led a prayer prior to the meal.

Later in the evening, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Vicky Kynourgiopoulou presented awards for academic excellence to three different students, as well as a goody bag of gifts. The students were nominated by their professors, and the nominations were not necessarily based on grades, but on enthusiasm for learning, hard work, leadership, and intellectual curiosity. The three students who won the awards were:

  • Anthony Helman, whose professors said: “Anthony has an enormous heart, and his aptitude and diligence are only matched by his generosity, his desire to make the world a more egalitarian one. I have no doubt he will attain all his goals and raise us all up in the process", and “He was a great class leader, willing to give controversial and personal opinions, but in a kind-hearted way. He added immensely to class for all students."
  • Joseph Bredar, whose professors said: “I have been amazed by Joe’s genuine enthusiasm and passion for the Italian language and culture. He always asked many questions relating to the class and shared anything that he has experienced interacting with native speakers during his stay here. It was a great pleasure to have such an enthusiastic and motivated student in my class and I hope he keeps on studying the Italian language.”
  • Emma Byrne, whose professors said: “When she sets her mind to a task, she explores every avenue to reach her goal and faces every challenge with determination and passion. She is courageous intellectually. Her intellectual strength, however, is balanced with a gentleness which is admired by her peers and the faculty.”

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