Michael Psitos (BCSP 2012-13, Northwestern University), coming from a background in science and math, is perhaps the first of BCSP alumni to be awarded a scholarship from the University of Bologna to obtain a master’s degree in European literature and culture (in three languages: Italian, French and Greek) and receive the highest possible grade for his thesis research and presentation. While Michael is fluent in Italian, it is noteworthy to mention that he began studying French during his senior year at Northwestern and Greek during the second year of the UNIBO master’s program. He quickly excelled, in an impressively short amount of time, to post-grad working language level, and his professors highlighted this accomplishment during Michael’s thesis discussion.
David Beavers (BCSP Fall 2012, Cornell University), Matt Glodz (BCSP 2012-13, Cornell University) and Michael recently reunited in Bologna for Michael’s graduation ceremony and festivities. Here is what they’ve been up to:
This past July Michael completed the two year Erasmus Mundus Master Course in European Literary Cultures (C.L.E.). He spent the first year at University of Bologna studying French and Italian literature and the second year at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to study Greek language and literature.
Michael graduated from Northwestern University in 2014 with a major in Math and minors in Physics and Italian, and that summer moved back to Italy, to the Lombardy region. The SITE program selected him to teach English in the high school of the city of Codogno. Michael was later awarded the University of Bologna’s scholarship for international students and in fall 2015 enrolled in the C.L.E. master’s program.
Michael graduated 110/110 con lode, the highest possible mark at the University of Bologna. He delivered his thesis discussion in Italian and Greek before a commission of professors from Italy, France, Greece and Senegal. Michael worked primarily with Professor Antonio Venturis of Thessaloniki to develop research on the presence of neo-standard traits in the teaching of Italian as a foreign language in Greece. This project, entitled L’insegnamento dell’italiano in Grecia: un primo studio sull’emergenza dei tratti neo-standard nelle classi LS, combined theoretical and observational research in variationist sociolinguistics and foreign language teaching. Michael is currently preparing an article based on his thesis research to be published in an Italian journal of Linguistics.
He currently lives in Philadelphia with his anima gemella, Laura Ampollini, where he has launched the American branch of Maticad, an Italian-based company producing professional 3D interior design software. Laura, who recently obtained a master’s in Environmental Engineering at Drexel University, is friend of many BCSP students from 2012-13 and former roommate of Alex Jakubowski (BCSP 2012-13, Northwestern University) and Kaitlyn Egan (BCSP Spring 2013, University of Notre Dame).
David Beavers, an engineer with a passion for environmental conservation turned political activist and journalist, proves that your major in college does not pose creative limitations to your career path. As a Civil Engineering major at Cornell, David discovered his interest in environmental advocacy. He began working in the non-profit sector specializing in communication and campaign strategies, fundraising and community outreach. Inspired by frequent contact with the press and government bodies, David transitioned to journalism and is currently based in Washington, DC, as a Web Producer at POLITICO, a global news source on politics and policy. He also just started graduate study in media and strategic communication at George Washington University.
Matt Glodz will always love his hometown of Chicago but coveted a European lifestyle. After graduating from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Matt returned to Chicago and worked in Revenue Management for United Airlines. He moved to London in August 2017 to join Hilton’s Feasibility and Investment Analysis team, where we traveled throughout Italy, Poland, and other European countries to scope out potential sites for new Hilton hotels.
Matt recently left Hilton to pursue Resume Pilots, his online business providing executive resume writing services for clients ranging from recent graduates to CEOs. He simultaneously runs CV Pilots, which specializes in CV writing services for the European market. With the newfound “digital nomad” lifestyle this profession allows, he plans on returning to Italy even more often!
Matt frequently catches up with several other BCSP alumni now living in London: Natasha Bunzl (BCSP Fall 2012, Cornell University), Chiara Dodi (Overseas University of Minnesota Spring 2015, Università di Bologna), Julia Kelsoe (BCSP Fall 2012, University of Pennsylvania), Lindsey McLauchlan (BCSP Spring 2012- Fall 2012, University of Illinois), and Rebecca Sconza (BCSP 2012-13, University of Illinois).