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Two students win Sister City scholarships to study in Italy

  • Mario Amaya Velazquez and Angela Tramontelli won Sister City scholarships

Posted on May 02, 2012

Two students from Grand Valley have won the annual Angela Andrews Ryan Scholarship to study in Perugia, Italy. Angela Tramontelli, a senior from Troy, and Mario Amaya Velazquez, a junior from Grand Rapids, were awarded the scholarships in April.

The opportunity is made possible through the Perugia Sister City Committee of Grand Rapids Sister Cities International, in conjunction with the Italy’s premier language school for foreigners. The scholarship includes tuition for one month of intensive instruction in Italian language and culture at the university, in Perugia, plus a generous grant from the Perugia Sister City Committee to cover other expenses including airfare.

All applicants were required to submit two faculty letters of recommendation and write essays describing why they would like to study Italian language and culture and how it fits in with their educational goals. 

Tramontelli will study in Perugia in June. She is a psychology major and applied linguistics minor and plans to graduate from Grand Valley in December 2012. Tramontelli has studied Italian at Grand Valley and plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in sociolinguistics or social psychology with hopes of becoming a university professor.

“I want to study the ways language is used to create and transmit cultural values and identities,” Tramontelli said. “This award ties in so well with my research interests and career goals and will give me a unique firsthand perspective.”

Velazquez, who has taken five semesters of Italian at Grand Valley, will also study in Perugia in June. He is an international relations major and plans to minor in Arabic, with hopes of pursuing a career with the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service officer. After a month of study at Universita per Stranieri, Velazquez will spend a semester at the University of Perugia, with other Grand Valley students in an exchange program between the two universities.

Both Tramontelli and Velazquez said this will be their first time abroad and credited faculty mentors at Grand Valley for their guidance.


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