Lauren Caswell is now a Licensed Professional Counselor and is currently working at Beech Brook in Cleveland as a School Based Therapist.


She graduated from John Carroll University with a major in Psychology and a Concentration in Italian Studies in 2009. Lauren also earned her MA from John Carroll in Counseling in 2011.  When talking about her study abroad experience with the John Carroll University at Vatican City Program she states…

It was the Fall of 2007 and I was getting ready to spend a semester in Italy. I was so nervous and excited all at the same time. Before I knew it I was waiting for the other students at the Newark airport saying my last goodbyes on the phone and preparing to board the flight to Rome.

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Katie Krueger graduated from John Carroll University in 2007 with a Marketing degree. Today she is a Sales Representative for Stryker Surgical in Columbia South Carolina.

My undergraduate experience at John Carroll University began in 2003.  While playing tennis and majoring in marketing at the Boler School of Business, I had an opportunity that would truly change my life during my junior year of 2005.  Through tremendous efforts of Dr. Casciani, our class would be the first class to embark on the study abroad experience in the Vatican.  Excited, nervous, and ready to take on a culture I knew very little about, my journey began in the fall of 2005.  The experience was something I still look back upon and cannot believe I had the opportunity to be a part of the Program.  JCU’s study abroad program in Rome has truly made me who I am today and has enabled me to take on greater challenges as a professional.  I am truly grateful for the opportunity.

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Jonathan Alexander, John Carroll graduate of the Boler School of Business in Accountancy, class of 2009, also graduated with a concentration in Italian Studies. He is currently working as an Internal Auditor as he completes his work experience to become a licensed CPA.

In the Fall of 2005, I began my undergraduate work at John Carroll as well as a work-study job for The Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Program in Italian American Studies.  My job gave me an insider’s view of the newly developed John Carroll University at Vatican City Study Abroad and all of its detailed organization.

While I attended John Carroll, I enrolled in the Boler School of Business and majored in Accountancy.  My participation in the Vatican City Program afforded me the opportunity to accentuate my liberal arts credentials with an Italian Studies Interdisciplinary concentration. Continue reading

Eric Garris, John Carroll class of 2012, attended JCU at Vatican City in 2010

With a major in Philosophy and a minor in Catholic Studies from JCU, Eric is currently attending Saint Mary Seminary in Northeastern Ohio. When talking about his experience in the JCU at Vatican City program he states… In August of 2010, I boarded a plane along with 13 other students to study though The JCU at Vatican City Program, a Program sponsored by the Anthony M. Pilla Program in Italian American Studies and housed at the Urbaniana University.  When I left for Rome, I honestly had no idea what to expect, but little did I know how my life would drastically improve because of my time spent studying in Vatican City.  Now here I am, two years later, as I reflect on my experiences, I remember them fondly. I was really able to come into my own as a student, both of the world and of the classroom, broaden my world-view and come to know a culture that was completely foreign to me.  Finally my time in Rome provided me with many graces which lead to much spiritual growth. Continue reading

Robert J. Clines graduated from John Carroll University in 2007 with a Major in History and a Concentration in Catholic Studies.

Robert is now a doctoral candidate in the Department of History of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He was the recent recipient of a J. William Fulbright Scholarship and is a fellow of the of the Academy of Advanced Study in the Renaissance, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His research focuses on religious and cultural exchange between Catholic Europe and Eastern Christian communities during the Counter-Reformation. He currently resides in Rome.

What Robert has to say about his experience with the JCU at Vatican City program…

After a brief stay in Rome in 2004, I fell in love with the city and decided to return for a lengthier stay. And so, in 2005, I was a member of the inaugural class of JCU at Vatican City. I have kept coming back ever since. The highlight of my experiences, and what has influenced me to remain in Rome, was what occurred beyond the classroom. Continue reading

Marissa Palumbo – Attorney at Law (pending bar results)

Marissa Palumbo is a graduate of Cleveland Marshall College of Law, class of 2012, and received her undergraduate degree in political science with a history minor and concentration in Italian Studies at John Carroll University in 2009. Marissa currently holds a position with the Ohio Attorney General in Columbus, Ohio.                    

On her experience…  

Deciding to study abroad with the JCU at Vatican City Study Abroad Program  2007  was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  From the moment I landed in Rome with 19 other Carroll students, I knew that the trip would be a life changing experience.  I had always known that I wanted travel to Italy, but what I had not discovered until my junior year of college was that such an amazing program existed at John Carroll.  The Program made my lifelong dream of travelling to Italy a reality by providing an affordable, convenient, and fun-filled study abroad experience.

The program was impeccably planned to provide students with the greatest opportunity to learn Italian language, culture, and history.  Dr. Casciani flawlessly coordinates every detail of the trip in order to make the experience meaningful and memorable for the students.  During my semester abroad, I was amazed by everything I learned, both in and outside of the classroom.  The JCU at Vatican City Program offerred students so many unique and breathtaking experiences, from climbing the Gran Sasso, one of Italy’s highest mountain peaks, to taking a stroll through Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s many beautiful squares.  Other unforgettable experiences from my time in Italy include a gondola ride in Venice, viewing Da Vinci’s The Last Supper in Milan, and touring the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  In addition to these once in a lifetime opportunities, I will never forget the wonderful professors and the extraordinary hospitality of all those that I encountered in Italy.

During my semester abroad, I formed lifelong bonds and a deep love for Italy and Italian culture.  I learned more that semester than I could have ever expected. I would highly recommend the JCU at Vatican City Program to all John Carroll students! The program truly is a wonderful opportunity!