Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Ashley Abate, JCU Class of 2013

May is a very significant month in the world of academia—it marks the conclusion of most spring semesters, and a new beginning for the students of each graduating class. At John Cabot University, however, May is particularly special; it’s a time to not only honor the achievements of each graduate, but to celebrate the diversity that constitutes our international community.

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As a recent graduate of the Class of 2013, I feel blessed to have exceptional memories of my graduation experience; one that could only be made possible by a university like John Cabot. After calling the Eternal City “home” for nearly three years, I felt proud to show my friends and family the nooks and crannies of this beautiful city, in the days leading up to graduation. I showed them my university neighborhood and where I used to live, I took them for cappuccinos at my favorite coffee shop, and we bought fresh fruits and vegetables from the local Sunday market where I shopped. Nevertheless, I wasn’t the only one playing tour guide during graduation week; all around, the streets of Trastevere were bustling with the families of my classmates, who’d also come from all over the world, to commemorate this special milestone. Russians, Serbians, Japanese, Americans, Macedonians, Bulgarians, and Moroccans—the diversity by which my family and I were surrounded, was simply amazing. John Cabot not only brought my peers and I together in the classroom, but it helped connect our families even outside the walls of our university.

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From the Student Awards Ceremony, to the Graduation Gala, Family Aperitivo and Commencement, I was beautifully overwhelmed by the colorful nature of my surroundings. My undergraduate experience at John Cabot concluded in the celebration of, not only the academic achievements of the Class of 2013, but of the bridging of cultures, perspectives and ideas, unique to us all. It was the sound of each new accent; feel of each individual handshake; and sight of each particular smile, that helped mark my graduation experience extraordinary—that helped color my month of May.

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Melissa Ashley Abate
English Literature Major, Communications & International Affairs Minor
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JCU Class of 2013
Hometown: Plymouth, MI

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