University of Scranton Students Win Fulbright Grants

Two members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2022 have been awarded 2022-2023 Fulbright grants, the prestigious international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government that awards competitive, merit-based scholarships for recipients to spend a year conducting research or teaching abroad.

Through the 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Peter Amicucci ’22 won a Fulbright-Lappeeranta University of Technology Graduate Award to Finland, and Crysta O’Donnell ’22 won an English Teaching Assistantship to Andorra.

Widely considered to be the premier international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright program awards grants based on the recipients’ records of academic achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

“Both graduates will benefit greatly from their Fulbright experience. Crysta’s aptitude for languages and appreciation of different cultures make her well-suited for a career in foreign service. Peter will absorb and learn sustainable supply chain management practices from a world-renowned institution and put that knowledge into practice throughout his career,” said Susan Trussler, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and finance and The University of Scranton’s Fulbright Program Advisor.

Since 1972, a total of 127 University students have been awarded Fulbrights.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Peter Amicucci, Poughquag, New York

Growing up in the scenic Hudson Valley, Peter Amicucci has always been in awe of nature.

“I enjoy hiking and just being in nature. Mount Beacon is a favorite spot that I go to throughout the year with my family and friends. The views are beautiful,” said Amicucci. “Being near the Hudson River also made me aware of the damage pollution can have on the environment, as well as the positive impact of clean-up initiatives. That’s where my interest in sustainability began.”


Amicucci studied sustainable practices in his coursework at Scranton. His class in Quality Management included the study of environmental management systems.

As a Fulbright student, he plans to learn even more about sustainable practices.

Amicucci will pursue a two-year Master of Science degree in economics and business administration with a concentration in supply management at Lappeeranta University of Technology in Finland. Dr. Anni-Kaisa Kankonen, vice dean of academic affairs and professor of supply management at Lappeeranta University will serve as his mentor.

“Lappeeranta University of Technology is known for its expertise in supply chain management and Finland is one of the most sustainable countries in the world,” said Amicucci.

The focus of his research will be on sustainable supply chains specifically for the tourism industry. He will look for ways to make ecofriendly improvements throughout the supply chain of the service sector. His planned courses include “Green Logistics” and a project course on “Sustainable Business.” He will also take courses on Finnish language and culture.

His ultimate goal is to create a consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses in the tourism industry, such as hotels, theme parks and commercial transportation companies, develop and support their sustainability efforts in the procurement, manufacturing and delivery of their goods and services.

In addition to course studies, Amicucci plans to immerse himself in the local Finnish community through his love of music and sports. He has played the trumpet since the fourth grade and was a member of the University’s Performance Music Concert Band and Strings Ensemble. He was also a member of Scranton’s varsity wrestling team. In Finland, he plans to join a music ensemble and a wrestling club.

Amicucci earned a bachelor’s degree in operations management, summa cum laude, from Scranton with minors in mathematics and business analytics. He is also a member of the Business Honors Program, one of the University’s five programs of excellence. At Class Night, he received the University’s Excellence in Operations Management Award.

A Dean’s List student at Scranton, Amicucci was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, (international economics honor society), and Alpha Sigma Nu (national Jesuit honor society), where he served as vice president. In the 2021, he came in sixth place in both Future Business Executive and Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference, and came in first place for Future Business Executive and second place for Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the 2021 Pennsylvania State Leadership Conference Qualifier. He was the president and founder of Scranton’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter. He was also a member of the Business Club, PRISM (Portfolio of Responsible Investment Under Student Management), Business Honors Club and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

His semester studying abroad at Fordham University London Centre was cut short in 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the summer of 2021, he participated with about 200 college students from across the country in a leadership development internship at Hershey Park.

In the greater Scranton community, he volunteered with Big Friends, Little Friends.

Crysta O’Donnell, Riegelsville, Pennsylvania

Crysta O’Donnell was born in Nicaragua in a multi-ethnic home where French and Spanish were spoken daily.

As a Fulbright Teaching Assistant, O’Donnell will travel to Andorra, a small country that borders Spain and France, where both Spanish and French are dominant languages. She will teach English and American culture at an Andorran School.


“Andorra’s official language is Catalan,” said O’Donnell, who looks forward to learning yet another language. “As a Fulbright student, I will also have the opportunity to learn and practice Catalan.”

Languages come easily to O’Donnell, who learned English at a very young age at a prestigious elementary school she attended. She is fluent in Spanish and English and advanced in French. She also has a natural love and interest in learning about different cultures.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award will also allow her to develop her other passions: teaching and diplomacy.

O’Donnell enjoyed teaching her younger sisters the languages she mastered. While serving as an English as a Second Language tutor at Scranton, she developed creative approaches to helping students learn English.

“I used images, art and songs by popular artists to help students understand the words, meanings and culture,” said O’Donnell. “I plan to do the same with my students in Andorra.”

O’Donnell’s interest in a future career as a diplomat began when she and her mother and sisters emigrated to the United States. She saw first-hand the challenges and barriers faced by those entering the country, as well as the importance of the resources and assistance others can provide. O’Donnell wants to be a resource to others in the future.

As a Fulbright student, O’Donnell will also volunteer to coach youth soccer. In addition, she will research how the cultural and linguistic diversity of Andorra’s people relates to their allegiance and engagement with the sport of soccer.

O’Donnell earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Hispanic studies, summa cum laude, from Scranton with a minor in French and a concentration in Latin American studies.

A Dean’s List student, O’Donnell was inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma (national foreign language honor society), Phi Alpha Theta (international history honor society) and Pi Sigma Alpha (national political science honor society).  At Scranton, she was president of the Spanish Cultural Society and a member of the Mountain Sports Club, the Archery Club and the Fencing Club. She also volunteered the University’s Leahy Clinic, serving as an interpreter for migrant families.