Boca Raton And Milan: a Transatlantic Faculty Exchange

By Denise Gravatt | 06/12/2023

Tags: Academic Advising | Bulletins | Business-Communications | Economics | Finance | Hospitality | Management | Marketing
Categories: Announcement | Faculty/Staff | Initiatives

Creating new bridges through cross-cultural connections.

Once again, FAU’s College of Business makes strides in fostering global educational alliances with its partnership and faculty exchange with the Istituto Superior Carlo Dell’ Acqua in Milan, Italy. FAU hosted a second cohort of eight Italian professors in a week-long immersive job shadowing experience funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Job Mobility program. The initiative allows faculty from EU countries to shadow professors from universities outside of their home country. The Italy to U.S. visit was then reciprocated by FAU professors, also funded under the Erasmus grant, who traveled to the Dell’ Acqua campus in Milan this summer.

FAU is the first U.S. university to participate in the Erasmus+ Job Mobility Program, part of the EU initiative with an annual  €4.2 billion budget to fund students, teachers, and institutions in exchange and study abroad programs.

The Istituto Superiore Carlo Dell’ Acqua chose FAU based on the closely aligned values between the two public institutions as well as the prestige of its business programs. FAU’s highly reputable business programs and its long-standing relationship with the Italian Consulate in Miami were also influential in establishing the transatlantic relationship.


“I am very pleased at the success of our collaboration," said FAU Business Dean Daniel Gropper, Ph.D., "the exchange has promoted learning for all our faculty and between our countries as well as helped the students and faculty of both our institutions.”

Visiting faculty members from Dell’ Acqua, Massimo Bellomo, Francesca Guarnaccia, Maria Garofalo, Denise Riccardo, Simona Michelon, Marco Minora, Simona Bortolozzo, and Andrea Damiano met FAU’s College of Business faculty to learn more about U.S. teaching and research methods, the academic disciplines of finance, economics, management, marketing and business communications, attended student clubs and the Business Pitch Competition, and observed faculty-student interactions.  

“Students at FAU are taken by the hand and guided step by step along their educational path,” said Bellomo, who had participated in previous university exchange experiences in the EU and Latin America.

Commenting on academic expectations and assistance, Dell’ Acqua computer science professor Andrea Damiano stated:

“I really appreciated the high-level projects that are managed and proposed to the students. I was captivated by their vision and attention to detail as well as by the assistance provided even after the end of the course.”

Italians visiting FAU

Through campus-wide support by the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters and other departments, the faculty immersed themselves in the FAU experience— touring Wimberly Library and FAU Executive Education facilities, learning about resources like the Student Ability Services, Career Center and advising, attending undergraduate and graduate classes and student club meetings, and attending a President’s Welcome reception hosted at the Baldwin House. 

On the Professors Stella Quintero and Sarah Nielsen along with Joe Compomizzi, Director of FAU’s Business Communications Department, delivered subject matter expertise on tourism and hospitality, marketing, and English for Business as well as presented FAU’s international admissions details for students interested in studying abroad at FAU.

This visit not only successfully facilitated the transfer of knowledge and pedagogical ideas between the institutions on a faculty level, it is also opening doors for future student-centered exchanges.


“Having the opportunity to work closely with the faculty at Dell’ Acqua and getting to better know and understand their students was a phenomenal experience that enriched me greatly, both as an instructor and as a person,” said Quintero, “the students’ enthusiasm, curiosity and eagerness to learn was very inspiring and motivating. There is so much we discover by working together and exchanging our perspectives and experiences.” 

FAU faculty visiting Italy


During the visit, the College of Business faculty were invited to meet with the City Council of Legnano, Italy as well as the American Consulate. Their visit and partnership were also covered by a local news outlet in Milan.

Compomizzi, whose motto for the cross-cultural connection is “creating new bridges," was instrumental in designing the partnership project plan to ensure all outcomes of the joint venture were realized. Representing FAU, he presented at the 2022 Erasmus conference, outlining the roadmap he developed to support the agreement between FAU and Dell’ Acqua; the project plan now serves as a model for future Erasmus+ Job Mobility initiatives.

These faculty exchanges along with potential future ones demonstrate the lasting transformative impact of this transatlantic collaboration and highlights FAU's commitment to innovation and national leadership in fostering international partnerships.


A special thank you to FAU’s Goodwill Ambassadors and College of Business faculty and staff for providing support and meaningful engagement to the Italian visiting faculty.

“Your invaluable contribution, welcoming nature and resourcefulness were central to making this experience a success for the College of Business and the University. We appreciate your dedication and support." – Joseph Compomizzi

Goodwill Ambassadors: Jennifer Attonito, Sandra Curtis, Karen Dye, Denise Gravatt, George Grunfeld, Ilaria Serra, Sarah Nielsen, Craig Rinne, Ann Root.

Supporting Faculty and Staff: Kevin Cox, Turgul Kalafat, Henry Dominguez, Melanie Lorenz, Patch Paczkowski, Louisa Rogers, Max Ostinelli, Barti Sharma, Katarina Brant, Joseph Patton, Soyoung Park, Will Luther, Sofia Johan, Debbie Searcy, Cristy Stewart Harfmann, Kim Paulus, Dan Cornely, Roland Kidwell, Beth Sindaco, Austen Canonica, ZsuZsa Pusztai, Jamie Granger, Monica Escaleras, Cheryl Jarvis, Chris Boudreaux, Eric Levy, Stella Quintero, Jerry Durbeej.