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UM Students and Recent Grad to Represent U.S. as Student Ambassadors at World’s Fair Expo in Milan

By UM News

UM Students and Recent Grad to Represent U.S. as Student Ambassadors at World’s Fair Expo in Milan

By UM News
Two Students from College of Arts & Sciences and One from School of Communication Selected Among only 120 Youth Nationwide

From May 1 to October 31, Milan will become a global showcase as it hosts the World’s Fair Expo, where more than 140 countries will share their solutions to one of today’s most pressing issues: feeding the planet.

Three UM students, from the College of Arts & Sciences and from the School of Communication, were selected to represent the United States among only 120 youth nationwide. The students will be on hand to demonstrate American innovation, serving as Student Ambassadors in the United States World’s Fair Expo Pavilion. They are:

  • Jessica M. Gonzalez-Lorente, a senior majoring in biology, with minors in chemistry, and art/art history, College of Arts & Sciences;
  • Grace Marinaro, a senior majoring in creative advertising, with minors in Italian and studio art, School of Communication;
  • Brittany Wright, a December 2014 graduate with a major in psychology and minor in biology, College of Arts & Sciences.

Wright was a member of the first cohort of students to participate in the URome: Italian Studies education abroad program.


“There, I developed a passion for Italian language, literature and culture, which inspired me to continue my study of Italian upon my return to UM,” she said.

The recent grad will be pursuing a doctoral program in psychology. She believes that her experience as a World’s Fair Expo Student Ambassador – coupled with knowledge she gained in Rome – will help her “understand people through their cultures and ways of living.”

Marinaro studied abroad at the Univerità Cattolica in Milan, and lived there for almost one year. She is enthusiastic about the Expo’s culinary theme.


“I am a huge believer in locally grown, organic and sustainable foods,” she said.  

Gonzalez-Lorente said, “I feel honored to have been chosen to represent the USA and the University of Miami in Italy! It will allow me not only to improve my Italian skills but also to explore my diverse interests in the arts and sciences while working to create a more sustainable Earth.”

She added that the “dedication and charisma” of Professor Maria Galli Stampino and Senior Lecturer Manny García-Rossi in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures helped her develop her interest in the Italian language, and encouraged her to apply for the student ambassadors program.

García-Rossi said, “We are humbled, honored and downright impressed that the odds were massively in our favor by having such charismatic students that the Expo decided to choose three from UM.”


Just 120 college students from across the country were selected to participate in the student ambassador program. After completing online and on-site training, they will greet and interact with visitors to the pavilion, featuring the theme “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet.”

The first World’s Fair Expo took place in London in 1851; these international events occur every five years, and last up to six months. Each host country selects a theme for the event, aimed at raising awareness and fostering discussion of a major issue.

All participating countries, companies and organizations build pavilions, where they showcase their innovations and discoveries. More than 20 million people typically visit the World’s Fair Expos, including world leaders.

February 25, 2015