Five members of the Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program arrived in Altus Sunday afternoon from Italy. They will be in Altus through Tuesday before heading to their next Southwest Oklahoma stop in Lawton on Wednesday. In total, the group will be in Oklahoma for a month.
GSE is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.
In a typical four-week tour, applicants participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families.
Rotary District 5770 is hosting the 2013 GSE Team from Italy which includes team leader Claudio Pezzi, being hosted by Buddy and Emilie Dugan; Ester di Napoli, being hosted by David and Cindy Player; Andrea Govoni and Jacopo Tilli, being hosted by Ricky and Marsha Brewer, and Vincenzo Zarone, being hosted by Gary and Jima Beach.
Claudio Pezzi is the team leader for the GSE Team. He practices law in Bologna and has been very active in Rotary and Rotary International including being past Club President, a District Officer, Chairman on special commissions including Gobal and District Grants, has been awarded the Paul Harris Fellow four times, and regularly speaks at various club and district meetings.
Andrea Govoni is a research associate in the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia where his activity is focused in industrial plants, and in particular, in all occupational health and safety aspects. His scientific interests are related to modeling and discrete event simulation of productive and logistic systems for the analysis of plants, industrial layout, material handling and warehouse management with the objective of provide risk assessment methods and models suitable for small medium enterprises. He enjoys sports, plays soccer and likes to run. He is also interested in computers, sports cars, and electronics.
Jacopo Tilli is a PhD visiting scientist who designs, constructs and tests grippers for the grasping of heavy deformable objects in the RobLog European Project. Tilli said that he has always been interested in technology, more in mechanics rather informatics, “The curiosity has always been one of the main guidelines of my life.” In his spare time, he enjoys chemistry and analogical photography, mechanics for motorbikes and Vespas, and plays the piano.
Ester di Napoli is a lawyer living in Florence. Her main fields of interest are Private and Public International Law: especially the latter which has been the object of her research as a PhD candidate (mostly European Private International Law in family matters). Ester is a multi-tasker who thinks that it is important to keep focused on working, while practicing sports (she likes to run and swim), as a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body.Although temperatures were in the high 90s when they arrived in Altus on Sunday, Ester said she was happy to get some sun.
Vincenzo Zarone, Ph.D. works in the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Pisa where he is a research fellow. He is interested mainly in business administration and public management. He also loves the sea and sunny weather. He reads a lot, listens to different music genres (especially when he goes jogging). He also enjoys watching his favorite soccer team, SSC Napoli.
On Monday, the group toured Western Oklahoma State College, Altus High School, and the Museum of the Western Prairie. After their tour of the museum, a dinner and cowboy cookout on the grounds of the museum was held in their honor.
The group went to Lake Altus this morning where they visited the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center and Nature Park. They were later the guests of honor and speakers for the Altus Rotary Club meeting and luncheon at WOSC.