Duquesne in Rome's Campus Staff

Michael A. Wright
Director of European Programs
Intercultural Awareness and Exploration
B.A. Duquesne University
M.A. St. Louis University (Madrid)

Michael has been an active part of the development and advocacy for study abroad programs at Duquesne University since his undergraduate years. Michael spent two years in Barcelona, Spain as a missionary/volunteer for his church between his Freshman and Sophomore year and then studied abroad twice during his junior year at the University of Seville in Spain and in a summer program in Costa Rica. After graduating from Duquesne, Michael pursued graduate studies in Spanish at St. Louis University's Madrid Campus in Spain. His international experiences have defined who he is today and his passion for his career in helping young Duquesne students to have these same transformative experiences.

Michael helped to establish Duquesne's flagship campus in Italy and has been the Director in Rome since the first year of the program (2001). He was also instrumental in the development and opening of the Duquesne in Dublin program in Ireland and has managed the Irish "campus" since its inception in 2013. More recently, he has helped to create, coordinate, and define new successful short-term Maymester programs in Europe and Africa, including Italy, Ireland, Ghana, and Tanzania for the Mary Pappert School of Music, the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Center for African Studies.

Michael is an active member of AACUPI (American Association of College and University Programs in Italy), NAFSA, EAIE, Forum on Education Abroad, the National Italian American Foundation, and is a Friend of the American Academy of Rome. Michael co-teaches the "Intercultural Awareness" cornerstone course at the Italian Campus. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian and a dual citizen of the United States and Italy.

Alana Sacriponte
Assistant Director, Duquesne in Rome 
Intercultural Awareness and Exploration
B.A., Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University
M.A., Bioethics, Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostorloum (Rome)
M.A., Intercultural Relations, University of the Pacific

Alana studied at the Italian Campus in 2003 which sparked her interest in intercultural study and passion to pursue a career in higher education. Besides her major area of study at Duquesne University, she also graduated with a minor in Italian Language and a Certificate in Intercultural Study. She received a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to complete her first M.A. in Bioethics at UPRA in Rome and has a second M.A. in Intercultural Relations from the University of the Pacific. She speaks fluent Italian and English and is a dual citizen of Italy and the United States. She has worked at the Italian Campus since 2006 and co-teaches "Intercultural Awareness and Exploration".  


Madison Pastrick
Resident Director
B.A., Corporate Communication, Intercultural Engagement Minor, Duquesne University

Madison is the Resident Director of the Italian Campus and is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. She studied at Duquesne's Italian Campus in the Fall of 2017 and graduated in December 2019 with her B.A. in Corporate Communication and a minor in Intercultural Engagement and Business Management. Inspired by her semester in Rome, Madison has taken advantage of many of Duquesne's study abroad programs, including a Spring Breakaway to Austria and Poland to study the Psychology of the Holocaust, several domestic and international mission trips, as well as independent travel abroad.

Madison is currently pursuing her M.A. in Higher Education Administration and wishes to spend her career working with students from all around the world and assisting them in gaining the incredible experience of studying abroad. Prior to rejoining the Duquesne in Rome campus, Madison served as the Resident Director of Saint Ann Hall on Duquesne's main campus during the 2020-21 academic year. Madison loves fostering inclusive and multicultural communities and engaging students with the Italian culture to spread intercultural education, growth and awareness.

Essence Criswell
Assistant Resident Director
B.A., International Relations, International Security Studies Minor, History, Duquesne University 

Essence obtained her bachelor's degree in International Relations with a concentration in Security Studies and a minor in History. Since the beginning of Essence's undergraduate career at Duquesne University, she has been very involved with the Center for Global Engagement. In the summer of 2016, she studied at Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in order to focus and concentrate on Spanish culture and immersion. Upon completion of her program, she earned a certificate in cultural competency and immersion of Spanish culture.

Following her summer in Salamanca, Spain, she flew to Ireland to study at University College Dublin for the fall semester of 2016. It was during this trip Essence knew she wanted to pursue a career in higher education pertaining to International Programs. Essence was very involved at University College Dublin. It was during this study abroad experience that Essence realized it was truly a privilege to be able meet people from all over the world creating bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime.

In addition to studying in Dublin, Ireland, she had another beautiful experience studying abroad at Duquesne University's Italian Campus in 2018. During her semester in Rome, she was able to volunteer frequently at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center which is located in the heart of the city. Along with her volunteering opportunities, Essence was named Duquesne's Ambassador for the Italian campus class of 2018. Essence believes to study abroad in a different country is one thing, but to fully and truly immerse yourself in the communities already built around you is a totally different experience. She encourages students who study abroad to actively do the same.

Jonah Philipp
Assistant Resident Director
B.S., Education, Duquesne University

Jonah obtained his Bachelor of Science in Education with an English focus in May of 2021 through Duquesne University. He served as a resident assistant for two years and is excited to continue working with Duquesne students in Rome. He studied abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the Summer of 2021, and he currently leads college students on trips to Israel throughout the year. He has traveled to South America on a service trip, Ireland and the UK for study excursions, and all throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Jonah is incredibly passionate about diplomacy and serving as an ambassador for American students traveling across the globe. He is currently interning for the International Republican Institute in their Middle East and North Africa division, as they attempt to promote freedom and democracy worldwide. Jonah's long-term goal is to work for the state department as a US public diplomat in the Near East. He loves building bridges between unlike individuals and sculpting communities where healthy and educational conversations can take place. Jonah's goal is to help establish a home for Duquesne students studying at the Italian Campus, and his number one desire is to protect and serve each individual so that they may have one of the most beneficial experiences of their life.