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One Alumna, Two Students Awarded Italian Women’s Civic Club Scholarship

October 25, 2021

St. John Fisher College alumna Ellen Fichera ’21 (M.S.), and students William DePasquale ’22 (Pharm.D.) and Anthony Nicolosi ’23 were named recipients of the Italian Women’s Civic Club (IWCC) Dante Scholarship Award. Fichera was honored as a 2020 recipient, and DePasquale and Nicolosi were honored as 2021 recipients.

Winners of the Dante Scholarship with Stella Plutino (second from the left)..

Fichera, DePasquale, and Nicolosi were among eight local college students to be recognized for their academic achievement and pride in their Italian American heritage. The students were formally honored during an awards dinner held on Saturday, Oct. 23.

The club established the Dante Scholarship Fund in 1921 to assist young men and women of Italian heritage in pursuing a college education. The scholarship was named after the great Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, giving recognition to his passion for his literary talents. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $4,000.

A recent graduate of St. John Fisher College, Fichera earned a master's degree in mental health counseling and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Rochester. A first-generation college student, DePasquale is in his final year of study in the doctoral program at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. Nicolosi is a junior in the Wegmans School of Nursing, and hopes to work in the hospital setting, as well.

The IWCC was established in 1919 to educate immigrant women on their newly acquired right to vote and assist them in assimilating into American life. The mission of the Club has evolved over the years, and today focuses on supporting higher education opportunities for young adults of Italian ancestry. The Dante Scholarship Award is among the group’s many philanthropic efforts. Applicants for the scholarship must be full-time matriculated undergraduate or graduate students at area colleges and universities. Awards are based on criteria set by the IWCC committee and include academic achievement, extra- curricular activities, community service, and personal identification with Italian American heritage.