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Opportunities of a Lifetime

Experience can be the best way to learn, which is why IUP seeks support for its Student Opportunities Fund.

Student Opportunities Fund

According to Shari Trinkley ’81, director of IUP’s Planned Giving operation, IUP recently received three gifts in support of  study abroad-opportunities. Donors included Yvonne Galli Trettel ’54 and John Trettel ’55 of Erie, Patrick and Anna-Hughes Carone of Indiana, and Joseph Laposata ’60 and Anita Sabo Laposata ’61 of Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Joseph Laposata ’60 is a retired Army general who spent two years as chief of staff of NATO’s Allied Forces Southern Europe Command in Italy and later served in a diplomatic post as deputy director of logistics, programs, and operations in Luxembourg. He and his wife, Anita, have established a fund that supports student travel and study in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

“While I have an ancestral affection for these nations, they are among the United States’s staunchest allies. There is a new Europe emerging, and these countries will be instrumental in its development. There are opportunities for IUP students in all fields of study to develop linguistic skills and focus on learning the attitudes, values, and traditions of Italy, Spain, and Portugal,” Joseph Laposata said. “When the vitality of American thought and ability to manage change is coupled with the tradition and long-term perspectives found in these countries, frequently positive outcomes occur.

“While the period of study abroad will be limited, the student will come away knowing that there is a difference in European thought, life goals, quality of life, societal norms, and culture when compared to the United States. A sensitivity to these issues, coupled with a confidence in speaking the host country language and feeling socially comfortable, will establish a foundation for further personal development,” he said.

While the Laposatas have an obvious and strong belief in the value of international experience, they also remember their years in Indiana, Pa., to be enjoyable, as well as enriching.

“IUP was the perfect place for us to mature personally, intellectually, and socially. The academic and administrative personalities who were resident during our stay at IUP assisted, demanded, and watched over our preparation to become contributing citizens. They have our utmost respect and admiration,” said Laposata. 

“IUP was an important part of our personal and professional growth. After graduation, we found ourselves better prepared to begin our life’s work than many of our peers who had attended other colleges. This was not something unique to Anita and me. Many of our IUP friends have had the same experience. Consequently, ‘payback’ is an issue. IUP has had a positive effect on our lives, and we are hopeful that this investment, given in a spirit of gratitude, will assist the university to continue its good work with those who follow us.”

The Trettels established a scholarship fund that supports international travel for students. Trinkley said they have discovered the joy of overseas travel during their retirement years and wish to pass it along to students to experience at a younger age. 

Likewise, the Carones’ gift also supports international study. Retired from the Political Science Department and as IUP’s foreign student advisor and director of the International Affairs Office, Pat, along with Anna-Hughes, has established a fund that provides scholarships to students who participate in study-abroad programs. 

“Education frequently extends beyond the classroom. The Student Opportunity Fund provides that out-of-the-classroom enrichment in the form of field trips, internships, global exchanges, and study abroad programs,” said Trinkley. “It also supports the Freshman-Year Experience program, career and academic mentoring programs, and visiting performers and program speakers. Support for this fund helps ensure that a range of experiences enhance traditional academic work, puts students in touch with real-world jobs and situations, and gives them the opportunity to engage in other cultures.”

If you would like to know more about ways to create student opportunities, please contact the Foundation for IUP at iup-giving@iup.edu.