Road to Commencement: Victor Ficarra

Victor Ficarra in Athlone, Ireland,

Victor Ficarra in Athlone, Ireland, with Penn State Brandywine Global Programs in March 2019. 

Credit: courtesy of Victor Ficarra

Name: Victor Ficarra
Major: Business
Minors: Global and International Studies and Civic and Community Engagement
Graduation Date: May 8, 2021

Victor Ficarra, who will receive his bachelor of science degree in business at Penn State Brandywine’s spring commencement ceremony on May 8, reflects on his time as a student at Brandywine.

Ficarra: I chose to attend Penn State Brandywine because I wanted to be closely connected with students, faculty and staff. I knew that making connections was going to be important to my success in college, and Brandywine’s small campus size offered that opportunity. As a commuter student, I liked the campus’ location. I was also excited about the different involvement opportunities Brandywine offered.

I’ve been involved on campus in several different ways during my time at Brandywine. I am a Schreyer Honors Scholar, president of the Lion Ambassadors, peer tutor, captain of the tennis team and a member of the basketball team. Through the Sustainovation Club, I also had the opportunity to do volunteer work that benefited the local community. 

I would say that one of my top highlights as a student was traveling abroad with Penn State. During my freshman and sophomore years, I went to Sicily, Malta and Ireland through Brandywine Global Programs and studied abroad for a month in Thailand in May 2019 through the Schreyer Honors Program. I was even able to get partial funding from the campus for my study abroad trips, which made traveling much more accessible. 

Something that surprised me about my Brandywine experience was how approachable and accessible the faculty and staff are here. I even developed close relationships with professors who I never had a class with. I didn’t anticipate that level of support when transitioning from high school to college.

One person in particular who supported me was Professor of Management and Business Ronnie Godshalk. She motivates me and pushes me to be the best version of myself academically and professionally. Dr. Godshalk has been a good guiding presence throughout my college career. She advised me for my Schreyer Honors thesis and my research project that won first place at our campus' EURECA competition my sophomore year.

I have always felt like I belonged at Brandywine — it’s just the right place for me and it’s a place that I will come back to after graduation. I've met so many great people within the different communities on campus that no matter what building I'm in, there's always somebody for me to connect with.