Rachel Pellegrino

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Waynesburg University

Heinz Programming Area:
Rachel Pellegrino is a junior journalism and electronic media major at Waynesburg University. She is greatly involved in Waynesburg’s Department of Communication, where she maintains a leadership role within a variety of clubs including: the student newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, as the Managing Editor; the student produced television network, WCTV, as the News Director; and the school’s Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, as the President. Aside from academics, Rachel is also an active member of Waynesburg’s DIII cross country and track and field teams. She looks forward to studying abroad and is excited to grow and learn alongside the other awardees through the guidance of the Vira I. Heinz program.
International Experience Summary:

Rachel Pellegrino spent 11 weeks virtually studying and interning in Florence, Italy. Her global journey started with an introduction through an Italian culture course. The class focused on Italian history, geography, art, literature, food, media, and the economy. During the three-week period, Rachel grasped important cultural concepts and developed her intercultural fluency. She was able to use these skills and knowledge throughout the duration of her global experience where she interned with an Italian newspaper, Magenta Florence.

For eight weeks, Rachel wrote, researched, and edited articles relating to Italian art & leisure. These articles were published on Magenta Florence’s website. Some of her favorite articles were “The Return of the ‘Pitti Uomo’ Men’s Fashion Fair” and “The 2021 Florence Dance Festival, Act 1 and Act 2”. Writing about Italian events and news gave Rachel a glimpse into Italian life and her passion towards her future career in journalism. Even though her programs were virtual, she is forever grateful for the people she has met along this journey. As she enters her senior year, Rachel looks forward to where these experiences and knowledge will take her in life. She hopes to one day visit Florence, meet the people that she virtually interacted with, and explore the places she learned and wrote about. Her travel bucket list includes: Piazzale Michelangelo, Serre Torrigiani, Giardino di Boboli, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and many more places. This opportunity has taught her that the world is vast. There are innumerable places waiting to be explored, experiences to be lived, and a future that is ever-changing.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Cultural Workshop: Travel The World 

Waynesburg University’s 2021 Vira I Heinz Scholars–CeCe Fitts, Amanda Latta, Rachel Pellegrino, and Emily Schafer–shared their study abroad experiences with the Waynesburg community through a cultural workshop. The title of the workshop was “Travel Around the World with Vira Heinz Scholars.” The goal of the event was to develop the global perspective of individuals in the Waynesburg community. The event was hosted in-person as well as virtually to increase the level of community impact.  

Attendees were able to develop their global perspectives by “traveling” to five different stations. The first station was the cookie/language station and included phrases and words that each of the Waynesburg Vira I. Heinz scholars learned over the course of the summer. The languages included Italian (Rachel Pellegrino), Spanish (Emily Schafer and CeCe Fitts), and Korean (Amanda Latta). The other four stations pertained to the students’ specific experiences. Each of the group members compared America’s approach to an issue or field of study to that of the country we studied in. Rachel Pellegrino’s station focused on Italian journalism, Emily Schafer’s station dealt with alternative healthcare, Cece Fitt’s station dived into tropical marine biology and Amanda Latta’s station concentrated on South African history and politics.  

The Waynesburg Vira I. Heinz scholars taught attendees the value of entering cross-cultural experiences with an open mind. Their cultural workshop emphasized the importance of stepping out of one’s own frame of reference and accepting cultural differences as not right nor wrong but simply different. Each of the scholars shared their own experiences and how they overcame cultural differences.