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Pay It Forward: Alumnus Creates Study Abroad Award

January 17, 2018

For Adam Crandall ’09 ’12 (M.S.) a study abroad experience to Rome, Italy during his junior year at St. John Fisher College married together his passion for business and language.

Adam Crandall, student Nicole Coffey, and Dr. Rama Yelkur, dean of the School of Business, hold a check announcing the Adam Crandall International Business Award.

Crandall, whose family has roots in Italy, traveled to the country four times through a student exchange program while attending Greece Athena High School and knew he would take advantage of the College’s study abroad program as well. A business management major who minored in modern languages (he studied Italian and German), Crandall said his time in the Mediterranean country offered the opportunity for immense personal growth as well as a deep and diverse academic experience. His time at the American University of Rome gave him a competitive edge as a young professional entering the job market.

“I knew the importance of understanding other cultures because of my experiences in high school and an influential teacher, Professor Ida Wilder. Professor Wilder provided me with the motivation and opportunity to immerse myself in an international academic experience abroad. However, it was my time abroad at the American University of Rome that truly helped me mature as young professional,” he said.

An avid traveler, Adam Crandall continues to visit Italy one or two times a year.

An avid traveler, Adam Crandall continues to visit Italy one or two times a year.

In fact, Crandall’s abroad experience and mastering a foreign language, helped Crandall rise above a pool of 100 candidates to land a spot in a leadership program upon graduation. Today, Crandall is the director of business development with Micro Instrument Corporation, leading the sales and marketing division for the custom automation and manufacturing company. In addition to his career, he has served as an adjunct professor at Fisher since 2014, teaching courses on international business management, international marketing, and new this semester, international sales. Crandall also founded the on campus organization known as the “Millennial Action Council” in order to give back to Fisher students and help support their overall development and skill progression.

After listening to his students talk about their study abroad dreams, he was compelled to literally pay it forward so his students could to have the same experiences he had as a student. The Adam Crandall International Business Award, created last fall, will provide $500 to two students in the School of Business each year to help offset the cost of studying abroad or an international academic/internship experience.

 “Without my study abroad experiences, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It changed my life in ways I couldn’t ever imagine,” he said.

Emily Remmel visited the Trevi Fountain during her first few days in Rome, Italy.

Emily Remmel visited the Trevi Fountain during her first few days in Rome, Italy.

In a twist of fate, both inaugural recipients of the award, Emily Remmel ’19 and Nicole Coffey ’19, are studying in Italy during the spring 2018 semester. Remmel, who is majoring in accounting, will take a course in international finances, as well as the mythology, architecture, and history of Rome. For her, the scholarship will help her engage more deeply in the Roman culture. Coffey, a marketing major, will travel to Florence. In addition to coursework related to her major, Coffey looks forward to seeing the history and art of the city, and taking cooking classes on the weekends.

“I am looking forward to gaining a whole new perspective on the world,” Coffey said. “Being abroad for five months will allow me to see the world in a different light.”

That’s exactly what Crandall hopes for the students who benefit from the travel award.

“Study abroad gives students a chance to connect with foreign cultures, move away from a place they are comfortable in, and helps them grow as young professionals in a business world,” Crandall said, offering a little bit of advice to Remmel and Coffey as they embark on their own international adventures. “Don’t be afraid to experience new things. Travel the world. Take chances and embrace the cultural differences.”