A Fulbright scholar from Yardley is heading to Italy

by Lisa DeAngelis

Second Lieutenant US Army, Anthony S. Cappetta, a resident of Yardley since age five and a recent West Point graduate, is now a Fulbright scholar. This fall, he will travel to the University of Pisa in Italy on the Fulbright Student Program to begin his studies at the School of Geosciences to obtain a Laurea Magistrale (master’s degree) in Exploration and Application of Geophysics.

He will be working with a research team to develop early warning detection of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and landslides, catastrophic events with which Italy is only too familiar.

Anthony says, “I felt it would be right for me to try and help prevent further harm to the communities of my host nation.”

When asked why of all the countries in the world he chose Italy to matriculate, Anthony lists three: To improve his cross-cultural competence and understanding to tackle contemporary issues facing Italy; to improve his intermediate Italian language skills; and to honor his Italian lineage.

The Fulbright Student Program, instituted in 1946, exists “to be a catalyst for a peaceful and interconnected world inspired by international educational exchanges.” The program partners with more than 140 countries worldwide.

During their grants, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.  His first exposure to West Point was at an Army-Navy game where the camaraderie of the Corps of Cadets made Anthony want to be a part of it.

A life of service had always interested him, but West Point was especially appealing. “I felt the regimentation and discipline would help me transition from teenager to young adult.” Anthony attributes his success to “the strong support of the community” around him.

He wants to thank:

  • Boy Scouts of America Troop 29 from Newtown, led by Dave Clark, a troop that continually performs service to the community, promoting values such as trustworthiness, integrity, and kindness. Anthony was so positively influenced by this group that he says, “To this day, I continue to mentor younger members and former members of the Troop, all of whom have obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. They inspire me through their actions.”
  • American Legion Post 317 in Yardley sponsored his attendance at Keystone Boys State, a leadership development program.
  • Professor Doctor Andrew Yarmola of Princeton University voluntarily met with Anthony weekly to discuss mathematical topics, information he then used in his undergraduate thesis.
  • Representative Perry Warren supported him during his years at the Academy, also sending him a Pennsylvania State Flag that had once flown over the Capitol and attended his Commissioning Ceremony at West Point.
  • VFW 6393 agreed to Anthony conducting his Eagle Scout project to honor the Veterans of the Global War on Terror at their location. He especially thanks members Commander Russell Davidson for his advice, and the late Gaetano “Thomas” Rossi, a World War II vet who taught Anthony “how an Officer and a Gentleman should conduct himself.”

Other VFW members Anthony would like to mention who helped him are Bill Meyer, Thomas Scoritino, Commander Kirk Sabota, and Tom Hauserman.

Anthony also wants to say how much it meant to him that several families continued to write to him during the lonely times when he was without a phone and could not make it home for the holidays: The Simms, Mount, Collins, Clark, Garceau, Fahy, and Cappetta families.

Anthony says the one he wants to thank most of all is “My father. His support in my most daunting times cannot be put into words.” One of Anthony’s most interesting achievements is that he is Sabalauski Air Assault qualified, meaning he can rappel out of an aircraft.

In his spare time, he enjoys playing classical piano. When asked what he expects a typical day in Italy to look like, he seems uncertain. “What I do know is I’ll start every morning off with an espresso!”

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x