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July 21, 2011

Caine Scholars Award Winner Luke Calvano ’12 Explores Economics on a Global Scale

This summer, Luke Calvano ’12 is using the knowledge he’s gained in economics and policy to advise businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He’s working as an intern in the New York City office of AMR International, a global strategy consulting firm.

Luke Calvano '12 in Honduras

Calvano is the 2011 recipient of Lafayette’s Caine Scholars Award for Global Leadership, Business, and Policy. The award, which is the first specifically created for policy studies majors, provides a $5,000 stipend to support a summer internship.

“What I love about working at AMR is I am involved with a project from start to finish, and I get to participate in everything from research, to data analysis, presentation building, and client meetings/presentations,” says Calvano (Eastampton, N.J.), a double major in economics and policy studies. “Not every project is in the same industry, so I get to apply my knowledge of economics, policy, and strategy across all types of sectors and situations.”

Calvano has spent most of his Lafayette career thinking globally through research, community service, and study abroad.

A major portion of his work has been with the College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project (EEGLP). For the last three years, students have traveled to Lagunitas, Honduras, to help villagers come up with a business model and plant more than 30,000 coffee plants in an effort to reinvent the local economy as a coffee plantation. The next part of the effort is to work with the neighboring village of El Convento to help start up a cocoa plantation.

“Community service is a huge part of my life,” says Calvano. “I feel I’m adding value to society through my work and interaction with those around me. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do a lot of different things at Lafayette, and EEGLP has been a defining part of my college experience.”

Calvano spent a semester studying economics at University of the West Indies in Jamaica and worked with the Planning Institute of Jamaica with Gladstone Fluney Hutchinson, associate professor of economics who has taken a two-year leave to serve as the institute’s director-general.

On campus, Calvano has performed independent research on health care reform, is a member of Lafayette’s Division I men’s soccer team, volunteers with the Landis Community Outreach Center, and will be part of the Fed Challenge team next semester. He’s also worked as an intern for United States Senator Robert P. Casey Jr.

“Luke exemplifies the personal and academic qualities required to succeed in today’s highly competitive global marketplace,” says W. Mark Crain, Simon Professor of Political Economy and chair of policy studies. “His accomplishments in and outside the classroom are striking, and his summer experience with AMR International will only enhance his ability to add value in a variety of sectors.  Luke represents the best of Lafayette.”

Established in 2008 by Christopher G. Caine ’78, president and CEO of Mercator XXI, in honor of his father, Anthony Caine ’38, the Caine Scholars Award is designed to encourage the next generation of global U.S. leaders who have an appreciation for public policy and business in a global environment. The selection criteria include proficiency in at least two languages, an appreciation of the globally integrated economy, and transformations driven by technology.  In addition, candidates for the scholarship need to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of government to government dialogue and cooperation, insights on U.S. economic competitiveness, and the importance of personal integrity, cultural awareness, and “enabling” leadership.

“My internship with AMR has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career,” says Calvano. “I’m learning a lot about business, a lot about how to be more organized, and how to ask the right questions. I am getting better at not only thinking at a higher level, but paying attention to detail, which is great because these skills can be carried over to any career I pursue.”

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