Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"A wonderful time taking a break from final exam studying"

Our more loyal readers will remember a contest that SAIS Bologna ran last summer and which generated a stream of memories from alumni.

Natalya (R) and Lisa
 in the winning photo
The contest challenged our former students to show what they missed most about their year in Bologna. A total of 33 alumni submitted content, 7,450 visits were recorded on the "Summer Challenge" page and 566 votes were cast.

Natalya Lyoda of the SAIS Bologna Class of 2011 won first prize for her entry, a photograph of her and classmate Lisa Heinrich "making new friends while learning how to make fresh pasta", as her caption said.

Natalya garnered 266 votes to collect the $600 voucher, good for a feast at an Italian restaurant of her choice.

Last weekend, Natalya cashed in and invited nine friends, including Lisa, to lunch in Washington, DC, where they are studying in their second year at SAIS.

"I chose the place because it is a replica of a restaurant in Florence and ideal for a family-style lunch to recreate the Bologna experience," Natalya said. "We had a wonderful time taking a break from final exam studying."

The contest was a foray by SAIS Bologna into untrod social media terrain. It highlighted the close ties that many of the Center's more than 6,500 alumni feel toward each other and the institution that brought them together in what for many is a life-changing experience.

Nelson Graves

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