Bringing a Smile From Venezuela to OU
Anna María Restuccia takes on university full force By Mikala Ewald
magine your first day of college in a new city, at a new school, doing something you have never done. You haven’t made any friends, and you don’t know what to expect. It is both scary and exciting, and, for many, a rite of passage into adulthood.
Now imagine all of these changes at a school in a different about the award with international students through social country. This is what Anna María Restuccia faced when she media and marketing techniques. She encourages other students decided to attend the University of Oklahoma in 2011. to apply to Lindsey + Asp, and realizes the importance of Restuccia grew up in Spanish-speaking Venezuela, and her these opportunities, since her home country offers nothing grandparents spoke Italian, which helped her become bilingual. comparable. Two of her sisters were already at OU: Antonietta studied If Restuccia isn’t already busy enough, she also works as a chemical engineering, while Gabriela was an orthodontics Spanish and Italian tutor for OU student athletes, is involved graduate student. Both recommended OU to Anna, who had with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and is dreams of becoming a journalist. But first, she would need to an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of learn yet another language. America. After completing eight months at OU’s Center for English “I wanted to get involved with everything!” Restuccia says. as a Second Language, “My days are very busy, but Restuccia was accepted I love it. I want to do this as a Gaylord College and I want to work hard “I wanted to get involved with student. And after for this because I know that everything! My days are very busy, but meeting with her when I graduate I won’t Gaylord College adviser, have all these opportunities I love it. I want to do this and I want to she decided to pursue to get involved, so I want a degree in public to get the most experience work hard for this because I know that relations. She appreciated as I can.” when I graduate I won’t have all these the flexibility of the Gaylord College Dean major and the wide skill Joe Foote agrees with opportunities to get involved, so I want set it taught. Restuccia’s mindset. To make new friends “She is a model example to get the most experience as I can.” ~ and learn as much on how you have to plunge Anna Restuccia as possible about the right in and get things done culture in Oklahoma, around here,” he says. “It Restuccia immersed would have been so easy for herself in student activities, organizations and events. One of her her as an international student and speaking English as a second first efforts was to apply for a position at OU Nightly. She was language to focus on her classes and not do anything else.” accepted into the program as a news anchor for OU Nightly’s So what drives Restuccia’s passion to take advantage of Spanish version, which partners with Telemundo and Univision. everything Gaylord College has to offer? As a public relations Restuccia also is an account coordinator for Lindsey + Asp, practitioner, she wants to target the Hispanic community in the the student-run public relations and advertising agency within United States because it is growing so quickly. And since Spanish Gaylord College. She started working with the agency in the is her first language, she believes she has the tools to meet the spring of 2013, and says it is a great way to gain leadership desires of these markets. experience and public relations skills. Her current position “Venezuela is a socialist country, and there is a lot of political within the agency is to represent the Zenith Awards, a national tension there,” Restuccia said. “I do not agree with the ideology public relations competition for students. She creates awareness of government in Venezuela.”
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Alumni magazine of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.