Marco Barracchia ’22 Awarded Erasmus Mundus Excellence Scholarship

An Internationally Competitive Graduate Program

Marco Barracchia ’22 has won the Erasmus Mundus Excellence Scholarship to fund his Europubhealth+ graduate program in Spain and the Netherlands, focusing on Leadership and Governance of European Public Health. This internationally competitive graduate program received more than 1,400 applications for the double master’s degree; only 20-25 are accepted into the program each year. The Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is even more competitive, as not all students accepted into the program receive the scholarship.

“The application has been one of the most competitive I have applied to, but I never lost hope,” shares Barracchia. “I knew within myself where I was coming from and what my objectives were.”

Barracchia was an international student from Italy, which further demonstrates the successes of international students at CC. The first person he called when he opened the email announcing his scholarship? His mother.

“It’s hard sometimes to believe you made it,” he says. “Especially when you are a low-income, first-generation student raised by a single mother. She is my biggest supporter ever. After I told her about the acceptance, her tears of happiness made all the effort worth it.”

For his first master’s in Fundamentals of Public Health, Barracchia chose Granada, Spain to learn how the local-national-supranational intertwine, promoting culturally appropriate interventions and mastering skills such as policy development, quality assurance, and health impact assessment. As an added bonus, he says he’d like to challenge himself with learning his fourth language, Spanish, and to reconnect with the Mediterranean region.

“This master’s aligns with my long-term objective to work in intergovernmental policymaking that focuses on designing evidence-based policies and reducing health inequities,” he adds. “I am eager to become a public health expert committed to increasing health access around the world.”

Barracchia’s specialization will be in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where he will focus on leadership and governance of public health.

“Marco is a great example of a student who leveraged the unique opportunities available at CC,” says Roy Jo Sartin, Writing Center specialist and Erasmus Mundus adviser for CC. “He studied abroad in India, South Africa, and Jordan; volunteered with the Western Organization for People Living with HIV/AIDS (WOPLAH) in Kenya; and received a SEED grant to develop a cross-cultural guide on HIV prevention strategies for public health workers in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Italy. He also received a Venture Grant for global health research, an Anthropology Department grant for his senior thesis research, and a summer internship funding award from the Career Center for his WOPLAH work in Kenya.”

Long-term, Barracchia wishes to develop non-vertical, community-based initiatives, centering on equal healthcare access within vulnerable communities in Europe and beyond.

“After conducting global health research in eight countries and five continents thanks to CC's unique opportunities, as well as researching transnationally maternal-child health, migration, and queer health, and after studying at CC along emergent decolonial, antiracist, feminist anthropological currents, I decided to attend this master’s program, to ‘bring back home’ what I have learned so far.”

Barracchia begins the next chapter in September 2023. Meanwhile, he is currently doing a research project on HIV and PrEP use in Italy, working with community health organizations in Italy and Kenya and is hoping to publish an article on his research in South America in a medical anthropology journal.


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