Niagara University Provided the Right Ingredients for This Father and Daughter to Develop Their Menu for Success

by Giovanni (John) Filice, M.A. on March 19, 2023
 Niagara University Provided the Right Ingredients for This Father and Daughter to Develop Their Menu for Success

John is a Ph.D. Candidate at Niagara University in the Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy  program. 

My journey to Niagara University was indeed serendipitous. My connection with Niagara University resulted from my food and beverage work around incubators as I desired to explore a bi-national partnership and event to promote collaboration and innovation. I have been partnering with colleges and universities in Ontario to develop food and beverage (F&B) symposia the past few years. F&B incubators play an integral role in the economic development eco-system and my interest in mentorship and sustainability has resulted in a variety of business and social interactions with many groups and organizations.

I connected with several wonderful people at Niagara University, but no one was as friendly and supportive as Dr. Vince Rinaldo. We immediately connected and a valued friendship developed that continues today. It was Dr. Rinaldo who encouraged me to consider the Ph.D. Program and of course, he was a major contributor to Niagara University's new Ontario Campus in the City of Vaughan. We discussed many topics along the way and when I learned about the new MBA Program at Vaughan's Ontario Campus, I recommended to my daughter Larissa to pursue it and proud that she was part of their first MBA graduating Class with academic distinction! Dr. Rinaldo opened the door for Larissa and shortly thereafter, I started my journey in the Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Policy. I was initially registered at the University as a non-matriculated student with Dr. Rob Leone as my course instructor, another key ingredient in my journey, who today is my Ph.D. Academic Advisor.

I am evidence that if you follow your passion and interests and blessed to have extraordinary mentors such as Dr. Leone and Dr. Rinaldo, you can progress towards better outcomes. As well, the important Vincentian values that promote - respect, compassion, advocacy, integrity, inventiveness, excellence, inclusivity, and collaboration - were the final ingredients that positively influenced my decision to pursue my Ph.D. at Niagara University.

There remains much work to do and I am grateful for the gift of knowledge provided by our great instructors and the many wonderful relationships I have developed with colleagues in various cohorts whom I continue to interact with today. This journey has a purpose, and I am committed to contributing and giving back to our great Niagara University.

It is my sincere belief that a strong conviction, passion and honorable intentions are essential ingredients in developing your success outcome and personal recipe. I am indebted to Niagara University and the wonderful leaders for the opportunity to develop my Menu for Success!


For more information on the Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy program please contact us or call 716.286.8475.