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Philip Caruso '08

Striving “to make a difference on behalf of the U.S. abroad"

Philip Caruso '08 & Mike Newman

Mike Newman presenting a 2008 JFK Award to Philip Caruso

While in Istanbul, Turkey, as part of a summer Air Force cultural immersion program, Philip Caruso '08, who is originally from Rochester, NY, became aware of the negative image the U.S. had acquired in the Middle East. This helped him formulate his long-term goal of striving “to make a difference on behalf of the U.S. abroad.” Phil has come to see this aim, “not so much as a choice but a personal requirement” – a way of combining his reservist commitments as an ROTC scholar with the opportunity to be an unofficial ambassador for the United Stages and improve foreign relations as he pursues a career in the military.

A Materials Science and Engineering major at Cornell with a strong academic record, Philip also participated in numerous extracurricular activities. In the process of undertaking such responsibilities as heading the ROTC honor society Scabbard & Blade, being a member of Quill and Dagger, raising money through a benefit concert for the Shepherd Rehabilitation Center, and “giving back” to his school by his work as a Peer Adviser in the College of Engineering, Phil acquired the skills essential to managing to his demanding schedule. These skills will stand him in good stead in the future as he makes his way through the world of unofficial foreign service.
One of Philip’s recommenders observes that “he will undoubtedly continue to challenge himself to make a lasting impact on everything he touches. Integrity, service before self, and excellence are his hallmarks.”

When notified that he had been selected a JFK Award winner, Philip responded, “I am humbled by this great honor.”