Soccer goalkeepers are agile, speedy, and organized. Gianluca Cersosimo has these qualities as both a high-achieving finance major and as a goalkeeper for the Georgian Court University men’s soccer team.
Gianluca, like many youth in his home town of Buenos Aires, Argentina, started playing soccer very early on—for him, as a toddler. Years later, his love of the sport and of learning led him to GCU. “Georgian Court had the three characteristics I was looking for,” said Gianluca. “Strong academics, a good soccer team, and a great location.”
Gianluca’s classroom accomplishments are impressive for any college student, but especially a student-athlete. His 3.96 GPA earned him a second appearance on the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference’s (CACC) Men’s Soccer All-Academic Team, and he completed his coursework in three years by taking 18 credits each semester. Next, Gianluca will pursue a Master of Business Administration degree at Long Island University.
He attributes his academic success to organization and time management skills. “I had to learn them, because in addition to soccer and classes, I work on campus and also like to have a social life,” said Gianluca, noting it hasn’t always been easy, but always worthwhile.
“My first few months as an international student were challenging,” he said. “I didn’t know how to take advantage of everything Georgian Court has to offer, even some basics.”
While Gianluca had a ready-made support system in his soccer teammates, he realized not all students did. That’s why he took on a student mentoring role with Avanzando, a program that helps first-generation Latinx college students acquire the tools and support they need for success. Together with Jaime Antonio Rivera Flores, Ph.D., associate professor of world languages and cultures and director of the Vamos/Avanzando program, he leads workshops on topics such as study skills, finding internships, celebrating identity, and public speaking. It’s another team of which he’s proud to be a part.
“I feel we are a good combination,” said Gianluca. “Dr. Rivera Flores offers perspective from his experiences as professor, and the students see me as a peer. We do more than share information about resources, although that’s important. We become a community of friends.”
This story is one in a series of feature stories focused on the Class of 2022. Story contributed by freelance writer Sheila Noonan. Photo by Joshua Tinto ’20, ’22.