For A. Andrea Licari-LaGrassa, D.P.S. ’72CBA, ’73MBA, travel, scholarship, and community service are among her most defining characteristics. A Professor of Administration and Economics in The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University, Dr. Licari-LaGrassa has much in common with the traditional St. John’s student.
“Like many of our students, I am a first-generation, born here,” she noted. “My family was in the food, hospitality, and fashion business. My aunts worked in the garment industry. My father was an agricultural engineer and he represented a French firm selling Dutch products. He was a real global citizen, an Italian national, born in North Africa. My mother was from France, so I guess that I can trace my love of international travel back to them.”
Dr. Licari-LaGrassa is an avid supporter of The McCallen Society’s Globetrotter Program. She encourages members of The Loughlin Society and The McCallen Society to travel together because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I love to travel and meet people of different cultures,” she said. “I have never seen an alumni trip where people did not get along. They are happy, and alumni and legacy societies do such a great job in organizing the trips.”
An avowed scholar, this dynamic double alumna earned both an undergraduate degree and M.B.A in Marketing from the University’s College of Business Administration (now called The Peter J. Tobin College of Business), followed by a triple-concentrated doctorate in international business, behavioral psychology, and management science from Pace University. Prior to joining the St. John’s faculty, she held managerial positions on Wall Street and in the airline industry.
In addition to her teaching activities, Dr. Licari-LaGrassa serves as Director of the University’s Fashion Institute and was one of the people instrumental in establishing the Bachelor of Science in Fashion Studies program at St. John’s. She is the author of two books about businesses. One of her books, Business Games: A Global Reality, is designed to help students who do not have experience in business. The book places the student into the framework of an interactive organizational structure that permits him or her to exercise the business theories learned within the classroom.
Embracing the University’s Vincentian commitment to making a difference for others, Dr. Licari-LaGrassa shares her time and talents in a variety of community service activities. She utilizes her marketing and networking skills for the greater good by fundraising for the Community Church of Douglaston, organizing events with the Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society, Inc., and spending time with cancer patients at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. She is also engaged in a congressionally funded committee on cancer research in Washington, DC.
One of Dr. Licari-LaGrassa’s biggest inspirations to give back is the students. “The greatest gift you can give anyone is the gift of education. My donation and what I leave the University through The McCallen Society is my way to reach out to future generations so they will be educated and overcome obstacles in their life. I was blessed to have parents who paid my way through college, and I am grateful to have received a scholarship for graduate school. Education inspires students, and that is my way of giving back.”