SCOM Alumna and Entrepreneur Establishes Study Abroad Scholarship

Written by Elizabeth Schutte

A new scholarship is available to School of Communication students participating in Florida State’s Communication and Media in Florence study abroad program. School of Communication alumna and entrepreneur, Victoria Carlton, has established a scholarship through her business, Carlton Creative Company, to help cover the costs associated with studying abroad for students who participate in the program.

“Study abroad was a life-changing experience for me,” said Carlton. “I want someone to truly enjoy the program and not have to think about how [they are] going to do things financially.” Carlton took part in the 2017 Communication Program in Florence and returned in 2019 as a program assistant.

The program was created in 2017 by Dr. Patrick Merle, Associate Professor and current School Director. “Students in this program have the chance to create a magazine as well as help a local client with communication strategies. I am grateful that Victoria wants to pay it forward,” said Merle.

After graduating from Florida State, Carlton, who created her own marketing agency, has visited the university’s campus in Florence every year and always dreamed of establishing a scholarship to allow students to enjoy the same experience she undertook.

The alumna-turned-entrepreneur hopes students who participate in the Communication and Media in Florence program can open their minds to other cultures to gain a new world perspective and embrace the sense of community that exists in Italy.

The first recipient of the scholarship, who will travel to Florence in the Summer 2024 semester, is Parker Ladle, a current undergraduate student in the School of Communication. “This scholarship has lifted a huge financial burden off my back, making the planning for studying abroad much less stressful,” said Ladle. “I would love to work in international marketing in the future, so the skills that I will gain from studying abroad will definitely help to prepare me for this,” the Advertising student said.

Carlton Creative Company has committed to sponsoring an annual $1,500 scholarship for the next five years, with hopes to expand the award in the future. Students participating in the Summer 2025 Communication and Media in Florence program can apply for the scholarship through the application portal in Fall 2024.

The School continues to actively seek additional scholarship opportunities to support students in other international communication programs.

For more information on CCI giving opportunities, please contact Mafé Brooks, Director of Development, at