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Student spotlight: Luca Rosato

by Public Relations | March 18, 2024

LATROBE, PA — Luca Rosato started playing hockey when he was four years old, and it led to spots on youth league teams and the varsity squad at Central Catholic High School. By the time he was a freshman at Saint Vincent College, however, Rosato was a little burned out. “When I got to college, hockey was the last thing on my mind,” Rosato said.Luca Rosato in the Penguins locker room during the Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp

Rosato, a junior communication major from Monroeville, missed the game too much to stay away. “I got back into it because of the memories I knew I would make,” he said. “I had made so many memories throughout my hockey career leading up to college—teammates, games, practices, traveling—that it made me want to create more.”

Last week, Rosato wrapped up his second season as a defenseman on SVC’s club hockey team. He also completed an internship with the Mario Lemieux Foundation in which he helped organize the annual Mario Lemieux Fantasy Hockey Camp.

“Hockey’s kind of grown on me again,” Rosato said with a grin.

Rosato began the internship in early February. His main responsibility was keeping inventory of all the gear—laundry bags, jackets, shorts, parkas and giveaway items—for all of the 100 or so fantasy campers. “Everybody who attends this camp gets something to take home with them,” Rosato said. “I helped organize it and set it all up. It’s the kind of stuff I want to get into later, things like project management.”

The first Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp was held in 2012. The camp sells out every year and there are more than 300 names on the waiting list. Over the past decade, it has raised around $5 million to benefit the Mario Lemieux Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient care, as well as Austin’s Playrooms, an initiative that creates playrooms for children and families in medical facilities.

Campers are assigned to four teams, then work out and compete in a three-day tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Lemieux, an NHL Hall of Famer and the greatest player in Penguins history, customarily skates with each of the teams during games. Several former NHL players also appear during camp—previous attendees have included Max Talbot, Doug Gilmour, Pierre Turgeon, Colby Armstrong, Mark Recchi, Paul Coffey, Kevin Stevens and Bryan Trottier.Hockey puck used during Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp

This year’s fantasy camp ran from March 9 to 13. Rosato missed the first couple days of camp because he was playing for Saint Vincent in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Men’s Division 3 (MD3) national tournament in St. Louis. Fortunately for Rosato, much of the setup work for the fantasy camp was complete before he left for St. Louis. “The last couple of days were about making sure everything ran smoothly, meeting people and networking,” he said.

Saint Vincent went 1-2 in the tournament, including a 9-5 win against Colby College in the final first-round game on March 9. SVC was eliminated after the opening round of pool play.

Rosato would like to apply for another Lemieux Foundation internship next year. “If they [make an] offer, I would be more than happy to accept it,” he said. “The stuff I did—inventory, project management and public relations—is what I want to get into after college. Last year, I took two classes, interpersonal communication and organizational communication, where you learn how to function with other people in [daily life] and in the workplace. Those classes helped with the internship, for sure.”

Aided by SVC communication professor Dr. Melinda Farrington, Rosato already is scouting possible options for graduate school.



PHOTO 1: Luca Rosato in the Penguins locker room during the Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp

PHOTO 2: Hockey puck used during Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp