Senior Success: Anthony Azzano supported mental health in Newport community
Anthony Azzano ’23, who just graduated with a degree in accounting with a minor in economics, is originally from Courtice in Ontario, Canada. Despite living farther away, he took a chance on Salve Regina by signing to be a Seahawk as a player on the men’s ice hockey team without even visiting campus.
While here, he gave above and beyond to the local community.
Joining the hockey team
Men’s ice hockey assistant coach, Chris Davis, was looking for defensemen for the team and spoke with a coach of a team in Ontario, Canada, who told him that Azzano played a tough, two-way game. Davis decided to recruit him after getting to know him and his goals as an athlete.
“It was an absolute pleasure to recruit him, and we specifically told him that the island was his for four years and to make sure to leave a big footprint behind,” explained Davis. “Anthony exceeded all expectations that we had for him as a coaching staff, and he has left his mark on the young but impressive history of Salve Ice Hockey and its contributions to the Newport community.”
Azzano was voted captain of the men’s ice hockey team and was awarded the Seahawk Service Award for his hard work in the Newport community in 2021.
Azzano volunteered with the Newport Whalers youth hockey U12 team, participated in cleanups with Clean Ocean Access, helped with fundraising work for the NOSOLO apparel company, and planned and organized events as part of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
He even helped the men’s hockey team raise over $10,000 for mental health awareness.
Salve Hockey Mental Health Night
One of Azzano’s biggest and favorite accomplishments was the mental health initiative he created called “Salve Hockey Mental Health Night.”
Azzano brought together Salve Regina students, faculty and the Newport community for a special night over the past two years to bring awareness to mental health. Some team members had experienced depression and anxiety themselves and had witnessed mental illness and suicides among friends. They wanted to bring the discussion of mental health out in the open to help bridge the gap.
“My goal started small … to help at least a handful of people and make sure those who are struggling are heard and seen by the Salve community,” said Azzano. “Every year, I found myself more inspired to make it grow after seeing the benefits it has to the Newport community as a whole.”
Azzano thanks everyone who supported him while creating this fundraiser and appreciates the positive feedback he received from his teammates, students, faculty, and even some Salve Regina hockey alumni. He knows he couldn’t have done it alone.
“This annual event has meant the most to me throughout my college experience,” said Azzano. “As my time at Salve comes to a close, I really hope this special event will continue and influence other sports at Salve to have their own mental health nights.”
Pursuing a career post-graduation
Azzano hopes to work in the finance, investment or insurance industry in New England or back home in Ontario, Canada.
“My education at Salve Regina will bring great skills that translate well into the workplace because of learning in small classroom sizes while having professors that are student-first and caring,” he said.
Azzano credits Samuel Sacco, lecturer of business and economics, and Dr. Brian Leite, assistant professor of business and economics, as having the greatest impact on him.
“Both Leite and Sacco have been persistent in helping me find career-related opportunities and showing a genuine sense of compassion for their students like myself,” explained Azzano.
When asked what advice he would give to students starting off at Salve Regina just like he did four years ago, Azzano says to choose wisely and not to rush into any program.
“Take advantage of everything this island offers,” concluded Azzano. “Salve is a deeply connected school, and if you spend your college experience the right way, the benefits are endless.”
For more Class of 2023 stories, go here.
This story was written by student writer Morgan Rizzo ’23
Senior Success is part of Salve Success — a series of student success stories periodically featured on SALVEtoday. Check out the tag Salve Success for more stories.