A red nose at CMCC

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Interview by Laura Caciagli

Clown therapy, yoga, shiatsu, music, cinema and literature: get to know better the amazing world of Paola Agostini, working at the CMCC OPA Division in Lecce.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I work in the OPA Division in Lecce, dealing with tasks spanning from project management to new proposals preparation, to communication and dissemination of the services and products developed by our research Division. I deal also with the organization of events or with the engagement with specific end users. Moreover, I am the responsible of the “Alternanza scuola lavoro” initiative, dealing with local high schools.

Which road led you to CMCC?
I learnt about CMCC for the first time in 2006, during my PhD in Venice with Prof. Antonio Marcomini (CMCC Strategic Board, ndr). And some years after, when I was looking for a way to come back to Italy after my work experience in Brussels, I found out this job opportunity at the CMCC headquarters in Lecce. And here I am.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?
Obviously not! When I was a child I wanted to work in a National Natural Park in contact with nature and wild animals (this is also the reason why I decided to study Biology at the university). Then, life took me to other directions.

Could you tell us the most beautiful moment in your life at CMCC?
The best moments are when a proposal gets financed and becomes a concrete project, or when we organize activities and events for schools and stakeholders. If I had to choose one moment in particular, I would say the European Space Expo in Milan, a touring exhibition during Expo 2015 showcasing the flagship European Space programmes, such as Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS, and their benefits and applications. I remember it was particularly amazing to illustrate our activities to elementary school children, answering to their questions and seeing their real curiosity and interest.

What’s on your workstation?
Paper documents and notebooks (unfortunately I can’t give up paper)… And sweets for my colleagues (never enough!).

What’s the ritual never missing in your work day?
There are no specific rituals. Sometimes I take a coffee in the morning with my colleagues.

How do you travel to work?
On foot, because I live very close to the office and I like very much to walk through the city center of Lecce.

What do you do in your spare time?
Listening to music (in particular Sting and Silvestri). Almost of my spare time is dedicated to volunteering: I am part of a voluntary association involved in hospital clown therapy in Lecce and its province, an activity that gives me great satisfactions and human enrichment. Moreover, I do yoga for a long time now, and from this year I also started a course for performing Shiatsu treatments (even for the benefit of my colleagues…). Last but not least, a large part of my spare time is dedicated to my cat, Braciola.

Cinema or literature: give me a title and explain your choice
It’s a difficult choice, because I like them both very much and from quite different angles; I love watching movies, in particular comedies and costume drama; concerning literature, I am a fan of Jane Austen and crime fictions. If I had to choose a title, in this case I would say The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas, because it’s crime story and comedy together, and because it’s about the life of three very peculiar French researchers.

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