President Daniele Struppa. He can sometimes be spotted walking across campus to meetings; he speaks at major Chapman events; he can be seen at Chapman sports games with his family, but what does he do with the rest of his time?
The Panther followed Struppa around throughout his day on Feb. 13 to see what it is like to be the person who just may be the busiest man on campus.
The day started at Struppa’s house in Irvine at 7 a.m. with an early workout and breakfast with his daughters Arianna and Athena. The Panther then met Struppa on campus and followed him to his meetings, after which, Struppa also showed off his favorite spots on campus and his favorite hobbies.
“One of the reasons I really love Chapman is this location in the middle of a little town where you see people and people walk and that allows you the spontaneity,” Struppa said.
Struppa wakes up at 5:40 a.m. and runs for about an hour while watching soccer or scary movies. A couple of times per week, he lifts weights with his personal trainer.
His goal for 2017 is to run 1,300 miles. That would be about 3.6 miles each day, but Struppa said he averages five miles per day to cover for days when he is traveling or sick and unable to run. Yes, he even talks about math when he works out.
He leaves his running shoes on the treadmill overnight so that he can just put them on and start running because he usually isn’t fully awake yet.
Photo by Jackie Cohen
Every morning, two of Struppa’s daughters, Arianna, 12, and Athena, 9, make him coffee and eat breakfast with him. His daughters are home-schooled and don’t begin school until 10 a.m., but said they wake up early to spend more time with their father.
Struppa has four children: Alex, Elena, Arianna and Athena.
Struppa plays living room soccer with his daughters, using the fireplace and couch as goals. Arianna said she did a math project for school about living room soccer because it is her favorite thing to do with her father.
Struppa’s daughters said they can’t wait to attend Chapman and live in the dorms. They said they already have their dorm decorations planned out.
Struppa commutes to campus from his house in Irvine. It takes him about 30 minutes to get to campus, where he parks in his reserved spot.
While Struppa said that his favorite city in the U.S. is Orange, he chooses to live in Irvine so that he can spend the weekend with his family, dressed in shorts and flip-flops without having to keep up his presidential appearance.
On the weekend, Struppa can often be found hiking or playing soccer with his family.
Struppa also enjoys binge-watching shows. He said his favorite show of all time is “Breaking Bad” and that he is currently watching “The Americans.”
Struppa has a variety of meetings throughout his day. He starts every week with a meeting with Harold Hewitt, Chapman’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Provost Glenn Pfeiffer.
During meetings, Struppa can often be found eating Hershey’s Kisses.
Struppa enjoys writing on whiteboards during meetings. Pfeiffer joked that he only has a whiteboard in his office so that Struppa has somewhere to write.
Between meetings and during lunch, Struppa checks his emails in his office.
“I eat while I work so I don’t waste time. Time is the hardest commodity to come by. That’s what you’re always fighting for. The emails are piling up faster than you can read them. When I look, I still have 200 emails to read. It’s the worst part of the job. As I eat, unless I keep doing it, they are going to be 210, 220, 230,” said President Daniele Struppa.
Struppa’s go-to meal on campus is a sesame bagel with cheese, turkey and mayonnaise from Einstein Bros. Bagels and Diet Coke.
“My preference would be for lobster, caviar, oysters, but I don’t think they serve that,” Struppa joked.
Struppa had a Skype call with his colleagues in mathematics in Italy. While working as president, Struppa continues his research in mathematics.
Struppa’s favorite formula is the Dirac equation.
He walked some Panther staff members through some math problems, to explain the importance of calculus.
Struppa took a stroll across campus. He said that his favorite part of campus is outside of the Musco Center. He also said he likes the fountain at the Global Citizens Plaza. During his stroll, he said hello to students, professors and facilities workers.
Struppa wanted to donate the flag from his home country of Italy to be placed at the fountain, but someone else had already donated it. His second and third choice, Greece and Israel, were already taken as well. He said that he ended up donating the Ecuadorian flag because he proposed to his wife, Lisa Sparks, dean of the School of Communication, at the top of a volcano there.
Struppa’s favorite countries to visit are Italy and Japan.
Panther staff members played soccer with Struppa on Memorial Lawn.
His favorite soccer team is FC Internazionale Milano. During commencement in 2010, the team was playing in the league finals, so Information Systems & Technology set up a room on campus for Struppa to watch the game after commencement.