Orange Alert

From Leonardo to Liucci

Alex Liucci and Leonardo da Vinci are more alike than you think

May 4, 2015, by Christina Tiberio

Alex Liucci '15
Alex Liucci '15

If Leonardo da Vinci had met Alex Liucci ’15, he would definitely have approved.

Like his Renaissance idol, Liucci is fascinated by all things creative and scientific. So when it came time for Liucci to declare his major in Syracuse University’s

College of Arts and Sciences

, few people were surprised when he chose two: biology and art history.

Leave it to a polymath to study subjects that engage both sides of the brain. Yes, Leonardo—who was every bit the scientist and engineer as he was a visual artist—would have been proud.

“As a dual major, I appreciate the breadth and depth of Leonardo’s interests, and I strive to achieve a similar level of creativity and ingenuity,” Liucci says. “He’s an excellent role model.”

Just as Leonardo grew up surrounded by the Tuscan hills, Liucci’s childhood took place in scenic Lake George, N.Y., against the backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains. Liucci loves his surroundings, especially the abundant nature that allows him to go fishing.

“Many nights, I’ll stay out until 2 a.m., fishing for catfish, and then I’ll wake up at 6 a.m. to reel in early morning bass,” says Liucci, describing a typical summer day at Lake George. “But then there are also the mountains, the wildlife, and the fresh air. There’s really no place like home.”

Liucci in Italy
Liucci in Italy

Originally accepted to the University of Connecticut, Liucci had a change of heart when he stepped onto the Syracuse campus. It seemed as if everything—from the world-class faculty, to the diverse student body, to the cutting-edge curriculum—clicked for the aspiring physician. “I know it sounds corny, but I knew, at that moment, UConn had lost a student,” he adds.

For all his success in the classroom, Liucci makes it a point to redefine—if not eliminate—the boundaries of campus. He particularly enjoys meeting people from other countries and learning their cultures. “I’ve already promised to visit so many friends after graduation that I’m not sure if I’ll have time to begin a career,” he jokes.

Liucci has also studied in Florence, Italy, where he was “blown away” by the art and architecture, and spent last summer working in a hospital in Tanzania, Africa, where he interacted with the semi-nomadic Masai people.

Close to home, Liucci has volunteered at University Hospital, part of SUNY Upstate Medical University, and at the Northside Catholic Youth Organization.

It’s these kinds of experiences, along with his biology training, that Liucci hopes will open doors to medical school and beyond. “I’ve performed many laboratory procedures and techniques that will undoubtedly assist me in this process,” he says.

Romita Ray, associate professor of art history, is one of Liucci’s biggest fans. “Alex represents the best of our Arts and Sciences students. Passionate about the intersections between science and art, he brings a unique perspective to the Beauty and the Human body seminar that I am teaching this year. What makes him stand out is his love of exploration--his willingness to explore science through art and art through the empirical lens of science. Leonardo da Vinci would have been proud of him!

Media Contact

Christina Tiberio